Avalanche? [15 Words or Less]

Hello, and welcome! This is 15 Words or Less Poems, a low-pressure way to wake up your poetry brain (guidelines here), and I’m very glad you’re here. 

Photo: Laura P. Salas


This image (which I’m not going to identify right now) makes me think of several things:

  1. an avalanche
  2. Santa’s beard
  3. straw in a milkshake

And here’s my first draft. 


It’s your turn! Have fun and stick to 15 WORDS OR LESS! (Title doesn’t count toward word count.)







59 Responses

  1. Laura, what a delicious image! I love the idea of sipping summer through a straw. My first thought on seeing this photo was…sad to say…vomit. I’m not sure what this says about me, but I definitely prefer your take on it! lol Here’s my short but not-so-sweet draft:

    Technicolor Vomit: A Gorger’s Lament

    Chewed it
    Rued it
    Spewed it

    1. And, I would sure hate to see what a psychoanalyst would say about me based on all the poems I share!

      1. You know, I hadn’t even thought of gorging in terms of an eating disorder–I certainly don’t take that lightly! I thought of it more in terms of “pigging out.” I need to be more careful with my word choice!

  2. I love how you find whimsy and fun in things! Now I want a milkshake. I didn’t see the straw until I read your connections.…which I read after I draft. I was reminded of feathers and scales because of the texture in the photo.

    Darn it, I hate going over 15.…I’m at 16 here but I like it as is.

    God’s Vanity Table

    Every color
    all hues
    for feathers,
    scales, skin
    and nails
    every animal
    of me
    of you.

    1. Linda, this is beautiful! Iit’s like the soul sister to Meet My Family. Love the line breaks.

  3. Love your poem, Laura! Who wouldn’t agree?


    Spilled her milk
    on her dinner.
    Sent to bed.
    (but she’s the winner!)

    1. Cindy, this sent me the flashbacks of having to sit at the table until the certain meals were completed. No spilling, no feeding the dog, etc, allowed. I’m glad this girl was a winner!

    1. Glad you’re looking for a rainbow, Margaret, because you usually find whatever you look for!

  4. I love the warmth and simplicity of your poem, Laura. Today’s image made me think of modern “art.” I prefer a lovely landscape.

    My paints spilled.
    The drop cloth caught it -
    posted on eBay.
    Someone bought it!

  5. Good morning Laura and 15 WOL community. Three things I think of: an abstract oil painting, USA weather map, or those luscious summertime slushies in every color of the rainbow.

    The Slushie Repository

    Melting tinted ice
    aging out
    becomes floatie
    for discarded straw.

    1. Aw, the discards are so sad:>( Almost every line here has a word that brings endings to mind. Thanks, Martha!

  6. I’ve gone quite the opposite direction from your summery treat, Laura!


    North Wind’s hand
    Swirls up
    A storm -
    A drizzle slick
    From twizzle stick.

  7. poem by
    Jessica Bigi

    Finger Painting Rhyming

    clocks with owls and one two three rhyme
    ticks tocks splotching splats of swirls
    as finger branch’s dance
    colors skies across canvases

    1. I love how you always have concrete THINGS in your poems, Jessica–not just abstract ideas. So your poems always make images in my head. Watch the word count, though:>)

    2. Loved so much of this, Jessica. I always do love your poems! And I hate to take any words out BUT what if when you went over the count of 15, you went back and looked at how to do a “found poem” (just for THIS presentation of course — keep the whole thing still in a file so you don’t lose it)? It COULD be a fun way to edit it… I tried it with yours today and ALMOST got your flavor… not quite though. You have such a beautiful way with words and images, it is hard to change or drop any of it! I know how painful that is, too!

  8. poem by
    Jessica Bigi

    Finger Painting Rhyming

    clocks with owls chiming rhymes
    ticks tocks splotching splats of swirling
    finger branch’s
    coloring skies-canvases

    1. Fantastic re-write, Jessica. You’ve captured the wonder of your original poem in only 15 words. Nicely done. I love your branches finger painting the sky canvas. Beautiful.

    1. This poem made me take a deep breath, exhale, and then just sit for a moment. We can all use a reminder to strive for calm, even when it seems the world has gone flipping crazy!

  9. Laura sipping summer sounds divine in this cold winter. I have had a lot of patients with breast issues this week, and your picture immediately reminded me of an ultrasound image.

    Guided needle
    penetrates tissues turbulent flow,
    Seeking dark strangers
    unwelcome quarter.

    1. Oh, so menacing. Thank you for sharing and for being a force for good health! I just got a reminder to schedule my mammogram.

  10. Inside my mind’s eye
    A menagerie of thoughts
    unraveling to reveal
    Life’s true destiny

    Anne McKenna

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