Tyger [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 very glad you’re here.

tiger face 15wol
Photo: Laura P. Salas

Hello, writer and educator friends. My life grows ever more intense (I really didn’t think that was possible), and I miss you guys!  

When I attended that drum corps show in Farmington, MN, a few weeks ago, I was inside the high school and saw this art project, where different students had each created one segment of a grid that created a tiger. I love this. It reminds me that even inside prescribed tasks, we each show our own voice and style. This image makes me think of:

  1. schizophrenia
  2. a big community mural on the side of a building
  3. William Blake’s poem, of course (though this tyger has a bit more asymmetry than symmetry, perhaps)

And here’s my first draft. 

 two paintbrushes 15wol

Blanket statement for July/August. Hope you’re having a wonderful summer. Mine is overwhelmingly busy and emotional. When you Comment, I get an email, and I will be doing my best to read every poem you guys write. But my availability over the summer to comment on each poem will be limited. I hope you’ll write because you love it and enjoy this community. Please know I value your participation, even if I am not able to respond much this month.

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

20 Responses


    Every morning
    something new
    tells me THAT’S
    what I must do.
    I desire

  2. Laura I love this pic and your the poem I love your tidal

    Poem By Jessica Bigi

    Writers Block

    Jungle gyms
    of typewriter T’s
    jumble across
    blank pages
    SHUS Whisper
    A tiger lies

    1. Laura I love this pic and your the poem I love your tidal

      Poem By Jessica Bigi

      Writers Block

      Jungle gyms
      of typewriter T’s
      jumble across
      blank pages
      SHUS Whisper
      A tigers lying

  3. Picasso came to mind with this picture, but then something more urgent led to my poem.
    Thanks for continuing 15 WOL Laura. Hope life slows down for you soon.

    Waking, I don’t feel like me:
    confused, no personality.
    Then ahhh — my magic morning coffee.

  4. My first thought was those sliding puzzles we used to get where you put numbers in order or assembled a picture by sliding tiles… so what if when you got it put together it became real?

    sliding puzzle

    in a jumble -
    thumbs scramble,
    tiles tumble
    tiger’s rumble…
    trembling -
    to lose?

    by Donna JT Smith, 2016

    1. I thought about those sliding tile puzzles, too. though my poem went a different way. Love your poem- clever!

  5. Laura, wishing for you a less intense day, more peaceful moments, and soon mergence of things askew into one blissful setting for this phase in your life’s journey.


    One alone
    two companionship
    three welcome
    then more;
    spaces filled
    pieces fit
    puzzle solved;


  6. Fierce, dangerous gaze
    Cold, distant eyes
    Red-hot fire
    Cold white ice
    A tumultuous reflection

  7. I started writing about sliding jumbled tiles–then saw Donna’s poem and decided to start again. I’m raising monarch caterpillars again this year, and this is what’s happening now:

    Monarch Morning

    casting her striped skin
    for a green-and-golden case
    she reassembles the puzzle pieces

    1. Well, that’s one way to look at it! Reassembles the puzzle pieces- love it!

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