Friday, November 11, 2011

The Whims of Chance

Life is made up of conditional clauses:

if . . . , then . . . ,

especially the subjunctive,

if I had . . . , or worse,

if only I had . . . .

I've been examining

the road map of my life,

seeing how little input I've had.

A slight, unplanned change of direction

and everything is different:

places, friends, activities.

Its like being a character

in a novel by someone else.

There will be an ending,

but I have no way of knowing

what form the ending will take.

I am insignificant,

blown by the whims of chance.

Yet, on one occasion

I was farewelling Paul

and he shared his gratitude:

Out of all the possibilities

of space and time, we're here,

together, on this Melbourne station.”

The world expanded under my feet.


  1. Thank you, Diana. That was lovely, and I really liked it.

    [Not that I don't like many of your poems... I just am not moved to comment very often.]

  2. I guess there only needs to be one possibility realised in any one experience to make that whole experience glow, and the world with it. Paul left you with a wonderfully thoughtful legacy in that.
    At the moment, at the risk of going from the sublime to the ridiculous, I am nurtured by an accident of speech from my 4 yr old granddaughter, who recently referred to the Uniting Church as the Igniting Church. An igniting church, in the metaphorical sense, would be a wondrous thing.

  3. Reading this, I felt sadness seeping through the pores of the words, even the poignancy of Paul.
    We none of us know our ending until we retrace ourselves back to the beginning and know the place for the first time...our ending is our beginning and nature will gently have her way.
    Written with depth and sorrow.