Waterfall [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, especially on a holiday like today! Happy 4th of July!

Photo: Laura P. Salas

 This image makes me think of several things:

  1. canyoning in Scotland (one of my favorite memories of my life!)
  2. seeing Niagara Falls in person and feeling the mist on my face
  3. Cookie Monster’s fur after a blow-out at the salon–ha!

And here’s my first draft.  I realized it was Oscar the Grouch who is so scruffy/scraggly. This is a second draft. I liked my first draft better, but it was 18 words. :>(

Oscar's Hair Salon Lament

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







23 Responses

  1. Well, I, for one, would love to hear more about canyoning in Scotland! I’m always fascinated by the ideas your images spark for you, Laura. Oscar the Grouch!?! lol This reminded me of some sort of giant cosmic paper shredder.


    Shred yesterday’s pain
    into rivulets
    and ribbons
    Seek renewal
    See the potential
    for transformation

    1. Oh, this is lovely, Molly! Those first three lines are especially lovely–in meaning and sound!

  2. poem by Jessica Bigi

    Rainy Summer

    Mom yellsy’
    raining leaky roof
    buckets pails mopes
    my rubber boost
    puddle’s jumping
    splashing mud fun

    1. Jessica, I LOVE how different the narrator’s viewpoint is from the mom’s. What a hoot!

  3. Good morning and a safe, happy July 4th one and all. Poor Oscar; “Mama told me there would be days like this.” The Niagara Falls mist sounds wonderful, but my first thought was a combing machine.

    Wrapped in Love

    Bolls gleaned
    baled, blown
    carded, combed;
    luxurious skeins
    into winter warmth.

    1. Oh, Martha, I love this. My next book with Boyds Mills is called IF YOU WANT TO KNIT SOME MITTENS, and it’s a (fictionalized humorous) account of how wool goes from sheep to hand:>) Your poem feels so extravagant!

  4. Loved Oscar’s lament. You should have sneKed you other one in, too. Just hyphenate????!

    When I was a kid,my mom let me go play outside in a downpour. I held onto the pillars of our front porch and leaned out so my whole body was under the end of the rain gutter. What a day! My mom was a nurse. She knew we wouldn’t “catch our death”.

    Downpour Uproar

    Rain spied!
    We sigh.
    Spout gushes
    Mom shushes
    And rushes
    All four

    By Donna JT Smith

  5. I hope everyone is having a Happy Fourth and/or happy day if you aren’t in the US. My family traveled last week and got to see a bit of Canada Day. So, we are home and still in our jammies without a care in the world. It’s gray and steamy…not sure we will go out until fireworks time.

    Your Cookie Monster made me giggle. I can only imagine Cookie Monster in the chair under a cape getting a blow out. LOL.

    I just played with words…nothing that makes real sense.

    Water pages
    read left to
    rightup to
    mist on face

    1. Sounds like a lovely day, Linda! I like your stream of consciousness musing. I want to try more of this as a way to write my way into a poem. I like a finished poem to make sense, but just letting loose in early drafts and prewriting–that invites the magic in!

  6. “Rain”

    Racing rivulets,
    Retreat rapidly,

    Rolling refractions,
    Rage resplendent,

    Resounding rhythms,
    Running rampant.

    Roughly reflecting,

  7. Hi Laura it’s been awhile since I’ve commented on 15 words, but always reading nonetheless. Oscar’s lament is perfect! I just love “A scraggly grouch.” Happy 4th of July!

    Grasping strands
    Of falling water,
    I ascend,
    Believing all things are possible.


    Curtain of streamers
    at the door,
    beckoning entrance:
    Come! Explore!
    See for yourself,
    treasures galore!

  9. I’m listening to some distant rumbles of thunder as I write this. Happy 4th to all!

    Summer Storm

    Sheets of rain
    cleansing air and street
    streaming down trunks and leaves
    beating summer heat.

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