Balcony Cat [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. 

Cat on ledge
Photo: Laura P. Salas

While walking Jack one evening, my husband and I saw this fearless kitty marching along a balcony outside the railing. This image makes me think of several things:

  1. Cat burglar (of course!)
  2. Wouldn’t it be nice to have 9 lives?
  3. A zoo where the animals look at the people inside cages

And here’s my first draft.

At the People Zoo, a 15 Words or Less poem by Laura Purdie Salas


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





34 Responses

  1. Laura, I love your idea of the people zoo! I’m so happy to be back and participating today! Happy summer everyone!

    Advice to an Intrepid Cat

    Little cat
    Step lightly now
    Or go ker-splat!

    1. Welcome back, Molly! It’s good to be back for me, too, as I’ve been mostly away from my blog and people the past couple months! Great advice for a cat. I was a little worried about it going ker-splat in front of us!

    1. Ferocious and elegant seems a juxtaposition. I like how you used feline for your acrostic. Great last line.

  2. This summer I have been working on my yoga skills.

    Cat to cow
    then downward dog,
    my body-mind control–
    tip-toeing the rail
    of balance.

    1. Cat to cow.….perhaps I will learn what this means when I finally DO take up yoga. Tip-toeing.…we all do that through some days. hmmmmm

    2. Cats to cows.… ha …when you think of those two animals yoga doesn’t come to mind immediately until you think of the cat stretches and relaxation and the cow’s meditation and slow strolling. Now for the duck move! Let it all roll off your back!

  3. Ah, yes, my cat loves to do this in our open staircase. It used to bother me, but now I just don’t watch! He has wild cat games to play!

    On Mt. Balcony

    Is who I be;
    Don’t fear for me,
    It’s what I do.
    Fear for you!

  4. Good morning. We have recently had some terrible “animal cruelty” events in our area. The perps should be caged and have animals looking at them.

    Kitties and Kiddies

    I’m a stray
    need a home
    plastic pools
    synonym for bath
    I’ll continue to roam.

    1. Oh no :>( How can people do horrible things to animals? I just don’t understand it… I love how you picked up on the little pools on the deck and the kitty saying, “Nope!”

    2. Oh, poor babies. I wish I could handle taking in more. My son .… has many issues but is an absolute genius with animals. I’d love to see him work at a shelter as soon as he is old enough.

  5. wasent shor what to wright I though of Alphabet soop poem By Jessica Bigi

    Alphabet noodle cats
    mouth so high
    ground far below
    my boll do noddle
    cats get dizzy

  6. Loved you People Zoo, Laura. While this cat is probably enjoying a prowl, I took a different tact.

    I wonder why
    you tossed me out,
    left to meow and beg,
    pace and pout.

  7. Love the way you switched the typical zoo perspective, Laura!

    Turning from the well-trod path
    she wobbles along ledges
    regains her footing
    rebalances her dreams

  8. This made me think of prison bars and how often my cats would try to escape to the outdoors.

    Cattery Escape

    Slink down the catwalk
    Give the guards the slip
    Quietly catapult to freedom

    1. Oooh, the verbs (and wordplay) are delicious! I especially love that quiet catapult!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,522 other subscribers

Are You Looking For?

Poetry Friday posts

Classroom Connections posts

All my poetryactions

Go to my Poetry page for:

  • National Poetry Month projects through the years
  • Small Reads Roundups (poems grouped by topic)
  • Introductions to several favorite poetry forms
#waterpoemproject15 Words or Less Poems20for2030 Painless Classroom Poems50 State Poemsacrosticsactivity pagesactivity sheetALAA Leaf Can Be...Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterA Need to FeedanthologiesanthologyA Rock Can projectsaudiopoemsawardsbad newsBarbara Juster EsbensenBilly Collinsbiopoemsblog tourbookalikesbook festivalsBookSpeak!book spine poemsbook trailersbop poembyr a thoddaidcafepresscalendar poemsCamp Read-a-LotCan Be... bookscan be... poemsCapstoneCarol Varsalonacascade poemsCatherine FlynnccbcCCRA.W.3CCRA.W.4CCRA.W.5centoschapter bookschoral compositionschristina rossetticinquainsCLAclassified ad poemsclassroom connectionclassroom connectionsClover Kittyconferences and conventionscrown sonnetscybilsdansaDare to DreamDavid Elliottdeeper wisdom poemdefinitosdiamantesdiversitydizaindodoitsuDot DayDouglas Floriandownloadablesdrum corpse.e. cummingsekphrastic poemsepistolary poemsequation poemsessentialethereeseventsexquisite corpseFairy Tale Garage Salefamilyfibonaccifiction picture booksfinding familyfirefightersforeign editionsfound poemsfree author zoomsfree versefrom studentsgeesegeorgia heardghazalGift Taggiveawaygolden shovelgoldilocksgratitudehaikuheart of aheart of a teacherHeidi MordhorstHelen FrostHighlightshow-to poemshow to make a rainbowI Am FromI Am poemsidiomsif you want to knit some mittensIf You Were the MoonILAimagepoemsinterviewin the middle of the nightIRAIrelandIrene LathamJ. Patrick LewisJanet WongJoyce SidmanKendraKerlanKidlit Comboslailaura's board booksLaura's booksLaura's poemsLaura's readingsLaura ShovanLee Bennett HopkinsLilian MoorelimericksLinda Booth SweeneyLine Leads the WayLion of the Skylist poemslittle free librarylive writingLullaby and Kisses Sweetlyricsmadness poetrymargaret simonMarilyn Singermary lee hahnmask poemsMeet My FamilyMelissa StewartMentors for Rentmentor textsmetaphorMichelle Myers LacknerMillbrookMinnesota Book Awardsmoneymoonmy reading lifemy writing processN+7naaninarrative poemsNational Poetry Month 2012 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2014 (riddle-ku)National Poetry Month 2015National Poetry Month 2016National Poetry Month 2017 (#wonderbreak)national poetry month 2018 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2020National Poetry Month 2021 (#EquationPoem)national poetry month 2022 (sticky-note poems)National Poetry Month 2023 (Digging for Poems)National Poetry Month 2024 (magnipoems)ncteNerdy Book Clubnifty newsnifty stuffNikki Grimesnonfictionnonfiction booksNonfiction Writers Dig Deepnovelsnovels in verseodesOne Minute Till BedtimeoppositifyOskar's VoyagepadletpantoumsparodiesPatreonpeacepersonalpet poemsphotopoetryphrase acrosticspicture booksplagiarismpoempicspoemspoems for two voicespoemsketchpoetic pursuitsPoetry 7poetryactionspoetry activitiesPoetry Blastpoetry booksPoetry FridayPoetry Friday AnthologiesPoetry Princessespoetry promptspoetry sistersPoetry Tips for Teachersprogressive poempublishing processpuddle songPutridquotationsraccontinosRandy Salasread-aloudreadaloudreading poetry in the classroomRebecca Kai Dotlichrecipe poemsrefugeesresearchreview copiesreviewsrevisionrhyming booksrhyming nonfictionrhyming picture booksRhyming Picture Books the Write Wayrhyming poemsRiddle-kuriddle poemsRock Can Be...Rock the Blogrondeau redoublesRudyard Kiplingsalas snippetsSCBWIschool visitsScotlandseasonssecrets of the loonSELsestinasshrinking daysskinnyskypeslice of lifesmall readssnack snooze skedaddlesnowman-coldsonnetsStampede!storm poemstorytimestorywalkstudent poemsstudent workSylvia VardellTanita Davistankatautogramteachableteacher resourcesteen/adult poemsterza rimasthankfulthank yous and referencesthe business sidethings to do iftracy nelson maurertrioletstunie munson-bensonvideosVikram MadanvillanellevillanellesWater Can Be...wealthy elementaryWe BelongWhat's InsideWhy-kuwinterwonderwonderbreakword of the yearwordplaywordsmithswork for hirewritingwriting bookswriting processwriting promptswriting the life poeticyoung authors conferencesYouTubeZapZap Clap Boomzenozentangle
Show More Show Less

Discover more from Laura Purdie Salas

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Join Laura's monthly newsletter for eductators

Get three of Laura's favorite poetry activities when you subscribe to "Small Reads."