Boxed In [15 Words or Less Poems]

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 glad you’re here.

Here’s a picture taken out my window.

fence 15wol
Photo: Laura P. Salas

This image makes me think of:

  1. soldiers standing at attention
  2. what it would feel like to be trapped in a box of pencils/crayons
  3. an old fortress

And here’s my first draft. I recently wrote a short story that was set in a field trip to a crayon factory, and I did some reading and video viewing about the manufacture of crayons:>)

crayons lament 15wol


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

38 Responses

  1. A palace of branches
    An old stone throne
    Stick fort standing patient
    to protect

    1. Lovely Amelia. I especially like the stick fort and its patience.

    2. Lovely, Amelia! The palace of branches especially appeals to me:>) It’s kind of sad to me to see all the prefab or plastic playhouses and such. Even though I would have loved one as a child. But my friends and I made do with plenty of forts and palaces of the most rudimentary materials, like bushes, and branches, and such. :>)

  2. They look like train tracks that stop suddenly -

    Off Track

    “The tracks stop here”
    The engineer said.
    “We’d best turn back
    We’ve been misled.”

    1. Good rhyme Donna. Not only was the train misled, the tracks were “mislaid.” Clever.

    2. You know, this feels like an opening to an adventure story, like the characters are going to ignore the engineer and bound into the great unknown!

  3. Landscapes full of weathered, wooden fences; as nostalgic as the old wooden barns. A good photo for a dark, dreary, rainy morning (not complaining, we need the rain). Cute take on the crayons Laura. I feel their pain!

    An Ages-old Quarrel

    Weathered wooden soldiers
    stand at attention
    agreeing to disagree:
    grass greener on whose side?

      1. Thank you Cindy. And I like the “connectedness” in your poem. I saw the off-set lineup, front/back, and tried to come up with something related to that. Settled on the greener grass scenario instead.

    1. Nice alliteration in here, Martha, and I really like the thoughtful take on this. It does take a lot of wisdom, it seems, to agree to disagree…

  4. A few months ago the fence at the side of our house fell down, so I thought of that. Bad fences make bad neighbors? 🙂

    Neighbor’s Dog

    When the fence fell flat
    a sniffing knight breached
    the ramparts of our yard.

    —Kate Coombs

    1. I like the tackful way in which you described the problem. I like to think that our fence is keeping harm from coming to the neighbors, and not that we’re trying to keep the neighbors out.

    2. I love this, Kate–partially because our own 21-year-old wooden privacy fence leans and staggers like a drunken army troop, and partially because it’s just a delightful extended metaphor! Ramparts of our yard–genius!

        1. Yep–Captain Jack Sparrow (we let the girls name him any name they could agree on, and the P of the C movies were big when we got him). To us, he’s just Jack or Jackie or Jackaloni or Bad Boy. :>)

  5. I like your poem about crayons. However I’m looking at this picture sideways and probably because I’ve been cleaning this week, it makes me think of venetian blinds.

    Venetian Blinds

    Privacy at night,
    streaming morning light.
    Beautiful sight!
    But there’s dust I must fight.

    1. The truth about blinds for sure- always fighting the dust. I like your rhymes.

    2. Yes Pat; and you just reminded me how far behind I am in arming myself to fight the dust on my blinds!!!!!

    3. Oh, Pat. Yes. Yes. Yes. I like the buildup of three good things, and then the downside:>)

  6. Great crayon poem, Laura.


    I gave a call
    and one and all,
    friends came over
    to play Red Rover!

    1. Thanks, Cindyb! What a punny title–so clever. Brings back great recess memories.

  7. Laura I love the you poem and the tital
    poem By Jessica Bigi

    Wooden tracks
    I lay them down
    driving trains
    of imagination
    tapping pictures
    to life window

    1. Jessica, I like your imaginary trains and the thought of laying down the wooden tracks.

    2. Not a scary image this week, right? Love the trains of imagination. I think I can, I think I can… I wasn’t sure what that last 2 lines was supposed to say? Maybe I’m just misreading.

    1. Fun! Captain Jack, our beagle, gives this a howl of approval! Ar-ooooooooooooooooooo!

  8. We used this as our writing warm-up in my creative writing club today…this time of year, all I could see looking at this fence is the way everything is neat and lined up…nothing like what life in a middle school looks like in the fourth week of May!

    Middle School in May

    Rigid rules
    Beg to be broken

    Silly fools
    No thought unspoken

    In schools–
    Much jokin’

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