Tectonic Rift [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. 

Iceland Rift
Photo: Laura P. Salas
Laura Goofing Off at Iceland Rift
Photo: Randy A. Salas

A favorite site in Iceland was the rift in Thingvellir National Park, where two tectonic plates meet. The earth is oh-so-slowly bubbling up between those plates, molten lava surging upward and hardening into land. The land on opposite sides of this rift is moving in opposite directions at the rate of about 1 centimeter per year. Geology is amazing. (The diagonal line sort of near the center of the rift image is a hiking trail, and those little specks are people walking along it in the fresh snow.)

And there I am goofing off a bit. (I have a fear of falling–rest assured I was NOWHERE near the edge of the rift when this was taken.) This image makes me think of several things:

  1. A doorway to inner earth
  2. A monster with lava tongues
  3. The Grand Canyon (which I’ve never been to)

And here’s my first draft–which went in an entirely new direction!

earth as an egg 15wol


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






22 Responses

  1. Slow grind of teeth
    Deep-throated grumble
    S t r e t c h
    then back to sleep

    1. Love that grind, and all the sounds in your poem. Even line 3 has a sound for me, because I yawn or groan a bit when I do a drawn-out stretch like that!

  2. Love your goofing around! I used to goof around much more when I was a kid.…why am I such nervous nelly as an old person?! ha!

    I had so much fun with this prompt!
    I started with the idea of “plate”
    Laura’s word “yolk” gave me more of an idea.…that led to Tectonic Plate Special
    which meant I had to search for the origin of that term
    Which led me to the advertisement of a meal for 25 cents on a blog of another word nerd
    Which led to my draft.

    I love 15 words or less prompts! So. Much. Fun!

    Tectonic Plate Special

    Enjoy a stack
    of hot molten
    Lava cakes
    scrambled magma
    bottomless rift juice.
    Served daily.

    25 ¢

    I put it all together with Laura’s photo : http://awordedgewiselindamitchell.blogspot.com/

    1. Love this, Linda! I tried to share it through Hootsuite, and it wouldn’t let me share to my FB Page because of “material reported as abusive.” What?! I went to my FB Page to see if I could manually share your post, and I got this error message. Hmm…will try to add photo. Just a sec. Anyway, some setting in your site is, I suspect, what’s keeping your Comments from showing up without my moderating them.

        1. Thanks! I think someone .… somewhere reported my blog because I cannot post anywhere without getting that warning. Sadly, I have a fb frenemy that may have done it because I could not agree with her conservative political views. Sigh.

  3. Laura, I’m thinking you didn’t walk the trail? What an amazing sight!


    Opinions shift.
    Another rift

    Stand between.
    Stay serene

    Love neutralizes.

    1. This is wonderful, Cindyb! Love that final line. Sometimes love isn’t dramatic; it’s just calm and productive, helping two sides be there, together, without venom. No, we didn’t. Sadly. We had no snow boots, plus Randy was sick. Next time (hoping there is a next time–loved Iceland!).

  4. This is an incredible picture. Surreal. Hard to believe it’s a real place on Earth.

    Ground shifts
    rift opens
    hearts bleed
    time stands still
    You choose to stay

    –Margaret Simon

    1. Oh, that third line. And at first I read the final line as “away,” and my heart broke. Then I was glad to realize that the subject is staying, despite the pain. This moved me.

  5. Such a soft and gentle tone to this.….we went in opposite directions today. I love “Love neturalizes” like the hikers walking up and down the path.

  6. For some reason Jules Verne and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea comes to mind, but I deferred to my one and only visit to the Grand Canyon and an overnight at the El Tovar.

    From the South Rim

    arise before daybreak
    hike to nearest overlook
    sunrise spotlights chasm
    river twinkles “good morning”

  7. I’ll reade everyons poems later I love this pic and your poem Laura

    Poem By Jessica Bigi

    The Advancer Of A Oreo Cookie

    Teetering the tips
    of my fingers two
    Chocolatey cookies
    I give a twist
    magical icing worlds
    Await my smile

  8. I love your yolk of hidden magma, Laura. Nothing would come to mind for a poem today until I got in the kitchen just now.

    I baked you a cake,
    but with that crack
    the tasty layers
    just won’t stack.

      1. I loved your clever poem when I read it early in the day. Scrambled magma is a fun image.

        Only now do I see that I borrowed both stack and cake from you for my poem. My bad.

    1. Love all the small i sounds, and the whole emotional arc in such a short space. Thanks for joining in, Diane, and welcome!

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