Iron Maiden [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 lovely lady was along the Blackwater Basin near the flat we stayed in in Canary Wharf in London. I wish I could’ve gotten a better view, but isn’t she fierce? I love the a/c registers or whatever those are as her hair! This image makes me think of several things:

  1. hair products for robots
  2. a Mary Poppins robot
  3. laundry detergent for rusted clothes

And here’s my first draft. 

Hmmm…I suddenly cannot upload photos to my blog. Crumb. OK, here’s the poem draft, and I hope to get this figured out soon!

A 25th-Century Advertising Jingle



the brand

you trust—


Protects your hair

from rain

and rust!


–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved


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

P.S. I’m teaching all this week at a Young Authors Conference, so I probably won’t be able to comment on your poems. I should have time to at least read them, though. You’ll know I’ve read it if I “Like” it. I often read Comments on my phone through the WordPress app. It’s not easy to tell what I’ve replied to and what I haven’t, so please do not get your feelings hurt if I appear to skip over yours. It’s sort of random, but I try to get to all the Comments each week! Happy writing!







27 Responses

  1. She weaves herself
    Of iron and copper
    Titanium and steel
    And marches out
    Into battle

    1. “She weaves herself” gives me the image of a powerful woman.

  2. Exquisite image, Laura.
    Luv the silly rhyme.

    The young authors will soar with your ides.
    Hope to return with 15 Ws for the Iron Maiden.

  3. Add commercial writer to your list of talents! Cute ditty!


    The photographer’s late-
    so we wait.…

    What do you mean,
    I have to stay clean?

  4. Very cute! I love the statue, and your Mary Poppins reference made me think of something…although it took some tight editing to get it down to 15!


    Medicine, unorthodox.
    She sings all over town
    a spoonful of Pennzoil
    helps pistons go down.

    Matt F. Esenwine

    1. I can hear Mary Poppins singing her tune. Love “spoonful of Pennzoil.” So clever.

    2. This is wonderful. Love “pistons go down” the best. The whole thing has me humming.

    3. “Ju-u-u-st a spoonful of Pennzoil helps the pistons go down…the pistons go down, the pistons go down.…” Love it!
      I had Rustoleum in mine at first, but cut back too. 15 words changes things!

  5. What a beautiful sculpture Laura. She embodies the beauty, strength and determination of women everywhere.
    Enjoy your week with the young ones.


    All things beautiful

    1. The sculpture struck me the same way as you, so much strength in her pose. Your acrostic is awesome. Love your use of patina.

  6. Matt, your tight editing is perfect and the verse a perfect “Mary plug-in.”

  7. She looked like she should be in Narnia, or beside the Yellow Brick Road…


    Metallica awaited
    Tinman’s return.
    Would he remember to get
    his heart,
    more oil -

    by Donna JT Smith

  8. With ribbons of metal,
    nerves of steel, she
    rides the wind
    and glows.

    1. We had the same idea. “Nerves of steel” fits the image perfectly. I like your ribbons of metal and rides the wind.

  9. I love the pose of this picture and your Luster-Brite jingle, Laura. Here’s my poem. I was searching for another word when I stumbled across “bandeau.” Then I started laughing.

    Armed for action,
    I face my foe,
    with nerves of steel
    and iron bandeau.

  10. I wrote an acrostic this morning too (before I read Martha’s lovely patina. Funny, because acrostics are something I hardly ever think to write!)

    Fiery maiden,
    Ready for battle,
    Enduring warrior.

    1. Thanks Buffy. I enjoy acrostics very much but try not to overdo. And we both used completely different words. Such Thursday morning fun.

  11. Laura what a fantastic image this week. I have to say I saw a strong mother in this photo, made up of all the parts we’re supposed to know how to use.


    Dryer drum, her beating heart,
    Condenser coil burns.
    Oven grates protecting parts,
    Transformer mom returns.

  12. Catchy jingle and empowering image Laura!
    I saw Scarlet O’Hara and her love Tara, from “Gone with the Wind” looking at it.

    Tara turns furry
    to action
    fighting for our environment!

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