Barely the Moon [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. 

Moon and Contrail
Photo: Laura P. Salas

Last night, as Randy and I were driving home from downtown, there was this cool contrail like a long thin cloud shearing the night sky. It was right next to the moon (and, at one point, right over it, but I didn’t get a pic of that). My photo, taken out our grimy windshield with my phone, was–as expected–lame. But when I filtered it, I liked the effect. The moon is that little blue and white dot just left of center near the top of the image. This image makes me think of several things:

  1. Needle felting a piece of wool (the “needle” even has the barb on it)
  2. Straw sticking out of a frothy milkshake–yum!
  3. Lightning bolt through a cloud

And here’s my first draft.

contrail and moon 15wol poem

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






43 Responses

  1. Good Morning! So far my I am keeping my promise to participate in 15 words or less for a month is in place. 2 for 2.

    Moon held
    her breath
    as Arthur
    pulled sword
    from stone
    as a needle
    from wool.

    1. One of my students has taken an interest in King Arthur lately. I love how the moon is participating in the anticipation.

    2. Linda, King Arthur knows how to strike a pose and I would certainly hold a breath. Great lines.

  2. Today’s snow day has cleared the decks for writing. I was delighted when I realized it was a 15 Words or Less day with an intriguing photo for inspiration. I love the tone of your poem–the miracle of the moon is definitely worthy of celebration! Here’s my effort:


    I dip my quill
    into the froth of possibilities
    select one slender floss
    and write

    1. I generally only read the description of the photo and nothing else before writing my quick poem. It was only after I posted mine that I saw that we had a similar interpretation and I love how you pulled out a slender floss to write with. Lovely poem, mbhmaine !! (I love to come to Boothbay, Southport and Castine in the summers. Maine steals my heart every year.)

  3. I liked your arrow-shaped poem, Laura! It makes a good point! 🙂 Ha, Ha!


    One last pile of snow
    squats upon the mud.
    I’m an arrow, shot true.

    1. Yesterday we had this snow pile and the nice warm temperatures. Today, a blaze of whiteness, but we are not getting the kind of snow on the east coast. We will have a long wait before the greenery returns. I wish I could use that arrow to bring it sooner.

    1. Oh, Margaret–your poems just keep getting better and better. This is indeed what the moon does for me.

  4. Laura, so many images, so many possibilities. I even saw the boar’s head from last week, at least his flat nose; a bird and all of the things you mentioned. My thought emerged from the comment about your windshield.

    At the Car Wash

    Suds pile
    rag-tags scrub
    one struggling wiper blade
    raps rub-a-dub-dub.

    1. Yes, the moon, always there. I have always loved to look up and think that my friends so far away can see the same moon. Makes me feel connected in a warm, beautiful way.

    1. Michelle,
      I love your poem. The title and “slurp the blue raspberry sky”. So goes with the photo like a card as do so many of these poems. I am trying hard to do this each week, I love this community, even when the members change from time to time!!

  5. Writing Poetry by Moonlight

    I grab my pen
    stab it into searing whiteness
    swirl my words
    hunt for poetry.

  6. Laura,
    I like your “Contrail…” and how it brings out the ideas in us.
    Here are my 2 drafts of the same poem. Suggestions, appreciated.

    Together, one

    Marine plants paint
    a silken seascape,
    inviting silver skyscape
    to reflect,
    join the dance.



    Marine plants paint
    their silken seascape.
    Ask silver skyscape
    to descend,
    join the dance.

    1. Hi Jan,
      I like that you see all these sea life plants asking the sky to join in a dance. If making a choice, I prefer your second version. I am looking at your title and wondering if a different one might enhance your poem. I am not sure Together works there. It could be part of your first line if you want to keep that word, or could be line one alone. Just making a comment since you asked for feedback. Of course there are so many opinions on poems, others or many might totally see it a different way, so take this as a little feedback just being friendly!!!! Love our first draft efforts.

  7. Laura and 15 WOL lovers — I’ve been trying for a while to reply to the many participants for today. Your picture really struck a chord. We’re experiencing wicked winds here and I’ll blame it on the fact that the website just keeps jumping around. You would laugh if you could see me chasing the page with the mouse and trying to make the cursor land at the correct place to begin typing. I managed about 2 individual ones — this will be a group one. You’re all wonderful. Thursday is my favorite day of the week!

  8. Amazing how your phone’s filter transformed grime into wonder!

    Looking Up, Looking Down

    stars glint
    moon gleams
    clouds swirl

    snow brightens
    boots creak
    night trail

  9. I love how a filter could transform this picture so entirely. I am limiting myself to five minutes to write these response poems, because otherwise I can get obsessed with trying and trying to make it better and spend way too much time.


    The eye peeks through
    masqueraded muck
    to ward off evil. Will
    the glacier crack

  10. I love this pic and the story behind it I love everyone poem

    poem By Jessica Bigi

    The First Snow

    of icy blue
    shutting stars
    covering ground

  11. I have truly enjoyed the wonderful variety of poems this image inspired. Sorry I am late to the party. Valentine’s Day inspired my poem, a hay(na)ku.

    piercing my heart
    your lasting

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