Jeweled Fish [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.  Happy first week of school for all your northern teachers!

Jeweled Fish
Photo: Laura P. Salas

While visiting my older daughter in La Crosse, WI, over the summer, I loved looking at the various heron statues in all different themes. If I remember correctly, this is a close-up of one tiny part of one statue.

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. the gaudy jewelry my mom loved to wear
  2. when they serve an entire fish on a plate at a restaurant–makes me squeamish
  3. The Rainbow Fish

Having gone kayaking and canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding several times this summer with a parks program, I’m gonna run with rainbow fish.

kayaking over a rainbow


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







43 Responses

  1. ohhhhhh, I wish for a kyak day! I miss summer so much already.

    September days
    fish jump and flip
    nipping buttons of color
    from skies
    bluer than blue

    1. Love- buttons of color. Never thought of insects in that light! (Although- maybe they were eating dragonflies.)

  2. Loved your poem, Laura, a lovely image.


    Shimmery, sparkling,
    just like in the book,
    except that this fish
    hung on a hook.

    1. And THAT is why I have never liked fishing! Great juxtaposition of fantasy and reality:>)

  3. Loved your take on rainbows and treasure! I’ve never kayaked but have canoed. It’s such a peaceful way to be out on the water. Last time I was in a canoe was when I taught on LaCrosse!

    A heron knows
    Watch, jab, close,
    So yummy!
    Glows of fin
    And scales within
    Its tummy!

    1. That’s too funny, Donna. Both the poem and the coincidence! I love those glows of fin, and also the opening line. I think Joyce Sidman did a poem challenge at Today’s Little Ditty that revolved around the secret knowledge things have, and this put me in mind of that.

  4. Laura, your verse is as beautiful as the “model” for the picture. I immediately thought of my grandmother who loved to fish. She made sure that each of her ten grandchildren made a trip with her to the river with her to catch our first fish, for food only she would say. The mention of your mother’s jewelry prompted my poem. I can envision Grandma wearing a jeweled fish.

    A Tribute to Grandma

    Her passion
    we were always told
    a river bank
    with worm and pole.


    1. Hooray, you were able to comment this week! This is lovely–I really like how my photo and brainstorming reminded you of a real-life person when put together. I love how you save the surprise for the ending. Not that grandmas don’t fish, but the language of the title and first three lines makes me expect something pastoral, and then that plain-spoken final line gives me a chuckle. Lovely memory!

      1. Thank you Laura. I, too, was happy to be able to comment this week. Still had to wait for moderation. One of these days … ! (Sorry for the redundant “with her.”) Grandma was born in 1892 and lived to be 104. Not a day passes without a memory, in some small way, of her.

    2. Martha this is a great tribute to your Grandmother. I love the idea that she took each of you to the river to learn how to fish. Such great memories to have!

      1. Thank you Jean. So many memories of her. She would love to be able to participate in 15 WOL.

  5. Laura that jeweled fish is absolutely lovely, as is your poem today! My son and his Great Uncle just went deep sea fishing in the Long Island Sound, and caught 28 Blue fish! I was up to my elbows filleting fish. That is the inspiration for my poem today.


    Out on sea
    it was you
    I won.

    1. Just realized a typo. This is what happens when your rushing on the first day back to school lol. My poem should read

      Out at sea
      it was you
      I won.

  6. Thank you for your very kind words at YDP on Sept 1, Laura. That was a fun one. Today’s fish on a plate made me cringe.

    Not my wish-
    a whole fish.
    Disturbing dinner dish!

  7. I love the glimmer and shimmer, Laura! I thought of kayaking, too:

    Tumbling Pebbles

    Pebbles, smooth and sun dappled,

    tumble beneath the rippling water

    and cartwheel down the river.

    1. Cartwheel down the river is pure joy, Tara! I also love the place and bl sounds throughout.

  8. Love the focus on each part: scales, fins, and tails forming a treasure. This reminded me of my brief venture into glass fusing:

    Mosaic Morning

    Shards of glass
    cut, broken
    discarded scraps

    painstakingly arranged
    color by color
    growing new dreams

    1. Thanks, Buffy. Oh I love the feeling of inspiration and healing in this. I mean, I get that it’s about making art, but that’s healing too, right?

  9. Good morning! That fish is the sort of beautiful thing I end up buying and trying to find a place for in my house. How big is it?


    Stone by stone,
    wish by wish,
    blue by blue,
    bones of fish.

    —Kate Coombs

    1. This does sound exactly like a spell or an enchantment, Kate! Beautiful! it was part of a larger statue but I just assumed in for a close-up of this. I can’t actually remember how big it was. I think it was probably less than a foot long…

  10. I like the lively rhythm in your poem Laura, and so succinct!

    Though I wrote this early this morning the day slipped away from me …


    Fish pebbles left behind
    once shimmered
    and shined.

    Reminiscent rainbow fins
    sailing through
    ocean’s winds.

    Michelle Kogan

    1. Thanks! Ooh, this second stanza is one of the best things you’ve shared here, Michelle. So fresh and musical!

  11. poem by
    Jessica Bigi

    A Lesson In Art

    bullions of years
    I’ve Swam
    in blueish shad
    on walls
    of imagination

    1. Jessica, I’m thinking that shad was meant to be shade, but because a Shad is a kind of fish, isn’t it? So if it is a typo, it’s still kind of works out perfectly. I love serendipity!

      1. the pic mad me think of anchant cave drawings I hadent know that was also a name of a fish

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