Grid [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.  Teachers, if I met you at NCTE recently, I’m glad you’ve come to visit!

Photo: Laura P. Salas

This is actually my hand under an outdoor table at some fast food restaurant. This image makes me think of several things:

  1. Barriers
  2. Obstacle courses–those mud runs and such look like fun!
  3. A hand throwing a fishing net

And here’s my first draft. I tried a metaphor of nets and what we try to catch, but I was unhappy with that one. So this is a first draft of a second poem, which I don’t usually do. It kind of captures the surreal thoughts that floated through my mind this morning (I’m creating this post on Thanksgiving day) at yoga. And it went rhyming today. Never know what to expect when I start these things:>) That’s the fun of poetry!


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




25 Responses

  1. Mermaid’s Salutations

    Met a friend today
    Sailing the bay
    Looking for fish
    Instead got a wave

    1. Hehe–surprise! I love the two meanings of wave and how they play into this. Fun!

  2. Laura, I love “criss-cross thoughts” and I love the second line- and all the rhyming. I love your poem!


    She pushes against, resists-

    but with open hands,

    not fists.

    1. Thanks, Cindyb. This one flowed out, and I was happy with it:>) Oh, this is nice. Social commentary, rhyme, emotion…in TEN words. Wow.

    2. Cindy, love the open hand instead of a fist. With resistance there might also be room for compromise.

  3. I love the rhyme and images in your poem today, Laura. One of my favorites of yours.
    Sometimes making the to-do list feels like fitting life into little boxes of time.

    To-dos must fit
    between tock and tick.
    There is no time
    for getting sick.

    1. Thank you, Lauren. Oh, lord, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, in exhaustion, “Keep going, Laura. No time for sick days as a freelance writer.” I love lists and goals and checking things off (was just reviewing my 2016 goals/dreams yesterday), but it also gets to be too much sometimes. Can you tell your poem resonated with me?

  4. Lovely poem Laura. The rhyming is perfect. One of your “thoughts” prompted my verse.

    A Hollywood Remake

    Ralphie’s mom
    feels holiday accoutrements a bore
    red fishnet stockings
    add pizazz to her décor.

    1. Oh, this gave me such a laugh. Now I can’t get the “fra-zhee-lay” lamp from Christmas Story out of my head, either. Go, Ralphie’s mom!

      1. OMGoodness. What are the chances of that happening? Should I buy a lottery ticket? Thanks for sharing.

  5. I loved your rhyming scheme and rhythm with this one.
    To me, this seemed a sad image at first. Maybe it was because I’d recently seen “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” and it reminded me of the barbed wire fence of the concentration camp. It also became the hand pressed against the window as a wife visits her husband in prison (more TV)…Then it reminded me of waving good-bye when grandchildren leave… Such a simple image but it has lots of “stuff” in it to me.


    There is nothing
    Between us
    My kiss
    On the breeze
    Is always there
    To catch

    Donna JT Smith

    1. And then there was my daughter’s wedding… I told her she HAD to wear stockings that day. So what did she pick? Red fishnet, of course. She respected my wishes… sort of.

      Stockings you say
      On MY special day?
      Bride’s pride -
      Red fishnet!

      1. I love both of your poems Donna. “My kiss on the breeze” and “Ole” speak volumes.

      2. Hahahaha–oh, how I love this. My daughter and your daughter are soul sisters, I think. Love that Ole at the end–perfecto!

    2. Wow–this is gorgeous, Donna. Like the photo, your poem calls to mind so many different relationships, and those first two lines…just killer. I have read several WWII novels lately, so the Holocaust and Russian genocides of Lithuanians and Latvians have been much on my mind. Especially with so many hate crimes lately. Thank you for this wisp of love and safety in your poem today.

  6. Laura, I love your apricot suns! And the way everyone is connecting the image to things like that crazy lamp and wedding stockings. My poem is a little dark, reflecting sad thoughts about Aleppo and recent hate crimes in our country.

    Bars of war,
    fragile skin—
    are we keeping you out?
    Are you letting us in?

    —Kate Coombs

    1. I love so much seeing everyone’s take. The best weeks are the ones where we have a really diverse group of offerings. This is lovely, Kate. The juxtaposition of bars vs skin and in vs out…heartbreaking in its simplicity.

  7. That disembodied hand is a little freaky! Love your dreamcatcher this morning.

    Skyscraper View

    as we

    1. I agree–it IS a little ominous. Love this take on the way skyscrapers sway (which is what I find a little freaky, too).

  8. Holladay Magic

    Green and red
    ribbons of sugary
    candies decorating
    ginger bread villages

    1. Oh, I love ribbon candy. Not to eat, but it’s so beautiful. Lovely little scene…

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,516 other subscribers

Are You Looking For?

Poetry Friday posts

Classroom Connections posts

All my poetryactions

Go to my Poetry page for:

  • National Poetry Month projects through the years
  • Small Reads Roundups (poems grouped by topic)
  • Introductions to several favorite poetry forms
#waterpoemproject15 Words or Less Poems20for2030 Painless Classroom Poems50 State Poemsacrosticsactivity pagesactivity sheetALAA Leaf Can Be...Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterA Need to FeedanthologiesanthologyA Rock Can projectsaudiopoemsawardsbad newsBarbara Juster EsbensenBilly Collinsbiopoemsblog tourbookalikesbook festivalsBookSpeak!book spine poemsbook trailersbop poembyr a thoddaidcafepresscalendar poemsCamp Read-a-LotCan Be... bookscan be... poemsCapstoneCarol Varsalonacascade poemsCatherine FlynnccbcCCRA.W.3CCRA.W.4CCRA.W.5centoschapter bookschoral compositionschristina rossetticinquainsCLAclassified ad poemsclassroom connectionclassroom connectionsClover Kittyconferences and conventionscrown sonnetscybilsdansaDare to DreamDavid Elliottdeeper wisdom poemdefinitosdiamantesdiversitydizaindodoitsuDot DayDouglas Floriandownloadablesdrum corpse.e. cummingsekphrastic poemsepistolary poemsequation poemsessentialethereeseventsexquisite corpseFairy Tale Garage Salefamilyfibonaccifiction picture booksfinding familyfirefightersforeign editionsfound poemsfree author zoomsfree versefrom studentsgeesegeorgia heardghazalGift Taggiveawaygolden shovelgoldilocksgratitudehaikuheart of aheart of a teacherHeidi MordhorstHelen FrostHighlightshow-to poemshow to make a rainbowI Am FromI Am poemsidiomsif you want to knit some mittensIf You Were the MoonILAimagepoemsinterviewin the middle of the nightIRAIrelandIrene LathamJ. Patrick LewisJanet WongJoyce SidmanKendraKerlanKidlit Comboslailaura's board booksLaura's booksLaura's poemsLaura's readingsLaura ShovanLee Bennett HopkinsLilian MoorelimericksLinda Booth SweeneyLine Leads the WayLion of the Skylist poemslittle free librarylive writingLullaby and Kisses Sweetlyricsmadness poetrymargaret simonMarilyn Singermary lee hahnmask poemsMeet My FamilyMelissa StewartMentors for Rentmentor textsmetaphorMichelle Myers LacknerMillbrookMinnesota Book Awardsmoneymoonmy reading lifemy writing processN+7naaninarrative poemsNational Poetry Month 2012 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2014 (riddle-ku)National Poetry Month 2015National Poetry Month 2016National Poetry Month 2017 (#wonderbreak)national poetry month 2018 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2020National Poetry Month 2021 (#EquationPoem)national poetry month 2022 (sticky-note poems)National Poetry Month 2023 (Digging for Poems)National Poetry Month 2024 (magnipoems)ncteNerdy Book Clubnifty newsnifty stuffNikki Grimesnonfictionnonfiction booksNonfiction Writers Dig Deepnovelsnovels in verseodesOne Minute Till BedtimeoppositifyOskar's VoyagepadletpantoumsparodiesPatreonpeacepersonalpet poemsphotopoetryphrase acrosticspicture booksplagiarismpoempicspoemspoems for two voicespoemsketchpoetic pursuitsPoetry 7poetryactionspoetry activitiesPoetry Blastpoetry booksPoetry FridayPoetry Friday AnthologiesPoetry Princessespoetry promptspoetry sistersPoetry Tips for Teachersprogressive poempublishing processpuddle songPutridquotationsraccontinosRandy Salasread-aloudreadaloudreading poetry in the classroomRebecca Kai Dotlichrecipe poemsrefugeesresearchreview copiesreviewsrevisionrhyming booksrhyming nonfictionrhyming picture booksRhyming Picture Books the Write Wayrhyming poemsRiddle-kuriddle poemsRock Can Be...Rock the Blogrondeau redoublesRudyard Kiplingsalas snippetsSCBWIschool visitsScotlandseasonssecrets of the loonSELsestinasshrinking daysskinnyskypeslice of lifesmall readssnack snooze skedaddlesnowman-coldsonnetsStampede!storm poemstorytimestorywalkstudent poemsstudent workSylvia VardellTanita Davistankatautogramteachableteacher resourcesteen/adult poemsterza rimasthankfulthank yous and referencesthe business sidethings to do iftracy nelson maurertrioletstunie munson-bensonvideosVikram MadanvillanellevillanellesWater Can Be...wealthy elementaryWe BelongWhat's InsideWhy-kuwinterwonderwonderbreakword of the yearwordplaywordsmithswork for hirewritingwriting bookswriting processwriting promptswriting the life poeticyoung authors conferencesYouTubeZapZap Clap Boomzenozentangle
Show More Show Less

Discover more from Laura Purdie Salas

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Join Laura's monthly newsletter for eductators

Get three of Laura's favorite poetry activities when you subscribe to "Small Reads."