Sailing Ships [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. 

So, the picture I posted last week was a filtered image (as usual) of some frosted glass with a coral‑y design on it. I think it was at my Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, though I’m not 100% sure. It was just on a glass wall or door, but the shapes caught my eye. Here’s another picture, also, I think, from my airport. (If not from mine, these are from the St. Louis Airport.)

Airport sailing ship
Photo: Laura P. Salas

Isn’t that cool? There was a whole fleet of these hanging from the ceiling near one of the gates. This image makes me think of several things:

  1. an origami stegosaurus
  2. the Hindenburg
  3. the beauty of a freshly sharpened pencil

And here’s my first draft. 

origami dinosaur 15wol

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







32 Responses

    In the glass journey…
    Hybrid vessel a thousand destinations
    Mind wanders free.

    1. I love how surreal this is. I’m working to get a little more of that into my own poetry.

  2. Oh, I do love a freshly sharpened pencil.…the feel and the scent and the scrape of the point on paper. Thanks for this image, Laura. It’s really cool. I’m digging the origami scene you’ve painted. I took the sharpened in the direction of pencils.

    Freshly sharpened airships
    of our stenography pool
    wait poised for shorthand
    across wide, bright skies

  3. Merry Christmas to you, Laura, and to all my poet friends! ( in fourteen words!)


    Missiles speeding through the night
    gather stars to give them light.

    Love darts
    piercing hearts.

  4. Love this picture, Laura. And your origami
    dino is great–I like how the last two lines go together–ancient and modern

    The picture made me think of a steampunky Star Trek crew.

    swept along
    by silent sails.
    Still searching–
    we’ve left no mark
    save stardust swirls.

    1. Thanks, Rebekah. Oh, this is gorgeous. I love all the alliteration and beautiful language–those second and third lines are dreamy!

  5. Laura, the sharpened pencil is perfect. The visual takes me back to daydreaming at the pencil sharpener in the classroom and the teacher bringing me back to reality with the adage “waste not want not;” also the temptation
    to stick the eraser end of the pencil into an electric sharpener. Ouch! Never did. I saw an alien spaceship under the right point of the ship.

    “Earth to Mars: Come in Please”

    Do we fear you,
    prepare to fight?
    too much punch
    and party last night?

    1. So many of our attitudes are affected by things that have nothing to do with the actual issue at hand, right? And yes to daydreaming at the pencil sharpener! You are my sister:>)

  6. A dino love poem, perhaps? Happy Holidays, everyone.

    I’ll stick stars
    on my spine
    to shine
    a path
    between us.

  7. Pencil Point

    The pencil scratches.
    Sharp words
    Shoot to the offender.
    Point made.

  8. Happy holidays to all–I so enjoy your prompts each week, Laura, and the responses that everyone shares. May your sharp pencils discover new adventures in 2018!

    The Journey

    Voyagers sail
    through sea and sky
    traveling aboard
    the mind’s eye

    1. Thank you, Buffy! Ooh, this is fun. I’m hearing the old-school Star Trek narrator (was it Gene Roddenberry who did the opening?) proclaim this poem in my head!

  9. Love your last line Laura
    poem By Jessica Bigi

    Teacher I swear
    I tried to wright my
    poems but my pen
    ate all my paper

  10. I loved all your ideas! I immediately went to the writing of ideas as being light as air, like the model, and your pencil fit right in!


    Delicate as air -
    Caught with flair
    To spare
    To ink blots

    Donna JT Smith

  11. I feel like there’s a story in this one, about tiny denizens of airports. Happy Holidays to all of you!

    Small starboats sail the cloudways,
    made quaint by the passing
    of vast human airships.

    —Kate Coombs

    1. Oooh. I feel like that first line could be the mentor text for a fun activity where kids make unexpected compound words and then create poems from them!

  12. Laura this picture is beautiful! Sorry to have missed last week, and be late this week, but grad school finals are killers. Your origami poem made me laugh, with grazing on the dresser. Those beautiful ships fit right in with my research paper I had to write and was my inspiration for my poem.


    Pointed vessel spearheads,
    hypothesis driven.
    Seeking what is unknown,
    the answer may surprise you.

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