A Pear‑y Pretty Chandelier [15 Words or Less Poems]

Hi, 15 Words-or-Less-ers! Merry Christmas Eve, if you’re celebrating!

Ready to wake up your poetry brains with 15 Words or Less? (guidelines here)

Here’s a picture I took at the theater where we saw So You Think You Can Dance Thanksgiving weekend. It’s hard to tell in this picture, but those colored crystals make up grapes and pears and other fruits. I don’t think I had ever noticed those before.

Photo: Laura P. Salas

Photo: Laura P. Salas

This image makes me think of:

  1. gaudy jewelry, especially the Empress Carlotta episode on the old Dick Van Dyke channel
  2. the individual immunity necklace on Survivor
  3. how sometimes a bright light (or obvious thing) draws your attention away from the real beauty nearby

And, here’s my draft.  I actually did a few drafts this week and spent 10 minutes or so on this–much more involved than my usual quick jot. But I had the idea of a cave with bats all over the walls. But because of the bright, stark light used for a cave tour, you don’t even see the walls; they fade into the blackground (I like that made-up word: blackground). I tried a few different things–this was actually my fourth try at a draft. Whew!

15 Words or Less Poem by Laura Purdie Salas


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!

27 Responses

    1. I love the word blackground, and my first couple of drafts had that darkness as the central idea (not using blackground, though–I only thought of that as I wrote the post). But I don’t think I’d put blackground into this poem because its uniqueness would steal the show–it would stand out TOO much. I’d have to use it, I think, in a poem that was all about the background and how dark it is and what’s hidden in it or in a poem that had a more whimsical, lively tone with other wordplay. I think. :>)

  1. Merry Christmas Laura and family, and to all who are celebrating. Heavy rains and T‑storms in the mountains of western NC with record-breaking warm temperatures.

    Buddha’s Lament

    Fasting, fruit diet
    all for naught
    I appear as tapestry
    by candlelight.

    They meant well.

    1. Oh, dear. That does not sound very Christmasy:>( Oh, this made me laugh out loud. That resigned last line is fabulous. Hope you have many Christmas joys to offset the bleh weather, Martha!

  2. A King Was Born


    1. Oh, I adore these/angels/whisper/into/stardust/skies. Your list poems of images are always lovely, but I like the scene here, the bit of action here, very much. One of my favorites of yours. Merry Christmas, Jessica!

    1. Amelia, the light does draw the eyes away from the treasure; maybe meant to be.

    2. Exactly–that’s what I started out trying to capture, but then my poem went astray:>) Happy Holidays, Amelia!

  3. Merry Christmas to you all, or Happy Holidays if you are not a Christmas celebrator!


    Tantalus reaches, reaches
    for high fruit
    and catches a pear!
    But it is only glass.

    —Kate Coombs

    1. Merry Christmas, Kate! Oh, this is delightful. Every time I hear the word tantalize (which I love, anyway), I will think of this. I’ve heard of Tantalus before, but so long ago I had forgotten!

  4. Wonderful poem, Laura. I especially love the surprising description of bat-upholstered walls.
    Happy holidays to all!

    Late Bloomer

    Hidden talent–
    concealed by sepals
    of self-doubt,

    unfolds and glimmers
    like dark gems
    in candlelight.

    1. I love the way you’ve combined late bloomer, self-doubt and unfolding hidden talent.

    2. Oh, this is lovely, Buffy. Lines 2 and 3 and those repeated sounds–just wonderful. Happy holidays and happy New Year!

  5. Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays. Waiting for our family to arrive. I think I have time to post.

    At the Opera

    Lights are low,
    think I’ll go
    swing on chandelier,
    hear their screams of fear.

  6. The harvest is ready,
    come gather around.
    Something for everyone,
    Blessings abound.

    Love your bat-upholstered walls, Laura! Merry Christmas!

    1. Happy New Year, Charles! I love how these scant 3 words make me see images all the way from caveman and Frankenstein to fancy French castles and modern mansions.

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