Hydrangeas (I think) [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. 

I usually filter my photos because I like the way that makes them a little surreal and more open to interpretation. But this coloring was so startling, I’m just keeping it as is!

Photo: Laura P. Salas

I thought these were all hydrangeas, but maybe not. I took this pic while walking Jack, so I couldn’t stop to examine it. Maybe that white flower is just a different kind of plant entirely. Anyway, this image makes me think of several things:

  1. when someone wears a lot of makeup, and her face is a totally different shade than her body
  2. a flower ghost
  3.  the kid who’s always hanging out at his best friend’s house

And here’s my first draft.  I’m not quite sure why, but I felt a little hostile toward that pristine white flower!


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









47 Responses

  1. I enjoyed your rhymes, Laura, and fresh-bleached smile. Sometimes those teeth are too white. I decided to feel sorry for the misfit flower.

    end of summer
    everyone else
    has a tan

    1. I love your empathetic take, Lauren. I hear the voice of a 12 year old girl bemoaning the start of the school year here.

  2. Oh, my mom and her silk flowers.…..so many memories! Great rhyme in your poem with style pile smile.

    Late to the Party

    Flora never did
    bloom on time.

    She’s late for
    her own funeral

    1. Linda, this is brilliant. The wry, slightly sniping voice is so distinctive. Clever play on words, too!

    1. This is lovely, Amelia. I adore the word choices in the first two phones and the alliteration in the last two!

  3. Laura, loved your “perfectly petaled pile”!


    Been there,
    done that.
    Nothing new,
    old hat.

    Whoa! What’s this?

    Fresh idea!


    1. I like your hopeful approach. When my loved ones trudge through their days, I try to imagine ways to perk them up. Today I will bake cookies. That should help.

  4. I have a bed of hydrangea. They are blue, lavender, and pink. I’ve never seen this odd reddish color, but I do know that the minerals in the soil determine the color.

    Inspired by Laura’s quick rhyme, I gave it a shot (in the dark).

    Sprinkled with baby powder,
    her braid speaks louder
    Momma couldn’t be prouder.

    1. I’ve only ever seen a blue pink and white hydrangeas. And now I’m trying to remember if these ones used to be pink before autumn set in. And maybe they’re just not even hydrangeas! I love the detail of Mama putting baby powder into her daughter’s braids. I wore two braids from probably kindergarten through third-grade, every single day. I lived in them. So this brought back fond memories! Even though I never had baby powder in mine:)

  5. Thought of another scenario- one that actually happened to me! 🙂


    Oh my,
    No way!
    I thought we wore
    white today!

  6. I love these. Such different takes and all such fun. Here’s mine, quite short:

    Woodland Hatrack

    A fairy mantle perches
    Stalked elvin caps.

  7. My thought first was of those bleached white teeth, too! Love it!
    Then it looked like a snowball had struck the flowers or maybe someone was eating a big snowcone in the bunch.
    Decided to go with the snowball…

    Hi, Drangea!

    What’s this?
    So cold!
    I want to know
    Who threw
    that giant ball
    of snow?

    by Donna JT Smith

    1. Love that! The snowball. Wouldn’t it be perfect if the picture were actually of a Snowdrop flower?

    2. Such a variety of views on this image; provocative choice Laura, and stands on its own, thanks.

      Nature accepts
      even in a sea of sameness-
      Mirror your mind’s choices
      with nature.

        1. Oops, and your poem is actually in a comment on someone else’s poem, so not sure how many people will see it this week, Michelle. Some mornings, that’s how my tech goes:>/

      1. So true. This makes me think of the beginning of A Wrinkle in Time and how Calvin describes himself, or I guess Charles Murray describes him, as a sport, a naturally occurring oddball, basically. I especially like sea of sameness because it really put that picture in my head of the sea spreading out and how you can’t distinguish one drop from another. Lovely.

  8. Laura what a picture! Loved your poem. That is some floral style indeed.

    Shadowy, cool winds blow,
    beauty molts.
    Who says you can’t wear white after labor day?

  9. I love reading all these poems…so inspiring!!
    Here’s my attempt:

    Cooler air creeps
    as summer retreats
    One last peep
    Before winter’s sleep.

    I just love fall!
    Thanks for the exercise, my brain needed to wake up this morning.

    1. I love all the eep sounds here, Michaela. And the idea of just one last peek, like summer is Colombo!

  10. your pic has me thinking I have to go out and tack some pic
    I love everyone poems today
    poem BY Jessica Bighi

    A Gift

    Millions of
    Petals turned
    Into wings
    Making wishes
    They flew
    Into the sky

    1. What a gorgeous image, Jessica. Flower petals turning into wings and spreading wishes. Love!

  11. I so love the images, and the difference of images, that all these offer. Such a great prompt and responses.

  12. I was just writing a description of the seashore for another project, so maybe that’s why some sea creatures slipped into my poem.

    Coral has crept
    into my garden.
    White sea snail
    crawls over its
    bumpy blooms.

    —Kate Coombs

    1. Oh, I LOVE how you’ve melded the two worlds of sea and garden together. Surreal and beautiful!

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