This year I’ve signed up to a group that aims to write a poem a month based on a set of provided prompts. For February the prompt was ‘Both sides’. This poem was my response, inspired by a quote that you’ll find beneath the final verse.


Head or tails?

Life is a game of chance.

So let’s toss the coin, watch it spin.

It’s a simple affair. Two options. Fifty-fifty chance.

And if it falls the wrong way, simply toss it again.

Holding onto the promise that everything evens out in the end.

That good luck and bad luck come in equal measure.

Just keep flipping.

You’ll see.


But isn’t it true that life isn’t fair?

That the odds can be stacked in either direction

Favour or disadvantage. Not pure chance.

Some are born with talents that nudge the rotation

Watch how the coin lands heads up over and over again.

Some are laden with challenges that predestine the outcome

Forever and a day. It will always be tails.

Which are you?


Take a hard look at both sides of the coin.

And ask yourself this.

Can you change your destiny?

Can you play by different rules?

Or do you accept, success or failure. A gift of the gods.

Karma. Destiny. Fate.

Let’s toss the coin

And find out.


This poem was inspired by:

Life is just a game of chance, a dance with fate if you let it be so. Or you could chose to play by your rules to win.

Steven Redhead, Professor of Jurisprudence and Head of Law in the Faculty of Arts at Charles Sturt University