Whenever possible, keep it simple (like a coffin-nail)

There’s nothing quite as simple as
a coffin-nail. A dead unwanted piece
inert and sharp that does its job
encasing what was once the life

the moving limbs, the sins. Saving past
but not the plans. It marks an end,
the state of limbo just before the worms
transforms what was to flowerbeds.

But after years when wits have dimmed.
be sure to check: the coffin-nail remains.

Black on Black by Ellsworth Kelly

Black on Black by Ellsworth Kelly

We celebrate the Chinese New Year with Toni at dVerse by using Fortune cookies as inspiration. Mine is the title actually. Check out all those much better poems at when we open at 3PM EST.

February 9, 2016

33 responses to “Whenever possible, keep it simple (like a coffin-nail)

  1. I loved this part:”the state of limbo just before the worms
    transforms what was to flowerbeds.”, because I think it is extra interesting. I don’t know in other countries, but in order for flowers to grow a different color than their seed signifies, a few nails is dug into the ground just around the seed (and the color truly changes!). Yet, so many coffins are lowered into the ground, but the graveflowers never even blossom.

  2. Long live free verse, brother. A stark & honest stab at the prompt, a bit sobering but passionately poetic.

  3. In University, on a practice “dig”, we students helped to recover an old graveyard so the remains could be moved to a new location. so many of the old wooden coffins crumbled under our hands but those coffin nails and the bones remained.

  4. I read this as being a directive on how to write poetry: sharp and to the point. When the poet’s mind is gone, his expressions and penetrations (writ[h]ings) remain.

    I like what you did in turning “limbs” into “limbo.” Also, the word “remains” at the end makes me think of the word “mainline,” as it is related to shooting up drugs, which is certainly what some people do with poetry/literature.

  5. Never thought of it that way, Bjorn.Yes, the nail is about what’s left. Other parts would just rot away. One needs to be as tough as nails to sustain better one’s influence in life.

    Hank

  6. You nailed it!
    🙂 Couldn’t resist…..
    The simplicity of death is taken to its very essence when you are left with just the coffin nail. And we do feed the flowers and the worms in the end…the beauty and the beast.
    Well done.

  7. There’s a quote from Muhammed, PBUH, that this made me think of. It says. “Trust in God but tie your camel” Always have to check those nails. I enjoyed this very much!

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