For better, or: Worse

Embraces life he;
"Two sides of the same coin we-
They need us both, see?"
 Extends fantasies;
 Sells souls heavens to fancy
 Over drudgery;
  Extinguished are we,
  As all souls are born to be-
  Shed of misery;
   Embraced and set free;
   An infinity

The above poem is my take on d’Verse’s Quadrille challenge #121.

The quadrille is simply a poem of 44 words (excluding the title), and it can take any form. This week’s challenge was to use the word “embrace” in a quadrille.


  • This poem was inspired by the phrase ’embrace, extend, extinguish’, which was first introduced in the United States v. Microsoft Corp. antitrust trial;
  • This poem is structured as four haikus

77 thoughts on “For better, or: Worse”

  1. Extinguished are we. Hmm. You’re beginning to sound a bit sufi there. Some mystic tones to your soul, my friend? Perhaps some Kabbalah influences? It’s been ages since I studied Jewish mysticism. Fascinating, I recall. Sorry, I imagine this has nothing to do with this verse, David. Just me once again exploring the thoughts and memories that your writing tends to evoke in me.

  2. A poem of spirituality seeking meaning …”selling souls heavens fancy.. shed of misery. Strong scriptural reference to Ecclesiastes: “to every thing there is a season…”.
    Excellently penned, David

  3. Your poem reminded me that we all come into this world “for better or Worse” and do our best to make a difference before we leave the same way!

  4. Ah, the embrace of life must also embrace its ending, and beginning, rhythm, beginnings and endings, wonderful.

  5. Brilliant! Starting with a borrowed phrase, building with interacting haikus. Beyond clever.

  6. Intriguing: I feel this could be interpreted in several different ways, which is perhaps what you intended…

    1. I began writing it from a pretty dark place (see the Wiki explanation of “embrace, expand, extinguish” – but it came out more ambiguously than I had expected!

  7. Life and death. Infinite and inevitable. All things to be embraced, willingly or not, I suppose. 😀 A unique take on the prompt. Thank you!

  8. I agree with other comments about the ambiguity–a good thing in my opinion. I saw greed, and then a sudden understanding at the place where greed no longer has meaning. We all get there eventually. (K)

  9. I so love the mysticism of this one! 💝💝 “Extinguished are we, as all souls are born to be.” Yes 🙂

  10. “Extinguished are we, as souls are born to be” wow…. Really beautiful words. Love each line ❤️

      1. Hi David! Great to reconnect with you. To answer your question — Not bad, considering the weather and the local government conspired to leave us without water and electricity.

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