Trunk [15 Words or Less Poems]

Welcome to 15 Words or Less Poems Day! Are you ready to wake up your poetry brains with our weekly exercise (guidelines here)?

Tree Cross-Section at Bell Museum
Photo: Laura P. Salas

Here’s one last picture from the Bell Museum of Natural History . This is a cross-section of a tree from a fig-tree display (the curator of the museum is doing some kind of fig tree study). The curlicue and gracefulness of this shape caught my eye. This image makes me think of:

  1. a violin (and my “concerts” in 1st and 2nd grade)
  2. scoliosis (and my friend Robin, who wore a brace to correct hers all through junior high and high school)
  3. how life clings to death–that fresh green vine clinging to the dead wood…

And, here’s my first draft.  No video this week, though I may do it again occasionally. I thought about how many creatures depend on dead trees for their own shelter and food, and I also was thinking about how sometimes we can feel a little dead inside–sad about something, depressed, whatever. And sometimes just someone else seeing what’s wonderful about us can remind us of our own worth.




It’s your turn! Have fun and stick to 15 WORDS OR LESS! (Title doesn’t count toward word count:>) If you leave a poem in the comments, and if it’s 15 words or less, I’ll try to respond!


51 Responses

    1. Amelia, I love silver branches. It’s soothing to me to see that during the winter when the leaves are gone. Don’t you know there are tales to be told.

    2. This is beautiful. Makes me want to sit and “read” the tree, which sounds so magical here.

    3. Love the story untold line. I often think about the stories these old trees know.


    It looks stable,
    fit and able.
    But it’s not.
    It’s full of rot.

    Don’t usually look on the grim side, but trees can be like that. People, too, sadly.

    1. When we had so much rain last spring, quite a few large trees just fell over. The story was they were rotted inside, and when the roots loosened, no more strength to stand. Your poem shows that well.

  2. Fables


    poem By Jessica Bigi

    Laura I love all the descripted words in your poem

    1. THanks, Jessica–I love the medieval feel to this. Those first two images are my favorites. The dragons and the cruel alphabet letter (cruel is awesome here).

  3. Another gorgeous picture, Laura. Love the curves of the tree trunk.

    Green with envy,
    Spring grows wild -
    tried to hide
    the bare beauty
    of Winter.

    1. Ellie, I love the way you mention the beauty of each season. And so true in springtime.

    2. It’s nice to focus on that green, & in spring, you’re right, many things “spring” up to hide the bare winter look. I like “Green with envy”.

    3. Oh, nice. This poem is so short, but so *lush*–well done! I’m posting a poem for PF tomorrow about that bare beauty of winter:>)

  4. This is so “cute.” At first sight I see a little squirrel’s face sticking out at the top. Perfect timing, Laura.

    Open House

    To all my friends:
    the time is right
    that doggie door
    is now shut tight.

    Our dog has a lame knee and at the present time is forbidden from using his doggie door and the back steps. The squirrels are celebrating, big time!

    1. Martha, I can see the squirrel now, too! Love that. And, awww. Poor dog. So humiliating to have to let the squirrels run freely without chasing them. I love the contradiction of “Open House,” when it’s really the yard that’s open, and the house that’s shut tight! Hope your dog heals soon.

  5. Interesting picture. My first thought was — what is hiding in that hole? Has to be an animal, right?

    A Home for Owls

    Owlets huddle out-of-sight,
    safe, secure, nestled tight
    until the darkness of the night.

    1. We love owls Pat. I have a special one that greets me each morning as I go for the paper. It’s still dark of course, never seen it, but it’s a comforting sound. Sweet rhyme.

    2. Oooh, that is a nice, tight, little triplet, Pat! I really like “nestled” and how the owls have to be kept safe in daytime, not night:>)

  6. I love finding the patterns in nature! Spirals are big…


    Pull back,
    Acorn rolls—
    come and play
    the pinball oak.

    —Kate Coombs

    1. I love this idea. That really takes me back. Do they even make those anymore?

  7. I haven’t written in a long time, too much going on I guess. Sorry to have missed so many of your wonderful pictures, Laura. I’ve seen so many fig trees branch out from the bottom, & this reminds me of that, two big trunks.

    Humans Mimic Nature

    A tree cut
    with conjoined trunks -
    shows those too close curl away,
    find separate light.
    Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

    1. Welcome, Linda! Always happy to see you hear, and no apologies needed :>) I like all the “c” sounds, which cut words apart so clearly. And the use of “curl.” Lovely!

  8. Change of Plans

    Gnarled, curled, can’t be a bat
    So I’ll aspire to be a Strat.

    1. Lovely! I was trying to write a question poem yesterday. Mine (unlike yours) failed miserably! Love that last line.

  9. (Late to the game today. Thinking about all your poems while I listen to the rain.)

    in the chambers
    of my shell–
    amplified emptiness.

    1. I’m not even a coffee drinker, but there are days I’m definitely crushed like coffee beans! Imaginative analogy!

  10. Thanks, Laura. What is your secret? How is one NOT a coffee drinker? How would I go on?
    Can I say here your poem this week blew me away? I didn’t want to contribute after I read yours. It was perfection in 15 Words or Less. That is NOT easy.

    1. Sorry–can’t stand coffee! Even the smell. Even mixed with delicious things like ice cream, or caramel, or chocolate. It’s sad, isn’t it? Thanks for your kind words. I felt my poem this week was too general. Too abstract and big picture‑y. No details and images to grab hold of. I’m always disappointed when my poems read that way. But I’m always thrilled if they connect with someone else:>D

  11. Come deep within
    My inner darkness
    To discover a world
    Of mystery to behold

    Anne McKenna

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