Convention Center [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. 

This past few weeks have been full of highs and lows. I would prefer more highs and fewer lows, but I guess we don’t get to choose.  I’m hopeful that by the time you read this, I will have both a working laptop AND a working car. I seem to be breaking life lately!

Houston Convention Center
Photo: Laura P. Salas

My NCTE hotel was about a mile from the convention center. When I asked a local if I was headed the right direction, she gave me a bunch of hand signals and said, “It looks like a ship. You can’t miss it!” Needless to say, I missed it. I was expecting a more literal translation, I guess. Anyway, this image makes me think of several things:

  1. camouflage
  2. spices (the red “smokestacks” looked like the M in McCormick spices from the direction I approached)
  3. tangram puzzles

And here’s my first draft. 

art of architecture



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







24 Responses

  1. Poem By Jessica Bigi

    My Lago Tower

    gleaming eyes
    giggle small
    tap click snap
    teary eyed
    brother smashed

  2. Not sure what the red thingies on the roof are, but here’s what they made me think of.

    Under Surveillance

    Watching, waiting,
    Vultures hang around.
    Watching, waiting,
    not making a sound.

    I’m staying inside.

    1. Lots of foreboding feeling here. Glad I didn’t think of this while approaching the convention center to present! :>)

    2. Your vulture was nicer than what I called them. Cindy. I thought turkey buzzards. I encountered five of them enjoying dinner in the middle of the road as I was walking. When I disturbed them they just flew to rooftop of the house nearest them and sat and stared at me until they could safely return to their prey.

  3. I love the double meaning of ship shape in your poem, Laura.
    Your story got me thinking of how much further we travel when we don’t know where we are going.

    the long path
    seeking new destinations
    shorter trek home

    1. Interesting, Lauren. Makes me think about how long it can take us to come to some realizations or new passions/interests, and then how quickly we integrate them into the core of our life once we make that meandering journey to find them!

    2. That seems to be the norm, for me anyway. It takes much longer to arrive at a destination than it takes to return home

  4. Perfection Laura. Wishing you and all of the 15 WOL community more highs and fewer lows. Your use of the word puzzles prompted my verse, but I could see a ship, of sorts! It also reminded me of a high-rise building with external elevators provided for those who like excitement on every level (pun intended).

    Unforeseen Frustration

    Sample in sight
    piece by piece
    two pieces missing

    1. Hahaha! Nice pun. I’ve done a couple jigsaw puzzles this year (and have decided I’d like to do more). Each time I open a box, I say a prayer to the puzzle gods: PLEASE let all the pieces be here! Love this!

        1. I love to do jigsaw puzzles when I am on the phone and always have one out. Fortunately I have wood floors. Rugs swallow dropped pieces and keep them safely hidden until vacuumed.

    1. Ha! Sounds like a story starter:>) Alien glop is how I’m feeling right now–too many milkshakes and cookies in DC last weekend.

  5. More poetry equations! (yep, imagination is the needed ingredient to see the ship.)

    Trawling for Inspiration

    Her window is a porthole
    tree, squirrel, bird, sky, cloud–
    until fingers sail beyond

    1. I need an afternoon nap. The image of trawling on water makes eyelids heavy. Fun Buffy.

    1. Yes! I so need that one tiny place to call MINE. I’m loving having my own little office in our new space since we moved in August. First time I’ve had an office that wasn’t also a guest room. This space is about 7x8 feet, so tiny, but mine. :>)

  6. How fun! So glad I stumbled upon your site today.

    by Heather Kinser

    Un-conventional center.
    Land-locked ocean liner.
    Smokestacks go
    Watery windows reflect
    the invisible ocean.

    1. Glad you’re here, Heather! Oh, goodness–I love your wordplay in that first line/title. And comparing air to an invisible ocean…just lovely.

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