Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

The Tractor Fire - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

It was decided that the shed
- an eyesore - had to go,
so, after rolling out of bed
at 5, I'd start the show.

A careful fire now, to burn
the boards, dismantled, one by one.
I use the tractor - push and turn,
support beams fall - I'm having fun.

When suddenly my front wheels stick
deep in the ground, I try reverse.
I may, if this fails, have to dig,
so now I start to yell and curse.

The fire, fuelled by roof tar,
is getting closer by the minute!
I'm trying! - something is bizarre,
it's sticky mud and I am in it.

'So get the hose ', I yell out loud,
'and call the neighbour, hurry, kids! '
there's just a trickle coming out,
it's getting hot, I lose my wits.

As Maurice comes with his John Deere
and chain and hooks and other gear,
the flames have reached the tractor tyre.
I pray that God would douse the fire.

Accelerate, now pull and yank
but nothing moves, it's getting hot.
My eyes are on the petrol tank,
I wonder 'will I now blow up? '

At last the efforts are succeeding
and all the wheels are slowly turning.
With Maurice and his monster leading
it's high time 'cause my seat is burning!

And so we saved the day, yes Mister.
The damage was a half-burned tyre,
a charcoaled seat, a rear-end blister,
but we escaped - and WHAT a fire!

The fire engines screaming in,
with lights a-flashing, sirens, tooting,
they're knocking down the garbage bin,
the trucks look shiny, high fallutin'.

The chief is known to us - a local.
He asks what I will not forget,
presents himself, high-pitched and vocal:
'So, put it out? ' - I say 'You bet! '


Comments about The Tractor Fire by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (2/13/2005 10:19:00 AM)


    You now are in the rarified company of Henry David Thoreau.
    He let a fire get away from him as well.
    (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (11/15/2004 6:11:00 AM)


    H, You little pyromaniac, great tale: -) (Report) Reply

  • (11/14/2004 8:36:00 PM)


    Excellent! A bit different for you but a very interesting read. I love it!
    Fuels me to put out some fires ot my own... (: 0)
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: fire, fun, god, lost



Poem Submitted: Sunday, November 14, 2004



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