Robot Man [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. 

I wanted to let you know that 15 Words or Less will be going on hiatus for a while. I want to concentrate on Poetry Fridays here, with occasional other posts. And I’m hoping to build up my Patreon community, Our Poetry World, and start offering writing prompts there. As always, there just isn’t enough time in the day to do ALL the things I would love to do. Anyhow, this month will be the final month of 15 Words or Less Poems posts–for now, at least. Thank you for being part of this community!

Photo: Laura Purdie Salas

It was funny. I was mall-walking before the mall was open, and I couldn’t tell whether the vacuum was part of some display, or whether the hammock and man were the display, and someone was just in the middle of cleaning, or what!

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. will robots take over the world
  2. public art
  3. why are blank faces so eerie?

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.)







23 Responses

  1. Laura,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed your filtered photos and the poetry wake up on Thursday mornings…as well as all the other poetry morning birds here. You are doing so well, professionally. Enjoy the hiatus and keep writing those books!


    Laura has done
    all she could
    poems vacuumed
    books spruced up
    now it’s time
    to rest and relax
    hammock swing
    or paddle a kayak

    1. Oh, Linda, I LOVE this. Thank you for the love and encouragement:>) See you on Poetry Fridays!

  2. A bittersweet morning, Laura. Thursday mornings can never be the same, but I respect the fact that you cannot do it all; something has to go. I am so appreciative of the time you have given to this exercise, year after year and I wish you only good things ahead. Love your poem, especially the words cook and vacuum. My great-uncle was a shoe cobbler back in the days; his apron and left shoe are my prompts.

    Brother, Heal Thyself

    Working dawn to dusk
    much left to do
    pleasing others
    ignoring spike in your shoe.

    1. Thank you, Martha:>) I have so enjoyed our Thursday mornings! Oh, your poem makes me think of the cobbler who had no shoes, and I knew a construction guy whose home was always in disarray because their own household renovation projects were constantly put on hold for customers’ paying work. Your poem has such heart to it. Lovely.

  3. I echo Linda’s words of gratitude. You do so much to encourage and build us up and have offered this weekly space to try out our wings. Thanks! You are not going on hiatus as much as you are reaching for new heights. All my best in your endeavors.

    Stop and shop
    Shop and talk
    Talk and

    (This image reminds me of the vacuum cleaner in Kate DiCamillo’s book Flora and Ulysses.)

    1. Thanks, Margaret–I love the sense of silliness/confusion that that last line break brings. I haven’t read Flora and Ulysses, but it always makes me happy how frequently we are reminded of books just by looking at a photo!

  4. I’m with Linda, though not as diligent in actually posting poems. I’ve loved the inspiration found here, as did my 3rd graders last year! Your robot poem is perfectly perfect, btw!

  5. Laura, I’m going to miss my Thursday morning activity! Thank you for giving my creative juices an outlet.

    Kid’s Complaint

    I’m always at
    your beck and call
    I clean the house,
    I do it all!

  6. Many thanks, Laura, for all of your thoughtful critiques, the many appreciative comments to encourage creative growth, and the wonderful forum you’ve built for us to appreciate and learn from each other’s poems. It’s inspiring to witness your dedication for Children’s poetry, and, while our 15 Words or Less weekly poem fun time will be on hiatus, your spirit and drive will always be with us. Thank you for that!

    Hammer or Hammock?

    So clearly I see
    right in front of me
    the tempting dichotomy
    of working leisurely.

  7. Inhuman

    There’s work to do -
    No mouth to spew,
    No ranting stew,
    No “Howdy-do!”
    From robo-crew!

    By Donna JT Smith

    I’m going to miss this! But sometimes there are just other things ya gotta do!

    1. I guess that’s a plus of a robot crew–no talking back. But no companionship either, true. I like how you included the good side, the “Howdo-do!” too :>) Thanks, Donna!

  8. I’ll miss this every Thursday, Laura! Thanks for your poetry. Happy future endeavors.…

    by Dianne Moritz

    I dislike all robots,
    tangled wires and knots.
    I prefer connections:
    humans, words, and thoughts.

  9. I too will miss the Thursday morning inspiration–but I understand that none of us are Cinder-Robot! Thanks for creating this wonderful group.


    Cinder-Robot does it all–
    fixes vacuums,
    washes walls,
    wearing stilletos
    for the ball.

  10. I will realy mis this group on Tursdays 🙁 it hsave been a blessing in my life kept mre going thought somde prity hard moments in the years I have attended like the loss of my mom heape me become a much beater poet and allowed me to meat realy amazing writing friends how are like family to me I hope we will all still stay in tuch and have other opetunatyes toi write togather throught the fucher Than You Laura for Beleaving in me and healping me become a beater poet and pleas syat intuch I wiskm you all the besy in your fuchert writing advencers xxxxx

    1. Jessica, you are such a creative poet! I know we’ll still cross paths here in the kidlit and Poetry Friday community. Thank you for being such a faithful visitor!

  11. must amit I’m crying

    poem By Jessica Bigi

    Thank You Laura

    for you sweep
    sky-hearts of stars
    felling of jars
    with our words
    keeper of poems
    teaching grace

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