Day 27: January Mindful Writing Challenge

sparrowPuffed up against the cold
But still cheerful
Hopping and chirping
In the cold and the dark
Learning from sparrows


Nina Mallozzi

We’re on the twenty-seventh 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!


image: Some rights reserved by barryskeates

Comments & replies

73 thoughts on “Day 27: January Mindful Writing Challenge

  1. SM Jenkin

    Bills and bank statements,
    artfully arranged and
    rearranged on
    my beige floor.
    Piled up, jagged edges ready to
    vomit onto the soft
    pile; I size them
    up, and shudder.

    1. Malek Montag

      I’m with Helen on the use of ‘vomit’. Lovely and apt description! This is something most of us have been through at some point. 🙂

      1. Malek Montag

        That first line is great. Look up on a clear night and what do you see? Yeah, well done! 🙂

    1. Malek Montag

      Hahaha! I’ve done that before. I fell asleep one summer afternoon and wake with a start. Looked at my clock and saw it was 8 o’clock! I was half way out of the house before I remembered it was 8pm, not 8am! 🙂 Another lovely, poignant piece…

  2. Brinda


    night falls on brutal cold winds
    and avalanche of dirty jokes
    wrapped up in thick layers
    of momentary giggles
    and hiccups of laughter
    clearing in a short span
    several layers of stucked
    words sharp as swords
    ready to fly in the air
    and fight with unexisting
    dragons and fake beasts
    festering within the fertile
    grounds of balance
    and restoring peace
    if only for such a precious
    fleeting moment of pure
    joy of beingness


    1. SM Jenkin

      What a startling, but beautiful image. It’s nice to have an evening like that, that moment when all the hassle falls away and you can just be. Beautifully described

  3. Nicole

    On the wall of my room
    There is an ephemere picture…
    Dark shadows and bright glowing light
    I’ts full of life…
    Sun playing with the trees
    On the wall of my room

    The time I took to write these words… it was gone ! 🙂

    1. SM Jenkin

      Wow, this was beautiful and funny. What a lovely reminder of how fleeting some moments can be. I could see in my minds eye what the shadows and light looked like.

      1. Nicole

        Thank you !
        Amazed to be able to find more words to share
        when living in closed walls ! (I mean I can’t go out on my own, I’m not in a real prison ! 🙂 )

  4. H. V. Lehtinen

    Who is driving past my house
    before dawn
    when the world is black with night
    and white with snow

  5. Satya Robyn

    logging on, I’m dismayed to see that my last small stone was written five days ago…

    (that counts as my small stone for today. time to catch up!!)

  6. JulesPaige

    a tanka:
    on point
    another snow fall
    covers previous foot falls
    squirrels, fox, deer
    and the neighbors big fat cat
    who uses my yard freely

  7. John S Oliver

    Hang in there.

    “Hang in there,” is a strange expression for me.

    Long ago I worked at the help desk of a computer lab.
    I had frequent contact with graduate students.

    I asked how they were doing.
    I was especially concerned during finals week.
    Often the reply was “At least I am hanging in there.”

    If I knew the person well I might ask, “What if you let go?”
    Sometimes the reply was a panicky, “I cannot do that.”
    Then my closest friends I asked, “What if you let go for just one minute.”
    That was not an option to even consider for most of them.

    The conventional advice for a person passing through a crisis is to “Hang in there.”
    What I ask is the following:
    What are they hanging on to?
    Where is “in there”?
    What if they let go for one minute?

    Somehow this is a mental and emotional image.
    There may be some spiritual layer too.

    Hanging in there seems stressful.
    Constantly hanging in there will lead to fatigue.

    Where is peace?
    Where is safety?
    Where is security?

    I know this is just a figure of speech.
    But it is used during periods of times of tension, anxiety and pressure.
    Then the stress needs to be decreased not sanctioned.

  8. Helen Lewis

    in the copse at the back of the car park
    a heap of clothing, plastic bags and fluttering silver foil
    a stench that flips my guts
    a realisation that flips my heart

  9. Jean S

    Who am I?

    From moment to moment
    Thoughts reinvent myself.

    The mind throws many stones
    On the surface of the lake
    That mirrors only past and future.

    The now creates a sense of self
    That interconnects all.

  10. Patricia

    Choosing colors.
    Seeking balance.
    Orange or yellow?
    Purple or green?
    Feeling relaxation.
    Silent joy.

  11. Pookie

    Think of a length of tweed cloth
    The warp threads are soft shades of lovat blue and green
    The colour of the island on a softly blowy spring day
    The weave, dove shades of heather and crisp russet bracken
    A gentle day in the September sun
    Random threads of silvery grey echo
    The sea and the laughter of the children in my life
    While the warm gold of the machair in August
    Is the benevolent adult love I have enjoyed
    Through my own childhood, my family and friends
    The whole is a soft plaid that wraps around me
    As my husband folds me to him when I need a hug
    I am blessed
    I need to remember this more often

  12. Malek Montag

    Wood feels solid. A carriage. In blue livery. I must turn it red. Brush dips into primer. Translucent liquid smears over old paint. I shake the jar and pour out a thicker substance. The brush applies this and the wood turns to grey. I dry the carriage. Now for red. A gloss acrylic. The agitator rattles in the jar, mixing pigment and carrier. The brush descends, dips, then drips with glistening rouge. I stroke the hairs gently along the flank of the toy. George’s dream is underway…

  13. Gary Hewitt

    Eyes widen at the pool’s edge.
    Razor nails prod, ready to explore
    A blooded jaw cracks apart
    and shouts in gratitude
    For the perfect feast
    In the heart of the jungle

  14. Sharon Black

    At la Poste, Claude lifts the flap
    to show off his Autosocks,
    an alternative to snow chains,
    he explains. The idea tickles.
    I note the web address.
    I want mine with knitted cuffs,
    an embroidered R and L,
    rubber-spotted soles
    and swinging pompoms.
    I’ll be the envy of the valley.
    The snow’s icy heart will surely melt
    when it sees my Honda coming,
    snug as toast,
    the sun on its bonnet winking
    as we sail past.

  15. Hajra

    I just read somewhere ‘Action expresses priority’
    Yet the compassionate heart knows not what priority is
    It simply acts on its impulse…
    That’s the beauty of it…

  16. De Jackson

    always, ever catching up…

    kitty stones

    Jan. 26
    there is some sort of tennis
    match happening between
    the birds in the back yard.

    Jan. 27
    He snaps at me, meeeow-aps
    at me, stalks grumpily from
    the room, his tail a fuzzy black
    exclamation point.


  17. Linda

    Three days spent on and by the water
    with friends to share the pleasure;
    celebrating a country where our indigenous people
    and those from many countries can become one nation.
    Counting our blessings and sharing the joy
    of being Australian.

  18. Kathy Nguyen

    incoming chill
    I found myself
    thinking of you–
    driving home
    it was easier to love you
    when I’d lost you

  19. larry p

    Cheerios make lovely swooshing sounds,
    when pushed back and forth across a tray,
    sometimes en masse, using a spread palm,
    sometimes singly, using an index finger,
    which fits neatly into the middle of the ‘O’.
    Sometimes a few stick to hand or finger.
    Then, they must be examined carefully,
    subsequently, brushed off … or eaten.
    And the swooshing sounds resume.

  20. Pamela Niles

    Here come those
    marauding mind meanies
    those nasty invasive discursive
    swarming into my good
    whenever I notice he is not
    just like me or exactly how
    I wish him to be.

  21. Michelle Hed

    This winter
    hundreds of “Hedwigs” have come to call –
    watching one, in thrall.

    (Note: “Hedwig” is the name of the snowy owl in the Harry Potter series. We are having a snowy owl irruption in the U.S. this winter.)

  22. Julie Gengo

    Day 28: January Mindful Writing Challenge
    Butternut Squash

    Soft butternut squash
    peppers and onions dance
    Saucy tomatoes swirl
    Lovely French cider
    Savory sugar kisses

  23. Carol A. Stephen

    Jan. 27, 2014

    “We are solitary. We can delude ourselves and act as if this were not so.” —Letters to a Young Poet, Aug. 12, 1904 – Rilke from The Solitude We Are, A Year With Rilke

    To be solitary in a silent day:
    not an isolation but a gathering
    thought, reflection, strength

    A store against those other days
    when the external makes demands
    time not always the luxury of cocoon.

    We arrive alone in protest, pushed
    out of our comfortable nests. In each vessel
    of departure, there is only room for one.



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