[Crow Balance] 15 Words or Less Poems

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. I shared 15 Words or Less poems with some educators at NCTE last weekend, and though probably none are here on Thanksgiving day, if you ARE here, I’m happy:>)

Besides that, thank you to all you regulars who have made this a part of your creative routine. I’m thankful, as always, for this community.

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

Here’s a pic I took while Randy and I were walking along Lake Superior on our Duluth trip back in October. This big old crow was balanced on top of the tree, and it stayed there quite a while. This image makes me think of several things:

  1. It’s like a star on a Christmas tree
  2. A weathervane
  3. A bird doing yoga

And here’s my first draft. I was thinking about how, even though it looked kind of funny, how much more space did that crow (or any of us) really need?

bird-tree 15wol

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

Happy Thanksgiving!



26 Responses

  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Laura! I love your photo and so enjoy the peek into how your mind works as you create a poem. My effort turned rather morbid, but here it is:


    No raucous cry
    pierces the sky
    The crow keeps watch
    Will we change
    or die?

    1. Oh, my. Isn’t that the question? I like how that silence tells us this crow is different…watching…waiting. Will we do the right and worthy thing or not? My efforts often turn melancholy or morbid, too:>) Happy Thanksgiving, Molly! PS I think I have wrongly called you Donna or something else before. My apologies! It takes me forever to learn names, particularly online ones. :>/

  2. Here I am
    Look at me
    hear my voice
    I speak for us all

    Wonderful to see you and spend some time with you at NCTE. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Fantastic to see you at NCTE, Margaret! I like that hammering feeling of the first three lines, especially. I was struck by how I’d rather let a crow speak for me than the person who is now representing me to the world. Sigh. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Laura.


    I’m just a guest
    taking a rest
    and feeling blessed

    Thank you, Lord.

    1. Happy Thanksgiving, Cindy! I adore your poem today. I love the sentiment, the realization that we are all just guests on the planet, and for such a short time. A beautiful poem of gratitude…

    2. Oh, I came straight to your blog first thing this morning, but just checked my email and your blog notification is working again! Another thing to be thankful for!

      1. Well, it’s not really–I have to do a workaround, which is irritating. But glad y’all are getting word again!

  4. Your ‘crow doing yoga’ image was pretty funny, so I came up with this:


    Crane pose??
    Everyone knows
    it all started here
    with us crows.
    Plus…that’s not how it goes.

    -Matt Forrest Esenwine

    1. Hehe–I went to yoga class this morning, and I kept picturing us as different birds and other animals. Especially one woman who did more advanced poses than I’ve ever seen in real life. Wow. Love the crow’s irritable voice here. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Happy Thanks Giving Laura and every one

    A letter to Poe

    I hear Crows
    not Rodin’s
    or Jays
    but Poe
    What do
    They Say ?

    1. Happy Thanksgiving, Jessica! Yes! I always think of Poe with large crows or blackbirds. Or ravens, but I’m not sure how many ravens I’ve ever actually seen. But all I hear in my head is the ominous, “Forevermore.”

    1. Hi Diane! Love the structure of your poem, and especially the comparison to a signet. He does look like an icon or symbol, doesn’t he?

  6. Happy Thanksgiving to all. I’m thankful for your weekly camaraderie and inspiration!

    Perched atop a spruce
    he’s dark as winter’s night
    with caws hailing light.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Haven’t been here for a while, but I salute you with a mighty Caw.

    Seeing treetop,
    seeing snow,
    he strikes a pose—
    silhouette of crow.

    —Kate Coombs

    1. Happy Thanksgiving, Kate–I love the way your last line sounds like a momentous artwork title!

  8. Good morning Laura and Happy Thanksgiving one and all. We were traveling this morning and upon reaching our destination I opened my E‑mail and to my delight there was your post, in its usual Thursday 15 WOL format. My Thanksgiving blessing for sure.

    A Holiday Acrostic

    Precariously clutching
    Evergreen branch
    Raucous caws add to
    Cacophony of
    Holiday happiness.

    1. Well, it’s a workaround, as far as the notification–but glad you got the email:>) I love all the /c/ and /ch/ sounds. It’s a party of a poem! Happy Thanksgiving, Martha!

    1. Hi Joy, Happy Thanksgiving! I like the idea that even a raven has some civilization inside;>)

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