Mandrake [15 Words or Less]

Madness Poetry is down to just four matchups! My matchup with J.J. Close, who does very clever wordplay, goes live at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time here. I hope you’ll visit and vote for your favorite on all four pairs of poems. Thanks to those of you who voted last week!

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. 

Screaming Mandrake
Photo: Laura P. Salas

Here’s a photo from a Harry Potter attraction we went to last month. This is Annabelle holding a mandrake. I’m going to leave it at that and see what you guys come up with from your own imagination, Harry Potter knowledge, or interpretation of the photo.

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. “Thanks for the ruffled socks, Grandmom!” (not)
  2. Old Hawaii Five‑0 (I’m not sure why)
  3. totem pole in the jungle

And here’s my first draft.

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







16 Responses

  1. Good luck with your next poem in the March Madness competition, Laura. I thought your entry for “doling” was especially memorable. Today’s picture made me laugh. Let’s forget he’s a mandrake.

    Please Don’t Stare

    Today I woke
    and had a scare.
    See there — I now have
    leaves for hair!

    1. Thanks, Lauren. I appreciate that! I’m enjoying the tournament, but…very time-consuming on those quick turn-around poem days.

      Now, see, I’d be much more likely to read a book about a kid turning into a plant than one about a person waking up as a cockroach! This metamorphosis is more fun and doesn’t make me shudder:>)


    Words up my fears.
    I cover my ears
    but can’t
    turn off the tears.

  3. earplugs and ruffled socks indeed!

    PotterTruths and Lies

    brass plate
    Ogre embracea
    wide muggle smile
    Wizards hide
    in plain sight

  4. Good morning Laura and all. The photo is certainly a welcome sight in light of all of the bad weather and other disasters throughout the country. Annabelle’s pose and smile is perfect.

    Casting Call

    Pastel hair
    body sheen
    on a roll
    posing as a troll
    next, the big screen.

    1. Hehe. The mandrake could use this and the photo as his publicity “glossies.”

    1. I love the word “tender” in here, Buffy. Something about it gives the poem a whole specific feeling.

  5. poem by Jessica Bigi

    not really smiling
    feel like crying
    hurry mom take this pitcher
    troll doll left stinkers

    1. Hehe. Every family has a picture of their kid(s) looking like, “I would rather do ANYTHING than have this picture taken!”

  6. I love all the plant humor! Also Laura’s poems (both of them!). I’m feeling jungly…

    Little terracotta god
    in the corner
    and rain blows
    through the kitchen.

    —Kate Coombs

  7. I loved your “Together. Three.” poem Laura, Good luck! Thanks for this quirky poem-image prompt, your poem fits the image well.

    Beware of
    Mandrake man
    she holds,
    whose evil powers,
    all around

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