Olmec Head [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. Even though I’m not! I’m at a family wedding in Atlanta and won’t be able to reply today! But I hope you still participate. This is such a lovely and welcoming community!

I suppose I should have gone with something love-related for Valentine’s Day, but, well, there’s plenty of that floating around. So here’s something a little different!

Olmec Head
Photo: Laura P. Salas

This is a five-ton Olmec head outside the Natural History Museum in DC. This image makes me think of several things:

  1. heavy thoughts
  2. the entire universe concentrated in one tiny, unbelievably dense speck just before the Big Bang
  3. disapproving parents

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.)







29 Responses

  1. I went straight to disapproving parent before reading your thoughts, Laura. lol Guess I still have a guilty conscience from my childhood. Here’s my quick silly thought…

    I see her face
    I face my doom
    I forgot again
    to clean my room

    1. Likewise, but I give my mom credit for a bit of leniency during the week (during school days), but on Saturday and during the summer it was an everyday thing.

  2. Laura, enjoy the wedding! Happiness wishes to the bride & groom.

    A Reverso

    Proud stone
    square jaw
    Olmec culture
    Olmec culture
    square jaw
    proud stone

  3. Welcome to Atlanta Laura. Wishing you a delightful visit and congrats to the newlyweds. I felt a pang of regret after reading your verse and your #2 thought. Hopefully my children have forgiven me for “making” them eat something they hated, thinking I was being a good parent! The tiny speck before big bang is powerful.


    You resist a smile.
    “If only you knew,
    we might reconcile
    how I became you.”

  4. Revolt!

    No peas for me–
    ice cream instead!
    Too late
    I’ve dumped pea bowl on head!

  5. Suzanne, that does look exactly like a bowl of something on the poor guy’s head. Funny!

  6. Not trying to reduce this impressive olmec head to adolescent angst, but that’s where my brain went. Happy Hearts to all!

    Morning Mood

    My brain controls the weather
    that shines upon my face.
    Swirling clouds and thunder
    lift without a trace.

  7. Laura have a great time at the wedding!


    Stone cold thoughts
    I often dread,
    Like, “why is my body
    detached from my head?”

    1. I was trying to write something like this. Love the chill feeling I get from your poem.

  8. What fun to be in Atlanta for a wedding, Laura.
    Better late than never with my poem, I hope. This sad face stuck with me today.

    Here I wait
    and hope and pine.
    Won’t you be
    my Valentine?

  9. poem by Jessica Bigi


    I life When
    you danced rainbow
    your children
    yore freed
    your rainbow- heart
    is beating forever

  10. poem By Jessica Bigi


    in life
    when you
    danced rainbows
    your children were freed
    your rainbow
    heart beets forever

  11. Thanks for this fabulous rock sculpture prompt Laura! I like your poem’s parental p.o.v. Hope you are enjoying your mini wedding retreat.

    History lies heavy
    on my head–
    Heed my words
    take action

    2019 Michelle Kogan

  12. Hi guys! I haven’t been around for a while—it’s so nice to see your latest poems!

    Stone thoughts,
    as the universe,
    heavy as night.

    —Kate Coombs

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