The patch is on my scratchpad, assuming you have diff/patch. Unfortunately, the maintainer of the syntax file says that adding the patch slows down vim on his 160MHz machine, so he's not going to add it - which I find a little strange to be honest. He suggests using the the pipe character | instead. To my mind, the ! is more common, but TMTOWTDI I suppose. Anyway, the patch doesn't seem to slow vim down at all on my machine (700MHz, Win2K).
Your pod seems to be fine in both set ft=perl and set ft=pod, provided I make it say =cut at the end and not =cu. That's with the latest perl.vim from the link I gave earlier, dated 23 Mar 2003. What filetype are you using (:set ft?)?