Voldetort the Turtle [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. 

Photo: Laura P. Salas

Here’s Voldetort the turtle, whom we were caring for for a month or so until we could give him to the Minnesota Herpetological Society, where its passionate volunteers will find a good home for him or let him be an ambassador in their educational outreach programs. He is such a sweetie. I had no idea turtles had so much personality!

This image makes me think of several things:

  1. the idiom “coming out of your shell”
  2. turtle as drummer (he would tap tap tap the glass)
  3. the most uncomfortable Halloween costume ever

And here’s my first draft.

It’s your turn! Have fun and stick to 15 WORDS OR LESS! (Title doesn’t count toward word count.) I’m feeling utterly crummy today and am trying to meet a couple of deadlines this morning and then go to bed. I’m teaching at a young authors conference tomorrow and am hoping to get over some of my hacking cough! I’m hoping you guys will comment and encourage each other, as I likely won’t be online much today. Thank you!







39 Responses

    1. This describes my 5 yr. old granddaughter’s water color paintings. Next time, I’ll tell her she painted a turtle! 🙂

  1. Ha! Ha! Loved your poem, Laura! I fondly remember when Indiana did not participate in “Saving Time.” I’m still a bit rebellious about it.

    First Morning After Changing the Time

    In cold and dark
    I peek out my shell.
    Maybe it’s morning-
    who can tell?

    1. So in tune with your comment and your poem, Cindy. Maybe in another week or two things will even out. I had an 8 AM appt. this morning and it was still almost dark when I left. Cute rhyme.

  2. Turtles talk
    with their eyes
    turning your soul
    Talk to a turtle today.

    1. Oh, I love this.…I’ve been feeling like I’m coming down with something but can’t quite get or be sick. I need some turtle love.

    2. I love this, because more than once I thought what a good listener Voldy was.

  3. This photo has stumped me…which doesn’t often happen. I love the name Voldetort. So funny.

    Voldetort takes
    environmental challenges
    on the chin.
    Fortunately,he has friends.
    The Minnesota Herpetological Society

    1. That third line is too funny paired with the pose in the picture. I agree, Voldetort is hilarious. Glad your Voldetort has friends.

    2. Our daughter is a pun-master (gets it from my husband). I like your poem, Linda, and I applaud you for writing a draft even when you DON’T feel inspired with the photo or a specific idea. That’s what writers do:>) Woohoo!

  4. Laura what a beautiful turtle! Looks like he had a great future ahead of him.

    Ready For My Close Up

    Look at me,
    don’t I look swell,
    snug inside my turtle shell!

    1. Isn’t he handsome? I hope he gets a good family! Love the voice of your poem, Jean.

  5. I salute you for caring for the turtle. I can hear the little taps on the glass. I never cease to be amazed with the human persona in animals. Colors are definitely Halloweenish!

    My Day at the Spa

    Entered with anticipation
    left with indignation
    nails a joke
    shell broke
    makeup to ruin reputation.

    1. Oh dear — disappointment across the board. Voldetort should get her money back.

  6. I was thinking along the same lines as Jean. What amazing colors! We once fostered a duckling for a local wildlife park when I was young; it was not an easy guest.

    Down the Walkway

    I pose and sashay
    in my orange suit,
    painted nails, painted face-
    damn, I’m cute!

    –Kate Coombs

  7. Laura, I hope you get some rest and feel better. This little guy is a cutie. What kind of turtle is he? –Ann

    Turtle Dreaming (About Being a Zebra)

    Sun sets on orange shell
    I rest among tall yellow blades
    Evening in the grasslands

    1. He’s a painted turtle, Ann. He really is a cutie-pie. Not a term I use often for turtles, honestly, though I like them fine. I love the mood of your poem…

  8. Love the turtle! Hope you’re feeling better, Laura. The turtle in my nonsense poem isn’t.

    I’ve been feeling blue -
    perhaps the flu?
    But no. I’ve caught
    a stripe or two!

  9. What a wonderful Critter Laura, thanks for sharing Voldetort, and your clever poem!
    Gaaaze into my eyes,
    follow my mesmerizing stripes,
    Snap–Now hand over those flies!

    1. A spell — what a fun idea with those mesmerizing stripes. I love gaaaze.

  10. sorry I’m so late
    poem By Jessica

    March Madness

    Flurrying snow bunny frenzies
    swirling freezing blizzards around
    tortes sporting flowers emerge
    for spring shale of earth

  11. sorry I’m so late
    poem By Jessica

    March Madness

    Flurrying snow bunny frenzies
    swirling freezing blizzards around
    tortes sporting flowers emerge
    form spring shale of earth

  12. sorry I’m so late
    poem By Jessica

    March Madness

    Flurrying snow bunny frenzies
    swirling freezing blizzards around
    slow tortes — flowers emerge
    form spring

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