Tracks [15 Words or Less Poems]

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 glad you’re here.

Photo: Laura P. Salas
Photo: Laura P. Salas

Randy and I went downtown (Minneapolis) a week or two to attend a concert by Cantus, a choral group. The did covers of some pop songs plus the entire Pet Sounds album by the Beach Boys. So cool! Anyway, while walking to the venue, we passed by this wooden sculpture inside a building.

This image makes me think of:

  1. ringlets of hair
  2. roller coaster
  3. tracks for Matchbox cars

And here’s my first draft. 

 indianapolis 5 15wol

It’s your turn! Have fun–go off-track!- and stick to 15 WORDS OR LESS! (Title doesn’t count toward word count)

49 Responses

  1. Laura I love your poem and pic I like the way your words sound to gather
    Poem By Jessica Bigi


    Red kais
    A empty box
    My boll
    Is empty too

    1. Love the empty box, empty bowl and shout for Dad to help. Sorry, but I am not sure what kais means.

    2. Laura I love your poem and pic I like the way your words sound to gather
      Poem By Jessica Bigi


      Red K Scribbled
      A empty box
      My boll
      Is empty too

      1. Thanks, Jessica (my own poem reminds me a bit of the Trains book you gifted me!). I love the drama of this kid’s breakfast tragedy :>)

  2. Laura, love how your words follow the design!


    Didn’t look like much-
    sorta out of touch,
    but when he said HI!
    Oh my!

    1. Sharp eye Cindy. I see the Hi and I like Lauren’s comment that it sounds like a beginning.

    2. Thanks, Cindyb. Hehe! This makes me think of Buffy’s poem this week. Mind and heart not always on the same track. You think one thing, but then your heart says another! What fun:>)

  3. Laura, all three of your first thoughts were fitting and I like the way your wording style provided sights and sounds of those roaring engines and crowds.

    After the Party

    Golden curly cue
    a cleanup miss
    scooped up
    as a memory;
    fifty years of
    wedded bliss.

    1. Thanks, Martha! Ooh, I love the details you give us, and I love knowing that it’s specifically a 50th anniversary party. Lines 3 and 4 just sing in my mind:>)

  4. So I’ve figured out that if I write a long enough sentence, or two sentences, here at the top, then my poem will lay out correctly below. Yay!


    Scrolling, swooping
    swirls and curves—
    I can make letters,
    golden words.

    —Kate Coombs

    1. Four spaces will do it Kate. Love your golden letters making golden words.

    2. Now you just have to compose a little intro every week, Kate:>) I love the movement in this poem, and then that last descriptor of “golden.” Magical!

  5. First Haircut

    Golden ringlets litter floor
    Two-year-old son a baby no more.

    1. I never liked those first haircuts on my sons. Nice take on Laura’s picture!

    2. Awww…so much story and emotion in so few words! Nicely done, Marian!

  6. Love the picture and the energy in your poem, Laura.
    Here’s mine:

    A curvy slide
    like those at school,
    but this one drops me
    in the pool!

    1. How perfect Lauren, and on a day when we will probably set a heat record for June.

  7. A velvet dress
    A starry stare
    And curlicues
    Of perfect hair

    Reminds me of dolls I had growing up!

    1. Nice! I looked at this picture a long while trying to figure out what I could write about that would show this idea–two paths so different in their approach. Love this.

    2. Oh, Buffy, this is lovely and unexpected. I hope your heart has been healing a bit, dealing with the loss of your friend…

      1. Thanks, Laura–I appreciate it. There was a “celebration of life” service yesterday in her memory. She led a full life, with much to celebrate.

  8. When I was in elementary school, I remember thinking that writing in cursive was the sign of being big–no more babyish printing for me! We were not allowed to write our names in cursive until our teacher had taught the perfect swirls of our name’s upper case version, and in my memory it took almost all year to get to the letter E!

    third grade

    the lure of
    looping letters
    curl of cursive
    impatient for permission
    to write my name

    1. What a wonderful story and poem. Yep–third grade, the cursive year. Now many schools don’t teach cursive at all!

    2. I wrote camp letters to grand kids at camp, and after I mailed them, I started wondering- do they know how to read cursive? Your poem brings back how it used to be.…

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