Horse [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. 

Anderson Center horse 15wol
Photo: Laura P. Salas

There’s a cool metal horse sculpture at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN, where I was at the Minnesota Children’s Book Festival recently. The light was harsh, though, in this only angle I could get of it. The “So You Want to Be an Author” tent and other tents, were practically on the horse’s tail :>) This image makes me think of several things:

  1. Star Wars — not sure why
  2. Alexander the Great–did he have Bucephus? I remember reading a story about the great stallion in a Reader’s Digest book as a kid. Oops, I see it’s Bucephalus. I was close!
  3. The Terminator movie

Here’s my first draft. I was picturing a half machine, half flesh warrior horse!

steel horse 15wol


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












23 Responses

  1. What a captivating sculpture! I love your poem with all those active verbs contrasting with the rigidity of that steel pose. Here’s my effort:

    An agony of rust
    for this metal horse
    no dust to dust
    Blessing or curse?

    I couldn’t come up with a title–though I toyed with Captured and Eternal. I’m out of time, so I’m leaving it untitled and am open to suggestions! Thanks for another great prompt, Laura!

    1. An agony of rust — wow, what a gorgeous opening line! I think I would vote for a title that feels a bit more negative…something that captures the pain of your first line.

    2. I thought of rust too — what else could a metal horse do? Your poem is beautiful with that fantastic opener and poignant third line.


    Astride the horse
    and he reared high!
    I got my wish,
    I touched the sky.

    1. Love your rhyme. I think being on a rearing horse would be terrifying. You make it seem extraordinary.

  3. Loved your poem, Laura — especially “steel haunches quiver”. Here’s what I kept coming up with, though I’m a horse person and thought surely I’d get more horse reference in there somewhere.

    Diamond in the Rough

    Take off the fluff
    You’re left with the stuff
    That makes you tough
    As nails.

    1. Thanks, Donna–afterward, I wished I had writted “steel withers quiver.” Oh, well! I like this ode to determination and grit, even if it’s not super horsey:>)

  4. Your first drafts are always crafted to appear ready for publishing. A fabulous sculpture. I went with a “less is more” concept for fear of tarnishing its beauty. That’s clear as mud, right?

    He Is

    Steed of steel
    poet’s delight
    searching for words
    to bring him to life.

    1. Oh, this is lovely, Martha. So sleek, like an arrow slicing through the air. Thanks for the kind words, too:>)

  5. I love the steampunk feel of your’s, Laura, and went with it for mine. Please pardon the hyphens.

    A robo-warrior
    on a robo-horse
    in a sudden rain -
    rusted immobile
    when the enemy

    1. This puts me in mind of those pics of the abandoned carnival or something near Chernobyl, Buffy. So lonely.

  6. I love this pic and everyone’s poems

    poem By Jessica Bigi

    Iron Hours

    iron hooves
    clicking clacking
    straitening tracks
    roaring muffler abbes
    dyno exoskeleton
    hoers power
    engines rowing

  7. I love this pic and everyone’s poems

    poem By Jessica Bigi

    Iron Hors

    iron hooves
    clicking clacking
    straitening tracks
    roaring muffler abbes
    dyno exoskeleton
    hors powered
    engines rowing

  8. I love this pic and everyone’s poems

    poem By Jessica Bigi

    Iron Hors

    Iron hooves
    Clicking clacking
    Straitening tracks
    Rusty muffler abbes
    Dyno exoskeleton
    Hors powered
    Engines glopping

  9. So You Want to be a Writer?

    First lie?
    I rode
    horses in

    Scolded then
    Praised now:
    “You can write!”

    -Pamela Ross

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