Dragonfly Captured! [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. 

Photo: Laura P. Salas

This is a close-up of a dragonfly on one of the herons in La Crosse, WI.

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. stained glass
  2. plastic shopping bags
  3. the gaudy jewelry my mom loved!

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.) 






43 Responses

  1. Oh, Laura! This photo is stunning! I may need to use it as prompt for another poem. I went right to the idea of jewels too.

    Mother Nature
    desired a brooch
    when a dragonfly
    pinned itself
    to her collar

    1. I really liked both of yours, Linda and Laura! My first thought was jewels as well, but my 3rd graders wrote some and most of them were prompted by thoughts of summer–which made me think of a day when my family and I saw lots of jewel-toned dragonflies on a walk on OUR first day of summer.

      June 16
      frenzy fades
      respite rises
      on jeweled wings
      of dragonflies:
      messengers of summer’s pause

      I couldn’t decide if I liked for the end “pause” or “calm” better (calm because so the opposite of frenzy), but went with pause because summer always feels like just that to me).

      1. Oh, this is lovely! I like pause both for the ah sound and also because it doesn’t have the harsh /k/ sound. So it feels like a more peaceful word. That’s two of you who have used “messengers,” and I love it in both poems.

  2. Good morning, although I know that greeting does not resonate with those in Michael’s path. The colors in the photo are bright and display rays of hope for those in need. Jewels and gossamer are certainly fitting descriptions.

    The Displaced Dragonfly

    She’s bright
    she lights
    cocooned in
    silky backdrop.

    She rests,
    safe for now.

    1. I like the way your words flip around in such a light, airy way. Perfect for a dragonfly poem!

  3. the delicate curve
    of a long, thin abdomen–
    autumn dragonfly

    ~Loree Griffin Burns

    You’re photo really caught my eye this week, Laura. I’ve been saying for ages I was going to come over and visit. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. So glad to see you here, Loree! When I read your poem, I love the descriptive first line and then the unexpected second line (if I’m not in front of the photo I mean). Then the third line reveals the answer: )

  4. I love “jewel with wings”!


    All the spinning colors
    of a carousel,
    a dragonfly captures
    and wears them well.

    1. What a cool comparison, Cindy. The carousel gives it such a connotation of celebration and music and color, so it makes me look at the dragonfly with new eyes.

  5. Rainbows buzzing

    Messengers of pigment,
    Glide on prismatic wings,
    Spectrums on the landscape,
    Spread glamour versus stings.

    1. Ooh, messengers of pigment! Love that! And even though they don’t sting, this gave me the image of dragonflies gathering to give someone a tattoo :>)

    2. Now that is a unique definition and description of the dragonfly. Well done.

    1. I love the soft /i/ sounds–makes those first couple of lines sound rather ethereal.

  6. It’s a wing competition this fall morning. Wishing you beautiful leaves, no storms or flooding.

    To a Butterfly

    Who else has wings
    like mine,
    cries dragonfly,
    that shine
    and catch the light?

    —Kate Coombs

  7. What a gorgeous photo!

    Dragonfly Dance

    Shimmer and shimmy ,
    dance and dart
    a kaleidoscope
    of colors.

    1. Thanks:>) Interesting that they move “through” a kaleidoscope of colors. Now this poem has me thinking about what that kaleidoscope might be…

  8. What a beautiful image and so timely for me!


    Transformation, I see
    Dragonfly skitters
    call to me

    1. Dragonflies do make me feel like anything is possible, somehow. Glad this photo resonated with you!

  9. poem By Jessica Bigi I know it a little over the count but like it

    A Gift From Gram

    Ella’s gram sowed her ribbon
    on a silver clip some glitter wings
    lots of strings button feet
    clipping her dragon coral tails

  10. Well I’m a day late, but this photo was too beautiful to pass by. Laura, “Gilt-edged and gossamer”, just beautiful!


    Globe Skinner,
    Smokey water skimmer,
    Iridescent hunter,
    Evolutionary wonder.

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