Bikes at a Salt Lake [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

 Here’s another pic from our trip to Cyprus. Larnaca has a couple of salt lakes. They’re near the coast, and from the airplane, you could see how it’s probably ocean water that got cut off eventually by sandbars or land forming around them. They’re very close the the Mediterranean Sea. Anyway, all the rocks are covered with this shell of crunchy white salt. When you walk, you just hear crunch, crunch. Apparently people go and gather salt there at certain times of year to use in their homes.

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. Gulliver’s Travels (looks like there are tiny people running around on the sand!)
  2. bicycling on the moon
  3. cloning bicycles

And here’s my first draft. I actually had a thought of writing a poem using different bike-related words, like wheels, and spoke, and brake, and tired. Hehe. But it didn’t come quickly enough, and this is a fast first-draft challenge, so I moved on to something different.

Last Picnic of Summer

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







38 Responses

  1. I thought it looked like the setting of a dystopian novel–though how bikes would be still standing after some cataclysmic event I don’t know!


    a sign
    that human souls
    once loved this land
    soon too they’ll rust and rot

    1. Yes! I look at this photo and see so many different possible moods, and your poem captures one of those exactly–a bittersweet feeling of emptiness and loss. (And maybe bikes, like cockroaches, will survive the apocalypse? Hehe)

      1. “that human souls
        once loved this land”

        could be an opener to another poem.

    2. Thought provoking Rebekah! Hoping for “positive footprints” of those human souls.

  2. Kids and bikes- freedom unless you live on a busy highway and are destined to riding up and down the driveway. This is how I wish it was.…


    Pedaling fast,
    free at last.
    Wind in my hair
    going… anywhere!

    1. LOVE the motion and freedom here. Takes me back to my childhood. We lived on a very busy four-lane street with heavy traffic all day. But I rode my bike everywhere (thank goodness we had sidewalks), and my bike was my freedom.

    2. Cute Cindy. We had the fun of a block-long sidewalk. But we knew we could not cross the street that would connect us to another block of sidewalk.

    3. Just had my kids down to the Jersey shore, and boy did they love their freedom to ride their bikes wherever they wanted. Your poem captures this perfectly.

  3. Love your end of summer take.
    I started with “put out to pasture” but it morphed.

    Two faithful friends
    At day’s end
    Will pedal-wend
    Homeward again.

    1. What a lovely use of slant rhymes, and that ‑end sound gives it a contented and somewhat wistful sound.

    2. Donna, I like the way you used end and wend. A melancholy image, but in a good way!

  4. Your picture looks peaceful. My poem ruins the mood.

    Long, sweaty bike ride
    to the salt lake.
    “I though you
    brought water,”
    she said.

    1. Haha–oh, dear. And your poem makes me remember how unrelentingly hot it felt standing at the lake. Exposed, crunchy, salty air, glaring sunlight. Ugh.

    1. Oh, this is lovely, Rose! As always, I’m a huge fan of using someone else’s word, line, poem to leapfrog into my own, so I love the connection you shared between your poem and mine:>)

  5. Such fun in your poem Laura. Feeling the six skips into fall this morning. My favorite season is upon us. I love the vastness and solitude of the picture.


    Sunset or moonrise
    sea or sand
    two bikes
    two hearts

    1. Those are great words for this image–vastness and solitude. I love how your poem basically says (to me, anyway) that the time, the place…doesn’t matter. It’s the two hearts that make it whatever it is. They’re the heart (hehe) of it.

  6. I’m wondering where the bike riders went! Just want you to know I live near the Great Salt Lake in Utah. If you swim in it, you float way more than in regular water. The only thing that can live in it is a little creature called a brine shrimp. The lake, or at least the beach, is a little smelly.


    Two nice bikes
    sitting in the sun.
    Their owners decided
    to get off and run.

    1. Cool! Our daughter got to swim in the Dead Sea recently. Same thing. And the salt lakes in Larnaca did have a strong smell, even though the beaches have almost none! Growing up in Florida, I assumed all oceans and seas smelled the same. Florida coast is strongly salt-smelling. But I see now that’s not true!

  7. poem By Jessica Bigi

    When We Were Kids

    We tucked E.T into our bicycle baskets
    peddled through dreams up to the moon

    1. Oh, that is lovely! Such a mixture of the original thing you’re referencing (ET) and your lovely childhood recollection of it!

  8. Laura this picture stirs so many emotions in me, but I went with nostalgia. I love your line “six skips into fall”, such a great visual.


    Remember I sprang like the sea?
    Remember you languished in me?
    Now I’m just salty.

    1. Mercy–I could read this poem several ways, and one has me fanning myself! I love the use of “languished.” Sigh…

  9. “I love your Six skips into fall
    And what a fun and evocative image Laura, thanks for sharing it with us.

    I wrote this early this morning but had to run off to teach

    See the turquoise sea,

    by the lime yellow lake

    by the bird-busied bikes …

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