The Fortune Cookie

For NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2016 – Day 13 (to prompt)

Following two nights of poor sleep, my brain is fogged today, so am not able to write or edit very well….I think! 🙂
The prompt is to write a poem inspired by fortune cookies (see below for more details).
I have produced three pieces (not even sure they are poems!) and can’t decide which or even whether to post – as I say, it’s all a bit of a fog!
So, I’m putting them up and asking you which you like/prefer – if any – and quite happy to hear the good and the bad! 🙂
Won’t you just pop your option in the comments section please (with a reason if you would like to)?…. Thanks
Hope you’re all having a good day…


A) The Fortune Cookie That Sealed My Fate

We had eaten our supper and each picked a chance
Joking and laughing agreed to read them out loud
She read to me, “You will marry you lover.”
I choked and I spluttered, felt like running for cover,
Quickly cracked mine, forced to read out the words,
“The person you read to will soon become yours.”


B) Your Future Path?

Tall dark strangers float to you,
In the future still to come.
Options, choices, what to do?
You will know when all is done.

Eat the cookie, take the note,
Munch away now merrily,
What is written, what is quote,
May come to pass, yes, verily.

Come to pass and so much more,
Don’t treat them lightly, laugh and joke,
For what if what they say is true
And your path forwards they invoke?


C) Questions

When did you last see a tall, dark stranger?
Or take a trip into lands of danger?
Have you ever been told what lies ahead?
Or kept it all hidden, wrapped in your head?
The future is dim to allow for accretion,
How would we act if we now know the reason?
Change what we do, how we act, what we say?
Hold our decisions for a different day?
Yet seasons will change, ’tis the cycle of now,
What would we do if we knew when and how?


© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane


The prompt: “And now for today’s (optional) prompt! The number 13 is often considered unlucky, so today I’d like to challenge you to beat the bad luck away with a poem inspired by fortune cookies. You could write a poem made up entirely of statements that predict the future (“You will meet a handsome stranger”), aphoristic statements (“The secret to getting ahead is getting started)” or just silly questions (“How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?”) Or you could use a phrase you’ve actually received in a real fortune cookie as a title or first line. However you proceed, I hope you will feel fortunate in the results (do you get it? Do you get it? Rimshot, please). Happy writing!”


11 comments on “The Fortune Cookie

  1. Interesting exercise once again, Rob. I like the first one best, for its humor, directness, and slight touch of apprehension. The other two versions strike me as being wrenched by the need to rhyme—and you know I love rhyme and am certainly not against it. But when it feels like a too-tight garment and forces a less than apt use of words, it takes away more than it gives. Then there are those archaisms like “verily” and “’tis” which I would probably like only if they were used unseriously. And that’s my smart-ass critique for today. 🙂 Hope the fog clears and you are soon back to hunky dory….

    Liked by 1 person

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