Sort of Ceiling [15 Words or Less Poems]

Welcome to 15 Words or Less Poems Day! Are you ready to wake up your poetry brains with our weekly exercise (guidelines here)?

Sorry for the confusion last week–I had the settings to not allow comments (accidentally). We should be all good today, though! Thank you for your poems and good thoughts last week. My school visit was awesome (waving to the Poetry Club and Kim Doele at Wealthy Elementary)!

Addendum: Somehow, and thank you, cindyb, for telling me, last week’s comments are with THIS post! Aaaarrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggh. I think I must have just done this post as a new version of that one, instead of cloning it and making a new one. Oi. Last week’s post is gone (though your poems are still here, in the comments). Please post your new poems for today in the comments, too. Some weeks, when I’m traveling, I probably should just skip 15 Words or Less. Too much rushing leads to…this!

OK, here’s this week’s picture. I took it on my way home last week at O’Hare Airport as I raced from the B concourse to the F concourse to catch my connecting flight. It’s actually the ceiling, but my phone put the pic on its side when I uploaded it here, and I like it better that way!

o'hare airport
Photo: Laura P. Salas

This image makes me think of:

  1. the throat of a huge, alien, metal snake
  2. being inside Space Mountain at Disney World with the lights turned on
  3. sleeping pods/bunk beds of the future (well, the future is here, but I haven’t yet tried a sleeping pod)

And, here’s my first draft. 

robot sleepaway camp


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


75 Responses

  1. Something weird was going on with this page today. Took me forever to try to find “Comment”. The URLs were exactly the same, but I had to go back and forth a bit through pages of the site before this page came up offering the Comment button. I had come here via the subscription email. The link from the email went to a page that had no Comment button.

    Dentist Visit

    Bib clamp
    Chair Glide
    Mouth wide
    Spray mist
    Water swished
    Slide floss
    Teeth boss!

    ©Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

    Perhaps because I had a recent visit to the dentist, this reminded me of the bright lights overhead and on his headlamp, and the misty spray emanating from your mouth as the teeth are cleaned!

    1. Spray mist! Teeth boss! Loved this. And I hate to go to the dentist. How did you see that in a street light? Can I borrow your imagination for just a day?

    2. Donna, how appropriate. Did you know that February is the month to celebrate the patron saint of dentistry? St. Dapiacle–I love that name.

  2. This has nothing to do with my poem, but I wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day! I heart 15 Words or Less poetry, by which I mostly mean the poetry people. 🙂

    Streetlight paints
    the rain
    with a careful
    night brush.

    —Kate Coombs

  3. snowy
    cobweb skies
    learners of

    Poem By Jessica Bigi

  4. Something was going on. Thanks Donna for confirming it wasn’t just my problem.

    Game Called

    Stadium lights
    eerie glow
    wet snow
    empty seats
    word made rounds
    via texts and tweets.

  5. St. Elmo’s Fire

    Ever present to protect,
    Lighting with fireball,
    Mast will not burn.
    Our belief restored.

  6. Winter Invader
    by Amy Smith

    While walking
    her pup
    under sleeting skies
    she looked up
    and saw–

  7. The spotlight of life
    Is marred with
    A myriad of questions
    That cannot be

    Anne McKenna

    1. “Myriad” is one of those amazing words that everyone should use! Isn’t it great that there are so many life questions that we don’t know the answers to yet. Love puzzles!

  8. Not sure everything is good to go, Laura! These are last weeks comments I find with today’s posting. (Or is it my computer that’s messed up?)

    My spirits lifted
    when my world shifted-

    light at the end of the tunnel!

    1. Thanks, Cindyb (see my addendum in my post–another week, another screw-up!). I love how you capture this moment when our mood totally changes.

  9. I can’t think of anything to write today but I live this pic very space like and new world like a further ride to outer space

    1. I am in a pensive mood this morning. I will giddy up later! Ha! It may have already started…get it? “Giddy” up — “Giddy up”? Hope I didn’t destroy my pensive intent here with that… I have trouble staying serious for very long.

      Empty me.
      Polish within.
      Fortify me.
      Steeled to pressures,
      Fill me
      With light.

      ©Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

      1. I was going to write that I can’t believe you don’t have a thought this morning, Jessica! I love your thoughts. They always bring me to places I never thought of. I’m checking back later! I’ll bet your brain can’t leave this one alone!

      2. Laura, I did not receive the message to confirm. I was able to reply to Cindy, but cannot access any of the other comments. Would not confirming be the reason? My post is showing and I can read all comments.

    2. Jessica, I have days like that, too. Days when I look at the picture and nothing comes. I’ll look forward to reading yours next week. (or later today, if something pops up.)

  10. I am in a pensive mood this morning. I will giddy up later! Ha! It may have already started…get it? “Giddy” up – “Giddy up”? Hope I didn’t destroy my pensive intent here with that… I have trouble staying serious for very long.

    Empty me.
    Polish within.
    Fortify me.
    Steeled to pressures,
    Fill me
    With light.

    ©Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

    (Sorry Jessica. I put this in your reply line…must not be awake yet.)

    1. Donna, I suppose pensive is the word for me. Thanks for your comment. I really like empty/fill, polish/fortify in your post.

  11. Okay, so this poem goes with the photo of the concourse ceiling. I love how you find these shots, Laura! I need to get out my camera and try again. 🙂

    Starship mouth
    and I carry
    my small bag
    the universe.

    —Kate Coombs

    1. Oh, this is stunning, Kate. That image of a small bag and the whole great universe…it kind of makes me tear up, and I’m not even sure why!

  12. Not to worry Laura. As my grandma would say, “It’ll all come out in the wash.” In light of the recent anniversary of the Challenger disaster the photo prompted my poem.

    Lift Off

    Ten, nine, eight …
    with bated breath I wait;
    engines ignite,
    soar toward the light,

    1. Thanks, Martha. Ah, the Challenger disaster. I get goosebumps remembering witnessing that in person. Lovely poem…Have you seen Joyce Sidman’s beautiful poem on this topic in Dare to Dream…Change the World? It helped me find some peace about this.

  13. O’Hare

    Hurry, scurry
    Hustle, bustle
    Run on moving walkway
    Check gate info
    Never look up

    1. Boy, does that almost describe my moment! I hesitated, because I didn’t really have time to stop and take a picture. But…it only takes 10 seconds! Glad I didn’t talk myself out of it. I miss a LOT of things in my daily scurrying–your poem is a great reminder to look up:>)

    1. Buffy, I love the analogy of steel caterpillars, especially shedding and flying and planes.

    2. Love it, Buffy! This made me picture the huge drilling machines from the Big Dig in Boston suddenly taking flight:>)

    1. You do, too, Connie! For most of us, just a matter of taking a quiet moment to see what weird images/thoughts our brains come up with. We’re so used to tamping those down or ignoring them…

  14. What a picture! I know that it’s huge, but I am imagining it to be much smaller and confining.


    Keep on going
    ’round this bend.
    Hopefully, this
    soon will end.

    1. Pat, one can hope that freedom is just ’round the bend. When I first saw the picture and read Laura’s thoughts I could imagine the visual I had when my youngest granddaughter described her sleeping quarters on the Navy aircraft carrier to which she was assigned.

  15. words Staircases

    whispering into
    seashell pages
    echo’s of thousand
    stories whispers
    her voice

    Poem By Jessica Bigi

    1. Oh, my–I love those echoes! I had a pic ages ago of the literal word staircase at the Loft here in Minneapolis and used it for a 15 Words or Less pic once. Your poem would be beautiful with it, too!

  16. Just finally had a chance to jump in…it’s been awhile! Some nice poems here, but it appears my impression of the photo was a bit different:

    Escher hallway bends
    right, around and back to where
    you are already

    - © 2016 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

    1. Yes! Definitely Escher-like (well, not in real life, so much, but in this picture). Hmmm…your poem kind of describes my revision process lately.

  17. Into the depths
    Of the earth
    I willingly plunge
    To find answers
    To unanswered questions !

    Anne McKenna

Subscribe to Blog via Email

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

Join 2,500 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
#waterpoemproject15 Words or Less Poems20for2030 Painless Classroom Poems50 State Poemsacrosticsactivity pagesactivity sheetALAA Leaf Can Be...Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterA Need to FeedanthologiesanthologyA Rock Can projectsaudiopoemsawardsbad newsBarbara Juster EsbensenBilly Collinsbiopoemsblog tourbookalikesbook festivalsBookSpeak!book spine poemsbook trailersbop poembyr a thoddaidcafepresscalendar poemsCamp Read-a-LotCan Be... bookscan be... poemsCapstoneCarol Varsalonacascade poemsCatherine FlynnCCRA.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 Awardsmoonmy 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 conferencesYouTubeZap Clap Boomzenozentangle
Show More Show Less

Join Laura's monthly newsletter for eductators

Get three of Laura's favorite poetry activities when you subscribe to "Small Reads."