15 Words or Less Poems


I’ve written before about Laura Purdie Salas’s weekly 15 Words or Less Poem Challenge and my responses.  I so enjoy accepting her low pressure invitation to “wake up my poetry brain” each week. You can check out the guidelines here.  It’s continually fascinating to discover how people move from picture to poetry and how varied the responses are from one photo. (If you’re interested, click on the link under each photo to visit Laura’s blog. You will get the backstory on each photo and can enjoy other responses.) Laura emphasizes that these are “first draft poems” so I typically limit my drafting time to around 10 minutes or so. I can’t even convince myself that I don’t have time for that!

Here are a few recent photos and my responses.

Jigsaw photo credit to Laura P. Salas

Sunrise on the Pond

Golden rays caress
rippling balsam reflections
and drifts of lily pads.
Blue sky peeks through.

Molly Hogan (c) 2016

Prelude to a Kiss

Beneath the pond
her golden ball
awaiting the intrepid frog

Molly Hogan (c) 2016

This week’s photo prompt:

Losing Perspective Photo credit to Laura P. Salas

New Year

At the precipice
the bow pauses,
poised above swirling seas,
then plunges
into unchartered territory

Molly Hogan (c) 2016

Wishing you and yours a year filled with the wonder of words and poetry. You can start right now by clicking here to visit Poetry Friday Roundup. Donna Smith at Mainely Write is hosting this week and you’re sure to discover something to start your year off right!


16 thoughts on “15 Words or Less Poems

  1. What a great response! I’ve been meaning to take up this challenge as well. I took the #haikuforhealing challenge and it was fun! However, my life is such that I can truly only handle one challenge at a time. I think I will take this one up next. Thanks for the link and the encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks! I can barely take up one challenge these days, Linda, but I enjoy the low-pressure nature of this one and knowing there’s a chance to participate each week. I’m hoping to do so more regularly this year and will look for your poems. Happy New Year!


  2. Irene Latham says:

    Thank you for sharing these, Molly! I love the poems you found in these pictures… Laura is such a gift to this community, isn’t she? And you know what? You can accomplish a lot of first drafts over a year in 10 minutes a day. Could be part of your “uncharted territory”… Happy 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish I had my act together enough to participate, but I have decided to focus on writing a book in the new year. It’s been on the back burner long enough. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love writing prompts and challenges – I can get so bogged down with everyday stresses that I need a little jolt to get my creative juices flowing again. These little poems are so fun – it’s amazing how much you can convey with just a few words!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dmayr says:

    I participated for about three years or so. I looked forward to it each week, but, on Thursdays I always ended up getting into work a bit later than normal, and, as you can imagine, that posed a problem! I probably should go back and try again, but, write after I get home from work! Thanks for sharing your poems, they are lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks! I don’t always participate, Diane, but I do try to do so in the morning. It helps me limit the time I put into it because if I don’t, I’ll start running late for work, too. Hope to see you there sometime!


  6. These were done in 10 minutes? Beautiful work, and it proves how sometimes our first impressions and impulses are worth putting out their without so much over-thinking and editing! (“Prelude to a kiss” is my favorite.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Violet. I aim for 10 min. or so, but sometimes spill over a bit–sometimes a bit more than a bit! I really try to keep “first draft” in mind though so I can keep it low stress. Recently I’ve gotten in the habit of looking at the photo, then showering and thinking about it, then coming back and drafting. I hadn’t thought about it but if I counted that pondering time, that would definitely put me over 10 min!


  7. Wonderful responses, Molly. Looking forward to enjoying more of your 15 wol poems in the new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Donna Smith says:

    I love waking up to Laura’s challenges – and love reading your responses, too! These are wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are wonderful, Molly! It is amazing how one image can inspire so many different responses. I really love your clever “Prelude to a Kiss”. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Heidi says:

    Very nice work, Molly–I’ve participated before, but I have to be careful not to look at what Laura says about the images before I write or I get over-influenced! “New Year” is a wonderful, anticipatory moment.


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