Skills for Death


Welcome to the Skills for Death

Development Centre. Here’s a pamphlet with a web address.

Click on it and you will encounter

The usual warning. If you carry on, we guarantee

That you will be enlightened.

We can offer courses

In falling gracefully: it’s most embarrassing

After a lifetime of unbroken bones

To break your nose in dying.

We have a stock of memorable last words

For a small fee, though we advise all students

To carry a printed card with their last words

Since even if articulated they may be

Forgotten or misremembered. Moving on

You can select

Modules on travelling down a long dark tunnel

Towards a distant light;

Bodily disengagement readjustment skills;

Downsizing, destination management;

And for a minority, hanging around old castles

Or bedrooms making sensitive souls uncomfortable.

I do apologise, ladies and gentlemen,

I’m not quite sure how this should end

But then that’s quite appropriate, don’t you think?

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  1. One day I will introduce the world to my theory of The Circle of Death, actually I should probably get on with it before I…well, you know!

    ~The Dippylomat esq.

    • One origin for this poem was an old friend enthusing about something called “Life Training” he was attending. I asked if, when he completed it, he went on to Death Training.

  2. There are courses like this Simon….prepare for death as you do for life! A handbook would be immensely helpful. Loved this poem…so rich with possibility.

    • Ah, but could you take the handbook with you? I’m reminded of a phrasebook I once studied before going to Norway. Under the heading “ACCIDENTS” it included the phrase “I am unable to move”. Now assuming this meant you were trapped and not that you were constipated, who would be so pessimistic as to learn it by heart before going on holiday? If you hadn’t learnt it before hand, how would you get at the phrasebook to read it out?

  3. Caddo Veil

     /  January 24, 2012

    Marvelous–I think I could really go for being a haunt, just for a little while though.

    • Thanks, Caddo. Yes, it could get a bit boring. You don’t find that, say, “The White Lady” has suddenly become “The Black Lady” or “The Crimson and Royal Blue Lady”.


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