Bull vs. Bear [15 words or less poems]

Wake up your poetry brains with 15 Words or Less (guidelines are here)!


Photo: Laura P. Salas
Photo: Laura P. Salas

  Here’s a pic from St. Louis on my ILA trip. St. Louis doesn’t have a stock market, but this cool bull and bear battle each other outside a financial firm (sculpture by Harry Weber).  It makes me think of: 1) the bear in Lord of the Rings 2) super slo-mo sports video 3) why we (as a race, not me personally) like to watch people fight And here’s my first draft.




It’s your turn! Have fun and stick to 15 WORDS OR LESS!  (Title doesn’t count toward word count:>) If you leave a poem in the comments, and if it’s 15 words or less, I’ll try to respond!  

46 Responses

  1. Laura you have found some incredible things to photograph. I love sculpture and this picture makes me realize that there is really a wealth of this art form in this country. The fun is finding it.
    Best to you, Connie

    1. Thanks, Connie:>) I do always have my eyes open for anything striking that might make a good 15 Words or Less image. Especially non-nature ones, since I am partial to nature photos and do probably too many of them!

  2. prehistoric horsefly’s
    buzzing in bars ears
    grouchy grrrr
    grouch he didn’t
    get a vote

    poem By Jessica Bigi

  3. I’m Tired

    We’re at it again
    you and me
    they need us both
    let’s agree to disagree.

    In light of this week’s anxious moments: Kudos Laura, you’ve “taken the bull by the horns” (couldn’t resist) and provided the perfect prompt.

    1. I love the voice of this, Martha. The voice of reason. And–I’ll have to confess I made this post on Sunday and had no idea of coming stock market woes. The poetry gods must have made me choose this pic out of the many I have uploaded for possible 15 Words or Less use:>)

  4. prehistoric horsefly’s
    buzzing in bears ears
    grouchy grrrr
    grouch he didn’t
    get a vote

    poem By Jessica Bigi

  5. Good morning, all! I wrote a 22-word poem but got it down to 16 for you guys… Cutting “now” didn’t quite work for me, but that’s what I’d cut to get it to 15. 🙂

    Bear and Bull

    Stock market,
    shock market,
    horn, paw-claw
    snort market.
    Rumble and crash,
    now will that be cash?

    —Kate Coombs

    1. So cute Kate. I can’t help but think about the people in Greece trying to get their cash.

    2. What fun you had with words and voice! Nice job getting down to 16, at least. Poetry is a cruel mistress, some days. At least Thursdays:>)

  6. It’s an awesome sculpture, Laura, and I love “jaw whipped into last week”!

    Wall Street Brawl

    Although I like slow bears the best,
    I cheer for bulls when I invest.
    Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

    1. Oooh! All these strong, visceral words–awesome. Though they leave me feeling like I’ve been put through the wringer. Much like looking at our pathetic 401(k) balance does.


    I didn’t,
    nor my kids,
    not even my grands.
    Nobody pays attention
    to reprimands

  8. Wow, how timely, Laura! Your poem is great, and I love the ones others have shared, too, especially the idea of the two as dance partners.
    P.S. I hope your “smay-cation” (Great word, BTW!) doesn’t include email. I just sent you a message I need a quick response to.

  9. Cast foes
    Imprisoned in endless battle…
    An eternity of rage and anger…
    What were we fighting about?

  10. Iron-willed combatants
    Dueling to the death
    Neither one invested
    Neither one with breath

    1. With or without the photo, this works so well. When I read it on its own–no photo–I see gladiators, lions, tributes, and impoverished people. Those fighting because their circumstances (or captors/rulers) demand it. The juxtaposition of dueling to death and neither being invested is great. Love the wordplay of invested.

  11. Bullish,
    Quite Nightmarish,
    Watching Money Go,
    Riches for Contestants,
    Who Already Have the Dough!

    1. LOVE that rhyme of bearish and nightmarish! And the use of Contestants. Gives the whole poem a surreal feeling, which fits pretty well:>/

  12. Two fierce warriors
    Not l friends
    Fight it out
    until it ends

    No game
    No winner

    Anne McKenna

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