City Hall [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. 

Minneapolis City Hall
Photo: Laura P. Salas

This is the City Hall clock tower in downtown Minneapolis. I took this pic from the roof of a parking garage when Maddie and I went down to meet Randy for a food truck lunch in June. It was about to storm, and the sky looked so dramatic! This image makes me think of several things:

  1. The clock tower looks like a syringe injecting light into the sky
  2. Ghostbusters
  3. I have a sudden urge to build a town out of Legos

And here’s my first draft. This one poured out quickly, just like I imagined the electricity racing upward through the building.


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

[NOTE: I’m traveling today. I will read every poem in the next day or two, and you’ll know I’ve read it because I’ll Like it. But I don’t know if I’ll be able to actually Comment on them or not.]





43 Responses

  1. Laura, I could feel the energy of your poem!


    Umbrella up!
    Frightened eyes.
    Storm a’coming.
    And it’s King-size!

  2. I’ve seen these skies too often this summer. We have had rain every day since June 1st.

    Rolling waves
    across the ocean
    of the sky
    rumble ashore–
    a shower.

    1. Hi Margaret, I really like the connection you make between the ocean and the sky. We’ve had lots of afternoon rain too. The heat just gets to be too much and the storms erupt.

  3. Despite the threatening skies, the clock tower stands ready. Safe travels Laura. This photo represents our weather forecast for the next few days.

    Old Faithful

    Chiming the hour
    clock pealing its call
    city’s giant lightning rod
    protecting one and all

  4. Laura, I love the vitality your poem and the idea of the city injecting its energy into the skies.

    On the Brink

    Turbulent clouds
    Churn and swirl
    Poised to unleash

    What comes
    after the storm?

    1. Nice question.…I like the openness of the poem.…like an open palm with beautiful words. Roiling seems to be the word of the day!

  5. I liked the syringe viewpoint. Injecting the sky with some light would be good!
    This picture reminded me of the storms that came rumbling through when we lived in Hokah, MN. The pointed roof tops reminded me of the firs, and the squared tops the bluffs.

    Tears of Laughter

    Firs and bluffs
    Tickle the sky
    Belly laughs rumble
    As tears tumble
    From storm’s eye.

    by Donna JT Smith

    1. I love how you’ve made thunder into tickled belly laughs and rain into happy tears. Rumble/tumble — fun rhyme.

    2. Great image–and I just did a storytime event in Hokah a couple of weeks ago. Did you already tell me you used to live there? Cool! I had never heard of it until I received the invitation from the librarian there!

      1. Wow! Hokah is a small farming community, so no one has heard of it! I taught school 10 years across the Mississippi in LaCrosse, WI and both my children were born there. We had a 40 A farm and had horses there to come home to after work. I think this is the first time I’ve mentioned Hokah! Loved it out there — except for the severe storms with most ominous skies!
        Small world!

        1. Too funny! Yup, I stayed overnight in La Crosse but my event was with the Hokah Public Library. Small world, indeed!

  6. Laura I love this picture, it really captures the ominous sense of a storm rolling in. Your poem made me think of the energy of firemen running up stairs for some reason. So in keeping with that dark and ominous feeling here is my poem:

    Time stood still
    as my hands fumbled together
    in fearful defense of your strike.

    1. I love fumbled together and fearful defense, the tension slowing time. That’s a lot in three lines.

  7. Building Puzzles

    no pitcher to fallow
    so many pieces to place
    lighting crashes no lights
    or idea of time
    we love building puzzles

    1. We’ve done a puzzle in a storm without power — using headlamps! No idea of time is right. I like how you worked the clock into it, too!

  8. Before I read your prompts and energizing poem, Laura, I saw the tower as a lightning attractor.

    Calling for lightning.
    Timing the strikes -
    not too scary many,
    not too boring few.

  9. I love roof, pierces and sheltering from the image for a tree canopy and the life within.

  10. I thought that today was Wednesday! Almost missed doing this. Glad I got my days figured out. Here’s my little ditty.

    It’s Time

    Big clock rails
    Half past four
    Storm cloud wails
    Start the pour

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