Beetle [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

After last week’s beautiful but emotional poems, I was trying to pick something lighthearted for this week. But I had no silly photos handy on my phone. I will be keeping my eyes open for some this week, I swear! This little beetle on a petunia (I think) makes me think of several things:

  1. Bugs don’t have much flat “ground” to travel on
  2. Dewdrops are one of the pretties things in the world
  3. I’m not really a big fan of bugs. I think it’s the exoskeleton

And here’s my first draft.  Ack! Even here I had to fight against going all philosophical. Abstraction is usually not the way to good poetry. So I forced myself to just focus on what I saw this time.

beetle 15wol


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







45 Responses

  1. Loved “blunders across a petunia”! Mine today was focused on those fine hairs on the petunia and the dew. What a great opportunity for a bug to start the day all clean and shiny!

    Hit the Showers

    Hail, hairy flower,
    Beautiful shower
    Where dew and feet
    Scrubbing power;
    Polished neat.

    1. Thanks, Donna! What a jam-packed 15 words–love how densely you packed this with imagery, details, rhyme, and info.

  2. Laura, “tiny armored truck” brings a smile, as do petunias, at least to this household. Petunia Pig has always been a favorite for our little ones.

    Fickle Flower

    Beetle tickles
    petunia retracts
    it takes its leave
    neighbor’s back.

    1. Poor unwanted beetle! Love “tickles” and retracts.” Great scratchy kind of words that bring creeping bug feet to mind. Shudder:>)

    1. Elizabeth your poem reminded me of a story my mother told once about my brother removing a large water bug from his pocket to give to her as a present. Not quite the beautifully described precious jewel of a golden beetle. (So lovely). Her screams can still be heard.

    2. I like the idea of a beetle being a precious jewel. My daughter thinks they’re pretty, but she would never pick one up…maybe if I tell her they’re like treasure? 🙂

    3. Lovely alliteration and word choices. And now I’m intrigued about the story, Elizabeth!

  3. After my shower
    drying with this flower -
    my carapace a jewel
    shining among the minuscule.

  4. Laura I love your “Tiny armored truck” line. I too am not a big fan of bugs.

    Sweat poured down my spiny flesh
    as you creped your way through my petals.

  5. Love the focus on the dew in your photo and in everyone’s poems this morning.

    Six-Legged Parade

    wading through morning dew
    trek, trek, trek
    creeping under towering stems
    step, step, step

    1. I love the rhythm and repetition in your poem, Buffy. What a fun one to say or have kids act out.

    2. That repetition works so well here. You are great at using repetition in your poems! Love the towering stems.

  6. I love the idea of combining a truck with something dainty like a flower. You’re dislike of exoskeletons got me thinking…

    A Bat Snack

    Crunchy coating
    The best part

    Burst of flavor
    Gooey heart

    1. Euuuuuueeeew! I’m glad I no longer eat Fruit Gushers…because I don’t think I could now. Ha!

    2. hahahahaha.….and if there are a bunch of beetles it’s like a Whitman sampler! You have to use the key on the cover or stick your finger in it to find out what the flavor is.

  7. Yes, I’m late to this party, but I wasn’t in bed!


    Sun’s up.
    You’re not
    Come on, sleepy head.
    Even bugs crawl out of bed.

  8. Sorry I’m so late today was at a county far today

    Poem By Jessica Bigi

    Netters Jims

    betel broaches
    on tulip gowns
    sipping cocktails
    of peril due

    1. I could instantly see the fancy jewelry! Love the idea of tulip gowns. One of my favorite songs, called “Forever Autumn,” has a line that goes: “Through autumn’s golden gown we used to kick our way.” Seeing those piles of gold leaves as a gown is another image I love:>)

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