Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Southern Comfort - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

In Mississippi, on a bus.
It was the heat of summer.
A white man stood, began to cuss,
he said: 'This is a bummer.'

'There's black and white in our land,
we all know what this means,
but I will travel, raise my hand,
not with them coloured fiends! '

The driver stopped, addressed his charges,
it looked like trouble flaring.
He told them what he'd do to help
and how they would be faring.

'Pretend' he said, 'that white is white,
but black is really green,
so if you would..I thought we might
divide the colour scene.'

'The back half of the bus belongs
to dark green folks with lips.
The rest of you know rights or wrongs:
Are light green on these trips.'

'We like you all, it's just that you,
the darkies who ain't white,
you really haven't got a clue,
you give our kids a fright.'

'If melons, mixed with porker guts
is what you like to eat,
if you still live in filthy huts
and eat opossum meat,

then, no offense, you emanate
the stench of lower class.
The only place where you can state
your business will be Mass.

The KKK, it has been banned,
an everlasting shame.
Those hoods will once again be manned.
We do not look the same.

So, think of it as shades of green.
The light ones sit in front.
You darkies, try not to be seen,
my meaning is quite blunt..

The fear of God shall strike you down
if you don't realise,
that obsolescent, dark green clowns
are filthy and tell lies.'


Note: The bus driver was white


Comments about Southern Comfort by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (12/2/2004 7:33:00 AM)


    No, Lenchen, don't even know where to look.
    I did read 'Black like me' from the 60's.
    'Out of Africa' is related to this one.
    You are fast becoming an excellent critic. But if you do you will write less poetry, which we cannot have....
    H
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  • (12/2/2004 3:41:00 AM)


    H, have you read Benjamin Zephaniahs 'White Comedy'? (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: green, travel, dark, summer, light, fear, god



Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 2, 2004

Poem Edited: Tuesday, December 14, 2004


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