Ribs [15 words or less]

?leaf

Photo: Laura Salas

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

15WOLs

I’ve been taking pictures lately for my National Poetry Month Riddle-ku feature, and here’s one of my rejects!?Here are?3 things this photo makes me think of:

1) a tree in winter
2) an x‑ray of?my ribs
3) the batik clothes my sister Patty used to make when I was a kid

And here’s my?first draft.

February?Tree
Undressed by winter
Exposed
Alone

Stretch
Reach
Claw at the sky
Scratch its?laughing face

–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

Now it’s your turn! Have fun and stick to 15 WORDS OR LESS!??(Title doesn’t count toward word count:>)??

78 Responses

  1. Shadow

    Half of me
    Consumed by darkness
    Barely clinging
    But the rest
    Still reaches
    for light

    I really liked how half of this (leaf?) had a shadow on it! I LOVE your “scratch at its laughing face” line, Ms. Salas! Nice to know there is some green somewhere 🙂

    1. I love the dichotomy in your poem, Amelia. Shadow vs. light–pretty much the essence of story! It WAS a shock to be surrounded by so much green on my trip to Fla. Even though I lived there 20+ years!

  2. Shadow

    Half of me
    Consumed by darkness
    Barely clinging
    But the rest
    Still reaches
    for light

    I really liked how half of this (leaf?) had a shadow on it! I LOVE your “scratch at its laughing face” line, Ms. Salas! Nice to know there is some green somewhere 🙂

    1. I love the dichotomy in your poem, Amelia. Shadow vs. light–pretty much the essence of story! It WAS a shock to be surrounded by so much green on my trip to Fla. Even though I lived there 20+ years!

  3. INSECTVILLE

    Traveling on vacation-
    traffic jam ahead!
    This town is quite peculiar.
    All vehicles are red!

    Laura, loved your take on February. I think March trees this year have the same attitude!

    1. Aren’t those red dots interesting? I could see a ladybug traffic jam as I read this! Thanks–yeah, ours do, too.

  4. INSECTVILLE

    Traveling on vacation-
    traffic jam ahead!
    This town is quite peculiar.
    All vehicles are red!

    Laura, loved your take on February. I think March trees this year have the same attitude!

    1. Aren’t those red dots interesting? I could see a ladybug traffic jam as I read this! Thanks–yeah, ours do, too.

  5. I am participating in the Slice of Life March Challenge at Two Writing Teachers. I needed an idea for a quick slice today and this was my answer. This is a first attempt for me, but it was fun. Thanks for the idea.

    The highway of life
    many paths
    reaching out
    to new adventures
    anchored from home

    1. Welcome, Leigh Anne! We are all about first attempts here. Some work beautifully, some not so much. But we always celebrate the process and the sharing! In your poem, I really love the contrast between the paths reaching out and the word “anchored” in the last line. That’s lovely!

  6. I am participating in the Slice of Life March Challenge at Two Writing Teachers. I needed an idea for a quick slice today and this was my answer. This is a first attempt for me, but it was fun. Thanks for the idea.

    The highway of life
    many paths
    reaching out
    to new adventures
    anchored from home

    1. Welcome, Leigh Anne! We are all about first attempts here. Some work beautifully, some not so much. But we always celebrate the process and the sharing! In your poem, I really love the contrast between the paths reaching out and the word “anchored” in the last line. That’s lovely!

  7. drops of Mother Nature’s
    blood
    stain new roads and land
    waiting
    for even more houses

    (Yeah, I’ve lived in the DC area wa-a-ay too long. 🙂 One more week, and we’re outta here…)

    1. Wow, that is a terrific dramatic opening, Cynthia–I especially love “stain.”

  8. drops of Mother Nature’s
    blood
    stain new roads and land
    waiting
    for even more houses

    (Yeah, I’ve lived in the DC area wa-a-ay too long. 🙂 One more week, and we’re outta here…)

    1. Wow, that is a terrific dramatic opening, Cynthia–I especially love “stain.”

  9. Hunger Pain

    I ate and ate
    left bones on my plate.
    Horrors! My fate
    decided by contaminate?

    Laura, loved “undressed by winter” and “scratch its laughing face.” This picture could be the beginnings of “A Leaf Can Be Too.”

    1. Oooh, I’m worried about whatever the narrator of this poem ate! And thanks, Martha!

      1. I immediately saw the bones of a fish resting on a green plate, the flesh having been consumed by yours truly. Then I thought of radioactive waste in our waters. Maybe I was just in a funk of some kind. Lots of fun — one never knows what might transpire with 15 WOL addicts.

  10. Hunger Pain

    I ate and ate
    left bones on my plate.
    Horrors! My fate
    decided by contaminate?

    Laura, loved “undressed by winter” and “scratch its laughing face.” This picture could be the beginnings of “A Leaf Can Be Too.”

    1. Oooh, I’m worried about whatever the narrator of this poem ate! And thanks, Martha!

      1. I immediately saw the bones of a fish resting on a green plate, the flesh having been consumed by yours truly. Then I thought of radioactive waste in our waters. Maybe I was just in a funk of some kind. Lots of fun — one never knows what might transpire with 15 WOL addicts.

  11. October Surprise

    At the edge
    of the pines
    a solitary maple
    bursts into song.

    Diane Mayr

    1. The fact that it’s at the edge totally gives this tree a wonderful outsider personality!

  12. October Surprise

    At the edge
    of the pines
    a solitary maple
    bursts into song.

    Diane Mayr

    1. The fact that it’s at the edge totally gives this tree a wonderful outsider personality!

  13. TREE MAP

    The line of my spine
    leads up
    like a ladder,
    a straight street
    to starlight.

    Andria W. Rosenbaum/all rights reserved

  14. TREE MAP

    The line of my spine
    leads up
    like a ladder,
    a straight street
    to starlight.

    Andria W. Rosenbaum/all rights reserved

  15. Laura, I had to write this, because it was begging to be written!

    Ribs or river,
    a winter tree…
    so many things
    a leaf can be!

    😉

  16. Laura, I had to write this, because it was begging to be written!

    Ribs or river,
    a winter tree…
    so many things
    a leaf can be!

    😉

  17. A Leaf Can Be Dangerous? Laura, meant to tell you how much I like your gold poem at Miss Rumphius!

    Leaf

    Tree blood?
    flood
    of chlorophyll
    till I am filled
    with green
    green spring,
    with sunlight.

    ?Kate Coombs

    1. Thanks, Kate! Must go back and read the others. Oh, this is lovely. The fact that filled with green is both literal and figurative is wonderful!

  18. A Leaf Can Be Dangerous? Laura, meant to tell you how much I like your gold poem at Miss Rumphius!

    Leaf

    Tree blood?
    flood
    of chlorophyll
    till I am filled
    with green
    green spring,
    with sunlight.

    ?Kate Coombs

    1. Thanks, Kate! Must go back and read the others. Oh, this is lovely. The fact that filled with green is both literal and figurative is wonderful!

  19. Love your idea of a tree clawing at the sky.
    I keep looking at one little spot over on the right, which reminds me of a ladybug.

    Gardener’s Friend

    This leaf looks sickly.
    It needs help quickly.
    Send more ladybugs.
    One is not enough!

    1. Thanks Pat, a reminder that the lady bugs will arrive soon. They are our mascot in this part of the woods.

  20. Love your idea of a tree clawing at the sky.
    I keep looking at one little spot over on the right, which reminds me of a ladybug.

    Gardener’s Friend

    This leaf looks sickly.
    It needs help quickly.
    Send more ladybugs.
    One is not enough!

    1. Thanks Pat, a reminder that the lady bugs will arrive soon. They are our mascot in this part of the woods.

  21. Here’s my entry to Write Your Own Leaf Poem Day (aka hyphenated-word cheat day)

    A leaf is a
    road map
    with canals of sap
    branching and joining,
    spider-webs forming.

    1. road map — love that metaphor! And canals of sap–that’s just wonderful, Buffy. Here’s to a good hyphenated cheat:>)

  22. Here’s my entry to Write Your Own Leaf Poem Day (aka hyphenated-word cheat day)

    A leaf is a
    road map
    with canals of sap
    branching and joining,
    spider-webs forming.

    1. road map — love that metaphor! And canals of sap–that’s just wonderful, Buffy. Here’s to a good hyphenated cheat:>)

  23. And the Rib …

    It became woman
    balancing man
    yin to his yang
    a beautiful symmetry
    a sacred geometry.

    ~~Barbara J. Turner

    1. Well. This is stunning. The words you’ve chosen make this feel much longer and weightier than you’d think 15 words could be! Those last two lines are just…perfect.

  24. And the Rib …

    It became woman
    balancing man
    yin to his yang
    a beautiful symmetry
    a sacred geometry.

    ~~Barbara J. Turner

    1. Well. This is stunning. The words you’ve chosen make this feel much longer and weightier than you’d think 15 words could be! Those last two lines are just…perfect.

  25. Terrified!

    I squeeze flat
    White knuckles grip horns
    Focus on the dinosaur’s back
    We fly

    1. Love that final line–such a contrast. And its brevity really emphasizes that! Thanks for playing, Lisa!

  26. Terrified!

    I squeeze flat
    White knuckles grip horns
    Focus on the dinosaur’s back
    We fly

    1. Love that final line–such a contrast. And its brevity really emphasizes that! Thanks for playing, Lisa!

  27. By this time of year, the trees do just look undressed, waiting for spring clothes that come so slowly. They certainly are lonely! Here’s what I saw!

    Dreamy World
    In my green sky world
    polka dot trees glow -
    the only sunshine we know
    Linda Baie ? All Rights Reserved

    1. Oh, this makes me picture the real trees with the winter light kind of glowing through those barren branches. Not as pretty as your green sky world, but I do like it anyway:>)

  28. By this time of year, the trees do just look undressed, waiting for spring clothes that come so slowly. They certainly are lonely! Here’s what I saw!

    Dreamy World
    In my green sky world
    polka dot trees glow -
    the only sunshine we know
    Linda Baie ? All Rights Reserved

    1. Oh, this makes me picture the real trees with the winter light kind of glowing through those barren branches. Not as pretty as your green sky world, but I do like it anyway:>)

  29. To see your true self
    Look inside
    Right down to
    Your very soul

    Indelible memories

    - Anne McKenna

    1. The combo of your poem and the pic made me think of literally looking beneath skin, beneath bones/ribs, and finding the soul there…

  30. To see your true self
    Look inside
    Right down to
    Your very soul

    Indelible memories

    - Anne McKenna

    1. The combo of your poem and the pic made me think of literally looking beneath skin, beneath bones/ribs, and finding the soul there…

  31. It,s moor than 15 words but thought I would share it

    Human I ask
    Could you say a hundred
    and tree and still be standing
    Like me deep in the red would forest
    My green leaf tears
    Breath new life
    Into donning skies

  32. It,s moor than 15 words but thought I would share it

    Human I ask
    Could you say a hundred
    and tree and still be standing
    Like me deep in the red would forest
    My green leaf tears
    Breath new life
    Into donning skies

  33. It,s moor than 15 words but thought I would share it

    Human I ask
    Could you say a hundred
    and tree and still be standing
    Like me deep in the red wood forest
    My green leaf tears
    Breath new life
    Into the dawning sky

  34. It,s moor than 15 words but thought I would share it

    Human I ask
    Could you say a hundred
    and tree and still be standing
    Like me deep in the red wood forest
    My green leaf tears
    Breath new life
    Into the dawning sky

  35. AFTER MEAL
    Gnawed off bones are scattered on plates ?
    Remnants of a piggy massacre
    For human consumption.

    © Charles Waters 2014 all rights reserved.

    1. Eeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuw. Nothing like a gross poem to make me wish I was a vegetarian! Ha!

  36. AFTER MEAL
    Gnawed off bones are scattered on plates ?
    Remnants of a piggy massacre
    For human consumption.

    © Charles Waters 2014 all rights reserved.

    1. Eeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuw. Nothing like a gross poem to make me wish I was a vegetarian! Ha!

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