De-Icing an Airplane [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. 

Here’s a photo taken from our plane as we sat on a snowy runway in late November.

Deicing an Airplane
Photo: Randy A. Salas

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. hairspray
  2. giving a big dog a bath
  3. do airplanes play in sprinklers in the summer?

And here’s my first draft.


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







32 Responses

  1. Oh, Clifford.…I miss that big red dog. My kids are big now. He was a favorite.

    Where to fly?
    This bird knows best
    Where to fly?

    1. Your poem got me thinking about bird migrations and, perhaps equally amazing, the ability of pilots to fly giant airplanes all over and find their way from airport to airport when they are just tiny specs on the ground.

  2. Laura, your Clifford poem made me smile, as did the thought you had of airplanes playing under sprinklers in summer. Here’s my rushing-out-the-door first draft:


    Oh, for a rainbow spray
    to transform rigidity
    to fluidity
    and enable us to soar

    Heading out into the Maine ice right now.…

    1. Rigidity to fluidity — wonderful rhyme. I love how your poem could apply to planes or people.

    2. Molly, I think we could all use something to transform our rigidity to fluidity. Beautiful language here, and a life lesson I need to apply to myself:)

  3. Cleaning Everything

    Hot shower.
    Cold morning.
    Steam drawings.
    Mom’s warning.
    I wince,

    wipe off all my fingerprints.

    1. This brought back memories of our daughters drawing hearts and other things on the windows of our car in the condensation! Your poems so often connect to moments of my own childhood or my kids’ childhood. Universal!

    2. We used to put warm breath to windows (back then we often didn’t have storm windows on and window panes were not thermal) and then draw. My parents were not as tickled about it as we were.

    1. I love the medieval sound after the main language of those first two lines, Margaret!

  4. Laura, your “spot-on” poem and the mix of colors provided by the filter brings out the child in me. It’s below freezing here this morning which adds to my silliness.

    Pilot to Tower

    Ice, snow
    before we go
    need crane
    to de-ice plane.
    Don’t forget the salt!

    1. Your salt comment made me think of the runways and how much work it takes to keep them clear.

  5. I’ve heard about this, but have never seen how it was done until your picture. Love the idea of airplanes playing in sprinklers, but my mind took the picture more literally.

    Spray-off this ice!
    I’ll fly precise,
    slipping air with flair -
    no aerodynamic
    need for panic.

    1. Lauren Conrad I love this because it captures my feelings on seeing this. The icing makes me a little nervous because I know it means conditions are not ideal for flying. However, I like to see it because it means they’re taking safety measures! I may be slightly apprehensive flyer, always eager to just get done and land safely:)

  6. I remember sitting on a plane waiting for them to de-ice the wings before taking off again. I didn’t like flying, so though it was encouraging to know they were doing something in the bad weather to make us safe, I wasn’t totally convinced I wanted to try it out.
    This also reminds me of a cold, wet motorcycle ride we took, and the warm shower later to elevate the core temperature and revive frozen fingers and toes

    Fingers icy!
    Toes froze!
    Oh, so nicy!
    Shower’s warm
    After the storm
    My nosy

  7. Love that plane de-icing led you to Clifford!

    How To Make an August Evening

    Switch on a shower
    for towering trees,
    toss in a rainbow,
    a warm summer breeze.

  8. I’m a bit of a nervous flier so when I see them deicing planes I too have a mix of anxiety and relief. I love your Clifford bath poem, definitely one of my favorite characters! I saw the Southwest logo and snow and went on an alliteration spree lol.

    Southwest snowstorm,
    Shiver, shudder, shake.
    Steamy, stream sprays,
    Snow smelts,
    Southwest safely soars!

    1. Yay! I need to recite that to myself next time I fly in a storm:>) Snow smelts–love the mix of cold and fire there.

    2. Lol! I was puzzled for a while with “smelts”… smelt is always fish to me first and couldn’t connect it. Way better when you can get past the fish! BTW: if I HAVE to fly, I prefer Southwest…great people. Love all that alliteration.

  9. Such a wonderful group of poems!

    Mechanical dragon
    roars steam streams
    a southwest knight
    sleeps battle dreams

    1. Ooh, I LOVE this. The mix of mechanical and organic always gets me. (I must be a steampunker at heart.)

  10. poem by Jessica Bigi

    wings of the world
    need power washers
    of kindness
    so peace takes flight
    starting with love

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