Tree Puzzle [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. 

Missing Pieces
Photo: Laura P. Salas

The leaves are all gone now from our beautiful maple, so I’m enjoying it through photos retroactively:>)

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. nature doesn’t work on our schedule
  2. so many missing puzzle pieces still about the way some things work
  3. robot trees

And here’s my first draft.  (I actually love technology, but sometimes…)


Note: I am at NCTE in St. Louis, so I won’t be able to comment on poems today. Hopefully, I’m seeing some poetry friends in person, though!

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


41 Responses

  1. What an intriguing combination–technology and trees! Love it, Laura, especially that “byte of birch”! Here’s my effort–


    Accumulating change
    creates a puzzle
    I ponder missing pieces.

    1. How very interesting, from your title to end. I get a sense of regret, or perhaps renewed effort to fill in the gaps. You’ve packed a lot in three lines.

  2. Laura, enjoy every moment of NCTE! I am just home from AASL and still feel fully charged with the energy I gained from all I learned. My poetry friday blog post tomorrow is all about the places I found poetry. Yay!

    It’s funny, when I come here on Thursday mornings, I usually skim your poem so as not to get to taken with an idea that’s not mine. Today, the word retroactively caught me. Now that I’ve drafted and come back to read yours—unprogrammable sky! LOVE.

    Energy revived
    Backward flow
    Thinks about the past
    Forward blast

    1. How extremely clever with your retro words and definitions. I like how you carry us forwards at the end.

  3. “Unprogrammable beauty” is just what it is!
    I see the beauty here though It looks to be disappearing as each pixel Is being sniffed out.

    Boxed In Beauty

    Her radiant smile
    One trial
    At a time.

  4. I like the beauty in your blend of nature and technology, Laura. Todays picture reminded me of watching TV when a storm blocks the signal.

    satellite service disrupted
    frozen picture

  5. Good morning. This picture made me think of my first drive across the US. Of course I was traveling from east to west but I can mentally rotate the photo and make it work. The memory of looking in the rearview at darkness and then ahead to sunlight and blue sky is still vivid, yet leaves me with a sense of forever chasing the light.

    Life Choices

    Light elusive
    dark ensues
    erase regrets
    push forward
    into life.

  6. Love the ending of your poem, Laura. How true!


    Her checkered past
    left some aghast
    but that’s behind.
    There’s peace of mind
    at last.

  7. Oh, fall leaves! I’ve raked a lot of leaves in the past month. I’ll bet you guys have, too.

    Leaves fall
    like puzzle pieces—
    hard to assemble
    red, red, red
    on the forest floor.

    —Kate Coombs

  8. Laura this is an interesting way to look at an image today. I enjoyed your digital point of view. My eye seemed focused on the white squares, which reminded me of MRI scans, and inspired my poem.

    “Don’t Get Old…”

    Winter is upon me;
    cold limbs creak.
    White matter lesions
    puzzle my thoughts.

  9. Have a wonderful time
    poem By Jessica Bigi

    On the back
    Of every leaf
    Maps of the world
    All life’s secrets
    Are in the wind

  10. Enjoy NCTE! As I looked at this picture, I was drawn to the gaps–and reminded that we must sometimes let old things go before something new can grow–and that I don’t like waiting for it it happen.


    Falling leaves
    reveal gaps
    that must
    next year’s

    1. I believe you have a powerful message here of letting go of imperfections to allow for growth. Nice. Frustrating when those changes seem to take forever.

  11. I love this photo–such a cool and unusual effect! And a byte of birch made me smile..

    Fall Fury

    maple spits her leaves
    whipping smacking slamming
    refusing to check the box marked
    autumn beauty

  12. Laura: I hope you and all our mutual friends are enjoying the wahoozies out of NCTE. I keep hearing it’s the place to be this weekend. {}

    I want you to know how much I love your poem this week. I read your work before I saw the poem. It’s like trying to listen to the song without seeing the video first. The technical jargon blends in so effortlessly and seamlessly, so much I didn’t know you were playing with these digital-oriented words based on your photo.

    I love your homage to poet-tree. xoxo

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