Making Art [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. 

Art from Anderson Center

While I was at the Anderson Center at Tower View for the Minnesota Children’s Book Festival a couple weeks ago, I found myself gazing at this unusual sculpture/assemblage. (This is just a close-up of a tiny bit of it, and I wish I’d written down the artist’s name.) I am not knowledgeable about art, nor in any way talented at visual art (see my #poemsketch project), but I’ve been having fun playing with art lately, which is entirely new for me.

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. a horrible new hunting weapon
  2. voodoo
  3. the strangest hair salon ever

And here’s my first draft. 

making art


I love that this forum is one in which we can all try and share art. It doesn’t have to be good or unusual or rhyming or serious or…anything. It just has to be. That’s the first step for the artist in all of us, right?

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











51 Responses

  1. The position of the scissors in this extremely odd image inspired my poem: one open, one closed, like they were in motion.

    lined up
    like birds
    on a wire,
    the sentient scissors
    jostle for space

    1. Lauren, I like the “feel” of your poem. My thoughts are running rampant with today’s post. When I read birds on a wire, Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds” came into view.

    2. Yikes! Scissors coming to life is almost scarier than robots or something! Love sentient scissors…

  2. Aviary Assembly Line

    Stainless steel backbone
    Hinge opens wings
    A flurry of feathers
    and a new bird appears

    1. Amelia, stainless steel backbone and hinge are awesome words for an assembly line!

    2. And just like that–creation! Love the stainless steel and the hinge. Something about combining metal and nature in poems always appeals to me!

  3. Good morning! Great question, Can I try? Thank goodness for the question.….because this prompt is a tough‑y. I had to borrow a spell from Harry Potter to make this one work.

    Spell Against Pick Pockets

    Hawk feather
    and a scissor
    wire together
    gloomy weather
    Alarte Ascendare!
    protection from
    greedy fingers.

    1. I LOVE that you created a Harry Potter spell. I feel like we should have a week where we all make up a HP spell based on the image!

  4. Laura, I would dispute your “not talented at visual art” claim as I so enjoy your poem sketches! I really struggled with the 15 word limit today. I wanted to call this Barber’s Revenge, but needed the title to serve as my first line to keep within those limits. I, too, saw a strange “hair” salon. I’m pressed for time and not totally thrilled with the rhythm of this one yet, but loved the idea of a swaggering blue jay getting his comeuppance.

    Cocky bluejay needs a trim

    At the barber’s pushes in
    Swaggers, preens
    with raucous squawk
    departs abashed
    with spiky mohawk

    1. How fun. Love your swaggering, pushy bluejay, plus squawk/mohawk. Made me smile.

    2. Jays are so funny but so loveable. We had a neighbor who’s cat was so lazy he never attempted to harm a bird but a particular blue jay was so scared of him that every time he moved the jay would fly away squawking, then come right back. Love the Mohawk hair.

    3. Ha! Cocky, swaggers, preens, raucous–we get such a great image of his personality. Thanks, Molly, I enjoy my poemsketches, too, and I think they have value for me. But they are not skilled, by a long shot. Still, learning something new and being vulnerable about it and sharing it publicly is always a growth experience, right?

    1. Poor hawk. We have a 21 yr. old cocktail and could never bring ourselves to clip his wings. When we let him out of his cage he would fly all around the house and I could always get him back to his cage by shaking a box of Cheerios. He is too old for that now, yet still provides much joy.

    2. Aw. Whenever I see rescued raptors, as I have several times in the past month, I’m so glad someone is caring for them. But I also feel melancholy at the idea of a bird without the power of flight. This captures that perfectly.

  5. Good morning. I saw the face of a little girl to the left of the feather and immediately thought of the game “rock, scissors, paper” (not sure of the sequence). Thus my ditty!

    A New Game

    bark on tree,
    wanna come
    and play with me?


    1. For some reason, I started thinking jumprope chant as I read this. That plaintive ending…hope someone says yes!

  6. It was the hair salon that got me!

    My “feathered” cut
    Gives me a lift
    As I exit the salon
    and soar upwards

  7. A fascinating piece of artwork. It led me down two paths kind of so I kept writing.…

    Wash Day

    I strung my scissors
    out to dry
    To breeze’s song they
    clipped the sky

    Feather Flurry

    Feathers will fly
    If mom’s manic,
    Hens panic,
    Or scissors go awry
    In the sky.

    By Donna JT Smith

  8. Laura I enjoy your combination of art and poetry, and look forward to your #poemsketch. Your poem gives inspiration to the artist within, and your picture inspired a salon approach to my poem.

    My blades shine in anticipation.
    Cool steel on downy feather
    ready to coiffure.
    snip snip…

  9. This is a very unusual pic
    poem By Jessica Bigi

    His Eyes The Color
    Of The Moon

    He sits
    on the fence pole
    on Halloween night
    his scissor claws
    his scissor beak

  10. This is a very unusual pic
    poem By Jessica Bigi

    His Eyes The Color
    Of The Moon

    He sits
    on the fence pole
    on Halloween night
    his scissor claws
    his scissor beak

  11. Thank you for today’s image. The contrasting images of hope (thank you, Emily D) and danger fit my mood this week. This one’s for my daughter.

    For Anna

    While scissors shred
    the threads
    once woven tight,
    Feathers promise
    hope will again
    take flight.

    1. Lovely, Kay. Feathers and hope are now synonymous, aren’t they. Sending good thoughts.


    Don’t cut away-
    Encircle today!
    Keep your friends.
    They’re dividends.

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