Iron Man [15 words or less poems]

Wake up your poetry brains with 15 Words or Less (guidelines here)!

Photo: Laura Purdie Salas

 

15WOLs

When I was up in the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota in late April, doing a two-week poetry tour, I visited this 36-foot statue of an iron miner in Chisholm a couple of times. It looked so exposed and lonely in the snow.

This image makes me think of:

1) what do we “mine” from the air around us?
2) I’m so glad I don’t do physical labor for a career
3) the Ironman movies ( of course)

And here’s my?first draft.

Miner

 

Now it’s your turn! Have fun and stick to 15 WORDS OR LESS!??(Title doesn’t count toward word count:>) If you leave a poem in the comments, and if it’s 15 words or less, I’ll try to respond!

 

96 Responses

  1. Laura I love this pic makes me think of a snow globe

    this is a bit longer then 15 words but it is the ending lines of my poem The Heart and Soul Of America’s Fellow man the poem was in my newspaper I wrought it after some miners had died

    Our loved ones
    with sooty faces,
    picks chipping,
    shovels scraping
    heaving ‚hauling
    buckets of coal
    are heart and
    soul of America’s
    fellowman

    poem By Jessica Bigi

    1. Oh, this is lovely, Jessica. I will let you off the 15 Words hook this ONE time:>) The rhythm sounds like the steady strike of picks on stone, and I especially love “heaving, hauling.”

  2. Laura I love this pic makes me think of a snow globe

    this is a bit longer then 15 words but it is the ending lines of my poem The Heart and Soul Of America’s Fellow man the poem was in my newspaper I wrought it after some miners had died

    Our loved ones
    with sooty faces,
    picks chipping,
    shovels scraping
    heaving ‚hauling
    buckets of coal
    are heart and
    soul of America’s
    fellowman

    poem By Jessica Bigi

    1. Oh, this is lovely, Jessica. I will let you off the 15 Words hook this ONE time:>) The rhythm sounds like the steady strike of picks on stone, and I especially love “heaving, hauling.”

  3. Laura: Your poem is just perfect. A story in 15 words. I was going to try to write one now but you took the best words and put them in the right order. {{{}}

    -Pamela, clapping

    1. Pamela, you smooth talker, you. Don’t think I don’t recognize this as a cop-out. I will expect your 15WOL poem by noon! (And, thank you:>)

  4. Laura: Your poem is just perfect. A story in 15 words. I was going to try to write one now but you took the best words and put them in the right order. {{{}}

    -Pamela, clapping

    1. Pamela, you smooth talker, you. Don’t think I don’t recognize this as a cop-out. I will expect your 15WOL poem by noon! (And, thank you:>)

  5. Laura, a striking image (pun intended) of conditions in our world today, but it speaks brilliantly to the necessity of each individual doing their best.

    One Can Make a Difference

    One lone soul
    on earth’s globe
    inside the universe
    ready to strike
    anything that threatens.

    1. I love line 3–something about that “we’re all in this together” feel that it totally captures!

  6. Laura, a striking image (pun intended) of conditions in our world today, but it speaks brilliantly to the necessity of each individual doing their best.

    One Can Make a Difference

    One lone soul
    on earth’s globe
    inside the universe
    ready to strike
    anything that threatens.

    1. I love line 3–something about that “we’re all in this together” feel that it totally captures!

  7. Song in the Key of A Miner

    They roll me
    down the rails
    and rivers.
    Striking, splitting
    the
    earth,
    rock by rock

    -Pamela Ross, clocking in at 8:10 am, long before noon; I always aim to please The Boss xoxo

    1. Pamela, you met the challenge and exceed it with the action words.

    2. A+ for you, and The Boss, the one who you really love, says he’s on fire with how much he loves this;>) And I love it, too. Love the alliteration, the strong verbs, the image of splitting the earth. Sigh…

      1. You trying to make me weepy?
        Congratulations, Ms. Salas.
        I wonder if Bruce knows he is my muse.
        Do you have one? {}

        1. I do not have a muse. Now I feel left out. Just read Marilyn’s Monster, and I was thinking how much like Beekle it is. And now I’m thinking, “Hmmm, does everyone have a muse but me?”

          1. I don’t think you need a muse.

            Some of us look to fairy godmothers
            to wave a wand
            and turn star stuff into words.

            You sit in your own little corner,
            sweeping soot and dust
            into
            life,
            magic into manuscript,
            dreams into books.

          2. Oh, I am printing that out–now–to put in my writing space. This should be on a card for writers or any artsy people, Pamela. It’s been a rough week, writing-wise, with some unexpected bad news. This heals me. Thank you.

  8. Song in the Key of A Miner

    They roll me
    down the rails
    and rivers.
    Striking, splitting
    the
    earth,
    rock by rock

    -Pamela Ross, clocking in at 8:10 am, long before noon; I always aim to please The Boss xoxo

    1. Pamela, you met the challenge and exceed it with the action words.

    2. A+ for you, and The Boss, the one who you really love, says he’s on fire with how much he loves this;>) And I love it, too. Love the alliteration, the strong verbs, the image of splitting the earth. Sigh…

      1. You trying to make me weepy?
        Congratulations, Ms. Salas.
        I wonder if Bruce knows he is my muse.
        Do you have one? {}

        1. I do not have a muse. Now I feel left out. Just read Marilyn’s Monster, and I was thinking how much like Beekle it is. And now I’m thinking, “Hmmm, does everyone have a muse but me?”

          1. I don’t think you need a muse.

            Some of us look to fairy godmothers
            to wave a wand
            and turn star stuff into words.

            You sit in your own little corner,
            sweeping soot and dust
            into
            life,
            magic into manuscript,
            dreams into books.

          2. Oh, I am printing that out–now–to put in my writing space. This should be on a card for writers or any artsy people, Pamela. It’s been a rough week, writing-wise, with some unexpected bad news. This heals me. Thank you.

  9. True story.

    Granny Livingston

    Great-great-grandmother
    lost her 10-year-old boy
    in a coal mine.
    Her elderly face
    still shows it.

    ?Kate Coombs

    1. How awful. I wrote a passage about young coal miners and child labor laws, and the stories were terrible. I love the plain-spoken tone here, the bare grief.

      1. Thanks, Martha–and Laura. Like my mom says, we don’t even realize how lucky we are to live now (especially as women in the U.S.) and in such prosperity.

    2. Dear Kate:
      So real, such sorrow in so few words.
      Your poem reminded me of a song one of my favorite Americana artists, Slaid Cleaves, sings. The song is called LYDIA. It was written by Karen Poston.
      If you get a moment, listen. Your Granny Livingston is in there.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTx7rGFC2Y0

      1. Wow! Thank you, Pamela. I will just add that Granny L’s older son and his wife later died of illness. Granny sent her teenage grandsons to America to earn some money, then gathered up the remaining grandchildren and took them to the U.S.They crossed the plains as Mormon pioneers and lived in Utah. One afternoon her son-in-law found a little group of settlers that had all been killed by Indians except a one-year-old boy who was just holding onto his mother’s body. He brought him home to Granny and she raised him, too. Amazing life.

  10. True story.

    Granny Livingston

    Great-great-grandmother
    lost her 10-year-old boy
    in a coal mine.
    Her elderly face
    still shows it.

    ?Kate Coombs

    1. How awful. I wrote a passage about young coal miners and child labor laws, and the stories were terrible. I love the plain-spoken tone here, the bare grief.

      1. Thanks, Martha–and Laura. Like my mom says, we don’t even realize how lucky we are to live now (especially as women in the U.S.) and in such prosperity.

    2. Dear Kate:
      So real, such sorrow in so few words.
      Your poem reminded me of a song one of my favorite Americana artists, Slaid Cleaves, sings. The song is called LYDIA. It was written by Karen Poston.
      If you get a moment, listen. Your Granny Livingston is in there.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTx7rGFC2Y0

      1. Wow! Thank you, Pamela. I will just add that Granny L’s older son and his wife later died of illness. Granny sent her teenage grandsons to America to earn some money, then gathered up the remaining grandchildren and took them to the U.S.They crossed the plains as Mormon pioneers and lived in Utah. One afternoon her son-in-law found a little group of settlers that had all been killed by Indians except a one-year-old boy who was just holding onto his mother’s body. He brought him home to Granny and she raised him, too. Amazing life.

  11. You’d best pick up
    your toys today
    Or I will bundle
    and ship them away!

  12. You’d best pick up
    your toys today
    Or I will bundle
    and ship them away!

  13. I had to look up Minnesota’s history of iron ore mining, because my mind was totally blank with this picture. But there is an interesting history there. So here’s my effort.

    Minnesota Gold Rush

    Panning for gold,
    little was found,
    but something better
    down in the ground.
    Iron ore.

    1. Ah, yes, Pat! I knew nothing about iron ore before we moved here. We love to go to Duluth and watch the ships enter and leave harbor. Many of them are transporting iron ore. We have been down in two old mines–very cool. I like your surprising last line!

  14. I had to look up Minnesota’s history of iron ore mining, because my mind was totally blank with this picture. But there is an interesting history there. So here’s my effort.

    Minnesota Gold Rush

    Panning for gold,
    little was found,
    but something better
    down in the ground.
    Iron ore.

    1. Ah, yes, Pat! I knew nothing about iron ore before we moved here. We love to go to Duluth and watch the ships enter and leave harbor. Many of them are transporting iron ore. We have been down in two old mines–very cool. I like your surprising last line!

  15. Cold numbs iron toes
    Freezing words on lips of giants
    Who stand in winter’s hush

  16. Cold numbs iron toes
    Freezing words on lips of giants
    Who stand in winter’s hush

  17. Some of these poems tug at the heart. All are wonderful. Here’s mine:

    Facing Different Dangers

    Someday
    some will
    trade hats
    for space helmets,
    picks
    for laser drills,
    and mine
    asteroids.

    1. Intriguing poem! When we leave our comfort zone, whether for money or out of necessity, we always face the unexpected. Love the idea of trading picks for laser drills!

  18. Some of these poems tug at the heart. All are wonderful. Here’s mine:

    Facing Different Dangers

    Someday
    some will
    trade hats
    for space helmets,
    picks
    for laser drills,
    and mine
    asteroids.

    1. Intriguing poem! When we leave our comfort zone, whether for money or out of necessity, we always face the unexpected. Love the idea of trading picks for laser drills!

  19. Beginnings

    Belching blast furnaces
    Feeding factories
    Start with one
    Lump of coal.

    1. This is great. I love the energy, alliteration and vastness of those first two lines and how they quiet down to one small lump.

  20. Beginnings

    Belching blast furnaces
    Feeding factories
    Start with one
    Lump of coal.

    1. This is great. I love the energy, alliteration and vastness of those first two lines and how they quiet down to one small lump.

  21. Many intriguing poems here, Laura! It’s interesting how something can set off a flow of words and even the one writing them isn’t sure where they came from or what they mean…

    Song of the Miners

    We don?t mind mines,
    we miners three;
    we mine the mines
    that set us free.

    ? ? 2015, Matt Forrest Esenwine

    1. I can hear the miners singing/chanting this as they work. A modern Whistle While You Work :>) And I agree–so many times I want to ask, Oh, what does this line mean or that one. But I usually don’t, because it’s often such a mystery to the poet, too, especially in such a fast exercise!

  22. Many intriguing poems here, Laura! It’s interesting how something can set off a flow of words and even the one writing them isn’t sure where they came from or what they mean…

    Song of the Miners

    We don?t mind mines,
    we miners three;
    we mine the mines
    that set us free.

    ? ? 2015, Matt Forrest Esenwine

    1. I can hear the miners singing/chanting this as they work. A modern Whistle While You Work :>) And I agree–so many times I want to ask, Oh, what does this line mean or that one. But I usually don’t, because it’s often such a mystery to the poet, too, especially in such a fast exercise!

  23. Love the image of a miner picking through news to find hope. This one was inspired by watching iron ore tumble down chutes to a waiting ship at the ore dock near Marquette MI.

    At the Ore Dock

    Rumbling trains
    stuffed with ore
    devoured from the earth
    spill their guts
    into insatiable ships

    1. Ooh, that final line. Wonderful! We’ve toured the Irvin in Duluth, and you get to walk down through the cargo hold area. Amazing. And that’s not even a thousand-footer!

  24. Love the image of a miner picking through news to find hope. This one was inspired by watching iron ore tumble down chutes to a waiting ship at the ore dock near Marquette MI.

    At the Ore Dock

    Rumbling trains
    stuffed with ore
    devoured from the earth
    spill their guts
    into insatiable ships

    1. Ooh, that final line. Wonderful! We’ve toured the Irvin in Duluth, and you get to walk down through the cargo hold area. Amazing. And that’s not even a thousand-footer!

  25. A MINER DETAIL

    rail and rock
    split hope
    man and metal
    girder possibility

    Ellen Vojnovic

    1. I love the alliteration and especially the “girder possibilities”.

  26. A MINER DETAIL

    rail and rock
    split hope
    man and metal
    girder possibility

    Ellen Vojnovic

    1. I love the alliteration and especially the “girder possibilities”.

  27. Subdermal Trauma

    Features chiseled
    In sweat and rust
    Gouged, picked, pockmarked
    These two
    In layers of death.

    1. Heavy metal! Love the idea of “features chiseled in sweat and rust.”

    2. Harsh and lovely, Karen. I esp like line 3–and the ending, which makes me ruminate on who the two are…

        1. Well, duh! It’s so obvious once you say that. I was reading it a different way, about the statue itself, exposed to the elements. Thanks for answering:>)

  28. Subdermal Trauma

    Features chiseled
    In sweat and rust
    Gouged, picked, pockmarked
    These two
    In layers of death.

    1. Heavy metal! Love the idea of “features chiseled in sweat and rust.”

    2. Harsh and lovely, Karen. I esp like line 3–and the ending, which makes me ruminate on who the two are…

        1. Well, duh! It’s so obvious once you say that. I was reading it a different way, about the statue itself, exposed to the elements. Thanks for answering:>)

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