A Penguin Comes to Tea

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First Poem

The first poem I wrote from randomly selected words

Rain, rain, rain,
Trickling, dropping, gushing.
Rain is like a song,
Nature’s divine song.
Little droplets flying to earth
Create a heavenly curtain,
Then join the rippling rivers
And seep back into the ground.
But look up in the midst of the storm
In the cold and wet of winter:
See the lights glinting off each tiny drop,
As new constellations are born.

Nine Random Words

Nine words, selected at random, then strung together with other words to tell a story

Michael lay on the beach and listened to the waves crash onto the sand. He had been watching and listening to the sea all summer. Each wave started out as no more than a ripple, a bulge on the surface of the ocean, gradually gathering height and strength, gliding inexorably towards the shore where it gave up its power in one enormous crash, before receding, spent, back into the swirling foam.
Sometimes he had the urge to run across the hot sand and throw himself at the waves, as if he could stop them. The waves laughed at him, and teased him, bypassing his fragile, delicate body and rushing to their doom on either side of him.
Soon he would leave this place, and go back to the hot, dusty, city where people, preoccupied with their daily business, had no time to gaze at the sea. The waves would not even notice he was gone.
Michael reached over and picked up his shorts, faded and torn from his battles with the waves. The top button hung loose, dangling from a single thread. Michael pulled it off the shorts and held it in his hand. It was hot, from the sun. He stood up and faced the sea.
“Hey, here’s something to remember me by!”
He flung the button as far as he could, into the crest of an oncoming wave. The wave ignored the gift and kept coming, breaking onto the sand like its brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents, and countless generations of waves before it.
As the water drained away, and pulled back down the sand, Michael saw a flash of metal, glinting in the sun. His button. It would lie there, buried in the sand, pounded by the waves, gathering rust, until he returned next year.

My mother’s best china mug slipped out of my hand and crashed to the floor

I wrote this as a timed writing exercise: we had fifteen minutes to write something using the above title.

The silence in the room was the loudest thing I had ever heard. A single piece of pot rocked back and forth on its curved edge; the rest of it lay in a hundred little pieces around me like confetti surrounding the bride. Only I wasn’t the bride – I felt like a murderer.
For a moment I stood and looked at the disaster. The broken dream. We had been getting along so well, this visit, my mother and I, almost as if we were about to become friends again, as if all the bitterness and disagreements over the last ten years could be set aside while we made a fresh start.
And now this.
Could it be mended, I wondered. Probably, with enough time and trouble. And patience. She’d expect me to try, of course – if I swept up the pieces now she’d accuse me of being unfeeling. If I sat down to piece the broken shards together she’d tell me it was a useless task.
I could remove the evidence completely and maybe she would never know. That would work with other people maybe, but not with my mother. That mug had sat on the same place on the mantelpiece for thirty seven years; she’d drunk her tea out of it for the last twenty.
No, there was nothing to do but to own up. And then to try and put together the pieces of our relationship.