Sail On! [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. 

Photo: Laura P. Salas

At Duluth Harbor last week, we got to watch a TON of sailboats come through the canal (as well as my favorites, some 1000-footers). This image makes me think of several things:

  1. How fun boat names are
  2. Why does having a boat sound like so much fun but seems like it always ends up being too much work in reality?
  3. Tweety Bird, of course!

And here’s my first draft. I realized after I made this that the title should be Tweety Bird’s Escape–much more dramatic. Oh, well. That’s why it’s a first-draft exercise:>)

Tweety Bird Escapes His Cage


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






40 Responses

  1. What a fun poem, Laura, and I agree, the second title would be better.


    One darker cloud
    wants to spoil the day.
    Gives shade instead
    as we sail away.

    1. Victory! I just got drenched in a sudden downpour–luckily I’m not in a boat:>)

  2. I’m first this morning because we are back in school. Today is orientation. Tomorrow first full day. The image of the sail boat takes me back to summer. Love your Tweety Bird escape, especially the sounds of wing and dream.

    Today is the day
    to raise my sail,
    dare wind,
    make way!

    1. Love this, Margaret. Can’t believe you are in school already! Summer is really just starting in Maine! August is our hottest time and we don’t have AC so school would be brutal!

    2. Wow, already? I love the sense of adventure. This sounds like somebody ready to lead their gang onward. Have a great first day Margaret!

  3. Ah, yes FREEDOM.
    So many of us are all to familiar with the clock winding down toward school. Summer always feels like freedom! What a lovely picture and word image. There is movement and excitement in the words and the poem shape. Nice!

    August Wish

    Oh, that a breeze
    could carry me
    like a sail
    or cloud
    across the sea

    1. Thanks, Linda. I love the way you captured that wish of escaping. Somehow August always feels oppressive. Maybe it is just that count down to school or the intense heat I associate with it. Anyway, I really like this.

  4. Ok. I had a “phew” phrases bouncing around in my head with this one. Glad to get them out! Phew!

    Small Boat in a Canal

    High ride
    On man made tide
    Sails rise
    As if to fly
    My Yellow-sided

    1. I love that man-made tide, Donna. And the lovely long I sounds in those last two lines. Fun!

    2. I just got back from Maine…so beautiful. Having spent a lot of time on the water your poem resonated with me. I love the Yellow-sided, Water-strider!

  5. The yellow color caught my eye, and then this nonsense popped into my head:

    banana boating
    the latest craze
    didn’t last long

    1. This made me laugh. Thanks, Lauren. And it in these days of milk carton boat racing and such, who knows?

  6. Laura, thank for the uplifting and energetic image! And for the inspiration to write!

    Blue skies buzz.
    Waves jostle and clap.
    Raise the sails.
    Let’s race the clouds!

  7. First time! Not a sailor but here we go…

    First Sail –

    Waves rise higher
    Shipmates yelling
    Rudder ripping
    Starboard tipping
    Tack it windward!
    Leeward jibe!


  8. I love this pic today I might be a few words over but this is what I thought of

    poem By Jessica Bigi

    The Meaning Of Thanksgiving

    chanceries later
    still celebrating
    seals rising the Delaware
    our new found country
    Cheers Cristopher Columbus

  9. poem By Jessica

    The meaning OF Thanksgiving
    Centriers later still celebrating
    seals rising the Delaware
    our new found country
    Cheers Cristopher Columbus

    1. I love all those /s/ sounds in the first 2 lines, Jessica–and the way this modern image turned you to history.

  10. Good morning. I love the name of the boat. A lot of boats are given female names, usually in honor of someone special. For some reason I envision a child, hearing a parent calling the other parent “Sweetie” and the child repeats Tweetie, thus the name. My poem has nothing to do with what I just said!!!

    Earth’s Promise

    Sailboat’s yellow sliver
    mimics sun’s aura’s
    I’ll fight forever
    to shed light on all.

  11. I love how this brought you to tweety bird, Laura–thanks for the smile!

    In a Flurry

    gulls soar
    kites flap
    waves grow
    sails fill
    clouds swirl
    we rush
    from the beach

  12. This is two over, but it is what leaped to my brain on the instant of seeing your picture.

    Yellow boast, yellow boat
    sailing at sea
    come back to shore
    so you can take me.

    I’d really love to go sailing today in that yellow boat. It looks like so much fun.

  13. I grew up sailing here in Florida and this photo made me reminisce. I think I need revisit the idea and develop a few fleshed out sailing poems. That would be fun.

    Raise the sails
    cut water trails
    We’ll tell the tales
    of big blue whales

  14. Laura your Tweety boat picture made me smile. What a great name for a boat; an escape to freedom indeed. Tweety made me think of a tweet or call to sea.

    #All Aboard

    Silky, white sail
    Downy, soft breeze
    Cloud quilted sky
    Blue hammocked seas.

    1. Jean, I love your textures and the sensory details here. So lovely. Thanks for playing!

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