Lichen [15 words or less]

Photo: Laura Salas

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

15WOLs

I had such a great time at the Bemidji Library Book Festival! I led a two-hour nature-poetry writing workshop and did a storytime presentation. At the nature-poetry session, we took yarn circles and spread them around outside and carefully observed what was inside the circle. Then we wrote a Things to Do If You Are a… poem based on something in the circle. Here’s some lichen inside my yarn circle. This lichen makes me think of:

1)?twirling ball gowns
2)’stars in a barky sky
3) a skin disease

And here’s my?first draft:

Things to Do If You Are Lichen

Wear mustard-colored ruffles
Hide summer in your shadows
Dream of being a bouquet

–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:>)?

72 Responses

      1. Ha! That’s what I used to tell my first graders when I asked them what color my hair was! They’d say white.…I’d counter with “blonde”! They were, of course, “correcter” than I.

    1. See, the colored lichen is covering up the gray… but not well…
      I feel like I have to explain this one — so maybe it isn’t a poem!

      1. I love the play on gray and roots. And lichen/likin’. This is hilarious!

      1. Ha! That’s what I used to tell my first graders when I asked them what color my hair was! They’d say white.…I’d counter with “blonde”! They were, of course, “correcter” than I.

    1. See, the colored lichen is covering up the gray… but not well…
      I feel like I have to explain this one — so maybe it isn’t a poem!

      1. I love the play on gray and roots. And lichen/likin’. This is hilarious!

  1. 3 things I thought of:

    a shepherd’s crook
    Queen Anne’s lace
    skin on an alligator or crocodile (I can actually see two beady eyes) 😉

    Lacey Surprise

    Meadows of white
    waiting to be picked
    stems slurping colored
    water, your choice.
    Achoo!

    Fact: Bridesmaids decked out in pastels — bouquets of QA’s Lace to match — bride’s allergies calls for a last-minute change of plans.

  2. 3 things I thought of:

    a shepherd’s crook
    Queen Anne’s lace
    skin on an alligator or crocodile (I can actually see two beady eyes) 😉

    Lacey Surprise

    Meadows of white
    waiting to be picked
    stems slurping colored
    water, your choice.
    Achoo!

    Fact: Bridesmaids decked out in pastels — bouquets of QA’s Lace to match — bride’s allergies calls for a last-minute change of plans.

  3. The Uninvited Guest

    He tip-toed down to dinner
    leaving a trail of
    golden footprints
    for us to follow.

    Andria W. Rosenbaum/ all right reserved

  4. The Uninvited Guest

    He tip-toed down to dinner
    leaving a trail of
    golden footprints
    for us to follow.

    Andria W. Rosenbaum/ all right reserved

  5. Laura I like your poem mine might be a word over hope that’s okay I rely like every ones poems 🙂

    Little Mouse

    Saffron buttons
    With a blue scarf
    Hop across
    golden stones
    A tree trunk home
    Tea at nine

    1. Oh, I LOVE the fairy tale feel of this. When I was little, I so wanted mice to wear scarves and hats and sip tea at the mini-furniture I made for them. This takes me back. Love “saffron.”

    2. I like your imagination — a little tree house home for a mouse. Nice.

  6. Laura I like your poem mine might be a word over hope that’s okay I rely like every ones poems 🙂

    Little Mouse

    Saffron buttons
    With a blue scarf
    Hop across
    golden stones
    A tree trunk home
    Tea at nine

    1. Oh, I LOVE the fairy tale feel of this. When I was little, I so wanted mice to wear scarves and hats and sip tea at the mini-furniture I made for them. This takes me back. Love “saffron.”

    2. I like your imagination — a little tree house home for a mouse. Nice.

  7. Mom Won’t Be So Calm

    Mustard

    d
    r
    i
    p
    p
    e
    d

    all down my shirt.
    Hot dog’s gone -
    what’s for
    dessert?

  8. Mom Won’t Be So Calm

    Mustard

    d
    r
    i
    p
    p
    e
    d

    all down my shirt.
    Hot dog’s gone -
    what’s for
    dessert?

  9. Grow, little lichen,
    grow your best.
    A hummingbird needs you
    for her nest.

    1. Aw, this is so cute and evil at the same time. So encouraging, but then I’m picturing that hummingbird clawing or beaking that lichen right off the bark. Take that, lichen! Mwah-ha-ha-ha!

  10. Grow, little lichen,
    grow your best.
    A hummingbird needs you
    for her nest.

    1. Aw, this is so cute and evil at the same time. So encouraging, but then I’m picturing that hummingbird clawing or beaking that lichen right off the bark. Take that, lichen! Mwah-ha-ha-ha!

  11. Well, I’m stuck again, thinking of only what I am literally seeing.
    So, I give up. I will pretend I’m writing non-fiction for little kids.

    Lichen grows most anywhere,
    but thrives the best
    in woodland air.

    (Hm-m‑m. I think there’s much more to say. I’ll keep thinking on it. )

    1. Not a thing wrong with literal, Pat! I love this–when I read it aloud, I picture a whole collection of little verses like this that together describe a whole ecosystem. And I’m picturing kids chanting them while they jump rope! What a fun way that would be to learn stuff:>)

      1. Thanks, Laura.
        That’s a neat idea. It would probably be pretty hard to write very many rhyming couplets about lichen, but a Forest — wide open possibilities.

  12. Well, I’m stuck again, thinking of only what I am literally seeing.
    So, I give up. I will pretend I’m writing non-fiction for little kids.

    Lichen grows most anywhere,
    but thrives the best
    in woodland air.

    (Hm-m‑m. I think there’s much more to say. I’ll keep thinking on it. )

    1. Not a thing wrong with literal, Pat! I love this–when I read it aloud, I picture a whole collection of little verses like this that together describe a whole ecosystem. And I’m picturing kids chanting them while they jump rope! What a fun way that would be to learn stuff:>)

      1. Thanks, Laura.
        That’s a neat idea. It would probably be pretty hard to write very many rhyming couplets about lichen, but a Forest — wide open possibilities.

  13. What a great photo. Lovely color and composition!

    After the Gold Rush

    Left behind–
    golden flecks
    of glittering dreams
    fragile specks
    of what
    might have been.

    ~~Barbara J. Turner

    1. Thanks, Barbara–wish I had the lichen in sharper focus. Oh well. What a beautiful, melancholy poem. I especially love lines 2–4. Powerful!

  14. What a great photo. Lovely color and composition!

    After the Gold Rush

    Left behind–
    golden flecks
    of glittering dreams
    fragile specks
    of what
    might have been.

    ~~Barbara J. Turner

    1. Thanks, Barbara–wish I had the lichen in sharper focus. Oh well. What a beautiful, melancholy poem. I especially love lines 2–4. Powerful!

  15. I love this prompt and the poems it inspired. I usually don’t pick a favorite, but Little Mouse is just adorable.
    I ignored the lichen and went with the rope hanging on the tree.

    Tree Jewelry

    Sturdy Branch wears a rope bracelet
    sporting a rubber-tire, child-laced
    charm on her arm.

    Penny Parker Klostermann 2014

  16. I love this prompt and the poems it inspired. I usually don’t pick a favorite, but Little Mouse is just adorable.
    I ignored the lichen and went with the rope hanging on the tree.

    Tree Jewelry

    Sturdy Branch wears a rope bracelet
    sporting a rubber-tire, child-laced
    charm on her arm.

    Penny Parker Klostermann 2014

  17. OMG! I was getting ready for bed when I remembered it was Thursday! I nearly missed 15 Words day! A little quick lichen research and this is the result. Have a great summer everyone!

    The O’Biont Twins

    These two
    brothers–
    Myc & Phyc
    entwined.
    Clearly their
    life-long
    relationship
    precludes
    separation.

    Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

    1. Whew–just in time! I love this twin story! You know, I love poetry for poetry’s sake, but I’m being increasingly struck by what a great, fun teaching tool it can be! Love entwined…

  18. OMG! I was getting ready for bed when I remembered it was Thursday! I nearly missed 15 Words day! A little quick lichen research and this is the result. Have a great summer everyone!

    The O’Biont Twins

    These two
    brothers–
    Myc & Phyc
    entwined.
    Clearly their
    life-long
    relationship
    precludes
    separation.

    Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

    1. Whew–just in time! I love this twin story! You know, I love poetry for poetry’s sake, but I’m being increasingly struck by what a great, fun teaching tool it can be! Love entwined…

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