Bird on a Branch [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. 

Here’s an itty-bitty birdie I spied while walking around the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

bird
Photo: Laura P. Salas

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. the Christmas ornaments of birds that clipped on that my Mom loved
  2. a kids’ climbing structure
  3. a birdcage

And here’s my first draft. It came out seeming a bit more melancholy than I intended, but first drafts don’t pay much attention to my intentions!

bird ornament

 

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

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

52 Responses

  1. Good morning poets

    Chirp fake carols…that’s what sparked my imagination.

    Not captured

    Warble
    song
    twitter
    tweet
    coo
    squawk
    chitter
    screech

  2. I love those clip on Christmas trees birds, too! They make my tree come alive.

    A me-size branch
    Camouflaged in place
    A quiet interlude
    I observe in space

    1. Yes! Who doesn’t want a tiny little safe space like this. A blanket fort, a hidey-hole in the branches–we all want them!

  3. Laura, it may be melancholy, but I love it! Here’s my flying-out-the-door first draft:

    Perspective

    Wooden perch
    or twisted cage?
    Supported
    or imprisoned?
    Will you take flight
    or languish?

    1. Molly, the title is perfect. We are all free in many ways and imprisoned in many ways. What we do with the space that we have, that we inhabit–that’s what matters. Thank you for this!

    2. Love this. As I read your verse I was listening to my 22 yr. old cockatiel squawking for someone to come uncover his cage and open his blinds. I wonder how he feels. He has worn out 2 cages already and his third one is beginning to show wear. Since he is spoiled rotten, I don’t think he would take flight.

  4. Love this picture, Laura!

    Bare branches bounce
    then still;
    he lands;
    listens for the whisper winds of sweet spring

    1. What a celebration of alliteration, Rebekeh–lovely! And each word feels well chosen.

  5. Melancholy Is good Laura. My mom raised canaries and to this day we still have bird ornaments on the Christmas tree, feathered and glass. The bird in the photo seems a bit put out!

    Promises, Promises

    He asked for commitment
    I said yes;
    are you kidding,
    you call this a nest?

    1. This gave me a good laugh. He better get busy! I’m going to buy a couple of new bird ornaments for my tree next year–glass? I’m going to look for that!

  6. I thought this bird looked safely tucked away, so I gave it a question:

    When life leaves you
    too tired to fly,
    where do you hide?

    1. That safe hiding place–a theme for today! We all need a roosting spot for when we’re weary…

    2. Oh Lauren. Poor birdie. My daughter’s cat just dropped her first “gift” of Spring at the front door. Thankfully it was not a bird.

  7. Solitary Confinement?

    No twitter.
    No chatter.
    I am alone.
    Nothing but boredom
    since Mom took my phone.

  8. Gorgeous pic Laura offering so many possibilities…

    Framed by nature’s
    organic lines
    I sit poised
    posing for my picture.

    1. Hehe–of course an artist would notice all the lines and think portrait! Lovely, and I love the alliteration.

    1. Love this little scene–I want that bird/narrator to burst out in song, regardless of the cues! 😀

  9. this reminds me of how dull and gray winter is…here’s my haiku…

    cold, winter days
    filled with browns and grays
    until…a cardinal

    Dianne Moritz

    1. Oh…beautiful! I shared a poem about a cardinal in winter on the blog at some point from a lovely old book, but now I can’t find it. So I’m savoring yours!

  10. I think Mr. Sparrow was posing for you, Laura. That’s not usually my experience!

    Bird Photography

    Feathers flit
    through tangled branches

    a flash of wings
    a splash of tail

    gone

    1. Me, neither! But there were CLOUDS of sparrows flitting around in front of the Museum of Natural History, so I just stood quietly by the shrubs for a minute until they settled. It still wasn’t real happy I was there! Love your poem–that couplet with “a flash” is just perfect–and then the “gone.” When I moved by the shrub, even slowly, birds exploded out of the shrub like they’d been shot out of a cannon!

  11. Laura your poem made me laugh. I too love the clip on birds! They are “nesting” in my basement as well .

    Spring

    Bird on a branch,
    Ready for spring,
    Vocal cords warble,
    Chirp, cheep, peep, I sing.

  12. What do you see,
    little chickadee?
    A sprouting branch,
    a chance to dance
    with me?

  13. Swatters of fathers knitting
    songs of spring
    woven nest of sparrow
    are welcome-mats
    winter is all most over

    1. Love that image of the nest as a welcome mat for spring! And thank you for my picture that you created! I went and signed books at Red Balloon yesterday and got it! A little bittersweet as my dad down in Florida just bought some red tulips. Tulips were my mom’s favorites, and are mine. So looking at this drawing of my mom and thinking about tulips today… :>)

    1. This may be an odd response to this wonderful photo, but it made me think I was inside a fancy room decorated with this image in wallpaper! Glad you got to that museum, too. And I love the fun idea in yours, Laura.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

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

Join 2,516 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
Tags
#waterpoemproject15 Words or Less Poems20for2030 Painless Classroom Poems50 State Poemsacrosticsactivity pagesactivity sheetALAA Leaf Can Be...Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterA Need to FeedanthologiesanthologyA Rock Can Be...art 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."