Day 12: January Mindful Writing Challenge

Gravel by euartacross flowerless gravel the drift of a passer-by’s perfume

Mark Holloway
Beachcombing for the Landlocked


We’re on the twelfth day of the January Mindful Writing Challenge – please post your small stone in the comments below. If you’re not already signed up, our 31 Days of Waking Up daily email package was designed to accompany you during this (or any) month of mindful writing. Keep writing!

Gravel by euart

Comments & replies

75 thoughts on “Day 12: January Mindful Writing Challenge

  1. Andrea

    He said three people died last year,
    his mother, her father, his brother.
    He raises himself higher in his chair
    and demands, “This year will be better.”

    I think of him when I tack
    a new calendar above my desk,
    neat stacks of clean, white, numbered boxes.

  2. Kay Walker

    If I were a hummingbird
    I would probably have more sense
    Than to stay up late.
    They seem to get all their tasks done
    During the daylight hours.
    As it turns out, I’m not a hummingbird,
    And these late night readings, writings and reflections
    Are sheer magical.

  3. beverley

    Of course the trees and the hedgerows are bare: twigs and branches as naked as bones. Some say if I am still enough, quiet enough and press my soft ear to the craggy bark the sap can be heard stirring; shifting slowly and potently like the marrow of my own.

  4. Brinda


    folding the sheets
    and pillow cases
    that lull us into the land
    of dreams and nightmares, too!
    and sometimes, hiding
    behind the ghouls,
    the lost pieces of our
    childhood hearts
    torn and cut into
    tiny pieces just like
    dry paper and
    cheap cloth


  5. Satya Robyn Post author

    the Malvern hills: fragments

    a scattering of gorse blossom amongst the dull green: bright bursts of yellow

    the meeting-point of warm smiles as we approach strangers

    struggling to find breath as we rise up and up into the cold mist

    the yellow and green luminous jackets on horses far below, moving across the fields

    this sweet little dog, Lark, who bounds towards us and back towards us and back as she encourages us up the path

    (a scattering of small stones today!)

  6. Puff of Smoke Poems

    In the grocery store parking lot, the old man smiled at me sweetly and said, in such a friendly voice, “I’m not really crazy. I only act this way so nobody will know I’m no crazier than them.”

  7. julie daigle

    The house creaks and groans in buffeting winds, strong bones made fragile and uncertain. Outside, scudding clouds reveal blue skies, an azure universe extending forever.

  8. Jill Salahub

    Sitting in meditation, a dog outside barks. It’s a sound filled with joy, excitement, energy. It must feel so good to bark, to open up and release the full measure of your voice — feeling it rise from deep in your belly, fill your chest and buzz past your heart, through your throat and out your wide open mouth, your body and mind for that one moment focused completely on the music of your own voice, the energy of your own being.

  9. Carol A. Stephen

    Jan. 12, 2014

    When my mind is caught
    in a cycle of worry

    it is like Rilke’s caged panther,
    thoughts move in circles,

    tighter and tighter
    nothing penetrates but fear.


  10. Pookie

    Another damp, dreich, day
    much external greyness
    causing stubborn internal greyness
    tomorrow will be different
    tomorrow the maracas come out
    the sound of sunshine and fun
    tomorrow is a new beginning
    even if it rains

  11. Nerissa

    The Cutting

    Ghost track,
    A borderland that should not be.
    Silence-soaked, this eerie edgeworld.
    Tall trees loom; watchers,
    Guardians of this rent earth.
    A rook calls.

  12. angie werren

    (somehow my days 11 & 12 became the same…)

    no rain
    but cold grey I want to sleep
    a house wren scrabbles at the window
    I can’t imagine what she wants with me

  13. Dave conley

    Watching, waiting.
    Eyes following each passer by.
    A quick bark for those that pass too close.
    Driving off side by side.

  14. Patricia

    Today I realized:
    the moment I was doing the laundry,
    the beauty of the frost in the garden,
    the excitement when I take pictures,
    the fine taste of the bread I was eating,
    the happiness I felt when playing with Snoezy,
    the pleasure it gave me when my mom visited me,
    the joy I get from reading a good book.

    It was and is mindful Sunday for me.

  15. Paul L. White

    How often in a day I’ll wish
    That we could simply swim like fish
    Who seem so free and move unbound,
    Unlike us folk with feet on ground
    Who walk more slowly, hindered here
    And there with roadblocks causing fear
    Of stubbing toe, or losing way–
    Which makes a most unsettled day.
    But soon I think of bigger shark,
    Who snaps the fishies on a lark,
    And then I walk much more content
    With my great means to Circumvent!

  16. Susan Sleepwriter

    I am neither here or there
    on the edges of the shore
    feet sinking in wet sand
    an hour between chores.

  17. larry p

    Forced out of bed, so I can find a church near Atholl by 8 am,
    I walk my little friend in the dark.
    The night sky looks weird,
    everything seems to be in the wrong place.
    Eventually I find what I think is Spica:
    she sits properly at the end of the line
    from the Big Dipper’s handle through Arcturus.
    But why is there something up there
    that is brighter than Spica, and to her right?
    Then, I think I find Scorpio,
    with his T-shape and bright-red belly button,
    the angry red giant Antares.
    But again, I don’t recall having seen previously
    anyone nearby who is brighter than Antares.
    Did I just rediscover, for the umpteenth time,
    two bright, shiny new planets?

  18. Angela

    Beautiful cream and green lillies and roses cheer the soul nearly as much as the sentiments of friendship that go with them.

  19. Daphne Radenhurst

    Still daylight,
    The sky a milky blue,
    The moon
    Like a pale wafer,
    Peers through the bare branches
    of a tree.

  20. SM Jenkin

    Dim light filters from green and beige jellyfish lights; a venue without a gig. Dust rising from disturbed cabling and plastic blinds shine and shimmer in the rays. Concentration sealed with sweat on the brow; the men dance. Sticks bound with masking tape raise din triumph in the air. The new man watches, counts and jumps while standing. Cold beneath his black beanie, munching on dry roasted peanuts. The accordionist plays on.

  21. Sharon Black

    I hand you nails
    to secure the roof felt
    torn off in a gale. Inch by
    inch, you work the spine
    like an osteopath.
    I stand on tiptoes,
    watching you unroll
    the pitch into place,
    my back rod-straight
    as you hammer down
    each plastic square.

  22. Sherilee

    Is there anything sadder
    than a house newly bereft of its Christmas attire?
    Why yes, I believe there is.
    That list is very long, indeed.

    Today, though, I choose to ignore
    those other, sadder things, and indulge
    in post-holiday petulance.
    My vote is for year-round twinkle lights.
    Glitter and sparkle in June.
    Icicles hanging off the porch in July.
    Holiday baking in August.

    Now I’m being ridiculous,
    and even I see that, as I tuck ornaments away
    and brush pine remnants from the carpet.
    I’ll move on with the seasons
    and fully embrace the glum of mid-winter.

  23. Trinny

    The sunlight of your spirit
    popped behind winter’s clouds.
    I, who was used to the warmth on my cheeks,
    am cut by the record lows, am bone weary.
    I should’ve never closed my eyes.
    I should’ve listened to the forecast.

  24. S.E.Ingraham

    January 12, 2014


    Tonight, as with most of the nights this week,
    the Aurora is supposed to grace our sky with
    her presence sometime around midnight, and
    she is reputedly going to dance with magnificent
    abandon, something she’s been reluctant to do
    around here for some time. As I wait with unconvincing
    patience, I distract myself with the plethora of celebrities
    gracing my television as the yearly circus that leads off
    the annual season of award shows, the Golden Globes
    plays out.

  25. Linda

    Having a coffee with a fellow writer and talking about writing, reading and good books stirs up the enthusiasm to get back into my writing. It has been covered in the sticky mud of lethargy for too long.

  26. Kathy Nguyen

    Banh chung: The perfect texture of sticky, lightly sweet, and lightly salty unwrapped from carefully cleaned banana leaves. A part of my heart places a wish on each bite for good fortune for this new year.

  27. Joan

    #smallstones 12

    A sliver of sunlight

    shyly slips through

    a slit in the blinds


    lingering and flickering

    as if to say,

    “I’m back.

    Did you miss me?”

  28. Lindy Fly

    9:34 pm As I drove my Toy home along the east shore of Lake Pend Orielle, road dry and clear, bluegrass on a local really local station, the mountains snow in rugged ridges come right to water’s edge, fog, cabins on a big island lights on mid day. I happen on a Sunday jam at East Hope Marketplace looking west over the lake, Beth’s songs bringing tears to many eyes. This is the landscape even better than the views I dreamed when reading Zane Grey in the elm tree mid-Ohio when I was 12. I’m alone though – not a cowboy in sight.

  29. sue

    Body light with age
    she concedes to lifting,
    old claws catch
    as she kneads my chest.
    Her ears so silky
    but tiny rough spots
    mar her back.
    I stroke the hollow under her chin
    and a warm loofah tongue
    washes my knuckles.
    We drowse warmly
    in the early morning dark.

    January 13, 2014

  30. Pamela Niles

    Seated here, the sounds I hear:
    The percussional tapping of the tea kettle
    sounding like a solo by tiny drummers
    until its upward crescendo
    bursts into a flute-like shrill
    as the water heats to boiling;
    the patter of cat feet, always,
    up and down stairs
    across the tile floors,
    greeting me, leaving me;
    the hum of the heater
    first turning on with a whoosh;
    and always, the chorus
    of the mighty Pacific Ocean,
    this morning with its soft and low mooing
    like a herd of cows
    on a far and distant field,
    ever present,
    like the beating of my heart
    when I notice.

  31. Catriona

    Enveloped in blanket, with lavender in my lungs and warm whispers in my ears, I drift off into soft satin sleep.

  32. Kylie Whyte

    A reassuring whirr, sound of metal dancing with air. Kissing my back with coolness welcomed on a day like this.

  33. NanLeah


    I will never know the pilot whale whose fossil cochlea I held. Nor the sea’s orchestra millions of years ago.
    The harmony this whale beheld, the sea’s melody-
    Is it still as sweet?

  34. NanLeah

    Secret Song

    Longing for the sacred.
    Ethereal music secreted in the breast of Varied Thrush.
    Secret until summer.

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