Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Stercum Accidit - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

The choice of what we say and write
is up to us, my learned friends.
To choose a term with real bite
think of the signal that it sends.
To make a point, to call a spade
the garden tool that it must be
is fine, but amber lemonade
ought not be labelled....you know....pee.

Why is it that our kids peruse
those terms that make us oldies wince,
we sit at home and sip our booze
and wonder why, for ever since
they grew beyond that early stage,
of thirteen words, just six were clean.
So did they borrow then a page
from us or from the school's latrine?
I can't remember whether we
back then talked dirty, maybe not,
the past may not be ours to see
although we clearly had no POT,
and other drugs were quite unknown
no sniffs or needles, little pills,
there was no hemp brought in or grown
we were content with Polish dills,
of course, there was hopflower tea
made from fresh Barley, in huge vats
it made you wobbly in the knee
and on occasion you saw bats,
they'd fly around your hemispheres
from left to right and then reverse,
inside a well-lit chandelier
to shine its light onto your verse.
And then, of course, there was a small
but quite intriguing little plant,
we harvested the leaves in Fall,
when we would dance around and chant.
Smoke had to be, it was a rule
blown through the nose in little rings,
it was considered very cool
on holiday at Cesar Springs.
But words to scare the decent man?
And if we did, we erred but twice.
Today, we say be praised who can
refrain from using words like SCHEISS.


1. The word Scheiss(e) derives from the, well, the genuine origin of the word lies in the Old English 'scitte' (diarrhoea) , which is related to the Dutch 'schijten' and German 'Scheisse'.
It is not proven (but likely) that the word shyster is a descendant of the word Scheisse. The abbreviated version of Scheisse, namely Scheiss (without apostrophe) is used in order to be able to say the very word as many times as possible in the allotted time.
There are many related words, one is Schiessen. Which means to shoot.It is not difficult to imagine the connection if one visualises certain natural processes.
2. Stercum Accidit is Latin for Scheisse happens.

3. Hop Flower Tea is that Amber Brew called beer.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, June 23, 2008

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