Old Tree [15 words or less poems]

Photo: Laura Purdie Salas

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

15WOLs

I think this tree was near Niagara Falls…but I’m not sure! Just one of those random pics I’ve had squirreled away for a 15 Words or Less day! OK, what kind of tree is this? I wanted to refer to a specific tree in my poem, but I didn’t have time to do a tree i.d., especially without a picture that includes the leaves. Oh, well. This image makes me think of:

1) wrinkled stockings or socks
2) elephant ankles
3) old hands

And here’s my?first draft, a cinquain.

Park Elder

Wrinkled
Home for squirrels
Survivor of decades
Shade on August afternoons
Old tree

–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:>)??

 

148 Responses

  1. Under the Elder Tree

    Elephant’s trunk
    down to its knees.
    Kids curl up under
    the elder tree.

    1. Elder is the key word here Linda ‑elder elephant, and the tree, its age or its species! I like this very much.

  2. Under the Elder Tree

    Elephant’s trunk
    down to its knees.
    Kids curl up under
    the elder tree.

    1. Elder is the key word here Linda ‑elder elephant, and the tree, its age or its species! I like this very much.

  3. In my backyard, we have an old live oak with the name Grandmother. She holds a rope swing.

    With footholds to climb
    Eyes that see time
    Stories in my rings
    Come swing.

    1. Very good Margaret. Can’t you just imagine the rings in this one if and when it comes down.

  4. In my backyard, we have an old live oak with the name Grandmother. She holds a rope swing.

    With footholds to climb
    Eyes that see time
    Stories in my rings
    Come swing.

    1. Very good Margaret. Can’t you just imagine the rings in this one if and when it comes down.

  5. I would guess it’s a beech tree.

    Rough times etched
    for all to see
    and still loving life,
    a lesson for me.

    1. Yes, Cindyb! When I see ancient women, all wrinkled but laughing joyously, I think, “Please, let that be me.” (But not for another 20 years. :>) I love that second line. So important. Oh–beech–that works. I can’t keep species straight. Birch is my favorite. Oak is recognizable. The rest I’d have to look up (if I only had the trunk to look at). Thanks.

    2. Yes! So wonderful. With that poem on the image it would be a good one to hang up somewhere (maybe near a mirror?) as a reminder! Does that tree really see itself as old and wrinkly? Doubt that!

  6. I would guess it’s a beech tree.

    Rough times etched
    for all to see
    and still loving life,
    a lesson for me.

    1. Yes, Cindyb! When I see ancient women, all wrinkled but laughing joyously, I think, “Please, let that be me.” (But not for another 20 years. :>) I love that second line. So important. Oh–beech–that works. I can’t keep species straight. Birch is my favorite. Oak is recognizable. The rest I’d have to look up (if I only had the trunk to look at). Thanks.

    2. Yes! So wonderful. With that poem on the image it would be a good one to hang up somewhere (maybe near a mirror?) as a reminder! Does that tree really see itself as old and wrinkly? Doubt that!

  7. I love this pic and the first 2 and last 2 lines of your poem Laura

    I was wondering if anyone else see the face on the tree

    old Elam
    elephants skin
    ancient quean
    noted brads
    bridge of nose
    faces on
    a wooden coin

    poem By Jessica Bigi

    1. I didn’t until you said that! And the profile view–perfect comparison to faces on a coin. And wooden definitely makes me think “old.” Great details here, Jessica. One of my favorites of yours.

  8. I love this pic and the first 2 and last 2 lines of your poem Laura

    I was wondering if anyone else see the face on the tree

    old Elam
    elephants skin
    ancient quean
    noted brads
    bridge of nose
    faces on
    a wooden coin

    poem By Jessica Bigi

    1. I didn’t until you said that! And the profile view–perfect comparison to faces on a coin. And wooden definitely makes me think “old.” Great details here, Jessica. One of my favorites of yours.

  9. First Impressions

    Old and gnarled
    my outside you see
    inside I shelter beauty
    you once saw in me.

    Good morning Laura. My neighbor has a beech tree with a similar trunk, although not as weathered as this one. I saw this as a reversal of “beauty is only skin deep.”

  10. First Impressions

    Old and gnarled
    my outside you see
    inside I shelter beauty
    you once saw in me.

    Good morning Laura. My neighbor has a beech tree with a similar trunk, although not as weathered as this one. I saw this as a reversal of “beauty is only skin deep.”

    1. This is so sweet Kate ‑human child who can climb like a child or the young squirrel itself. We can certainly tell the youngsters from their elders around our home.

    1. This is so sweet Kate ‑human child who can climb like a child or the young squirrel itself. We can certainly tell the youngsters from their elders around our home.

  11. HERD

    Thick liquid limbs
    Sentry the Serengeti
    Like great, gray ghosts
    Hosting family
    Gatherings.

    Andria W. Rosenbaum/all rights reserved

      1. Thanks, Laura. I have ready everything by Tracie. LOVE her work. We were once in a crit. group together called The Freeversians 😉

    1. Andria, I love the last three lines: great, gray, ghosts, family, gatherings …

  12. HERD

    Thick liquid limbs
    Sentry the Serengeti
    Like great, gray ghosts
    Hosting family
    Gatherings.

    Andria W. Rosenbaum/all rights reserved

      1. Thanks, Laura. I have ready everything by Tracie. LOVE her work. We were once in a crit. group together called The Freeversians 😉

    1. Andria, I love the last three lines: great, gray, ghosts, family, gatherings …

  13. What a tree! This has triggered an idea for a longer poem,
    but I’ll put down the first lines that popped into my head.
    (Sorry, no completion to this.)

    The Tree Gnome

    I live inside
    this ancient tree.
    Look all you want,
    you won’t see me.

    1. Intriguing Pat. Maybe one of Laura’s pix down the road will allow you to share another verse!

  14. What a tree! This has triggered an idea for a longer poem,
    but I’ll put down the first lines that popped into my head.
    (Sorry, no completion to this.)

    The Tree Gnome

    I live inside
    this ancient tree.
    Look all you want,
    you won’t see me.

    1. Intriguing Pat. Maybe one of Laura’s pix down the road will allow you to share another verse!

  15. This one came first…then the other one…and I have another one, but I think I’ve shared enough.
    Waiting
    for a bus;
    None came.
    Still he
    remained
    and
    became
    one with
    the tree.

    1. Donna, sad that the bus stood him up, but the consequence leaves a beautiful image.

  16. This one came first…then the other one…and I have another one, but I think I’ve shared enough.
    Waiting
    for a bus;
    None came.
    Still he
    remained
    and
    became
    one with
    the tree.

    1. Donna, sad that the bus stood him up, but the consequence leaves a beautiful image.

  17. Ok. This was my very first one. I had to post it anyway. And I PROMISE I am done. Linda just had to mention “elder”…

    The elder stood
    in rumpled,
    gray trousers
    waiting
    to cross to the
    other side.

  18. Ok. This was my very first one. I had to post it anyway. And I PROMISE I am done. Linda just had to mention “elder”…

    The elder stood
    in rumpled,
    gray trousers
    waiting
    to cross to the
    other side.

  19. My student Tyler wants to join the poetry fun today. Here’s his poem.

    Old People

    Two old men
    bickering every day
    scaring nature away.
    These old hags
    should calm down.
    –Tyler, 6th grade

  20. My student Tyler wants to join the poetry fun today. Here’s his poem.

    Old People

    Two old men
    bickering every day
    scaring nature away.
    These old hags
    should calm down.
    –Tyler, 6th grade

  21. This diamonte form actually has 16 words, but I couldn’t resist. (Guess I’m a rebel at heart!)

    tree
    old, knotted
    resting, standing, guarding
    ridges, branches, fingers, wrinkles
    gripping, trembling, touching
    aged, gnarled
    hand

    1. I had to look up this form, which was new to me. Your poem takes me from an old tree to an old person. Lovely.

  22. This diamonte form actually has 16 words, but I couldn’t resist. (Guess I’m a rebel at heart!)

    tree
    old, knotted
    resting, standing, guarding
    ridges, branches, fingers, wrinkles
    gripping, trembling, touching
    aged, gnarled
    hand

    1. I had to look up this form, which was new to me. Your poem takes me from an old tree to an old person. Lovely.

  23. Oh, I love all this diversified imagery! I adore trees 🙂 I guess I’ll give it a shot. Something quick…

    Oh, mighty oak,
    majestic you be.
    I want to stand tall
    like a tree…like me.

  24. Oh, I love all this diversified imagery! I adore trees 🙂 I guess I’ll give it a shot. Something quick…

    Oh, mighty oak,
    majestic you be.
    I want to stand tall
    like a tree…like me.

  25. trunk tucked against legs
    I will guard
    my little ball of Earth

    For some reason, I saw an elephant, legs together like on a circus ball. The poems have been really fun today.

  26. trunk tucked against legs
    I will guard
    my little ball of Earth

    For some reason, I saw an elephant, legs together like on a circus ball. The poems have been really fun today.

  27. WIZARD WOES
    Eye of newt,
    Twist of fate.
    Forever stuck in
    This tree-like
    state.

    Ellen Vojnovic

  28. WIZARD WOES
    Eye of newt,
    Twist of fate.
    Forever stuck in
    This tree-like
    state.

    Ellen Vojnovic

  29. THE SENATOR
    From a clenched fist cypress
    To 118 feet of glory
    Snuffed away by
    Arsonist jealousy.

    © Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

    *Note* The Senator was a tree that lived for roughly 3,500 years, rising out of Central Florida swampland, before being set on fire on January 16, 2012.

    1. Aw, the Senator wasn’t far from my sister’s house, and I was so sad when this happened. I love that clenched fist cypress!

  30. THE SENATOR
    From a clenched fist cypress
    To 118 feet of glory
    Snuffed away by
    Arsonist jealousy.

    © Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

    *Note* The Senator was a tree that lived for roughly 3,500 years, rising out of Central Florida swampland, before being set on fire on January 16, 2012.

    1. Aw, the Senator wasn’t far from my sister’s house, and I was so sad when this happened. I love that clenched fist cypress!

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