You Decide

Some know me as Destiny,
The weaver of the cloth of Time.
Although my looms are never stilled,
They say I choose how high you’ll climb,
How fast you’ll fall, how great your name;
I am the ruler of the game.

Others think of me as Fate.
They say I have a heart of stone.
To them, I am a constant shadow
Keeping future paths unknown.
I make life bitter, or make it sweet;
To challenge me is sure defeat.

Some poor fools just call me Luck
And beckon me with chants and charms.
A clover leaf or rabbit’s foot
Will surely keep them safe from harm.
I set the odds and rule the dice;
I hold the key to Paradise.

But wise men know I must be used.
I am their servant and their tool.
I do exactly as I’m bid,
And work for kings and pawns and fools.
And they may cry, or may rejoice,
But wise men know my name is Choice.


The Rarest of Gems

Imagine a jewel beyond compare,
with life-giving powers, incredibly rare,
and just one discovered on all the wide Earth;
how could you possibly measure its worth?
Imagine a few people taking that gem
and hacking off bits of it only for them
until all of its life-giving power was lost;
how could you possibly measure the cost?
Now imagine a planet that’s circling a star
and it’s not too close, but it’s not too far,
encased in a silvery-blue atmosphere,
creating a layer of lush biosphere.
It’s mostly of rock with a molten core,
but covered with oceans and mountains and more,
with rivers and deserts, and undulant plains,
and clouds that bring snowfall, or life-giving rains.
There’s a beautiful, oversized moon at its side
that keeps the great oceans from sloshing wide,
and it turns on a tilt, which we know is the reason
it’s blessed with these changes of scenery each season.
And so many species of life! And such scale,
from the tiny amoeba to mighty blue whale,
in the skies, in the mud, in the lakes, in the seas,
in the wide leafy forests that sway in the breeze.
We’ve looked in the heavens, we’ve searched through the skies
with satellite telescopes aiding our eyes,
we’ve listened for any signs of living sound,
but nothing like our precious Earth has been found.

Imagine that one of the species of Earth
should ruin this beautiful world of their birth
by pumping in chemicals, burning the trees,
dumping their trash in the beautiful seas,
stripping the land to make fortunes from oil,
from coal or from minerals, poisoning the soil,
filling the skies with their toxic pollution,
silencing all who suggest a solution,
burning up carbons that alter the air,
possibly spoiling it beyond repair.
There’s no other world within reach like our Earth;
how can we possibly measure its worth?
But should its great life-giving power be lost,
how could we possibly measure the cost?


Lorna Davis is a poet who is happily retired and living in California.


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8 Responses

  1. J. Simon Harris

    I like both of these poems, but especially the first. The four stanzas very nicely parallel one another, and the progression from first to last is very well paced. The simple rhyme scheme and stress-based meter are both well-suited to the poem. And the message is a positive one, for those who will heed it. I’m reminded of a quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson (I think the attribution is spurious, but I have no idea where it actually comes from): “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

    • Lorna Davis

      That quote sums the idea up nicely, whoever the author may have been. If brevity is the soul of wit, I have been outwitted. 🙂
      Thank you!

  2. Steven Shaffer

    I like to savor these, so I just read the first one so far. Very nice! Also, I could not help but think of the song “Sympathy for the devil” by the Rolling Stones; I think it has a similar meter.

    • Lorna Davis

      Thank you! I’ve had the Stones rolling around in my head since reading your comment. 🙂


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