Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

The Pile Of Poo - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

A bus trip through the Northern Beaches,
it slowed to fifty near the houses,
the dark haired lady, one who teaches
about the past and thus arouses
historic curiosity,
explains how Caesar and his troups
fought vicious animosity.

My eyes are heavy from the vino
imbibed with other tourist groups,
so late last night, that Bardolino,
the bus now stopped to let a cow
get to the other side to eat.
Superb, this scenery but how
she talks about defeat
of Roman power in those days?
Who cares, my eyes now start to wander.

Across the potholed, dusty road,
a picket fence of purple hue,
in front of which a wagonload
of fly-attracting bovine poo
is being shovelled, bit by bit
onto the garden soil by one
with scrumptious looking olive skin,
a broad-rimmed hat repels the sun
and beads of sweat run off her chin.

Blue overalls accentuating
a promised figure, age nineteen,
she glances briefly at the waiting
green tourist bus she must have seen
a hundred times before this day.

Was there a spark that flew just now,
all eyes are busy with the drama
of how the local Holstein cow
has left the scene. The panorama
of barren foothills with no grass
has caught her eye. And, udder-swinging,
she disappears, her bovine ass
gets smaller. Sparks anew are bringing
me back to those blue overalls.

And now, we lock alerted eyes,
perception of the highest order,
reptilian urge I realise
that we will soon drive through the border
and leave this Italy behind.

A sense of loss, it comes and sweeps
this fool who will not ever find
the courage now, instead he weeps
inside about his loss already
when fading in the growing distance,
in this small town of white spaghetti,
the beauty NODS her lovely head,
thus melting all of my resistance
I sit and stare, and think I'm dead.

It was at dusk on July 30
when, tired and with one torn shoe
I wandered in, alone and dirty
until I saw the pile of poo.
I can't remember if my nerves
did fail or threatened mutiny
if ancient, dusty mem'ry serves
one half of me said 'turn and flee'.
The other half, however, lusted
with brightly burning inner fire
the choice was either to get busted
for stark display of my desire,
perhaps get thrown inside a jail
or shot at by a jealous lover.
The question was, succeed or fail.

New confidence began to hover
above me like an angel now.
With sudden flair I jumped the fence,
at last I know exactly how
to handle this. She looked so tense,
I took her hand and said in German
that I had come to marry her.
Now nervous, I produced a sermon
that had her listen, not a stir
was seen or felt, I kept her hand
in mine and looked into her eyes.
That's where I stood, in foreign land,
in seventy-one, when a surprise
transformed her pupils that had stared,
they softened and two tiny tears
rolled down her cheeks as if they cared
about those words of mine, new fears
emerged from my left-sided brain.
I heard the music of Franz Liszt
undoubtedly, I was insane.
But no, it happened and she kissed
me on the cheek the right
then on the left and right again.
The hope however that she might
approach the centre where we men
do have the sentry for our heart
was premature, perhaps she would
dismiss me like a foreign tart,
(I think she was convinced she should) .

Three decades later she confessed
that of those words in seventy-one
she'd understood, truly, at best
the melody but, sadly, none
of any meaning or specific,
yet all of what I said that day
was felt by her to sound terrific
and filed inside her soul to stay.

So, here we are, unloading poo
in our garden, by that fence.
You look at me, I look at you
and nothing else makes too much sense.


Comments about The Pile Of Poo by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (5/27/2005 9:04:00 AM)

    Mary, I knew you would like this. It is not a true story involving me, but a very good friend of mine (who likes me to study Italian) has experienced exactly that and I will never miss going overseas without visiting them at least once for a few days.
    If you met them (Bernhard and Gerlinda) you would be as shocked and envious as I am usually for the first half day
    H
    (Report)Reply

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  • (5/27/2005 8:41:00 AM)

    I thought this was terribly romantic! Of course the 'poo' isn't the best part but it does give a sense of the passion that you could see past that pile and see the beauty of your love.... and still can. I hope this a true story....so heartwarming. My favorite of yours yet. Sincerely, Mary (Report)Reply

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  • (5/27/2005 7:21:00 AM)

    Could we please have some more ones? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? /
    I have been told that the one givers are those who also have been mutilated.
    Stands to reason.
    No talents always have to act up.
    Although the world is wise now.
    H
    (Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: loss, july, courage, purple, angel, music, remember, power, beauty, green, fire, hope, alone, dark, sun, running, kiss, fear



Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 26, 2005

Poem Edited: Thursday, May 26, 2005


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