Herbie was always a crazy dog.
     He was witty and daring,
     always the first one to play a prank.
     I remember, when we were at school
     he could have had any one of us girls
     just for the asking.
     He played bass in the school band
     and of course he was captain of the football team.
     Later he gave himself airs as a poet,
     quoted Verlaine and John Lennon
     and enthused about Arthur Rimbaud
     who was a poet and a dealer in arms
     and lived in a brothel.
     Herbie always wanted to be someone
     he just didn't know who:
     pop star or poet or sportsman of the year
     or all of them together.
     He was always on about "the poetry of adventure"
     or "the adventure of poetry".
     It must have been something like that
     he was looking for,
     when he climbed frozen waterfalls in the winter
     or dived from the roof of Ramada Hotel
     with his parachute.
     Later he hiked through the Sahara
     on cross country skis
     sponsored by a mineral water company.
     And he crossed the Behring strait
     on his surfboard.
     He almost got drowned then,
     but the camera team in the helicopter
     was under strict orders not to intervene.

     We all liked Herbie
     and came to see his lectures
     and multimedia shows,
     and he gave us his books
     "The Poetry of Adventure"
     dedicated to
     "my unforgettable Susie"
     (or Ellen, or Sonja).

     My youngest one - I already had two then,
     how time flies -
     loved to be lifted by him with one finger,
     and to the big one
     he once gave his famous cap
     with the brand name of his greatest sponsor.
     Of course he had cupboards full of these caps,
     but my boy didn't know that.

     Last week they found him
     at the convention hall where his show should have been.
     He had hanged himself with his climbing rope
     right in front of the screen.
     His manager of course tried to hush it up
     but it came out anyway:
     He hung there from the ceiling
     stark naked
     and had covered his body
     with all the stickers of his sponsor companies.
     And on his chest he had written with lipstick:

     He was always a crazy dog.