Locks [15 Words or Less Poems]

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. 

Duluth locks 15wol
Photo: Laura P. Salas

While Randy and I were in Duluth for my birthday, we noticed this set of posts on the lakewalk that are suddenly covered with a bunch of locks. Prank? Art installation? A new tradition of some kind? I have absolutely no idea! It just caught my eye. This image makes me think of several things:

  1. Stalkers
  2. Modern version of carving your initials in a tree
  3. Trying to lock up anything seems to lead to it disappearing

And here’s my first draft.  I am somewhat amused that “lock” sounds like “loch,” which is the Scottish work for “lake.” And I always love the basalt (lava that’s hardened into stone) flows along the North Shore. I sometimes would love to lock up the beauty of Lake Superior and bring it home with me somehow, but all I can really do is fill my heart with it while I’m there:>)

locks 15wol


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






















23 Responses

  1. Thought I could see a face on one pole and envisioned this conversation.


    Mama says, “It’s okay.”
    Papa firmly says no way.
    Baby doesn’t have a say.

    1. such a interesting take was trying to fined the face you saw I love your poem

    2. Ha! Love the title. The poem could mean so many things, but the title makes it just crystal clear–and funny!

  2. Laura I love your first and last lines
    Poem By Jessica Bigi

    Art Locks



    1. Love that last line. Gives your poem action with the secretive artist hard at work.

  3. What a pretty site for the locked posts. I feel as you do in such a place, Laura, wanting to breathe it in and keep it. My poem went in a different direction.

    The locked tree,
    a mystery -
    chained to the ground
    like it’d move around.

    1. love the first two line and the idea that a tree might move to different places

    2. This poem starts a story going in my mind, Lauren, of a cursed tree and the forces keeping held stationary…

  4. Good morning Laura and all. Maybe your normal posting for 15-WOL is behind one of those locks!!! 😉 I like the image you took from your second thought. Your thought on “loch” also struck a chord and I immediately went to “locks of love.” But, silly me — and by the way, if anyone out there is missing a key to a lock I have a plastic container full of miscellaneous keys that may just work for you.


    Annually I say,
    “Begin new diary today.”
    Resolve flees,
    I’m drowning in locks and keys.

    1. There’s a box of mystery keys at my house also.
      I enjoyed your rhyme. Good luck with that diary — maybe next year.

    2. Glad I’m not the only one–both on starting diaries that never get really used and on having tons of mystery keys (though we tossed most of ours before we moved)!

  5. Stop

    Belocked posts, like a sentry with
    Three fingers raised,
    Say stay away.

    1. Love how the sounds of that last line make you say it slowly and kind of ominously, Marian.

  6. I just realized that it was Thursday—I get notifications for your other posts, Laura, but 15 wol has dropped off the radar. Weird.…

    Knocking on Snail’s Door

    Where is the key
    that unlocks your shell?
    Open your door,
    slide for a spell!

    1. Whaaat? So, Buffy, did it notify you of the Poetry Friday post that went live tonight? I figured all notifications had stopped…Love your take off on “sit for a spell!”

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