poet Herbert Nehrlich

Herbert Nehrlich

The Death Of A Humane Society

It was a morning like any other.
A cloud from the South, a sparrow
sitting on the windowsill, eating,
the Postman, ringing twice next door,
a streetcar of desire screeching to a halt,
and the traffic cop attending to impatience,
and, at rush hour, his recurring boxershort creep.

Across the street the baker was yawning again,
that Yugoslavian woman dumping soapy water
out the window onto the busy sidewalk,
and the paperboy, aged seventy plus, hoarsely,
proclaiming that Nixon was the man to be watched.

From across the barely polluted river of Babylon
came a breeze of air, no not fresh air as such,
it brought with it an invisible cloud of doom,
which settled, like the sticky sugar coating,
applied to a jelly-filled donut, onto the city,
the country, and it swept the world from there,
its humble beginnings notwithstanding.

'Nonobstant' mumbled Monsieur Cazin,
French travel agent, occupying a round kiosk,
no one knew of course what exactly it meant,
and even the French teacher from the school,
he just scratched his head. But he also suspected,
it was more a gut feeling though, that something,
something awfully big was taking place, merde,
it seemed to fit, intuitively, and then, without warning,
time stood still, the earth stopped its rotation,
people's hearts stopped and not a breath was heard.

And when it all started up again, for reasons unknown,
the world as it was known had ceased to exist.
It was the day that claimed the word humane,
with all its meaning and substance, its noblesse.
The death of Humane Medicine was a twin of many
to the tragic loss of all that made us human beings,
not just people, but homo sapiens par excellence.

Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 1, 2005
Poem Edited: Friday, September 2, 2005

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Comments about The Death Of A Humane Society by Herbert Nehrlich

  • Herbert Nehrlich1 (9/3/2005 5:43:00 AM)

    Thank you all, it is very much appreciated.
    And you are right Michael.
    And it is a crying shame.
    H

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  • Michael Shepherd (9/3/2005 4:58:00 AM)

    For me, this impressive piece has its total impact three lines from the end. No need to point the moral! Congratulations and thanks.

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  • Theorem ThetruthserumTheorem Thetruthserum (9/2/2005 12:45:00 PM)

    Very good don't listen to Sarah Watson-Roy...even when she puts in a compliment it is with a negative overture. This was an awesome poem...loved it for all that it is and all that it says.

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  • Kelly Allen Vinal (9/2/2005 11:28:00 AM)

    AMongst the best of your serious work, H. Simply wonderful.

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  • Mahnaz Zardoust-Ahari (9/2/2005 7:57:00 AM)

    Very moody, powerful, and thought provoking.....One of your best.

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  • Raynette Eitel (9/2/2005 7:26:00 AM)

    This is powerful...but more than that, it is a very human poem. The little details delight...and the main message simply stuns. Wonderful.

    Raynette

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  • Herbert Nehrlich1 (9/2/2005 6:02:00 AM)

    Thanks Mary, it was written in response to yours.
    Best wishes
    Herbert

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  • Mary Nagy (9/2/2005 6:00:00 AM)

    I thought it was a very good poem. You paint such a tense and foreboding mood...very good. Sincerely, Mary

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  • Herbert Nehrlich1 (9/2/2005 2:58:00 AM)

    That describes you if one wants to be nice.
    Why don't you visit the Eiffel Tower.
    It's a beautiful view.

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  • Sara Watson-Roy (9/2/2005 12:28:00 AM)

    confused and awkward in spots- pretty good for you.

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  • Allan James Saywell (9/2/2005 12:27:00 AM)

    i understand herbert it is the main reason i am thinking of going to live in a tree again maybe there might be a new animal i can meet who understands me
    the kind loving human beings i used to know have all moved on or died
    the ones that are left are all prededators, mentally unbalenced or just plain mean
    good write my friend up there with your best

    Warm regards AJS

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  • Lawrence S. Pertillar (9/1/2005 11:19:00 PM)

    A 'tad' too abstract for me although an enjoyable read...it took me several times!

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