[15 words or less poems] Is That a #2 Pencil?

 


Photo: Laura Purdie Salas

Wake up your poetry brains with 15 Words or Less (guidelines here)!

I took this pic at a winterguard show (the activity color guards’do over the winter, performing with flags, rifles, sabers, and other props) a few weeks ago. Here’s what it makes me think of:

1) How hard school is for some kids
2) As a kid, you feel too little for everything
3) BIG writing dreams

And here’s my poem first draft:

Advice to a Young Poet
Write–
on walls,
on wind,
on world.

Never erase.
Never regret.

Stay sharp.
–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

What do you think of when you look at this picture? Take any quick idea and jot down a 15 Words or Less poem. It doesn’t have to rhyme or describe this picture. It’s just about whatever you think of when you look at it.

98 Responses

  1. From down here
    that looks huge
    It stinks being near
    and yet so far.
    I’m short.

    16 but I couldn’t cut it down. Funny thing is I’m 5’6 at 12 so I wouldn’t know… 🙂
    I love your poem, Ms. Salas! Nice encouraging emotion.

    1. Short people–and kids in general–will so relate to this! Both my daughters are petite, between 5′ and 5′2″. I’m going to share your poem with them!

  2. From down here
    that looks huge
    It stinks being near
    and yet so far.
    I’m short.

    16 but I couldn’t cut it down. Funny thing is I’m 5’6 at 12 so I wouldn’t know… 🙂
    I love your poem, Ms. Salas! Nice encouraging emotion.

    1. Short people–and kids in general–will so relate to this! Both my daughters are petite, between 5′ and 5′2″. I’m going to share your poem with them!

  3. Love your poem, Laura — serious yet fun at the same time. Here’s mine. Rough first draft, but I think I’m going to flesh it out a bit later and make it a tad longer:

    PENCILS

    You and I are pencils.
    Different colors, sizes, lengths…yet
    capable of magic from inside.

    - ? 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

    1. Ooh I think this would be awesome repeating the first line at the end. Circular poem.

  4. Love your poem, Laura — serious yet fun at the same time. Here’s mine. Rough first draft, but I think I’m going to flesh it out a bit later and make it a tad longer:

    PENCILS

    You and I are pencils.
    Different colors, sizes, lengths…yet
    capable of magic from inside.

    - ? 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

    1. Ooh I think this would be awesome repeating the first line at the end. Circular poem.

  5. I like it, Laura! Here’s mine. (Such a nice way to start a Thursday!)

    My pencil?s too small
    for my thoughts. I need one
    big as a sequoia tree.

    ?Kate Coombs

    1. Brilliant, Kate! Made me think of Paul Bunyan and tall tales, that sequoia tree pencil!

  6. I like it, Laura! Here’s mine. (Such a nice way to start a Thursday!)

    My pencil?s too small
    for my thoughts. I need one
    big as a sequoia tree.

    ?Kate Coombs

    1. Brilliant, Kate! Made me think of Paul Bunyan and tall tales, that sequoia tree pencil!

  7. Pencil Wranglers

    Round ’em poets!
    There’s a load of words
    waitin’ to be saddled.

    © Diane Mayr

    1. Ooh, I want to put that in my profile. Instead of poet, I’m going to start calling myself a word wrangler–love that!

  8. Pencil Wranglers

    Round ’em poets!
    There’s a load of words
    waitin’ to be saddled.

    © Diane Mayr

    1. Ooh, I want to put that in my profile. Instead of poet, I’m going to start calling myself a word wrangler–love that!

  9. I like your ending Laura-“Stay Sharp”

    Writers carry
    weighty responsibilities
    in their pencils.
    They ferry
    many possibilities
    across the blank page.
    ?Linda Baie, 2013

    1. Lovely job, Linda! I especially like the image of the ferry carrying possibilities!

  10. I like your ending Laura-“Stay Sharp”

    Writers carry
    weighty responsibilities
    in their pencils.
    They ferry
    many possibilities
    across the blank page.
    ?Linda Baie, 2013

    1. Lovely job, Linda! I especially like the image of the ferry carrying possibilities!

  11. Show Time!

    Leap! Twirl! Smile!
    Muscles straining,
    heart pounding.
    Faster!
    Fearless!
    Ending flourish …
    Bow.
    Bask in applause.

    – Keri Collins Lewis

  12. Show Time!

    Leap! Twirl! Smile!
    Muscles straining,
    heart pounding.
    Faster!
    Fearless!
    Ending flourish …
    Bow.
    Bask in applause.

    – Keri Collins Lewis

  13. With each circle
    My pencil grows heavier
    Until I cannot lift it
    To blacken one more.

    I guess I’ve been reading too much about standardized testing.

  14. With each circle
    My pencil grows heavier
    Until I cannot lift it
    To blacken one more.

    I guess I’ve been reading too much about standardized testing.

  15. Love “never erase,” Laura. Gives permission not to be perfect. Here’s mine:

    The playwright
    writes right
    with the right
    pencil.

  16. Love “never erase,” Laura. Gives permission not to be perfect. Here’s mine:

    The playwright
    writes right
    with the right
    pencil.

  17. Your poetic advice to a young poet is just perfect, Laura!

    From Start to Story

    A perfect point
    of graphite pigment.
    Ponderings.
    Plottings.
    Pencilings.
    A short stub
    of graphite pigment.

    1. Ooh your short stubby sentences go great with the subject. Nice one, Penny!

  18. Your poetic advice to a young poet is just perfect, Laura!

    From Start to Story

    A perfect point
    of graphite pigment.
    Ponderings.
    Plottings.
    Pencilings.
    A short stub
    of graphite pigment.

    1. Ooh your short stubby sentences go great with the subject. Nice one, Penny!

  19. Wow, Laura that is an amazing poem from that picture.

    Flouncing around
    no words abound
    for I am crowned
    a dreamer.

  20. Wow, Laura that is an amazing poem from that picture.

    Flouncing around
    no words abound
    for I am crowned
    a dreamer.

  21. I Elf grab the stick wit black stuff at the tip and pink at end
    wheeled this mighty weapon and strike down my enemy: paper.

    1. I’m so sorry completely forgot about 15 words or less!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean i Knew i was no scientist but I never thought i’d forget that sooooooo sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =’(

  22. I Elf grab the stick wit black stuff at the tip and pink at end
    wheeled this mighty weapon and strike down my enemy: paper.

    1. I’m so sorry completely forgot about 15 words or less!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean i Knew i was no scientist but I never thought i’d forget that sooooooo sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =’(

  23. SCRATCHING
    Lead on paper
    I vent about school, clothes,
    Siblings, leaving proof that my life
    Matters.

    © Charles Waters 2013 all rights reserved.

  24. SCRATCHING
    Lead on paper
    I vent about school, clothes,
    Siblings, leaving proof that my life
    Matters.

    © Charles Waters 2013 all rights reserved.

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