Poetry from Mike Cohen

BEGINNER’S LUCK

(Mike Cohen – Apr  2007)  

If your parents had waited another day

or another moment,

there could have been a different child born.

The egg might have been the same

but the race of the sperm

would most likely have crowned a different champion.

The sperm run is chaotic.

It is a shuffling of the deck,

a chance for chance to reset itself.

There is sufficient Brownian motion involved

that victory does not necessarily go to the fleetest.

Life begins always with an element of the capriciousness

that characterizes it throughout.

But were life predictable,

it would not be worth its own while.

Life is full for being full of choices,

conscious and unconscious,

whose outcomes cannot be clearly foreseen,

small choices that make great unknowable differences,

choices made with scarcely a thought,

choices like waiting another day

or another moment.

BALANCE AND PROBABILITY
(MikeCohen – – Aug  2006)

I thrust open the window, and my face
into the morning air.

The ground is two-and-a-half stories distant,

a height somewhere between serious injury and death.
I lean out, out,

and in several nearby parallel universes I fall,

balance and probability being what they are.

In some of these universes my fall is fatal;

in others it is not.

In one, I teeter momentarily

then topple backward,

striking my head against the end table

and dying instantly.

Balance and probability have a wry sense of humor.

In the vast majority of parallel universes,

including the one in which we seem to be residing,

I simply inhale deeply,

filling myself with the splendid emptiness
of an as yet unspoiled day,

and return inside,
oblivious to all the drama and tragedy going on nearby.

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