Open Wide [15 Words or Less Poems]

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 glad you’re here.

Here’s a picture I took in my “Fishing Room” on a school visit in southern Minnesota, which I blogged about earlier this week. The room was full of quaint North Shore cabin decor, which was all very homey. But this mounted fish by the bed was a little disconcerting!

fishing room Lanesboro
Photo: Laura P. Salas

This image makes me think of:

  1. Jaws (of course)
  2. my daughter Maddie’s tonsillectomy and how long it took her to come out of recovery!
  3. why we always dream of flying but never of swimming like fish and breathing underwater

And here’s my first draft. Don’t worry if you don’t understand it–I don’t, either! I was just thinking about how mysterious fish are–especially big fish, like sharks. And how they’re almost dreamlike–shadows under the sea. And, well, this is what came out!

interpreting a fish

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

26 Responses

  1. Good morning to all. In my opinion, this art should be in the common area of the “lodge” and not over the bed. Having said that Laura, I really like your line “shape draped in waves.” Very soothing.

    3‑D Art

    I see your tonsils
    and your teeth
    should anyone need me
    I’m under the sheet.

    1. Your poem made me laugh. Very cute. And I agree, the scary fish does not belong by the bed!

    2. Hehe–love that! The image of someone pulling the covers up goes so well with that young voice. And to be fair, I had to work to get this angle. Mostly from the room and bed, you just see the side of the fish:>)

  2. Love your poem today, Laura, second and third lines especially. Your words inspired my poem, as I often dreamt of swimming when I was on a swim team.

    swimming in my
    dreams again
    winning races
    with gills -
    no need to slow
    to breathe

    1. I love how lines 1 through 4 flow right into each other with no pause. Perfect match for your content.

  3. I’m actually going to the eye doctor tomorrow. And my dentist is a lovely person, but those needles! (Shudder.)

    Going to the dentist,
    such a menace.
    I’m afraid
    I know the drill.

    —Kate Coombs

    1. Dittos Kate. Clever use of the “drill.” Pun intended I’m sure. Cute!

  4. Fish by my bed,

    fills me with dread-

    This “dream” catcher

    is a scream hatcher!

  5. Wow! What a picture! Can’t imagine why they would put that by the bed. It’s designed to bring nightmares.

    Piranha

    No fishing lure,
    that’s for sure.
    No bait, but you
    he wants to chew.

    1. Well, that’s not very reassuring, is it? Hehe. It was off to the side, so I confess I had to stand on a stool or chair or something to get this unsettling view :>)

  6. That fishy might make for some interesting, dreams! Love the line “shape draped in waves,” Laura.

    From the Mouth of Sharky the Salesman

    Free spears!
    Razor-sharp, home-grown,
    needle-pointed, finely-honed…

    Swim into my gaping yap..
    Closer, closer! Ready?

    Snap!

    1. Oooh, gaping yap! Love that. So many terrific, specific words in here. Love it!

  7. This is my first time trying this! I feel like my spiny poem came out a bit too literal, but oh, well!

    Rude!

    I’d like
    to think
    I would
    grimace
    too if
    my dead
    body
    was a
    trophy.

    1. Welcome, Elissa! First of all, we do not judge our poems on any kind of merit here. It’s just a low-pressure way to get SOMEthing on the screen. A first draft. Second, I like the two syllables per line, giving it a very measured, even kind of tone that fits the voice very well. And I agree!

  8. That is the CREEPIEST photo of a fish I have ever seen.

    Also: poor Maddie and her difficulty with drugs (sure makes good stories though!! ;))

    1. Yeah, I generally post cute or pretty or neutral pics, but I couldn’t resist the weird fish. Next week will be Captain Jack, I think! Yes on Maddie. Did you see the youtube video of a girl who has her wisdom teeth out, I think, and then her brothers convince her it’s a zombie apocalypse. Reminded me SO much of Maddie, except we’d never be mean like that ;>)

    1. Oooh, I like that comparison, since the mouth DOES look like a cave!

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