[15 words or less poems] Petal

Poetry Lovers, I need your help with two things!

  1. I’m looking for a children’s poem about perseverance, and I need it by the end of today. Ack! It doesn’t need to actually be about it, but it has to demonstrate it. I have to read it to an assembly of K‑5th graders tomorrow, and I want it to be something really accessible. My backup poem is Don’t Quit, but I’d really love something that is more show-don’t-tell, like The Little Engine That Could.
  2. Any recommendations for poetry collections/anthologies (not novels in verse) about the immigration experience?

Please leave any suggestions in the Comments. Thanks!


Photo: Laura Purdie Salas

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

Here’s a bit of painting. It makes me think of:

1)?A fairy slide
2)?A twirly skirt
3) A spoon diving toward a poached egg

And here’s my poem first draft:

Dress Shopping
Time spins like gravity,
so steady
it is still–
holding prom and promises
in orbit
–by Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

What do you think of when you look at this picture? Take any quick idea and jot down a 15 Words or Less poem. It doesn’t have to rhyme or describe this picture. Just?look at this picture and say, “This makes me think of _________.” Fill in the blank and write about THAT!

194 Responses

  1. Beautiful poem, Laura.

    The most beautiful
    flowers on our planet
    sometimes eat
    people.

    (I can see lips ;))

        1. Made me think of that play.…with the plant, Audrey, that grows.….very unexpected, but I saw the lips too!!! Fun.

          1. Yes, I see, that despite her coffee, Jennifer is ahead of me.…Little Shop of Horrors. Missed her comment. Funny. I need coffee.

  2. Beautiful poem, Laura.

    The most beautiful
    flowers on our planet
    sometimes eat
    people.

    (I can see lips ;))

        1. Made me think of that play.…with the plant, Audrey, that grows.….very unexpected, but I saw the lips too!!! Fun.

          1. Yes, I see, that despite her coffee, Jennifer is ahead of me.…Little Shop of Horrors. Missed her comment. Funny. I need coffee.

    1. Renee,
      This reminds me of my first attempt, though mine hugely pales in comparison to your violet nights and nectar. But I would have written this one if I could!!! It is so lovely. Either I have to post mine as is or wait until later!!! Think I need coffee!!

    1. Renee,
      This reminds me of my first attempt, though mine hugely pales in comparison to your violet nights and nectar. But I would have written this one if I could!!! It is so lovely. Either I have to post mine as is or wait until later!!! Think I need coffee!!

  3. Soft, silken slipper
    suspended mid-dance.
    Floating, twirling partners,
    entwined, entranced.

    LOVED yours Laura, every word. Prom and promises — yet also the season for heartbreaks.

    1. Oh, I so agree with what you wrote about Laura’s poem. Just perfect, Laura. I am almost too intimidated to leave my quick poem this week!!! Yours is so full of images and that idea of a slipper, suspended mid-air. Wish I had written yours, too, ellie.

      1. Oh, my–don’t ever feel that way! Luckily, I share plenty of crappy quickie poems, so that should ease any intimidation factor! I just never know what will come out…

    2. Oh, this is like a freeze-frame of a great period movie with some renaissance dance going on. Well, that’s what it calls to mind for me, anyway. I love that suspended slipper. And thanks for your kind words. Maddie just bought a prom dress, and you can see it influenced me:>)

  4. Soft, silken slipper
    suspended mid-dance.
    Floating, twirling partners,
    entwined, entranced.

    LOVED yours Laura, every word. Prom and promises — yet also the season for heartbreaks.

    1. Oh, I so agree with what you wrote about Laura’s poem. Just perfect, Laura. I am almost too intimidated to leave my quick poem this week!!! Yours is so full of images and that idea of a slipper, suspended mid-air. Wish I had written yours, too, ellie.

      1. Oh, my–don’t ever feel that way! Luckily, I share plenty of crappy quickie poems, so that should ease any intimidation factor! I just never know what will come out…

    2. Oh, this is like a freeze-frame of a great period movie with some renaissance dance going on. Well, that’s what it calls to mind for me, anyway. I love that suspended slipper. And thanks for your kind words. Maddie just bought a prom dress, and you can see it influenced me:>)

  5. Purple or Pink?
    Lily or Peonie?
    Dress shopping-
    What fun
    For Fairies

    All these poems are so creative and pretty! Us girls- dresses always come to mind first. 😉

    1. Yes, reminded me instantly of Thumbelina for whom I always had a great fondness! Love how you blended the colors, the flowers and the dresses for fairies.

  6. Purple or Pink?
    Lily or Peonie?
    Dress shopping-
    What fun
    For Fairies

    All these poems are so creative and pretty! Us girls- dresses always come to mind first. 😉

    1. Yes, reminded me instantly of Thumbelina for whom I always had a great fondness! Love how you blended the colors, the flowers and the dresses for fairies.

  7. Interesting photo! It has brought forth a lot of beautiful images and it’s only 8 am!

    vernal pond…
    swan dips its neck into
    the sunset

    © Diane Mayr

  8. Interesting photo! It has brought forth a lot of beautiful images and it’s only 8 am!

    vernal pond…
    swan dips its neck into
    the sunset

    © Diane Mayr

      1. Ah, those lips. Like your poem and the idea of whispering our stories! That word limit is sometimes a “killer”.….especially if rushing off or “sans” coffee.

      1. Ah, those lips. Like your poem and the idea of whispering our stories! That word limit is sometimes a “killer”.….especially if rushing off or “sans” coffee.

  9. Love your poem, Laura. I’m not coming up with any ideas of poems to fit your needs for your presentation. Sorry!

    Here’s mine.

    Bee Buffet

    It?s honey of a
    sunshiny,
    hum-a-buzz,
    bee-buffet day?
    pollinatingly perfect.

    ~Penny Klostermann

    1. Oh, once again. You have that way with words, just rolling off your tongue. Love your title and all of it. Kids will ove this. When are YOU publishing YOUR book, Penny???? Or maybe you have one I don’t know about? Hmmmmm

        1. Oh, honey on the mind this day!! Thanks, Penny. All very-well deserved by you!!

    2. Penny, this is delightful. One of my favorites of yours! So fun to read aloud! What kids would not want to say this, over and over?

      And no worries about the recommendations–just thought if anyone knew of something off-hand:>)

  10. Love your poem, Laura. I’m not coming up with any ideas of poems to fit your needs for your presentation. Sorry!

    Here’s mine.

    Bee Buffet

    It?s honey of a
    sunshiny,
    hum-a-buzz,
    bee-buffet day?
    pollinatingly perfect.

    ~Penny Klostermann

    1. Oh, once again. You have that way with words, just rolling off your tongue. Love your title and all of it. Kids will ove this. When are YOU publishing YOUR book, Penny???? Or maybe you have one I don’t know about? Hmmmmm

        1. Oh, honey on the mind this day!! Thanks, Penny. All very-well deserved by you!!

    2. Penny, this is delightful. One of my favorites of yours! So fun to read aloud! What kids would not want to say this, over and over?

      And no worries about the recommendations–just thought if anyone knew of something off-hand:>)

  11. Grandmother?s kiss
    spackled
    with sunshine,
    grazed
    my delicate nose,
    then
    slid into moonlight
    too soon.

    Another attempt, meant to be broadly interpreted, not necessarily romantic!

    Too close to the fire
    your kiss
    wraps me in honey
    burns like the sun.

    See, Catherine, I, too, saw those lips!!!

      1. Well.…poems are open to interpretation! I’ll never tell, but there is a PG level here, too, if you read the poems as complementary!!! 🙂

  12. Grandmother?s kiss
    spackled
    with sunshine,
    grazed
    my delicate nose,
    then
    slid into moonlight
    too soon.

    Another attempt, meant to be broadly interpreted, not necessarily romantic!

    Too close to the fire
    your kiss
    wraps me in honey
    burns like the sun.

    See, Catherine, I, too, saw those lips!!!

      1. Well.…poems are open to interpretation! I’ll never tell, but there is a PG level here, too, if you read the poems as complementary!!! 🙂

    1. I am a shades of gray person, medlies, blending, seeing the possible. Your poem speaks to me!!

        1. Why thank you, Jeanne!! (I was going to mention “not that shades of grey” by the way!) and am sure you knew exactly what I meant.

    2. I love this–translucency is one of my favorite…textures? qualities? Not sure what to call it. That second line is just gorgeous.

    1. I am a shades of gray person, medlies, blending, seeing the possible. Your poem speaks to me!!

        1. Why thank you, Jeanne!! (I was going to mention “not that shades of grey” by the way!) and am sure you knew exactly what I meant.

    2. I love this–translucency is one of my favorite…textures? qualities? Not sure what to call it. That second line is just gorgeous.

  13. Hi Laura,
    Will give a look for both poem and book. Janet Wong’s books might help with the immigrant experience. I have a file of all sorts of online sources/interviews about her. I will look later. I might not reply to you until after 6pm EST, but I will try. Not wide awake enough today and rushing.

    1. Hi Janet–Oh, gosh–don’t put yourself out! I do have Janet’s SUITCASE OF SEAWEED and GOOD LUCK GOLD on my list. Get some rest:>)

  14. Hi Laura,
    Will give a look for both poem and book. Janet Wong’s books might help with the immigrant experience. I have a file of all sorts of online sources/interviews about her. I will look later. I might not reply to you until after 6pm EST, but I will try. Not wide awake enough today and rushing.

    1. Hi Janet–Oh, gosh–don’t put yourself out! I do have Janet’s SUITCASE OF SEAWEED and GOOD LUCK GOLD on my list. Get some rest:>)

  15. I actually looked online for a persevering poem with action Laura & found one that you may think is too tough. It’s about Robert Bruce (Bruce And The Spider) by Bernard Barton, the English king who didn’t give up because of his observations of a spider. And, my class studied immigration a few years ago and I used several of Naomi Shihab Nye’s anthologies-This Same Sky & some by Gary Soto, like A Fire In My Hands.
    Your poem makes me see those colors for spring, prom dresses in lines in the stores in the photo, blurry, wishing.
    I know artichokes are not green, but this is what I saw, kind of a spring thing, too!

    Taste Wishes

    artichokes dipping,
    slipping into
    bowl of melted
    butter
    worth the work
    tastebuds sated

    1. Thanks for those suggestions, Linda–I’ll pass them along and check out the perseverance one, too. This is lovely–I can totally see the artichoke petal or whatever it’s called. Very sensual poem–like the artichokes are skinny-dipping!

        1. Oh yes, I can definitely feel the zing of skinny-dipping!! Though I have never cooked an artichoke. I must have been missing a lot!

    2. this poem (along with the image) just reminded me of how the artichoke gets purple toward the heart (and wonder about the origins of a purple heart), and how nature sometimes hides its beauty in plain sight.

      oh, and anything that’s a delivery device for butter!

  16. I actually looked online for a persevering poem with action Laura & found one that you may think is too tough. It’s about Robert Bruce (Bruce And The Spider) by Bernard Barton, the English king who didn’t give up because of his observations of a spider. And, my class studied immigration a few years ago and I used several of Naomi Shihab Nye’s anthologies-This Same Sky & some by Gary Soto, like A Fire In My Hands.
    Your poem makes me see those colors for spring, prom dresses in lines in the stores in the photo, blurry, wishing.
    I know artichokes are not green, but this is what I saw, kind of a spring thing, too!

    Taste Wishes

    artichokes dipping,
    slipping into
    bowl of melted
    butter
    worth the work
    tastebuds sated

    1. Thanks for those suggestions, Linda–I’ll pass them along and check out the perseverance one, too. This is lovely–I can totally see the artichoke petal or whatever it’s called. Very sensual poem–like the artichokes are skinny-dipping!

        1. Oh yes, I can definitely feel the zing of skinny-dipping!! Though I have never cooked an artichoke. I must have been missing a lot!

    2. this poem (along with the image) just reminded me of how the artichoke gets purple toward the heart (and wonder about the origins of a purple heart), and how nature sometimes hides its beauty in plain sight.

      oh, and anything that’s a delivery device for butter!

  17. “Dress shopping” is wonderful, Laura. I love the way you’ve meshed gravity and how it holds us in orbit with prom and promise time! What about “Old Elm Speaks” by Kristine O’Connell George for a perseverance poem? (I mean the poem titled that–not the entire collection–but maybe it is more telling than you want.)

    Your photo sparked a distant and a close-up view for me this morning, so I’ve got two to share:

    Colossal energy
    flares from the sun,
    bright beacons
    storm across
    space and time.

    Purple petals
    arch and overhang,
    a parasol for
    spider?s
    silken
    web.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Buffy. I’m going to go pull that book off my shelf to check out the poem. It’s been a while since I’ve read it! Love these two different approaches. My favorite is the petal as a parasol. Love.

    2. I especially like the parasol for the spider’s silken web!! I have a wonderful OLD book that is a treasure. Originals are highly collectible, but they did re-issue it a few years back. The Fairy Tale book ed by Marie Ponsot and illus. by Adrienne Segur. The color and detail in art from the first edition from the early 50s are just amazing. (The latest ed. is good but the tone is not as rich…different ink and paper I assume.) But the art by Segur is spectacular and Thumbelina tale’s two-page spread has so many of the “fairy elements” in many of today’s poems. Worth a look if you ever come across the book.

  18. “Dress shopping” is wonderful, Laura. I love the way you’ve meshed gravity and how it holds us in orbit with prom and promise time! What about “Old Elm Speaks” by Kristine O’Connell George for a perseverance poem? (I mean the poem titled that–not the entire collection–but maybe it is more telling than you want.)

    Your photo sparked a distant and a close-up view for me this morning, so I’ve got two to share:

    Colossal energy
    flares from the sun,
    bright beacons
    storm across
    space and time.

    Purple petals
    arch and overhang,
    a parasol for
    spider?s
    silken
    web.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Buffy. I’m going to go pull that book off my shelf to check out the poem. It’s been a while since I’ve read it! Love these two different approaches. My favorite is the petal as a parasol. Love.

    2. I especially like the parasol for the spider’s silken web!! I have a wonderful OLD book that is a treasure. Originals are highly collectible, but they did re-issue it a few years back. The Fairy Tale book ed by Marie Ponsot and illus. by Adrienne Segur. The color and detail in art from the first edition from the early 50s are just amazing. (The latest ed. is good but the tone is not as rich…different ink and paper I assume.) But the art by Segur is spectacular and Thumbelina tale’s two-page spread has so many of the “fairy elements” in many of today’s poems. Worth a look if you ever come across the book.

    1. I think I will always remember this when I go out after a summer’s shower and see the drops of rain dotting the flowers. They’re doing more than nourishing the plants, they’re playing on the slide!!!

    1. I think I will always remember this when I go out after a summer’s shower and see the drops of rain dotting the flowers. They’re doing more than nourishing the plants, they’re playing on the slide!!!

    1. Good to see you here again, delzey, I love your second line AND the egg yolk. Such an image!

    1. Good to see you here again, delzey, I love your second line AND the egg yolk. Such an image!

    1. You know new parents call the relatives at baby’s first smile. We really need more smiles in this world and your poem is a good reminder!!!

    1. You know new parents call the relatives at baby’s first smile. We really need more smiles in this world and your poem is a good reminder!!!

    1. “betrays anonymity” — lovely! All the ways we look for what we need, even if we won’t just come out and say it in a straightforward way. Beautiful!

    1. “betrays anonymity” — lovely! All the ways we look for what we need, even if we won’t just come out and say it in a straightforward way. Beautiful!

  19. the kisses
    of the purple-billed platypuses
    dismisses
    the fears of otherwise ambitious
    little fishes

    1. I was trying to come up with some way of using a duck in my poem, but LOVE your purple-billed platypuses and your rhymes. I think kids would LOVE this and love to say it. I will give it a try and let you know.!

    2. Ha! So much fun to say–and so silly! I love the ambitious little fishes. Makes me ponder what the dreams/career goals of little fishes are.

  20. the kisses
    of the purple-billed platypuses
    dismisses
    the fears of otherwise ambitious
    little fishes

    1. I was trying to come up with some way of using a duck in my poem, but LOVE your purple-billed platypuses and your rhymes. I think kids would LOVE this and love to say it. I will give it a try and let you know.!

    2. Ha! So much fun to say–and so silly! I love the ambitious little fishes. Makes me ponder what the dreams/career goals of little fishes are.

  21. Shine bright
    It’s your right
    A world full
    of wondrous light
    To brighten my day

    Anne McKenna

    1. Hey, Anne, good to see you! Love this–we’re not just basking in someone else’s light, but we’re encouraging that person/thing to shine brightly, as it is meant to.

      1. Thank you Laura had not been writing anything at all for such a long time 🙂 good to hear from you too and congratulations on your book 🙂

    2. This is something I think every teacher would hope for for each of her students! Shine bright! Good advice!

  22. Shine bright
    It’s your right
    A world full
    of wondrous light
    To brighten my day

    Anne McKenna

    1. Hey, Anne, good to see you! Love this–we’re not just basking in someone else’s light, but we’re encouraging that person/thing to shine brightly, as it is meant to.

      1. Thank you Laura had not been writing anything at all for such a long time 🙂 good to hear from you too and congratulations on your book 🙂

    2. This is something I think every teacher would hope for for each of her students! Shine bright! Good advice!

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