The Edge of Chaos

This poem is dedicated to the NUS class of 2016 and to all graduates around the world.

When you are facing the drop ahead of you
blanketed with thick fog that you can’t see pass your nose,
they will tell you to jump.

But, like a lot of other things,
it is easier said than done.

You cannot see much;
You call out and don’t hear a returning echo.

It’s called the edge of chaos.
It’s when you’ve been on a predictable path for so long,
you’ve reached a point where the way forward is
both limitless and empty.

You can sense your peers next to you,
all feeling the inevitable weight;
this is not a rallying line of support.

This is where you all are now,
but where you end up is highly dependent
on the smallest glance,
on the ‘insignificant’ twitch,
on a minor detail
regardless of being in the same setup for years.

There is a low groan,
your hairs stand when your ears recognise the resonating snarl.

Cries are coming from the fog,
muffled and loud
you notice some reoccurring patterns
with no coherent trends:

There are clusters that break off,
and single voices that just keep going
and sharp drops in sound,
as if there were infinite rests in the music notation.

It does not seem as if anyone has made it back here
after stepping off.

It’s intimidating
jumping into chaos,
but it’s better than being pushed,

especially when you are standing at the edge.
Note: This poem was inspired by Choas Theory, the characteristics of a chaotic system and the bifurcation diagram. This poem does not explain Choas Theory or other elements in detail and anyone willing to learn about Choas Theory should consult an actual textbook. If my understanding of the concept is flawed, please email me at and I will be more than willing to learn and attempt a new poem.



Creative Commons License
The Edge of Chaos by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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