Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

The Kindness Of Rhubarb Junior - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

Says Rhubarb to the Stinging Nettle
will we have time to judge and settle
our differences on this patch?
I say a Rhubarb is a match
to any plant that God created
and, no, we could not be related
consider widely different traits
a Stinging Nettle has no mates!

Your barbed and threatening exterior
makes you an utterly inferior
preposterously ugly weed.
And may I add, you are, indeed,
not worth the raindrops or the dew
or sunshine from a sky so blue.

God heard the words that Rhubarb spoke
he sent to Earth a puff of smoke
which dried the streams and all the land
and turned good soil into dead sand.

Now every garden expert knows
that rhubarbs need a daily dose
of water to exist at all
from Winter all the way to Fall.

The drought took hold in record time
the soil reduced to sand and lime
was not enough to now sustain
the stately but forever vain
old plant that's plain oxalic acid.

At first it swayed, still looking placid,
but soon its arms fell to the ground
without the slightest protest sound.
As Stinging Nettle watched in awe
unfolding of God's righteous, raw
and cruel punishment bestowed
the spindly fellow stood, head bowed
and worried as he needed drink
his body had begun to shrink.

For thirty days and thirty nights
God lit the stars and let their lights
illuminate the Earth below.

Day thirtyfirst brought heavy snow.
Long dead was Rhubarb without water
though next to him, a tiny daughter
had reared her head from bone dry land
it's something we can't understand.

But Stinging Nettle now was curious
to have the offspring of that furious
cantankerous and nasty plant
nearby, so he began to chant.

His voice, all cracked from dehydration
and lacking strength and modulation
was nothing even God could like.
Yet Rhubarb junior, tiny tyke
said this is beautiful my friend.
And this, for now, must be the end.

Comments about The Kindness Of Rhubarb Junior by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (3/12/2007 9:56:00 PM)

    Rubarb desserts and stinging nettle walks, this brings me back to a life of joy the eating of rubarb, pain gained through the stinging nettle barbs that scored my young skin as a boy This is doctor Herbert at his best writing in the old style on subjects that only the brain of a true blue Australian could imagine
    This should be counted as one of your best and their are a great number

    Warm regards AJS

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  • (3/12/2007 8:35:00 PM)

    Intersting piece Herbert, your mind really worked out this delightful piece. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 12, 2007

Poem Edited: Tuesday, February 1, 2011

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