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First Lines - a random generator


We created an online script that generates a random poetic line based on a database of words and phrases. The intent is to to give the poet a fresh and surprising line with which to begin a poem. Some lines generated will be quite logical, while others will be almost nonsensical. To really challenge you, we suggested that you accept the first line you are given as a starting place - then, write what you feel should follow. In your revisions you may alter the first line, or move it, but use it as inspiration.No model poem this time out. No topic or form to follow. You may click again and generate a different combination of words. You can click until you read something that generates an idea, but try to resist the temptation to find something "comfortable" - instead accept the challenge of the generator.The possibilities are not endless, but the possibilities are numerous.

Click here to get to the original generator or give the second generation line generator a try.

For more things poetic, visit the Poets Online blog.

The Bed of Wanting

On the bed of wanting the women sing softly to each other.
They have been singing this song since they were young girls.
The words they know by heart, even though the words change
year to year, as do the singers, but not the music.
The same sad and sweet song though their voices are stronger
and hold the notes longer, there’s no mistaking it.
They meet at night and sing till morning.
Their bodies sway with the melody and it carries them along.
They touch each other as they move, unconscious of the touch
but thrilling to the harmony of voices and bodies singing together.

Pamela Milne

In The Bed Of Winter, The Men Wander

Marriage-bed results from hunter-zeal
enkindled in the heat of April love.
The Summer-simmer justifies commitment
as also does the garish passion of the Fall;
but when the bed needs artificial heating
to counter seeping, lengthy, Winter blasts,
man, the Hunter, wanders, seeking
that elusive heat he dreams - again - will last.
In the bed of winter the men wander
because snow covers even fallen leaves,
softening footprints’ autumnal crisp
while bringing sign of tempting hooves
above the camouflage of earth.
The cold blanket is the hunter’s signal
where warm Fall’s moistness once prevailed
to still the urge to venture forth

Catherine M. LeGault

A Dream of Insomnia

Before the day,
the dreamers of desire
the streets
the company of strangers.
They ignore
their fellow dreamers,
hide from the light,
hear music in the distance,
are sustained by the moon.
I see them from my window.
I want to join them,
call to them
but in my wakefulness
they cannot see me,
hear me.
Desire passes by me
and I wish for sleep.

Lianna Wright

Just the Thought; A Poem from the Lost and Found

Just the thought of desire young lovers mourn;
Young desire lovers mourn the just of thought,
Mourn the just lovers of desire thought young.
The young mourn thought; just desire of lovers .Before the day of words the insects wander
On the cold mountain of questioning. The trees seek
The river of wanting beside the spirits-
In the dream of ourselves the poets speak. A-list ants collect the crystal lanyard-
Their tribal memory hangs
Around the necks of the forgotten
Like spilled pennies discarded along the roadside.
Just the thought of desire young lovers mourn;
Roadside words wander, crystal dreams speak
The discarded memory of a cold mountain;
Questioning hangs spilled roadside poets
Like tribal pennies and A-list necks.

Steven Bizel


Inside the meaning of evening,
leaves wander,
carried by the vagaries
of a capricious wind.
Their screams of yellow, red, and gold
fade into twilight's muted tones,
their tips curl inward
like clutching fingers.
Then brittle, crumbling,
they sigh into the earth,
submitting to the seductive
slumber of winter.
The night holds secrets
only the moon can see:
the latency of dawn,
and inside the meaning of morning
new life whispers.

Barbara Whitehill

One Man’s Renga

On the cold mountain of Winter the seasons vanish.
The young ones sing in the rain.
The old ones breathe the spirits of summer.
Seek the poets beside the river.
Beyond this moment of our imagination,
the seasons are just a thought.

Charles Michaels

Inside the Meaning of the Soul the Spirits Rejoice

you're engaged
in philosophical debate
with your professor in front
of his fireplace. Inside, he whispers. Inside. I
want to know the meaning of your soul. Rejoice me. And you do.
Why? You don't know. Your meaning floats like
a pear in heavy syrup.
Rejoice, you say.
Once more,

Mary DeBow