It’s the Circle of…Barstools? [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.

Last week was my dad’s birthday, the anniversary of my mom’s death, a medical emergency for my dad, the arrival home of my daughter Maddie for a 7‑week visit (she lives overseas and hasn’t been home for two years), and the arrival of my sister Patty for a 1‑week visit. Wow. Talk about a roller coaster.

Here’s a picture I took in the convention center in Washington DC when I was at ALA last month.

Chair circle
Photo: Laura P. Salas

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. musical chairs
  2. The Circle of Life (cue Lion King music)
  3. the Eye of Sauron

And here’s my first draft. I was thinking about how the people (and animals) we love, whether they live or die, live closeby or a world away, are always, always with us, connected to us as concretely as the barstools in this art piece.

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







27 Responses

  1. Thanks for saving us a spot! This was a tuffy for me.

    Petal Symbols
    sunflower gold
    rose sweet
    daisy joy
    lily lithe
    Drink deep

  2. This picture made me think of a giant eye and reminded me of the bluebird who watches me every morning from inside her house.

    Call to Action

    Be kind
    and just
    Care for all.

    The world is watching.
    Counting on

  3. While working on my response, I took a break on Facebook and found Teach Write’s word of the day, simpatico. It means compatible.

    Pull up a chair.
    Sit right here.
    A story to share
    with simpatico cheer.

    Margaret Simon

  4. Laura, wishing you happy days ahead; enjoy the visits with your daughter and sister. The picture took me all over the place, first thought was the “crown of thorns.” Then, another thought.

    Synchronized Swimming

    Arms extended
    legs afloat
    synched to music
    learned by rote.

    Poetry in motion.

  5. This picture reminded me of a giant eye and the bluebird who peeks out from her nesting box every morning to watch me.

    Call to Action

    Be kind
    and just.

    Care for all.

    The world is watching.
    Counting on

  6. In Appreciation Of

    Ruby tipped metal thorns
    embellish crown –
    an honorable nod
    to wait staff
    at Diner Royale

  7. Phew! You’ve had a whirlwind of activity and memories! So glad events don’t always intersect like that…but sometimes they just do.
    Here are two thoughts this morning for that wonderful wreath!

    Ring-around-the-rosy seats
    Sitting where Mad Hatter eats;
    Certainly would be fun
    Finishing where you’ve begun!

    The tornado took the diner in
    And gave the stools a little spin!

  8. Your week was enough excitement for a month or two. Hope you were able to enjoy, and not stress! (And hope all is well with your dad.)


    “Grab a chair.
    Sit down and share.
    How have you been?”
    They circle in…


  9. Wow, it may be cliché to say life is a rollercoaster, but it’s a good fit for your last week (and for the pic). Congrats on having your daughter home!


    Circle of morning,
    circle of night,
    Life is a circle,
    shadowed and bright.

    —Kate Coombs

    1. Ah, Kate, I love the essential truth in this elegant poem. So much captured in so few lines!

  10. poem by Jessica Bigi

    Walking The High Wire

    in my

    1. I like the concrete things in your poem, Jessica–“Center ring Lions Hoops” Nice!

  11. Thanks for sharing this interesting sculpture piece Laura. I like how your poem and comment both connect to people that are here and that were here before. Sounds like you had an overwhelming week, hope it’s slowed down some for you.

    Here’s my poem:

    Portal of sunshine
    spiderleg dance,
    dotted red cushions
    portals of

    1. Thanks, Michelle, for the good wishes:) I adore your unusual choices here–especially “spiderleg dance.” Amazing!

    1. Ooooh, love this. Especially “bulging” and the repetition of “kaleidoscope.”

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."