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image for 10 -40,000


A poem by Kathe L. Palka

~ Fred Hoyle's calculation of the probability of the spontaneous origin of the 2000 proteins of 200 amino acids needed for the creation of life.
                                       for Joe

But here we are, there's no denying it —
the spontaneous or willed act
of a mysterial universe set in motion ages past
then watched or tweaked along
by small miracles pushing probabilities — humans,
the end of a string of not so random events.

Imagine life's beginnings — enzymes, proteins —
genes sequencing like so many pairs
of star-crossed lovers who miss each other endlessly
at some enormous dance where the band plays on and on
under the twinkling spheres and hope springs eternal
until each pair meets, brought together by
the omnipotent band leader tirelessly nudging things along.

Think of all the pairings needed after the creation
of that primordial soup, before our pairing,
just 20 years ago. But here we are,
while our children sleep inside the house,
still dancing by starlight on the lawn in the lilac-scented air,
here amid the world's wondrous improbabilities,
nothing less than stardust ourselves —
all of this, all of us, brought together by love.

"10-40,000" first appeared in U.S. 1 Worksheets, Vol. 50, 2005

Copyright 2006 by Kathe L. Palka


Kathe L. PalkaKathe writes:
I believe science allows us glimpses into the awesome complexities of a divine universe. While reading a scientific article disputing evolution alone as a plausible explanation for life on earth, I found the renowned British astronomer Fred Hoyle's calculation. This poem was inspired by my desire to write about both my acceptance of evolution and my Christian understanding of God as Creator. However its origins are explained by science, life is the ultimate love story and we're all in it.

Kathe L. Palka (Flemington, New Jersey) is the author of a chapbook, The Grace of Light, published by Finishing Line Press, New Women's Voices Series, 2004, and available for purchase through this link. Her poems have appeared in many publications including Bogg Magazine, The Bucks County Writer, Exit 13, The Journal of New Jersey Poets, Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought, Poet Lore, The Potomac Review, The River, U.S. 1 Worksheets, Windhover, and the anthology, To Love One Another: Poems Celebrating Marriage (Grayson Books, 2002). She has had work nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Kathe is an active member of U.S. 1 Poets' Cooperative and co-editor for U.S. 1 Worksheets Vol. 51, 2006. Kathe can be reached via email at:

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