Moray Eel [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. 

I was in Florida for the past week, and before Irma hit, Randy and I spent several lovely days in Daytona Beach. (After Irma hit was another story.) One of my favorite things was visiting the Marine Science Center, where I got to feed stingrays, see healing birds and ocean life, and learn about cool animals, including this handsome moray eel!

Moray Eel
Photo: Laura P. Salas

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. the devil
  2. scary balloons
  3. SCUBA diving

And here’s my first draft. It was eerie how he just stayed there in his log with his snout sticking out and slowly opened and closed his mouth. Very threatening, menacing, somehow.

moray eel


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






43 Responses

  1. Wow! that’s a mug only a mother Moray Eel could love. I definitely see the pull toward dark and creepy thoughts. That last line, don’t worry.….ha!

    I thought of the eel looking through aquarium glass at people.

    Mirror, mirror
    in the glass
    Who’s frightening?
    Leaving most aghast?
    Morey eel
    swims past

    1. Ha! So true, Linda. It must see all these faces looming close all day. Especially kids’ terrified faces.

      1. Ha! I read your comment and thought you were talking about teachers and kids on the first dat of school! It could apply there, too! Hopefully not!

        1. Nope, that didn’t occur to me! But now I’m picturing my teacher-sister–she doesn’t drink coffee, but her expression occasionally matches the eel’s :>)

  2. Known by few
    Loved by less
    everyone new
    is greeted with a kiss!

    This picture certainly gave me a shock (haha)

  3. Looks like someone needs some coffee! Great picture!

    Dive-thru Window Conversation

    No cream,
    No scream;
    Just Jo
    To go!

    I suggest
    You ingest
    Our best

    1. I’m not sure still whose voice is whose here! Is he selling the coffee or needing it? You decide!

    2. Love this, Donna! That eel definitely needs something to calm him down. Maybe a caffeine fix will do it 🙂 Clever rhymes.

    3. How, on earth did you know I look like this before my morning coffee.….somebody told on me! I’m so embarrassed. Tee hee.

  4. Irma has come and gone and it’s business as usual. The pastels made me think of the latest trend in hair coloring, even for the little kids. Thinking of all in the storms paths where it is definitely not business as usual.

    It’s Showtime

    Storm passes
    tourists stroll by
    I’m perfectly coiffed
    with matching eyes.

    1. What an interesting mash-up of different topics, Martha. I just love seeing the thought processes behind everyone’s poems!

  5. Here’s my attempt:

    Go away!
    Not today!
    I need my beauty rest!
    Stop being a pest!
    Go away!

    1. This feels so whimsical, Michaela–something about the idea of a moray eel either saying this (I think) or hearing and obeying this (the other possible interpretation) just makes me giggle:>)

  6. Why I Will Not Swim ON The Sea
    Tried Gobbling up my tows

  7. Love all the poem so far
    poem By Jessica Bigi
    Why I Will Not Swim IN The Sea
    Tried Gobbling up my tows

    1. Drew me in right at the title, Jessica. And I love the way you spelled out eels vertically like that!

    1. Worderful, sharp /rk/ words, Buffy! Great title, too:>) And thanks! The trip was interesting, to say the least!

    1. I love your repeated /oo/ sounds, Michelle, and that ominous ending! Thanks–we were glad to get home:>)

  8. Eels give me the heeby-geebies and your poem captures that slow quickness of them! For whatever reason, before I saw the title of the post, I thought the picture was of an orchid.

    Moray Eel

    Maw sways in water
    Like a beautiful orchid
    To entice your prey

    1. I love this, Rebecca–and I was just writing recently about orchid mantises, which are so beautiful and enticing and dangerous. I love that swaying!

  9. I’m glad you weathered the storm safely! I hope your eel isn’t too quick. When I first saw your picture I thought the eel looked shocked (no pun intended), perhaps about the impending storm. So here’s my take.

    Eel Advice

    The sky is storming;
    The seas are warming.
    The worlds Helter-Skelter,
    Take cover,
    Take shelter!

    1. I think they are quick sometimes, but this one, in his tank, was very deliberate–in a creepy way! Oh, I love your poem, Jean. It could be said by just about any sea creature, couldn’t it? Love helter-skelter. This one just feels very natural, like it almost rhymed by accident. It’s always great when it feels effortless like that!

  10. Late to the party!


    Grandma lost her teeth.
    No one told me.
    I stopped by to see her.

    1. Always welcome, late or not. Love your light-hearted take. I remember how scary elderly people without their teeth in were to me when I was a kid!

  11. Glad you are safe and home, Laura. How is your dad doing? I cannot imagine your fear while there. For yourself. For your family.

    Or how you looked at this eel and didn’t fall down in faint.

    We Are Not Where we Once Were
    ‑Pamela Ross

    Winds and rain
    stone and sea,

    Who will lead us home?

    1. My stubborn dad, after five days with no power and no a/c and temps in the 90s, FINALLY went to stay with one of my sisters. It’s a miracle!

      Love your poem. I feel like our whole country is captured in this, not from natural disasters but from political leadership. Unmoored…yes.

  12. Is your dad my dad? I know the type oh so well. I can’t blame him, however. I don’t deal well with change. Never did. At any age. {} How far does your sister live from your father? Is her home relatively untouched by the storm?

    Thank you for your kind words. You see right through me.


    1. Dad is 45 minutes from my sister, when there are no downed trees and such in between. He did finally go stay one night with her, when he couldn’t take the heat anymore! Miracle! All my family has their power back now. They all lost trees, and one lost part of a dock. But their homes are all good, and they are all safe. So…nothing compared to what Harvey victims went through with flooding, or like the damage Irma did in the Caribbean. Whew! xoxo

      1. Laura: I don’t know how I missed your reply until this moment, early Sunday morning, September 23rd. Forgive me. It’s been ‑that- kind of a week. (Constant chaos. And no, I do not do well in storms. See Hurricane Sandy, 10/31/2012.)

        I hope by now your dad’s situation is somewhat on the mend. Change and feeling like a guest, even with family, is never an easy thing. I completely sympathize with your dad, a seemingly fellow creature of comfort.

        All my love to you and yours. xoxo

        1. No worries, Pamela! Dad is home and things are somewhat back to normal, though he keeps finding more tree damage on his daily excursions into the back yard! But still, could be tremendously worse, so grateful! xoxo

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