Cougar [15 Words or Less Poems]

Welcome to the final 15 Words or Less Poems Day of 2015!

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

Here’s a picture I took at the Bell Museum of Natural History on Randy’s birthday last week.

Photo: Laura P. Salas
Photo: Laura P. Salas

This image makes me think of:

  1. Camping at night and waking up to see this in my tent. Ack!
  2. What if cats wore dentures?
  3. I would not like to be a dentist to a cougar.

And, here’s my draft.  I tried something new this week. I wrote my poem and recorded the process using Screen-cast-o-matic. I shouldn’t have used sound–that clicking and clacking gets annoying. But if you’d like to watch the process, here you go:

Well, I don’t think THAT’s very interesting to watch! But I wanted to try out this tool because I think there are some things that might be interesting for young writers and for teachers to actually watch on the page–like the revision process. So maybe I’ll try this again sometime if there seems to be a good use for it. Teachers, is there anything in particular you think would be useful to be able to show students in real time?

Anyway, here’s the first draft:



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!

42 Responses

  1. Good Morning, Laura!
    Funny coincidence- I’m up early studying how to experiment with different blogging/marketing content and then your post popped up! Great job trying something new 🙂

    As a teacher, I know it’s hard to type, think, and talk while trying to do a “flipped video”. However, while I was watching you type and edit, I was wondering what you were thinking while your were working. I could tell you were reading and re-reading your lines and checking every word. Young writers need to see that real authors write and re-write…A lot!

    Very cool- I look forward to seeing more of your writing process.

    1. Happy New Year, Andrea! Thank you for that feedback. I felt like I “should” be kind of narrating, but it felt so awkward. Maybe as I try this a few more times, I’ll get more comfortable with it. I think clips of working on different versions of a poem would be cool, but I have no video skills and no desire to learn them, so putting together one video with clips of different drafts is out of my zone. But wouldn’t that be neat? Yep, I’m trying to figure out how to reach readers/teachers in a new way. Always a challenge. Thank you again for your thoughts.

  2. My dentist
    calls me pearly
    Pearly is my name
    pearly smile
    brushing teeth
    pearly white

    this pic made me think of the wax teeth that kids wear for Halloween remember the ones with the cherry water in side and the wined up teeth also that my brother makes teeth poem By Jessica Bigi

    1. Happy New Year, Jessica–I don’t know the cherry drink teeth, but yes on the fake ones and wind-up ones!

  3. Happy New Year, Laura!


    Eyes keen.
    Demeanor mean.
    Teeth frightning.
    All enlightning-

    This beast
    would feast
    on ME!


    1. Wonderful amount of actual meaning stuffed into this poem with its fun rhymes. I love line 2 and “This beast/would feast” especially. Happy New Year!

  4. Still Life

    Cougar canines poised to tear
    Rendered harmless
    So children learn without fear

    1. Good job Marian. Rendering a cougar harmless can be difficult, depending on the child I suppose.

    2. My bad. I just realized that I used panther instead of cougar in my verse. Maybe a panther can float as well as a cougar! And I told myself I had written my poem and checked it twice!

    3. I love “poised” and “rendered” in your poem, Maria. And “tear.” So visceral! Thanks for playing!

  5. Being watched takes on two meanings here as I watch you compose. I have not heard of Screencast for recording what you are doing on the screen. Cool. I think my students would like to watch you go through the process.

    Happy New Year! Thanks for being such a reliable resource for poetry in the classroom.

    1. Thanks, Margaret! Sharp eyes on that title:>) As I mention to Amy above, I’m trying to figure out new and better ways to share my writing process in 2016, so this was just an experiment. The problem is that most things take a lot more than 3–5 minutes, but who would want to watch more. Hmmm…working on ideas:>) Happy New Year to you and your poets, too!

  6. Happy New Year, everyone. Love your small gold moons staring, Laura. I see Jessica and I had similar thoughts today.

    Twice a year
    the same question,
    “Do you floss?”

    1. Thanks, ellie, and Happy New Year! Hehehe. Can you imagine telling a big cat like this that it had a cavity. Yikes.

  7. Good morning Laura and Happy New Year to you and your entire 15 WOL audience. May the new year bring some comfort to those who are suffering throughout with unthinkable weather-related devastation.

    Crown of Horns

    Expecting gators
    not panthers that float
    Hagar the Horrible
    chose the wrong palace moat!

    At first sight today’s pic took me directly to the comic strip.

    1. Is Hagar the Horrible still around? I remember reading it when I was a kid. I am totally intrigued by your title and the allusion (maybe I’m making it in my head and it wasn’t intended) to Crown of Thorns. Happy New Year, Martha, and yes on the relief from natural disasters!

        1. That’s awesome when something can last that long. I bet my parents are still reading it. I’ll have to ask:>)

      1. I did not purposely allude to Crown of Thorns, but I do see how it could be mistaken in that way. Hagar is still alive and well in our local comics and the bottom teeth of the cougar with the curved “canines?” look just like the helmet/headgear that Hagar wears into battle, and often times to bed!

        1. Well, I figured it didn’t go with the poem, really (a Crown of Thorns allusion, I mean), but since it’s the season and all, it did strike me that way. I can completely see now where you got the Hagar connection from! Love that.

  8. Cougar’s Dilemma

    Bet you don’t notice
    my amber eyes
    and heart-shaped nose
    when I bare these teeth.

    ~Elisabeth M. Priest

    1. Love this. Reminds me of a Billy Joel song, “The Stranger,” about the masks we wear and hide away. Not that the words are similar, but the feeling they give me is:>)

  9. rustle rustle
    padding feet
    cold wet nose
    What’s for breakfast?

    This reminded me of when cats wake up their owners for food- just on a much larger scale!

    1. Yes, Amelia! Long ago, my kitty Peppy used to sleep around my head on my pillow and wake me up for breakfast:>)

  10. Very cool, Laura! I actually like the clicking along sound. Because then you hear the silence too…and I appreciate that. I tried something like this — but maybe it was called Livetyping — I don’t remember, but it was neat. Watching process is fascinating, and I appreciate you sharing here. Those moons…yes! Happy New Year to you, my writing friend. xx

    1. Thanks, Amy. Trying to figure out how to share my writing process in a more meaningful way–not just finished poems or even first drafts that get no further work. I had done something like this years ago, a screen capture email kind of thing that was neat–but it doesn’t exist anymore. So, playing with this. We’ll see:>) Happy New Year!

    Cougar, baring teeth
    like furious stalactites,
    searches for supper,
    silhouetted by moonlight.

    © Charles Waters 2016 all rights reserved.

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