My Place In The Dance Of The Universe

I am accident on accident
And chance on random chance
I’m the product of environment
And changing circumstance

The odds of my occurrence
Are incalculably small—
If you round off to the m b trillionth place
I don’t exist at all!

Every atom in my body
From an ancient star’s collapse;
I’m a long time in my making—
Several billion years, perhaps!

In a corner of infinity,
A cold and hostile place
On a tiny blue oasis
Set adrift in empty space

I’m a subset of the universe
That’s learned to look around—
And which cannot help but wonder
At the marvels I have found!

The descendent of bacteria,
Of annelids, of fish,
I’m a member of the primates,
Just an ape-man, if you wish

Through the engine of selection
Some would live and some would die—
“From so simple a beginning”
Just how fortunate am I!

And I pass along my molecules
And take my place in line
So some distant, future life form
Will have carbon that was mine

And perhaps my DNA as well—
Unlikely, though, my friend—
I have ridden quite a lucky streak,
And lucky streaks must end.

So it is, and so it must be
When so much depends on chance
Since the music plays so briefly,
Can you blame me if I dance?


  1. says

    Aw, thanks…Jacqueline–what a wonderful concept, an accidental dancer! The cool thing is, you are (we all are) not just accidental dancers, but also accidental dances! For some few decades, an infinitesimal (but growing, at least initially) portion of the universe, an odd several bucketfuls of former star-stuff, conspires to hang together–to dance!–in an unlikely configuration and unusual behavior (learning is not something rocks, waterfalls, planets or stars do, for instance). Randomness happens, and environmental selection via evolution, learning, and culture have resulted in… you!

  2. says

    That was beautiful, when I look at the marvel that is the universe I cant see why anyone needs to befoul it with such a miniscule creature as a god.

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