Day 1: Our January Mindful Writing Challenge Starts HERE!

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What appears in the first light of day as we enter this new year?

The 2014 Mindful Writing Challenge starts today! Post your small stone here.

Will you join us in writing a small stone every day during January? Post your first one in the comments below.

  • Notice one thing each day.
  • Give your whole awareness to it.
  • Write it down.

Share your small stones here in the comments of our daily blog posts, or on twitter with the #smallstone tag, on Facebook or anywhere you like.

Gusting wind. Bulging bottle gourds drum against the fence. Wind chimes play an autumnal capriccioso. The graceful spruces dance.

*

Chris Galvin

Give your Mindful Writing Challenge a boost with 31 Days of Waking Up, our options support package for the January Challenge, sign up and get 31 daily emails with writing prompts and tips, an original essay on waking up and four daily practices to help you see the world more clearly.

We’re looking forward to reading your small stones, so get writing!

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Comments & replies

402 thoughts on “Day 1: Our January Mindful Writing Challenge Starts HERE!

  1. Susan Sleepwriter

    In the casuarinas
    currawongs swing
    on lazy hip hip hoorays
    and the steady gravel-crunch
    of joggers
    overlays the revelry
    of new year’s day.

  2. Mark Sargeant

    clouds sweep into the city harbour,
    its turquoise waters darkening.

    the wind hammers tiny indentations onto puddles,
    and blows our hair into the sky.

    on the quay, a one legged pigeon stands sentry,
    his little eyes flitting around.

      1. Cheryl

        Negative space shapes
        Outlined by parts of bare branches
        Mimic stained glass sections
        I never tire of looking at them
        A positive experience
        (That involves the word (negative)
        Something I enjoy
        About this season

  3. Linda

    The sun has departed the first day of 2014. Twilight shows varying shades of green, softened in the coolness of evening.

  4. Kylie Whyte

    Someone is blowing his nose nearby. It sounds like a ‘he’ – a honking noise. I can imagine him trying over and over again to dislodge the offending matter in his nostrils. I think he carries a big white hankie. It doesn’t sound like a tissue on the receiving end.

  5. Satya Robyn Post author

    the first struck match of the year,
    like the rip of thick paper.
    now our charcoal-coloured Buddha
    is holding light
    in his hands

  6. Debbie Pugh

    Wind blowing through the trees echoing the sadness in my heart reaching a place of acceptancre

  7. Patricia

    Waking up into the new year,
    the wind still howling
    the same repertoire as
    last year.
    Seems like yesterday.

  8. Paul L White

    Welcoming the New Year’s face,
    Yon winds of Promise fall in place
    To whisk the tears that once were there,
    Replaced by Dreams’ and Hope’s repair.

    But all’s not lost with blows before,
    As they left something Good in store–
    A wiser, cautious, better Me,
    Who brings, would pray, that trend to Thee!

  9. Ian Hill

    On my balcony wrapped against the cold, the Bergamot scent of Earl Grey waking my senses to the first sunrise of 2014.

  10. Tina Cole

    The New Year shouts its arrival, wild wind and rain
    battering the door for admittance
    But still six survivors on the apple tree,
    the woodpecker is pleased.

  11. Sharon Strickland

    the warmth of human skin
    the softness of kitten fur
    the comfort of my bed
    the smell of coffee

  12. Helen

    Ruby red stems dazzle the eyes and warm the heart. A touch of vibrant colour in an otherwise stark winter landscape. Let’s champion that which brightens and cheers those around it.

  13. Michelle

    Gently tracing the inked lines on your smooth skin, limbs entwined in complete mutual trust, abandonment and caring.

    1. Danna

      Takeout counter, grease. Empty chairs, fluorescent light illuminated. Muted footsteps on the sticky floor, reverberated. Scrawny hands on the register, daunted. A midnight outtake.

      Day 2

  14. julie daigle

    the prick, prick, prick of icy air against a nose, a sleeved arm, cool kitty fur warming and a baby blue sunrise promise

  15. E.E. Nobbs

    All those shovels
    All that snow
    The world a scoop
    Like an ice-cream sundae
    Slowly eaten by stars.

  16. Janet Pal

    Soft, silky, grey-and-white fur. Curled up and snoring contentedly in my lap. My little Zen Master Smokey.

  17. Dorothee

    First of January. outside, it’s rain, then a moment of sun. I have poems for breakfast, and a star, chocolate-covered: the last of the christmas cookies.

  18. Connie Morrison

    old year down
    new year up
    a fluffy poof of grey and white
    stares at me from her hot pink pillow

  19. JulesPaige

    tanka: consider…

    consider each day
    a new beginning to live
    life to the fullest

    new years just mark calendars
    turning pages like a book

    ©JP/davh

  20. Pattie

    New Year’s Resolutions
    Silly things, really…
    Putting that much pressure on myself to start the year off.
    I’m not doing it.
    I’m breaking them all today.
    I’m free.

    1. Andrea

      Because maybe it is important to celebrate how okay we really are BEFORE we go and tackle those goals.

  21. Ann Fox

    First day of a new year. I’m watching television and talking to friends on my computer, my other half is asleep in his chair. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  22. Suzanne Pearsall Murdza

    7:04am 2014
    It’s really a rather unremarkable day as it begins.
    The year however, a grand bright beginning.

  23. Denise Douros

    rusted bones ache fire
    douse flames with words to stand erect
    while bleeding commas cry

  24. Joanie

    January 1: A New Year has dawned. I close my eyes and listen to the soft strumming of a guitar and the gentle breathing of my beloved.
    ~Mindfulness

  25. Elisabeth

    WORDS
    My body aches and tells me my age.
    My mind wanders and takes me to new places.
    My heart sees things never allowed before.
    My hand can touch and feel newness.
    My imagination sits still waiting for inspiration.
    My soul is open, let the words flow.

  26. Elaine

    Early Bird Blend, Shade Grown Coffee.
    The specificity of my desire leads to hassle
    and disappointment.
    Also, moments of great pleasure.
    Do I miss the days of Folgers?

  27. Robin OK

    January one, new shoes, old feet meet. january one, we run, finding the ground, finding our pace. inhale, exhale, step by step by solid pavement pounding step. stop, stretch, reach, be.

  28. Amy

    The molding of memory foam and the scent of simmering bone broth. Images of people dancing and Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” in my head. Contentment for the new year.

  29. Valerie Letkeman

    The Sun rises in majestic silence
    Obscured in a white ~ grey cloud coat
    I know she is there.

  30. Richa

    I was out most of the day and I did what I enjoy the most, observing people. Each with a different expression, different reason to be out on the streets. Beggars, shopkeepers, small roadside vendors, people like me who were out for shopping. It just makes me think, how diverse this city of mine is, how diverse this whole world is. There are so many of us, known and unknown, each with a different story, different purpose, different thought process. I observed varied forms of life, lingering on those busy streets.

  31. Aleta Chossek

    Snow blows across the windowpane as deep bone-chilling cold seeps around the frame. I light a candle remembering that without forgiveness, I too, will be blown around bound in deep cold.

  32. Brian Hasson

    As 2014 rolled in, I took a step back from the preceedings and realised that friendship In life is very valuable, it’s important in life to have good friends, should it be 1 or 10, Our Journey on earth does not need to be a lonely one,

    Brian

  33. Sharon Black

    Ash flusters on the wind
    as we rake up last night’s fire.

    A half-burnt photo
    lies in damp grass.

    A charred log sparks,
    its underside glows.

    Our donkeys watch
    from their circle of hay.

  34. Sue

    Memories held in every ornament.
    Christmas through the years…
    through the tears.
    Hopes & fears
    revealed; then boxed away.
    For safe keeping.

  35. Kathleen Maugeri

    A very old man
    sent us home with smiles and full hearts
    through neighborhoods still ablaze with Christmas lights
    and then, very late
    a daughter sent a text
    from the west coast
    and a son sent a picture
    of a precious grandchild
    A very good start to 2014.
    Love is in the air!

  36. Sophie Jonas-Hill

    Young girl misses her stop and gets off at mine. Legs like blue denim string beans, turns her hooded face from the wind and shrugs the padded shoulders under her coat as if she’s too ashamed to face the darkness of an unfamiliar place. She laughs, white fur trim dancing.

  37. Coyote

    The “Giving Tree”…..
    Is alive.
    With the flow of wings and feathers…
    And small critters….of the woods.

  38. Allison Shapiro

    Year out, year in, everything is mutable
    Disassembles and reforms
    Time now to put things together again

  39. Amber Catren

    Brown wavy hair. Matted and wispy from his slumber. As my eyes open for the first time of this new year, I am acutely aware of the love that one can have for another. I reach my hand to touch his tousled hair and the vibration of love is transferred to this man that I share my bed with. No words are needed. Love is good.

  40. Sue E

    Squirrels stationary on snowy tree
    How strong their paws must be to hold on so tightly
    Just as we cling to our New Year’s resolutions

  41. Jane Johnson

    Sitting quietly
    my 3 cats snuggled near.
    Wondering if I will ever be as content as they are.

  42. Kym W

    Rain patters the roof and drips down the window. The sea, a mess of white tipped jade waves. A tug boat hovers to greet and guide a long cargo ship stacked with coloured containers.

  43. Raymond Maxwell

    January 1, 2014 Rock Creek Park Gate

    a few notes from my morning walk
    a man playing a harp on one side of Pegasus,
    and a man carrying sheathes of wheat
    over one shoulder with a scythe in his hand,
    a turtle at the harpist’s foot

    a man carrying a large book on the side
    of the other Pegasus (it is a gate, after all!)
    and an archer with a taunt bow on the other,
    a serpent of some sort at Pegasus’ inside rear

    the copper is green with tarnished disregard
    but truth shouts out despite the dirt and dust

  44. Mel Horrod

    Feet tucked under, warmth kept in while the chimney whistles and rain splatters the window.

  45. Sherilee

    Reminding myself,
    Blank pages of the year ahead:
    It doesn’t all have to happen tomorrow.
    Or even the day after that.
    Pace yourself, dear one.

  46. satricia

    shaking tambourines, beating drums, organ blasting, hands waving, feet stomping a celebration an ending a beginning

  47. Peggy

    Before the sun arrived
    the world was soft gray fog
    and black silhouettes,
    whispering me back to sleep.

  48. Barbara

    An old friendship re-kindled, re-defined, refined. A great way to start a new year. I hope this is a trend.

  49. Anne

    Small wiener dog toddling along in his green wool sweater.
    First walk of the new year.
    Sniffs at four slices of abandoned pizza. Oh happy day!
    Chooses to NOT eat them in spite of their obviously overwhelming deliciousity.
    No point in worrying mommy at the other end of the leash.
    Happy New Year!

  50. Nicole

    I saw him, watching me with his small round eye…
    Proud of his red breast…
    I’m sure now you’ve guessed…
    A new year Robin, who forgot to be shy !

  51. susan

    sleepy day
    curled up
    dark outside
    cant wake up
    life starts again
    but its come too soon
    just want to sleep
    dark new moon
    Rain drops twinkling
    street lamps shimmer
    safe in my house
    work looms
    hard work grafting
    9-5 oh I hate thee
    destroyer of my creativity
    Need to find a way
    to make it through each day
    so that I don’t feel alone
    I’ve become a smallstone.

  52. Nerissa

    Deep aching pain within loosened slightly
    Wild winds lashing
    A need for silence and
    A letter written with love to myself

  53. Sandy Bunch

    Jan 1-
    Sleeping Westie – soft snores – smells warm – feels love – my heart full and happy – the new moment breathes

  54. Hajra

    Feet thundering on the ground
    Creating a small dust storm behind them
    Their shouts pierce the air
    With the sun on their faces
    And the wind in their hair
    They play on and on…
    Carefree and unaware…

  55. Jane McKears

    No-one walks their dogs today in the lonely park. Frightened away by drenching rain which fills the dips in the path

  56. Pookie

    Transition: old to new
    Sudden death, promised life,
    And all on the first day of the year…
    Sharpens the senses
    Strengthens resolve.

  57. Bobbie Ellis

    I have had to make the grave decision to put my dear sweet lab “Bodhi” to sleep. She has been suffering with cancer for sometime now..
    I wrote this last night as the world, at least on the east coast of the US, rang in the new year…

    12 midnight
    I hear in the distance the sounds of fireworks calling in the new year
    Folks move down the sidewalk in glitter and paint.
    And I sit here writing this listening closely to the breathing of 3 dogs
    One will be leaving here soon
    Her paw gnarly with cancer
    Moving into her lungs
    She has been a fierce and loyal friend
    Her eyes always meeting mine with kindness and deep brown
    Her big body lifts and falls with each breath
    When it comes down to this I wish I could keep this 12 midnight
    To stop time
    So she, I, could sit here forever
    I have been here before with my canine family
    They not living as long as I
    One day in the future she will be a warm and delightful memory
    But now she rests feeble in her beloved skin
    Retched with disease
    I will truly miss you dear girl.
    My heart is heavy as this old year passes
    As you pass from each morning
    Your head popping up when you hear the clang of your bowl against my hand
    I love you dear one, you have been the best friend always and forever.,,
    I feel lonely already

  58. Litsa

    Silence, at last silence. At first uncomfortable, a struggle, listen, listen, nothing just silence then I give in to no noise.

  59. kaye

    bright blue, sun
    glinting white
    Finnie, “heel”
    wheels drive by

    tall shadows, long
    winter walk
    memories swirl
    tears escape

    turn-around, slow
    quiet companion
    comfort sweet
    keep walking

  60. Morgan

    My son tells me the plot of Turbo:

    He stands in the chair like a voluble dictator
    dictator of my time
    My fingers itch to hit
    the keyboard again, to improve
    my future with a job
    that actually uses my brain.
    But he’s telling me the entire plot of ‘Turbo’,
    snail by snail.
    I remember ‘Small Stones’
    and my impatience softens, I look
    at the shadow lines on his six-
    year-old face, his eager red mouth
    and sparky blue eyes,
    eyes people say are like mine,
    I try to listen with every inch and sinew,
    but in the back of me
    is always this clamouring to
    get out

  61. John S Oliver

    Bouncing Leaves

    Breeze shoves fall leaves along the road as I walk along the sidewalk.

    As they bump and bounce the musical rustling reaches my ears.

  62. Karen Greenbaum-Maya

    Last night’s camellia, sepal released and floating
    stamen laid down, petals loosening
    browning at the base

  63. Maureen

    cold and still
    the birch tree stands in the stark white landscape
    a few umber leaves clinging to its branches

  64. bob

    Venetian blinds slice the Manhattan skyline into bite-sized pieces, each one feeding distant memories of when I lived here.

  65. Cindy Bene

    2014 arrives along with the Supermoon.

    *Two new moons in the same month are called supermoons, or dark moons.

  66. Carrick

    Dark deep blue water,
    plump puffs of grey
    topped with billows of white
    float above

    Footsteps scrunch on a frozen path
    Cold bites my cheek
    Darkness falls

  67. Cheryl

    A few flowers in the Winter garden
    Adorn a setting looking far from its best
    On this clean slate day
    Day of hope, renewal, and reflection

    A single steadfast purple pansy
    A frothy clump of bridal white sweet alyssum
    A sprinkling of petite violet violas
    Looking cheerful against a backdrop of dormancy

  68. Roberta

    The tree looks curiously stuck together; a vertical assembly of branches balanced about an uncertain trunk. It watches the wet green graveyard, creaking in the blustery air, heavy with responsibility.

  69. ann green

    silence
    cats greets me everytime I enter the room
    sleep, rest, drifting thoughts with no interruptions
    more silence

  70. Barbara Fay

    Oh no. Too much like last year. I start one one project that needs 10 minutes or so to brew, and then another, and another. Many hours and other “doings” later, I remember and return to each in sequence. At least they are all finished today. And if fact, tomorrow is also the beginning. I’ll forge ahead.

  71. michell

    To know to see and acknowledge a day in time that brings forth the smile in the eyes of a man crippled by poor me, to know that today his day was brilliant just because i cared

  72. cathy catterson

    the semester break rolls into the new year and I am closer to the distance my son has set between us. surely this is the limit as x approaches infinity.

  73. Elizabeth

    Untangle the garland, unplug the cords.
    Undress the desiccated bones
    One bear-hug around brittle limbs.
    Needles pool on the carpet.
    He walks her to the curb.
    Another year put away.

  74. Nina

    The day full of promise
    is cloudy and overcast,
    a parallel match to
    the state of your mind
    after welcoming the new year in
    through the slim neck of a bottle
    or two.
    Your own neck and legs ache
    you don’t remember dancing,
    no amount of water re-hydrates you.
    Slipping quietly back beneath the covers
    You hear the bleak weather
    rain lashing angrily at your window
    begging to be let in.
    An unwelcome visitor.
    Your plans swallowed by flood waters.
    You give yourself permission to sleep,
    glad to be inside
    on the first wet day of the year.

    1. Andrea

      I’m reading backwards (read the most recent of yours first). I like how you slip in those sharp details, i.e. “slim neck of a bottle” and “the thick purple pen” in another of yours.

  75. Earthy

    Smallstone for this day

    In the breathing space,
    In Winter’s cave.
    I nest in fleece and fur
    As my Mothers did.

    I create the dimmed light,
    Flame flickering
    Secret shadows,
    Holy scent rising.

    My Bear to the fore
    As I dream and heal,
    A New Moon offers Hope
    Behind the flooding skies.

    1. Jane McKears

      The rose which was placed in my vase two weeks ago now has an ancient beauty. Gone is the silkiness of the petal and anstead, a dustiness with rusty edging. It has let go of what does not matter.

  76. Elizabeth

    a beautiful canyon hike
    on this perfect desert day
    my ex-lover”s
    piercing blue eyes
    blew the poetry out of my brain
    and wrapped tentacles around
    my barely healed heart

  77. Jen - Pierced Wonderings

    I’ve decided to post my daily small stones on the facebook page for my blog and then once a week collect them for a post on my blog.

    Today’s offering:

    Small Stone – Day 1:

    The whole family is here – one doggie at our feet, another snuggled up on her bed, the kitty on the back of the couch, Sweet Husband burrowed under a blanket and watching football. Our new year has started with us cocooned, resting and creating emotional clearing, healing. Soon we will be readying ourselves for a return to work and the hecticness of everyday life, but today we are gathering energy, pondering, and preparing. Do not let these pajamas fool you. Rest and relaxation are key components of prosperity and success. Beginning our year with them sets a blessed tone for the year.

  78. Liz Ann

    New Year’s Day…
    We sing “Happy Birthday” and
    I tell my my spirited four year old
    God gives us 365 days to circle the sun
    but people decide
    when and where the circle begins.
    The look in her eyes tells me
    something.

  79. Michael

    When the Crows’ asked for some peanuts at the feeder for Christmas… I did not anticipate them Cawing and chattering at my bedroom window at seven fifteen every morning for refills. Don’t they know it’s the day after New Years eve?

  80. cheryl

    The water trickles from the very top of the mountain and trickles down tickling and caressing as it goes…until it is captured in the pool.

  81. larry p

    The night is cold,
    but not so cold
    that the act of breathing
    freeze dries one’s nostrils.
    So, the temp must be >20°F.
    As my little dog squats
    to leave a remembrance,
    my crazy neighbor comes out.
    Apparently, his car’s tires require
    adjusting before bed time.

      1. larry p

        Thanks. I noticed the temperature-telling trick after many years of dog walking.

        It’s weird how my neighbor finds things to fix on his car at all times in all kinds of weather.

  82. Juliet

    New Year’s day

    In the confessional of the kitchen
    Heartache exploded
    Value me, cried the endless giver
    Of clumsy gentle devotion
    To her forgetting spouse
    And remote descendants.

  83. Cara Hart

    There is chaos at the table. Someone spills a glass of water and the contents separate into a host of tiny, shining ponds on the vinyl floor. Three, maybe four, conversations overlap each other at once. Laughter breaks loose from one of them; joy creating an umbrella of light.

  84. Annie

    Dram snatches
    Under the flight path
    Birds greet the day
    A new year

    1.1.14

    Raging summer winds
    Disturb my sleep
    I wake and still
    The ferociously blow

    2.1.14

    Greetings from Australia

  85. Pattie

    Snow blanketing the outside world.
    Stillness prevails…
    The silence is deafening.
    The beauty? Unparalleled.

  86. Brinda

    “Sailing in between ”

    colours sharpen
    as the day rises in the east
    muffled in yesterday’s
    cries for the uncaring
    mother and father
    the young student
    moans and cries out
    insanities and curses
    at the witch and slut
    that he kept prisoners
    within his concave chest
    for such a long time

    Letting go of the deep
    cries I gently settle
    in the comfort of
    the centre piece
    nebula within my chest
    I hold my breaths
    and slowly release
    last year’s resentments
    and expectations
    to the horizon
    of compassion
    and stay awake
    waiting for remembrance
    of who I really am!

    Jan 2,2014

  87. H. V. Lehtinen

    Lilac shadows on white snow. Lowering yellow sun lost in a piercingly blue sky space. A tumble of brown firewood gathered from under a frayed green tarp and hauled in a black toboggan along a white path.

  88. Catriona

    Sitting on the carpet, still.
    The fridge buzzes and hums its song while warm air makes tiny bicycles and prayer flags dance.
    Late night secrets of the living room.

  89. Litsa

    The click of the kettle, the rush of bubbling water. The first smell of ground coffee, loamy evoking mountains and fields. Transformative alchemy as water blends with coffee. The first sip, sharp and nutty, smooth and melting away the busyness for a few moments.

      1. Anne

        Love this. My daughter (now 32) used to like sleeping in my bed when she was home sick from school. She said the pillow smelled like me and that always made her feel better.

  90. cathy catterson

    the old female dog squats on the snow. on his way by, the male marks in exactly the same spot. i guess im not the only one who has to touch things last.

  91. Asher

    Wind lashing and squeezing the rain, the inside rain, the wrong kind of rain, dripping into perfectly placed paper cups, inching their way full at the side of my bed. Welcome 2014. This year I must get the roof fixed.

  92. Leslie Waugh

    Precisely cut edges, crisply folded corners, tidy bows:
    My sister’s artful gift-wrapping.

    When her bath towels are dry,
    I fold them as I found them:
    Longways, in thirds,
    just as our mother did ~
    not in my sloppy halves.

    Mounds of clean terry cloth, fluffed up for storage.

  93. Leslie Waugh

    Ribs heave,
    lungs constrict,
    diaphragm expels strangled breath.
    Each cough an earthquake,
    a rattling protest against death.

  94. laurie granieri

    7 a.m., fridge buzzing at me from the clean kitchen, I am squishy on the squashy couch, wrapped up against winter, “alone into the alone,” home safe.

  95. Pookie

    Blustery winter beach walk
    We raced the rain back to the car
    Chilled and refreshed – we won!

  96. Danna

    Take out counter, grease. Empty chairs, fluorescent light illuminated. Muted footsteps on the sticky floor, reverberating. Scrawny hands on the register, daunted. A midnight fastfood outtake.

  97. Rachel

    The promise of a new year’s celebration usurped, at midnight, by the need to give medicine to my recovering child. And this is life, now. I’d have it no other way.

  98. Michelle Bertine

    If everyday could be like yesterday,
    then, my marriage will be safe.
    If everyday could be like yesterday,
    then, my children would be away.
    If everyday could be like yesterday,
    then my bell would always be full.

    Creativity would die. Boredom would set.
    Loneliness. Depression.
    Fat.

    If everyday could be like yesterday,
    then I would always be happy.

    Would I?
    No, I would not.

  99. Hajra

    I started peeling, while staring out of the window
    Gently I detached the orange fruit from its covering
    I placed it on the plate; by chance I glanced at my hand
    I was struck by what lay before me
    It could have been a starfish on the beach or…
    A creamy-amber colored flower…

    1. Hajra

      Pleas delete this from here, as I posted this here by mistake. It was my post for Day 2,and as soon as I realized, I posted it there.

  100. Lynn

    Shock of red with a black mask
    on bare branches,
    pointy crest aims toward the sky.
    Your power to awaken is not lost
    on this day of a new year.

  101. Ann Fox

    I left it on the window sill, my poor little rose, named for me by my sister. Two weeks of no water and cold, cold air was not exactly a recipe for life. My poor little rose.

  102. Steve

    my face, fresh open to interpretation,
    exclaims!
    whittled by the clear cut air
    she is blowing horseradish out there

  103. Roberta

    Wild

    I’m searching for it before I see it; a lucky charm. It lollops into the undergrowth, bouncy and timid. Without thinking I follow, trying to keep my footsteps light. Each time it re-appears I trail it. Do I exist to it? Is it leading me somewhere, showing me something?

  104. Detoutcoeur

    Ink sky and silhouette, wanting to share and be close. It fades so quickly. Let go and breath.

  105. Trinny

    Day one of a fresh start!

    My daughter split a pile of dog shit,
    and I had to spray it out of her tiny treads.
    The wind and the water hose conspired against me,
    And splashed it back in my face.
    Happy New Year from the universe!

  106. Trinny

    I hold the situation up to the light
    and try to find a bold line,
    the essence of what really is.
    I try to trim away the excess,
    the drama.
    But I only have kindergarten safety scissors.
    The paper is thick.
    My fingers are raw.

  107. S.E.Ingraham

    BOMBS OF BLISS BURSTING IN AIR
    And overhead, colours explode like blooms
    on fire, trailing diamonds and sapphires and
    all manner of gemstones. Each blossom bursts
    amidst sonic booms and high-pitched whistles,
    rendering the sky alive with celebratory noise.
    New Year’s fireworks. There’s nothing quite
    like them.

  108. Cheryl

    Two new age spots
    On the back of my left hand
    A pair of golden brown eyes
    Looking up into mine
    Asking for acceptance
    Not spot remover cream

  109. Jane Burn

    January 1st

    Window pane smothered
    Under a million raindrops
    Greedy beads devouring view
    Of neighbour’s lost roof slate

  110. Jane Burn

    January 2nd

    Tinsel litter on carpet at work
    Gold, still defiantly glittering
    In last moments before meeting
    Vacuum cleaners mouth

  111. H. V. Lehtinen

    The thermometer down by the garden read forty-five below. The garden gets to sleep away the winter underneath a deep blanket. I wore snowpants to work. And a down-filled parka.

  112. Jane McKears

    (For January 1st) No-one walks their dogs in the lonely park today. Frightened away by drenching rain which fills the dips in the path.

  113. Jane McKears

    (For January 2nd) The rose which was placed in my vase two weeks ago now has an ancient beauty. Gone is the silkiness of the petal and instead, a dustiness with rusty edges. It has let go of what does not matter.

  114. Pattie

    On a cold winter morning,
    with the temperature at -5,
    it’s not sleeping that’s overrated…
    It’s waking.

  115. Raymond Maxwell

    It’s 7pm Thursday and it’s snowing
    in Washington but not sticking, yet.
    If this continues through the night
    we’ll have a good accumulation by daybreak –
    the temperature is low enough
    the night is long enough
    the snowflakes are small enough
    the snowfall is steady enough –
    good enough to guarantee a white Friday.

  116. Litsa

    A gathering of 7 year olds, noise levels rise then evaporate into background hum. As we their mothers huddle round our coffee,happy ready for adult tittle tattle. Our kids squabble, they make up, we shrug our way back to tittle tattle.

  117. Isabel Jones

    Yesterday:
    Outside my window a sombre fir, a winter tree
    The sun rises: tangle of twigs becomes rose on green
    Like summer

    Today:
    The light on raindrops on my window makes it look as if someone has sprinkled glitter on my garden

  118. Nancy Gedney

    January 3:
    45 and breezy,
    Chilly on the toes.
    Where are my socks?
    Florida in winter is better than snow.
    Well, maybe.

    January 2:
    Half the sky is raining;
    The other half is blue.
    Listening to the drips, splats and splashes,
    I watch the grass brighten.
    A rainbow.

    January 1:
    I sit on the balcony boxed in by fan palms.
    Their fronds sway to invisible breaths.
    Everything droops in the damp.
    I shiver, wondering if the sun will ever shine again.

  119. Andrea

    Hands of a dismantled clock
    sit on my table,
    still ticking,
    like a gangly insect, dead,
    legs still moving,
    getting nowhere.

  120. Lindy Fly

    Jan. 1
    All alone today,
    last night crop circles, now tend
    appreciation
    Jan. 2
    Cleared off old photos,
    cold smothering clouds above
    heart whole cavity.
    Jan. 3
    Sun on the Selkirks,
    through glass corner, pine, roof, slope.
    Gone – back frozen grey.

    Small child cheers catching up… Adult bustles on.

  121. Jane Burn

    January 3rd

    Silted puddle brownly reflecting
    Traffic nudging on overhead bypass
    Trembling in unison with rumbling above.

  122. Nina

    Lying in bed, (my favourite place to be) reading, searching the words to find opportunities. Circling possible ventures carefully in freehand straight lines with a thick purple pen.

  123. Tammy Lofton

    January…
    BBQ’s on the patio
    Flip flops on my feet
    Thermometer reading 80 degrees
    Oh how I love the heat!
    January?

  124. cathy catterson

    boots, gloves, hat. running nose and ruddy cheeks. my husband went out to shovel as a man but the arctic blasts blew him back in as a boy.

  125. S.E.Ingraham

    IN THE LAND OF THE SUPERHEROES
    They are all back, “The Hulk”, “Superman”,
    the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, “Spiderman”,
    “Batman”,and a newer one, “Ironman” too.
    And as invincible as ever.

    My young grandsons have no trouble accepting
    their super-powers, nor the fact that they only
    use them to do good. I wish they could remain this
    innocent forever

  126. Cheryl

    Dear quaint downtown Main Street
    Your waning Holidaze light show
    Can’t hold a candle to
    That gleaming crescent moon up there

  127. H. V. Lehtinen

    Yesterday, the feeling after having made a difficult decision, the knowing that what is important is not the decision itself but how the aftermath is dealt with, and the sensing of support from friends.

  128. Raymond Maxwell

    reflections on the Yoga exhibit at the Sackler

    walking before dawn is my Meditation –
    writing poetry is my Austerity –
    prayer on bended knee is my Asana –
    and the Beloved Community
    is the landscape of my Practice

  129. Jane Burn

    January 4th

    Miniature twisted
    Thread vein patch on cheek.
    Jackson Pollock
    London Underground
    Tube station map.

  130. Detoutcoeur

    Cat purring blanket and remnants of wood smoke in the air. Wind burnt face and a nice cup of tea.

  131. Joan

    #smallstone 4
    “Squirrel,

    Why aren’t you tucked away,

    feasting on your secret stash of nuts

    instead of dashing madly

    from tree to tree

    as if you’ve forgotten

    just where you left them.”

    “Inquistive squirrel

    pausing in his mad dash

    from tree to tree, glaring,

    as he spied me picking up pecans.

    ‘Mine — all mine,’

    he chattered angrily at me.

  132. Linda Saccoccio

    In the bedroom where I grew up
    Eastern light shed through blinds
    angles patterns on natural wood
    sliding closet doors
    clock ticking the wrong time
    an hour ahead
    Print of the blessed Mother
    complete with transparent halo
    rising in a cloud of creamy white
    in a pine forest
    country children at her feet
    kneel in adoration
    accompanied by equally
    attentive lambs
    Beatific scene
    framed in rustic gold olive branches
    A solitary image
    on freshly painted white walls

  133. Nina

    A clip in a film
    reminds me of
    a fleeting childhood
    memory.
    I used to sit in the
    bathtub and watch
    the water drops
    dripping off my
    down turned fingers,
    I used to pretend
    they were long nails
    just like my mum’s.

    1. Andrea

      There is something about the reminiscing about “mum” that makes me feel she is being missed. Very nice image.

  134. Tammy Lofton

    Vacation’s end draws near.
    14 days ago it started with such promise
    and anticipation of the holidays and much ado.
    Christmas, New Year’s now come and gone.
    Decorations tucked away, resolutions made
    for the promise of better days.
    Vacation’s end is but one day away.
    Sunday will be spent in worship and praise,
    Monday brings me to my desk,
    where 14 days ago, much ado was left

  135. H. V. Lehtinen

    The chickadees were busy. Would a sunflower seed diet be winter-worthy for me as well? The little squirrel seemed nonplussed to see the driveway. My snow blower obviously wrecked a squirrel-tunnel.

  136. Cheryl

    Luminous pink
    Gradating ever so softly
    So very gently
    Into equally luminous blue
    Just above the straight line
    Where this watercolor wash sky
    Meets hard dark ground

  137. Cheryl

    Luminous pink gradating
    Ever so gently
    So very softly
    Into luminous blue
    Just above the straight line
    Where this watercolor wash sky
    Meets hard, dark ground

    1. Cheryl

      Sorry for the double posting. The first time I tried to post this, I was told that there was an technical error that would not allow my words to post, but then it appeared, and I can’t find a way to delete one of these.

      1. Jane McKears

        I have had the same problem with the computer telling me there was a problem, and then finding it had been posted

  138. Brinda

    **************

    taking pictures
    the need to capture
    this essence

    time flows
    in between fingers
    once, a tiny seed

    a drop
    into the ocean
    now, a sapling

    dragging
    through the chores
    the backbone strengthens

    **************

  139. Connie Morrison

    A pen poised over the empty pages of a journal,
    the holder recording the magic of a life.

  140. Nancy

    Clutter chokes me.
    Welcome home!
    Laundry piles trip me.
    Calgon, take me back!
    Three “me’s” killed with one stone!

  141. Andrea

    Arms spread like wings,
    children run into a flock of ibis,
    a hundred white flags rise
    and cloud the sky.

  142. Jane Burn

    January 5th
    Elderly ladies voices
    Raising hymns to the heavens –
    Thin strands weaving in tremulous pitch;
    Fossilised birds wrapped in wool coats, warbling.

  143. H. V. Lehtinen

    Tossed water crackles on the crisp snowdrift.
    My little finger strains against the rope
    that pulls the toboggan
    that hauls the firewood;
    My hand nestles a hot teacup
    and that little finger crooks up
    jauntily
    as though it’s never done a day’s hard work.

  144. Connie Morrison

    An army of ants hoard the sweet redness dripping from the abandoned hummingbird feeder.

  145. Anne Kenny

    Driving home…the blue of the sky, a ploughed field with shiny black crows, the melancholy sound of violins on the radio.

  146. Nancy Gedney

    For yesterday (Jan 6), although it’s today (Jan 7):

    Chemicals flow thru me.
    What are they that I should feel up or down?
    Dependent arisings.

  147. Pattie

    Sorry I’m late, but this is my stone for January 7th

    The phone rings…
    It’s my niece who never calls.
    Instantly, I wonder what’s up.
    Then she says hang on while she connects my brother to the call,
    And my heart sinks.
    So we chat,
    And I wait for it.
    And finally,
    the hammer drops.
    Breast cancer
    Trying hard to remain positive,
    so she will too.

  148. Jane Burn

    January 6th
    Red cars parked back to back
    Like children after an argument.
    One with plastic bag taped broken window
    Reflecting slightly more good-looking twin.

  149. Jane Burn

    January 7th

    Babies smile illuminates work gloom,
    Splits like archangel light
    Through gurgling gums –
    Pulls at my stomach with puppet strings.

  150. Jane Burn

    January 8th

    Scar under eye –
    Horizontal crescent echoes
    Lopsided smile a few inches below.

  151. Pattie

    I meant to post this earlier and never got around to it. this is my stone for January 8th.

    A slip on the ice
    A hard fall
    I used to bounce when I fell
    but not anymore.
    Ouch.

  152. Pattie

    Small stone for January 9th, 2014

    Good news is,
    only my body is getting old.
    My mind is still young,
    and my soul is immortal.

  153. Jane Burn

    January 9th

    Low slung sun spikes
    Between upright trunks,
    Sketching the road with linear shadows.

  154. Connie Morrison

    Rainy kitty cat prints on the porch evaporate to nothingness.
    Inside, their twins leave an embossed design.

  155. Jane Burn

    January 10th
    Dawn lights on city horizon
    Call me back to my past –
    Jiggling neon jelly beans
    Seen from village doorstep.

  156. Pattie

    In my “things I can’t accept” category, comes today’s stone for January 10th.

    How hard is it
    to throw something away?
    Harder than leaving it on the table, I guess.
    Cleaning up after this man
    is like cleaning up after a child.
    Good thing I love him.

  157. Jane Burn

    January 11th

    Refuse sack in a slick of wind
    Takes leap of faith from
    Inside council dustbin.
    Ends its brief rebellion in the
    Wheel arch of a passing bus.

  158. Jane Burn

    January 12th

    Skin clean as milk, brand new.
    Hair, black as a Snow White story –
    Scented breath, flavoured kisses.

  159. S.E.Ingraham

    January 13, 2014

    WINTERING ON

    Through the slanted light of late afternoon
    the sky changes to the colour of dirty
    slip-covers and of a sudden, the air is thick
    with feathers. Closer examination reveals
    a blizzard is taking place, and a fierce one at that…
    winter continues unabated.

  160. Jane Burn

    January 15th

    Mouth, snagged mid caress
    By rough skin on my finger –
    Hands that work too hard
    Touch lips that kiss too little.

  161. Jane Burn

    January 16th

    Face appears in the mirror, next to mine
    While brushing my hair.
    Feeling of unfamiliarity remains balanced
    On my shoulder for an hour,
    Like an electric epaulette.

  162. Jane Burn

    January 17th

    Dirty waves filter
    Through undulant flotsam –
    Sticks, half full plastic bottles;
    Yellowing polystyrene nestling
    In the grip of blue rubber glove.
    Dissolving toilet roll garnish.

  163. S.E.Ingraham

    January 16, 2014

    GENUS

    The baby boy is silhouetted against the sun setting; in the curve
    of his cheek, the pucker of his lips, I see both the past
    and the future.

  164. S.E.Ingraham

    January 17, 2014

    KEEPSAKES

    Shave me some slices of petal-pink sky
    to store in my soul ’til it’s Spring. Snatch
    me some bird-song, any will do…to
    string for a necklace; to finger soft
    when the wind howls cold…

  165. Jane Burn

    January 18th

    Conversation about porridge oats
    And trays of turkey for one pound seventy-five;
    Pink dressing gown, half open –
    Grey roots beating back red hair.
    Old crochet and frilled cushions
    Overwhelming cat-piss smell.

  166. Jane Burn

    January 19th

    Fool, fool, fool, fool –
    Quick escape hampered by
    Small child clutching happy meal.
    Smile at him to dispel anxiety
    And bite your lip – bite it down.

  167. S.E.Ingraham

    January 17, 2014

    DEATHS IN WINTER

    What is it about having to grieve in winter?
    Maybe it’s because all around is death;
    plant-life, trees, even the sky often appears
    inanimate in a way, unlike other seasons —
    it isn’t white so much as no-colour – and the snow,
    fresh no longer, it seems dead as well.
    To then experience to loss of someone
    you love; it’s too much.

  168. S.E.Ingraham

    January 19, 2014

    RAINBOWS

    A good friend just gave me a myriad of rainbows to enjoy everyday…They are
    really the most amazing things. First of all, they result because she gave me a
    tiny solar panel attached to something that looks like the mechanism in a
    music-box, encased in clear and light plexi-glass. Then dangling from this on
    short chains are two hexagonal and many-faceted crystals…they look like Swarovski
    but, who knows?…The whole deal attaches to a window with a suction cup.
    When the sun hits the panel and heats it enough (which is just barely, by the way) it
    causes the mechanism to whir and that makes the crystals rotate…Voilá…rainbows
    bounce off my walls, and any other surface they glide over…It’s magical!

  169. Jane Burn

    January 20th

    Manchild pouts while wife selects his shoes –
    Woman offers me my share
    Of eye-rolling girlish collusion.
    Bless! Smile the lips that have to
    Watch what they say on shop floor.
    Boot him in the balls,
    Whispers foot that aches to kick.

  170. Jane Burn

    January 21st

    My son’s first aftershave –
    He mists us both in the bathroom before school.
    Now we will think of one another when scent
    Wafts in our mutual nostrils.
    Smell is a way to remember, I tell him.

  171. S.E.Ingraham

    January 20, 2014

    WIZARD WATCH

    As promised, we set off for the Harry Potter exhibit; who knew
    it would be lined around the block like that? You great with child
    and me cantankerous with old, had little patience for standing,
    waiting to get in for over two hours…especially as the day was
    Alberta blue-sky gorgeous, and temperate. We book a time
    to attend next week.

    January 21, 2014

    THE BIG BOY BED

    The earnestness in his wee voice is heart-breaking as he shows me
    his new “big boy bed” and I can’t help thinking, “you’re only two.”
    At nap-time, he tries to talk me into letting him sleep in the crib but
    I know that’s not a good idea;, the new baby is due in less than six
    weeks. I tell him how proud I am that he’s sleeping in the new bed,
    pile Douglas the Dragon in with him — a special treat, and his pink fish.
    He eyes me bravely, blinks away tears, tells me solemnly, “It’s okay,
    I’m okay Grandma.”

  172. S.E.Ingraham

    January 22, 2014

    MURMURATION OF STARLINGS

    Collective nouns fascinate me. I think there should be one for them, for collective nouns themselves but, I don’t think there is…This week, all over the Internet, especially YouTube, Twitter, and FaceBook, and Vimeo: everyone is fascinated by this short clip of two girls in a canoe who witness so many starlings flocked together over a lake, they block out the sky as they wheel and dip, in their seemingly choreographed movements. It is as if there are enough birds flying in concert at one time, their undulations cover the entire length and width of the lake for something like three minutes. I keep studying the configurations and realize the birds resemble pointillist painters’ work, or delicate etch-a-sketch filings being tipped ever-so-gently this way, then that…always unpredictably and awe inspiring…and this many together? It’s called a murmuration.

  173. Jane Burn

    January 22nd

    Dog, dreaming on sofa cushion –
    Paws flick in time with subconscious running.
    Sleep barks escaping from mouth corner,
    White haired tummy exposed and trusting.

  174. Jane Burn

    January 23rd

    I ask my son how I look.
    Nice and original, he replies,
    And my throat burns with pleasure
    At this off the cuff compliment –
    The nicest thing anyone
    Has ever said
    To me.

  175. Jane Burn

    January 24th

    Oil trailed smears from careless shoe
    Taunt me with their calculated blemish.
    Spots mark a circle, occult trap
    Through which I cannot pass.
    I hate you. I hate you.

  176. Jane Burn

    January 25th

    My sorrow is the colour of bruises, purple and brown;
    My heart is scratched with green and black,
    The colours of fury and pain.
    My son bangs on the bedroom window
    To wave me off for work.
    My love for him is a rainbow.

  177. Jane Burn

    January 26th

    Supermarket car park, terrible weather, wet –
    Women stand in queues chewing their lips.
    I wonder if, like me they dwell on the unsaid;
    Slip the words out silently, between raindrops –
    Fantasise about them finding their targets.

  178. Jane Burn

    January 27th

    I want! Bawls kid who yearns for plastic train.
    We all want things sometimes, I smile.
    We all want things we cannot have:
    We long, until longing carves a tunnel in our chests –
    But I do not tell him that.
    It will become apparent soon enough.

  179. Jane Burn

    January 28th

    Gorse in early mist, petals too readily opening
    To the smallest intrusion of light.
    Honey smell unfurls from tightly balled bud
    As thorns concealed within prepare themselves
    For Nightingales breast.

  180. Jane Burn

    January 29th

    Hello, goodbye, thank you very much, grin
    Hi, how can I help you, sorry, no fivers, grin;
    Can’t find your size? What a lovely baby, grin.
    Twinge in my chest, recalling your narcotic smiles
    Hooked into my sternum, sharp.

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