Lobster [15 words or less]

Photo: Laura Salas

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

15WOLs

This was part of some wall art at The Smack Shack in Minneapolis, made, according to the server, by making molds of real lobsters. Ick.?Here are?3 things this photo makes me think of:

1)’dentures
2)?the plaster handprints kids make for their parents/grandparents
3) a lobster missing its red coat

And here’s my first draft.

My Red Suit Is at the Cleaners

I’m a shock of white,
I’m much too bright…
Better hide inside
my crevice tonight

–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:>)?

230 Responses

  1. That’s a real creepy picture, Laura, although you made it fun with your rhymes.

    winter sun
    fading lobster pots
    at the tourist trap

    Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

    1. Since I’ve never lived close to the ocean, when I visited I have always been fascinated with those old ‘sea’ things. Your poem brought back that memory, Diane. “Tourist trap” is exactly it!

    2. Diane, touristy lobster fests and pots combine for a not-so-happy sea creature. You are right on.

  2. That’s a real creepy picture, Laura, although you made it fun with your rhymes.

    winter sun
    fading lobster pots
    at the tourist trap

    Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

    1. Since I’ve never lived close to the ocean, when I visited I have always been fascinated with those old ‘sea’ things. Your poem brought back that memory, Diane. “Tourist trap” is exactly it!

    2. Diane, touristy lobster fests and pots combine for a not-so-happy sea creature. You are right on.

  3. NOT A HAPPY ENDING

    Pinchers blocked.
    Freedom docked.
    White as a sheet.
    Admits defeat.
    Future foiled.
    Will be boiled.

    1. Awwwww. This is so sad. I like your word choices, because docked brings water to mind, and foiled makes me think of aluminum foil and, therefore, food. Maybe I just have food on the brain. Anyway, it all works very well together!

  4. NOT A HAPPY ENDING

    Pinchers blocked.
    Freedom docked.
    White as a sheet.
    Admits defeat.
    Future foiled.
    Will be boiled.

    1. Awwwww. This is so sad. I like your word choices, because docked brings water to mind, and foiled makes me think of aluminum foil and, therefore, food. Maybe I just have food on the brain. Anyway, it all works very well together!

  5. Not Me

    “Select your own lobster”
    chef says to you.
    If I appear sickly,
    no way, whew!

    Laura, one has to hope that the red coat will appear, and soon. Yet, its current state is life-saving! ;-))

    1. Martha–I’m with you! That idea of picking out the animal you’re going to eat is almost enough to turn me vegetarian. And I am glad I don’t eat seafood. Ick.

  6. Not Me

    “Select your own lobster”
    chef says to you.
    If I appear sickly,
    no way, whew!

    Laura, one has to hope that the red coat will appear, and soon. Yet, its current state is life-saving! ;-))

    1. Martha–I’m with you! That idea of picking out the animal you’re going to eat is almost enough to turn me vegetarian. And I am glad I don’t eat seafood. Ick.

  7. Cute idea, Laura, about a “red coat.”

    Fisherman’s Surprise

    Unusual creation
    albino crustacean
    not orange or brown
    nor dark-green
    strangest lobster
    ever seen.

    1. Thanks, Pat. Not happy with mine, but there ya go. You packed a lot into your short word count, and I like the title. Who could read the title and not want to know what the surprise was?

  8. Cute idea, Laura, about a “red coat.”

    Fisherman’s Surprise

    Unusual creation
    albino crustacean
    not orange or brown
    nor dark-green
    strangest lobster
    ever seen.

    1. Thanks, Pat. Not happy with mine, but there ya go. You packed a lot into your short word count, and I like the title. Who could read the title and not want to know what the surprise was?

    1. Great take–love the idea of a little news article, and of comparing this to Venus. Delectable is the perfect word choice–sets the tone for the whole poem.

    1. Great take–love the idea of a little news article, and of comparing this to Venus. Delectable is the perfect word choice–sets the tone for the whole poem.

  9. Fun prompt today, Laura!

    A HAUNTING AT RED LOBSTER

    Cold as a corpse,
    pale as a cast;
    Beware! I’m the ghost
    of dinner’s past!

    ? 2014, Matt Forrest Esenwine

    1. Oops! Don’t know how that apostrophe in ‘dinners’ got there…

      A HAUNTING AT RED LOBSTER

      Cold as a corpse,
      pale as a cast;
      Beware! I’m the ghost
      of dinners past!

      ? 2014, Matt Forrest Esenwine

      1. Hehehe. This is fabulous. Kids would love it! Corpse, cast, ghost–love all these sounds and spooky words.

    2. Matt, I would rather have Red Lobster’s cheese biscuit than the lobster. It is safe with me.

  10. Fun prompt today, Laura!

    A HAUNTING AT RED LOBSTER

    Cold as a corpse,
    pale as a cast;
    Beware! I’m the ghost
    of dinner’s past!

    ? 2014, Matt Forrest Esenwine

    1. Oops! Don’t know how that apostrophe in ‘dinners’ got there…

      A HAUNTING AT RED LOBSTER

      Cold as a corpse,
      pale as a cast;
      Beware! I’m the ghost
      of dinners past!

      ? 2014, Matt Forrest Esenwine

      1. Hehehe. This is fabulous. Kids would love it! Corpse, cast, ghost–love all these sounds and spooky words.

    2. Matt, I would rather have Red Lobster’s cheese biscuit than the lobster. It is safe with me.

  11. Amazing what is displayed in a restaurant-not very appetizing. I thought it was some kind of lab. Love your POV‑I took that approach too-thinking of the poor lobster.

    Their eyes on me,
    palest comparison
    of “used to be,”
    no understanding
    of reality.
    Linda Baie ?All Rights Reserved

    1. Who knows, maybe it is humiliation for the lobster that is not selected. Also, I apologize to all for my “two” replies to some. I kept getting a “this page cannot be displayed” and when I tried again both were posted. “Sigh-berspace at work.”

    2. Nicely done, Linda! Lines 2 and 3 really got me. Oh, did I mention there was a whole wall covered with these? Can’t remember if I said that in my post!

  12. Amazing what is displayed in a restaurant-not very appetizing. I thought it was some kind of lab. Love your POV‑I took that approach too-thinking of the poor lobster.

    Their eyes on me,
    palest comparison
    of “used to be,”
    no understanding
    of reality.
    Linda Baie ?All Rights Reserved

    1. Who knows, maybe it is humiliation for the lobster that is not selected. Also, I apologize to all for my “two” replies to some. I kept getting a “this page cannot be displayed” and when I tried again both were posted. “Sigh-berspace at work.”

    2. Nicely done, Linda! Lines 2 and 3 really got me. Oh, did I mention there was a whole wall covered with these? Can’t remember if I said that in my post!

  13. Ick

    Pale feelers
    Creeping through
    The wall of plaster
    Tickling you

    My first thought when I saw this… ick!!!!

    1. I agree, Amelia–and it was made (according to the waitress) by forming a mold around real lobsters. There was a whole wall of them–I just did one small close-up. Ick. Ick. Ick.

      And your poem–triple ick! It made me shudder. Great to get a visceral reaction like that:>)

  14. Ick

    Pale feelers
    Creeping through
    The wall of plaster
    Tickling you

    My first thought when I saw this… ick!!!!

    1. I agree, Amelia–and it was made (according to the waitress) by forming a mold around real lobsters. There was a whole wall of them–I just did one small close-up. Ick. Ick. Ick.

      And your poem–triple ick! It made me shudder. Great to get a visceral reaction like that:>)

    1. You’ve reminded me of those plastic animals we used to make & then paint‑a little craft. Except you’ve also added a little creepiness with the word ‘prisoner’.

    1. You’ve reminded me of those plastic animals we used to make & then paint‑a little craft. Except you’ve also added a little creepiness with the word ‘prisoner’.

  15. In L.A. writing on cell phone. NOT hungry for lobster!

    Lobster

    The idea of lobster…
    God hesitated.
    Blue? Purple? Green?
    Anything but red.

    –Kate Coombs

      1. Thanks, Jessica! I looked this up and found out that lobsters are brown to olive-green in the wild, with just a faint tinge of red. They turn red when cooked, but it’s a little like leaves, where the green goes away in fall, allowing the colors underneath to show. Apparently the red pigment in lobsters is called astaxanthin and is stable in heat, whereas the other colors break down when heated. So you end up with just the red!

        Interesting thought, Martha. And thanks, Laura. (Back home this afternoon.) I was thinking of that original color? and that maybe God doesn’t like red because it would mean somebody cooked his nice green lobster!

    1. Thanks for participating long distance, Kate! Ha! I love this. Poor God–sometimes the good colors are all used up. (I am NEVER hungry for lobster, as I don’t like seafood.)

  16. In L.A. writing on cell phone. NOT hungry for lobster!

    Lobster

    The idea of lobster…
    God hesitated.
    Blue? Purple? Green?
    Anything but red.

    –Kate Coombs

      1. Thanks, Jessica! I looked this up and found out that lobsters are brown to olive-green in the wild, with just a faint tinge of red. They turn red when cooked, but it’s a little like leaves, where the green goes away in fall, allowing the colors underneath to show. Apparently the red pigment in lobsters is called astaxanthin and is stable in heat, whereas the other colors break down when heated. So you end up with just the red!

        Interesting thought, Martha. And thanks, Laura. (Back home this afternoon.) I was thinking of that original color? and that maybe God doesn’t like red because it would mean somebody cooked his nice green lobster!

    1. Thanks for participating long distance, Kate! Ha! I love this. Poor God–sometimes the good colors are all used up. (I am NEVER hungry for lobster, as I don’t like seafood.)

  17. Awesome prompt and poem, Laura!

    spying on a budget sucks he said
    as his prey left the room.

  18. Awesome prompt and poem, Laura!

    spying on a budget sucks he said
    as his prey left the room.

  19. Really like your concept, Laura, and also “a shock of white.” I was a bit shocked with what I came up with today, but here it is:

    PAPA’S LOVE

    Each stony
    hug, a crushing
    blow, to me
    with far less armor.

    © 2014 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.

    1. Thanks, Michelle–this is one of those days when I’m liking EVERYONE’s poems better than mine. But that’s the way it goes:>)

      Ooooooh. Wow–what an image. So blocky and strong. The poems that shock us are usually the best ones–they have that magic to them.

  20. Really like your concept, Laura, and also “a shock of white.” I was a bit shocked with what I came up with today, but here it is:

    PAPA’S LOVE

    Each stony
    hug, a crushing
    blow, to me
    with far less armor.

    © 2014 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.

    1. Thanks, Michelle–this is one of those days when I’m liking EVERYONE’s poems better than mine. But that’s the way it goes:>)

      Ooooooh. Wow–what an image. So blocky and strong. The poems that shock us are usually the best ones–they have that magic to them.

    1. Exactly-have found plenty of white crab claws on the beach. I assume that lobsters are somewhere, & the read definitely on our backs. Fun juxtaposition, Buffy.

    1. Exactly-have found plenty of white crab claws on the beach. I assume that lobsters are somewhere, & the read definitely on our backs. Fun juxtaposition, Buffy.

  21. two word that this reminds me of are
    volcanic ash and Albino

    frozen sea
    whit salt
    white clay
    white calk
    on a slate of black write
    lobster
    red seal fades
    into fiscals of white

    1. I love the textures and vivid images here–the ice, the salt, the clay, the chalk. Nice! (Keep in mind that your poem needs to be 15 words or fewer, though:>)

  22. two word that this reminds me of are
    volcanic ash and Albino

    frozen sea
    whit salt
    white clay
    white calk
    on a slate of black write
    lobster
    red seal fades
    into fiscals of white

    1. I love the textures and vivid images here–the ice, the salt, the clay, the chalk. Nice! (Keep in mind that your poem needs to be 15 words or fewer, though:>)

  23. marshmallows lobster
    you have taken over our city
    be war of our mug of hot chocolate
    they will save the day

  24. marshmallows lobster
    you have taken over our city
    be war of our mug of hot chocolate
    they will save the day

  25. I am plastered up
    I cannot move
    Do I have anything
    Else to prove ?

    -Anne McKenna

    1. I love those first two lines, Anne, esp the first. Something about being plastered up–that line gives me the creeps. Love it!

  26. I am plastered up
    I cannot move
    Do I have anything
    Else to prove ?

    -Anne McKenna

    1. I love those first two lines, Anne, esp the first. Something about being plastered up–that line gives me the creeps. Love it!

  27. I usually do this early in the morning with a fresh mind and no other poems to compare to, but today, well… You guys are so great and have so many different takes on this white lobster.

    White out

    I took out color
    washed clear, pure
    my white-out couldn’t
    take out
    the bite.

    –Margaret Simon

      1. I will make paper chains
        of white lobsters
        snip them into snowflakes -
        red hearts

        1. Oh. My. What a striking image! Kind of violent and lovely and mysterious all at the same time!

          1. sory it wasn’t meant to be violent was only using the image of making paper snow flacks I hope that was okay

          2. sorry it wasn’t meant to be violent I was only
            using the image of making paper snow flacks

          3. Hey, I always say the reader makes 50% of the meaning of any poem, so that’s just the way it struck me. Someone else would probably read it differently. But I loved it! I wouldn’t want graphically violent poems here because teachers use this feature, but yours was ABSOLUTELY fine. I thought it was gorgeous. The snipping and red hearts gave it a *feeling* of violence to me, of impact. But it’s not literally violent or anything. No worries, Jessica. It’s beautiful!

    1. I like the idea of white out colored words
      leaving the white of paper as the lobster

        1. reminds me moor I look at the pic of something made from Chines paper folding

          Constellation

          Anent tribes
          From distant lands
          Followed you
          Origami of stars
          Folded in the sky

          1. I thought I’d mascon this book cinch I talked about paper folding
            I thought I had it but cant fined it

            Fold Me a Poem
            By Kristine O’Connell George

          2. cinch I talked about this thought I’d mascon* this book

            Fold Me a Poem

            By Kristine O’Connell George

  28. I usually do this early in the morning with a fresh mind and no other poems to compare to, but today, well… You guys are so great and have so many different takes on this white lobster.

    White out

    I took out color
    washed clear, pure
    my white-out couldn’t
    take out
    the bite.

    –Margaret Simon

      1. I will make paper chains
        of white lobsters
        snip them into snowflakes -
        red hearts

        1. Oh. My. What a striking image! Kind of violent and lovely and mysterious all at the same time!

          1. sory it wasn’t meant to be violent was only using the image of making paper snow flacks I hope that was okay

          2. sorry it wasn’t meant to be violent I was only
            using the image of making paper snow flacks

          3. Hey, I always say the reader makes 50% of the meaning of any poem, so that’s just the way it struck me. Someone else would probably read it differently. But I loved it! I wouldn’t want graphically violent poems here because teachers use this feature, but yours was ABSOLUTELY fine. I thought it was gorgeous. The snipping and red hearts gave it a *feeling* of violence to me, of impact. But it’s not literally violent or anything. No worries, Jessica. It’s beautiful!

    1. I like the idea of white out colored words
      leaving the white of paper as the lobster

        1. reminds me moor I look at the pic of something made from Chines paper folding

          Constellation

          Anent tribes
          From distant lands
          Followed you
          Origami of stars
          Folded in the sky

          1. I thought I’d mascon this book cinch I talked about paper folding
            I thought I had it but cant fined it

            Fold Me a Poem
            By Kristine O’Connell George

          2. cinch I talked about this thought I’d mascon* this book

            Fold Me a Poem

            By Kristine O’Connell George

  29. SEAFOOD SUPPER
    Splayed, picked apart, chewed,
    Digested. How would you feel
    If we switched places?

    © Charles Waters 2014 all rights reserved.

  30. SEAFOOD SUPPER
    Splayed, picked apart, chewed,
    Digested. How would you feel
    If we switched places?

    © Charles Waters 2014 all rights reserved.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,516 other subscribers

Are You Looking For?

Poetry Friday posts

Classroom Connections posts

All my poetryactions

Go to my Poetry page for:

  • National Poetry Month projects through the years
  • Small Reads Roundups (poems grouped by topic)
  • Introductions to several favorite poetry forms
Tags
#waterpoemproject15 Words or Less Poems20for2030 Painless Classroom Poems50 State Poemsacrosticsactivity pagesactivity sheetALAA Leaf Can Be...Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterA Need to FeedanthologiesanthologyA Rock Can Be...art projectsaudiopoemsawardsbad newsBarbara Juster EsbensenBilly Collinsbiopoemsblog tourbookalikesbook festivalsBookSpeak!book spine poemsbook trailersbop poembyr a thoddaidcafepresscalendar poemsCamp Read-a-LotCan Be... bookscan be... poemsCapstoneCarol Varsalonacascade poemsCatherine FlynnccbcCCRA.W.3CCRA.W.4CCRA.W.5centoschapter bookschoral compositionschristina rossetticinquainsCLAclassified ad poemsclassroom connectionclassroom connectionsClover Kittyconferences and conventionscrown sonnetscybilsdansaDare to DreamDavid Elliottdeeper wisdom poemdefinitosdiamantesdiversitydizaindodoitsuDot DayDouglas Floriandownloadablesdrum corpse.e. cummingsekphrastic poemsepistolary poemsequation poemsessentialethereeseventsexquisite corpseFairy Tale Garage Salefamilyfibonaccifiction picture booksfinding familyfirefightersforeign editionsfound poemsfree author zoomsfree versefrom studentsgeesegeorgia heardghazalGift Taggiveawaygolden shovelgoldilocksgratitudehaikuheart of aheart of a teacherHeidi MordhorstHelen FrostHighlightshow-to poemshow to make a rainbowI Am FromI Am poemsidiomsif you want to knit some mittensIf You Were the MoonILAimagepoemsinterviewin the middle of the nightIRAIrelandIrene LathamJ. Patrick LewisJanet WongJoyce SidmanKendraKerlanKidlit Comboslailaura's board booksLaura's booksLaura's poemsLaura's readingsLaura ShovanLee Bennett HopkinsLilian MoorelimericksLinda Booth SweeneyLine Leads the WayLion of the Skylist poemslittle free librarylive writingLullaby and Kisses Sweetlyricsmadness poetrymargaret simonMarilyn Singermary lee hahnmask poemsMeet My FamilyMelissa StewartMentors for Rentmentor textsmetaphorMichelle Myers LacknerMillbrookMinnesota Book Awardsmoneymoonmy reading lifemy writing processN+7naaninarrative poemsNational Poetry Month 2012 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2014 (riddle-ku)National Poetry Month 2015National Poetry Month 2016National Poetry Month 2017 (#wonderbreak)national poetry month 2018 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2020National Poetry Month 2021 (#EquationPoem)national poetry month 2022 (sticky-note poems)National Poetry Month 2023 (Digging for Poems)National Poetry Month 2024 (magnipoems)ncteNerdy Book Clubnifty newsnifty stuffNikki Grimesnonfictionnonfiction booksNonfiction Writers Dig Deepnovelsnovels in verseodesOne Minute Till BedtimeoppositifyOskar's VoyagepadletpantoumsparodiesPatreonpeacepersonalpet poemsphotopoetryphrase acrosticspicture booksplagiarismpoempicspoemspoems for two voicespoemsketchpoetic pursuitsPoetry 7poetryactionspoetry activitiesPoetry Blastpoetry booksPoetry FridayPoetry Friday AnthologiesPoetry Princessespoetry promptspoetry sistersPoetry Tips for Teachersprogressive poempublishing processpuddle songPutridquotationsraccontinosRandy Salasread-aloudreadaloudreading poetry in the classroomRebecca Kai Dotlichrecipe poemsrefugeesresearchreview copiesreviewsrevisionrhyming booksrhyming nonfictionrhyming picture booksRhyming Picture Books the Write Wayrhyming poemsRiddle-kuriddle poemsRock Can Be...Rock the Blogrondeau redoublesRudyard Kiplingsalas snippetsSCBWIschool visitsScotlandseasonssecrets of the loonSELsestinasshrinking daysskinnyskypeslice of lifesmall readssnack snooze skedaddlesnowman-coldsonnetsStampede!storm poemstorytimestorywalkstudent poemsstudent workSylvia VardellTanita Davistankatautogramteachableteacher resourcesteen/adult poemsterza rimasthankfulthank yous and referencesthe business sidethings to do iftracy nelson maurertrioletstunie munson-bensonvideosVikram MadanvillanellevillanellesWater Can Be...wealthy elementaryWe BelongWhat's InsideWhy-kuwinterwonderwonderbreakword of the yearwordplaywordsmithswork for hirewritingwriting bookswriting processwriting promptswriting the life poeticyoung authors conferencesYouTubeZapZap Clap Boomzenozentangle
Show More Show Less

Discover more from Laura Purdie Salas

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Join Laura's monthly newsletter for eductators

Get three of Laura's favorite poetry activities when you subscribe to "Small Reads."