Rescued Owl [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. 

One of the visitors to the Minnesota Children’s Book Festival recently was this great horned owl.

Photo: Laura P. Salas

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. Harry Potter
  2. owl on a rainbow (see the metal perch?)
  3. the sorrow of a flightless bird

And here’s my first draft. 

rescued owl


Actually, I take that back. This is a second draft. I started with “These wings won’t work/ but my mind still flies—/ over fields,/ byways/ and rainbows.” But I immediately felt bored by the lack of action and changed the final three lines:>)

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










33 Responses

  1. Oh, Laura. That is a stunning photo — the filter is really pretty. I’m so glad that owl rescue exists. These creatures are so important to save and keep healthy. Swooping is such a great word.

    Wise and Kind

    If a great-horned owl
    is our answer.
    What’s our question?

    Whooooo’s wise?
    Whoooooo’s kind?

    1. Wonderful lines Linda! Love the whooooo’s — possibly a Jeopardy question? 😉

    2. Thanks, Linda. Your poem really speaks to me today, because it makes me think this would make a great poetic form. If a _________ is the Answer, What Is the Question? I love your who puns!

  2. Lovely photo! I immediately thought of your book, “If You Were the Moon,” then to one of my loves, jigsaw puzzles. The pic would make a fantastic puzzle.

    I’ve Got Your Back

    Picture shatters
    feathers scatter;
    fear not my friend,
    you’ll soon be whole again.

    1. I like how you included the way the pic was taken and added the voice of the person taking it

  3. I love your pic today and everyone poem
    I know that I am way over 15 but this is what I came up with today

    poem by Jessica Bigi

    Great Horned Owl

    Who glowing eyes
    look back of mirrored sky
    ties the fairest sad I
    run mousses
    rabbets frogs and
    fly birds in flight
    I here all and see all
    I’m fairest sad I
    who’s eyes glow back
    through mirrored sky

    1. Love the fairy tale feel of Whose glowing eyes and ‘Tis the fairest. (Gotta keep it under 15, though! That challenge is what keeps the poems on even footing.)

  4. I love the imagery in
    in feathered silence”
    Thanks Laura!

    Knowing owl
    what insights
    can you share
    as we leave the year
    and start anew …

    1. Thanks, Michelle–and I love the instinct here to ask an owl for wisdom. We could learn a lot. I also really like “leave the year.”

  5. Love the image of your owl’s mind flight, and the new meaning of feathered silence.
    (Since I clipped the wings of last week’s poem, I brought this one back to flight!)

    On stealthy wings
    With ears attune, you
    Launch, missile of the night.

  6. Had one of these hooting early one morning. Found its silhouette up in the top of a dead tree.


    Give a stare,
    issue a dare.
    Come any closer-
    best beware!

    1. This is a wonderful verse Cindy. I have a “resident” owl who “hoots” my way down the sidewalk,out the driveway and across the street to the paper box. It is still dark and he begins when I turn on my outside lights!

    2. I love that your rhyming words are the strongest words in this poem. Stare. Dare. Beware. Awesome!

  7. Great picture! I have yet to see an owl in the wild so have to content myself with bird rescues and pictures like yours!

    So much pressure to expound
    I’m really not that wise–
    I just want a mouse.

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