The Bumble Ball [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. 

Bumble Ball
Photo: Laura P. Salas

Back a couple of weeks ago, game night had a toy theme, and I came across this pic of our daughter, Annabelle, with one of her favorite childhood toys: the Bumble Ball. Anybody remember those? (And Janet Fagal, doesn’t she look like your beautiful granddaughter? Every time you share pics, I’m struck by how much alike they look!) This image makes me think of several things:

  1. model of an atom
  2. how funny your voice sounds when you’re shivering or shaking
  3. kids and cardboard boxes/castles/forts

And here’s my first draft. This didn’t actually happen, but I was just playing with the ‑mble sound:>)

bumble ball 15wol poem

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

PLEASE NOTE: I’m still off the grid, so I won’t be able to comment. Wi-fi willing, I’ll Like your poems in the Comments, so you’ll at least be able to tell I read them. :>)






46 Responses


    Though I bumble, grumble,
    stumble and mumble,
    still you love me.
    That makes me humble.

    1. awwwwwwwwwwwwww. Very sweet and tender vibe here. What a wonderful bouquet of consonance with the ‘buh buh buh sounds wrapped in a lovely moment.

      1. This is really a beautiful little poem, a message to share, Cindyb. This reminds me of that old saying, “I may not like what you are doing right now, but I still like/love you, my child.” Your poem gets that across in such a “roll off your tongue” kind of way.

  2. Laura, I cannot tell you how much I love this exercise on Thursday mornings. It’s such a good work-out for my poetry brain.I love how you took the picture of your daughter and showed the extreme opposites of toddler emotion.

    I started with the word, bumble. I looked it up, when to rhyme zone, started with the idea of bumble bee. Then.….after looking at the definition of bumble switched to clown. Here is the result.

    chirps clown
    to big silly shoes
    Stumble squeaks shoes –
    bringing the house down

    I’m kind of fixated on making graphics of little poems. I shared the graphic:

    1. I love your graphic of your poem. A delight. Glad I found your SOL post, too. Nice to meet you here, Linda. I like hearing your composing “journey”.

      1. Likewise! I’m a little slow on getting all the details right.…but eventually I get there. Thanks, Janet.

  3. Inside Annabelle’s Bumble Ball

    A tiny voice,
    a plea, a shout,
    “Rescue me,
    I’m a leprechaun!
    OUT !! “

    PS If you want to see a photo of the lookalike grandgirl, head to Laura’s FB post for 15WOL Thurs. !!! I posted one in the comment section. I truly believe Annabelle is hearing some little folks inside that ball, she wants to let them out to play!!! Enjoy Iceland, Laura. You and Randy plan such great trips !!

  4. Good morning Laura. What an adorable picture. I read her expression as doubtful, but hopeful and a few words from mom and dad will bring on the smiles, or giggles.

    Are You Kidding?

    This world is mine
    ’til end of time!

    1. Martha, your poem brings out Annabelle’s expression so clearly.….“I am two (not sure she is in this pic) and I CAN DO IT MYSELF !!” And its corollary, “this is MINE and so therefore I am NOT sharing no matter how much you tell me I should. Your poem is fun !!!

      1. Thank you Janet. I think “two” is the perfect age for the beginnings of independence. I appreciate your kind comments.

      1. l love this, Martha. It is exactly what I was thinking, but you put it in wonderful words.

    2. Oh, isn’t this the truth?! Can be read as a tyrant toddler.…but I prefer to read as a toddler full of wonder and potential! Great words that would be a lovely inscription on a special toy someday.

      1. Thanks Linda. If I had also ended the verse with a question mark it would have suggested the part loving parents can play in the life of a toddler.

  5. It snowed again, but now the sun’s out, and even though it’s barely March, spring seems inevitable. This hopefulness helped inspire my poem since there’s nothing more hopeful than a child.

    Keeper of planets,
    maker of worlds,
    dreamer of breaths,
    little girl.

    —Kate Coombs

      1. You took the words out of my mouth, Buffy. This is delightful, Kate. Something for a greeting card. (Better than much of what is out there!)

    1. Oh, now I see that shadow, wasn’t sure what I was seeing back there at first glance. Love how you shaped your poem, Haiku, right? And that third line, love it, Yvonne.

  6. I’ve been enjoying your Thursday poetry exercise, and thought I’d join in. I’m always so impressed with everyone’s creativity.

    Bumble’s Memory

    sticky child,
    wide eyed,
    I thought of you today
    and smiled.

    1. Hi jeanjames,
      I think your poem is perfect. I love it. I have been having to clear out the “9 million” videos of my now 1 year old grandgirl on my phone and I adore being able to watch her “again”. It is like a balm to have those precious moments again. (I am having trouble clearing them out !) And putting away holiday decorations those simple gifts my son made in nursery school so touch my heart. Glad you chimed in. I used to write every week for maybe a year or so but then got too busy and could not commit. I am trying really hard to put up something (even if it is not my favorite) each Thurs. and to be involved by commenting.

      1. Janet thank you for your kind words! Our children’s photos, drawings, and hand made trinkets are such wonderful memories to treasure, and a reminder of how precious our time with them is.

  7. Somehow we missed the bumble ball craze. But this reminded me of the spiny seedballs that sweet gum trees make. Hope you are having a wonderful trip, Laura–I’m enjoying the photos you’ve posted

    Under the Sweetgum Tree

    Spiky seedballs
    hide their future–

    foot impaler?
    craft bonanza?
    bird buffet?

    or sky-skimming

    1. I am hoping you are doing Madness! Poetry this year, Buffy. I have been recovering from awful oral surgery and have missed a lot in the last 12 days. Anyhow, again, you wrote the poem I wish I had written. Wonderful…I can see the those spikey wonders, all over my son’s yard. They have the messiest tree in the front and many in the neighborhood. I would say they are pest‑y trees. Not sure the type. Will have to check, maybe it is a sweetgum.

      1. I decided to skip this year, Janet–several deadlines and school visits this month–but will definitely miss it (although it will be nice to follow the action without the stress!)

        1. Well, it will be great to have it back this year. I am glad I have not had the pressure to create under that kind of time limit stress, but I love it (well not the objections at times) and your poetry…sublime. So hoping you can fit it in in the future. God bless Ed. He (at least) has some major tech/computer skills and his love of kids’ poetry, too.

          1. Buffy, you are so humble. I remember you winning in 2015. And I was rooting for you (and voting for you) with every poem. You are a fantastic poet.

    2. I had to look up the Sweet gum tree because I wasn’t sure if they were native to NY, although the spiky seed/fruit pod does look familiar. I love that you chose that to inspire your poem…so very beautiful.

  8. Annabelle looks determined, so I imagined a young girl struggling in what was once man’s world. One of my favorite bosses ever was one of the first female agronomists. She will be 96 in May, a remarkable lady who paved the way for other young women to follow into science.


    I will study
    atoms, planets, science.
    Don’t expect
    gender compliance.

  9. Wishing you & Jaime & funny, moonstruck Happy Birthday MONTH!

    This ball makes me think of robots, bots & tots (like your adorable one.)

    is not a Tot.

    isn’t for the

    Clearly, a d r a f t y draft!
    Thanks for the fun.

  10. Beautiful pic of you daughter

    poem By Jessica Bigi

    Traubel Twos

    Curly locks
    sky blue eyes
    blue jay James
    but don’t let those
    dimpled full yaw
    shill wind those
    arms up
    and slug yaw


  11. Beautiful pic of you daughter

    poem By Jessica Bigi

    Traubel Twos

    Curly locks
    sky blue eyes
    blue jay James
    but don’t let those
    dimpled full yaw
    shill wind those
    arms up
    and slug yaw

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