Day 8: January Mindful Writing Challenge

Keeping the hedges by Antony ChammondStaining

Equipment on loan:
Barn-red stain, parson’s gray:
My neighbor’s ladder.

Robert Demaree


We’re on the eighth 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!

Keeping the hedges by Antony Chammond

Comments & replies

90 thoughts on “Day 8: January Mindful Writing Challenge

  1. Kay Walker

    Ominously inky dark clouds
    seen by the grace of grandmother moon
    casting her silver light
    as she turns to wink at my life.

  2. Brinda


    watching the weather forecasts
    in between two mouthfuls –
    I feel a sudden draft

    upto thirty feet high,
    waves become giants
    emergency calls

    winds shift gears
    knocking me till my bones click–
    long crow caws

    eyes wide awake
    I monitor both neighbours move —
    double club sandwich


  3. Angela

    waking up to pink stripes in the sky this morning. what does it mean? another day full of rain? please no – for everyone

  4. Kylie Whyte

    My skin is tingling with anticipation
    I am like an octopus
    spreading feelers in all directions

  5. Linda

    A sense of accomplishment after a week’s work removing an inappropriate plant and replacing it with local natives that will bring in the birds.

  6. julie daigle

    Black, spidery branches grasping an indigo blue sky, starkly visible against trailing, ghostly cloud veil exhalations, the half-moon cup Halloween bright in the pause of midnight uncertainty and frozen midwinter death.

  7. Chrissie Robinson Petrie

    Orange shards splinter the dark sky.
    An etch-a-sketch sea draws out, its
    surface, a flotilla of Tees bound craft.
    Huntcliff cradles Saltburn bay and I
    think of a time, long ago, when those
    orange shards would have been a
    beacon of warning; an Anglo-Saxon
    text alert sent from the cliffs of
    Sealt-Burna to the banks of Esingtun.

  8. Freya Pickard

    When snowflakes are small, it is hard to see them falling out of the blank white-grey sky. You can only see them easily against the backdrop of bare trees. Beyond the trees, the world is not real, it isn’t yet in existence. It is a blankness, a void, a nothingness. Its colour is nothingness, a pale blur, neither true grey nor true white, but inbetween.

  9. Karen Schorno

    Grey, cold day full of silence
    space to notice sounds
    heater’s blower, chime of clock
    and meow of Ms Kitty…

  10. JulesPaige

    a tanka:
    tag. you’re it.

    tempting fate; absence
    of a signature does not
    exclude final tasks

    always more to meet the eye
    spirit and shadow cavort


  11. Lizzie Carver

    Scrrrraaaape, grind, gnaw, lick, slurp, SNAP!
    Repeat, in stereo.
    As I offer Reiki to my client at her home, her two very large dogs are engaged in demolishing hunks of bone, stuffed with pink paste. One is in his crate, the other lies at full stretch on the sofa a foot away from where I sit.
    The thought floats in, “What will he do next?” (I hope my shin bones are safe.)
    What he does is try to climb onto my lap, demanding Reiki. One hand on him and one on my client, peace descends.

  12. Nicole

    Excitment : this day belongs to me !
    I can write as much as I whish…
    I can think and ponder to my heart’s delight…
    Oh no ! I forgot my resolution :
    This day belongs to God. May it fill what ever He wants ! ☺

  13. Allison Shapiro

    The radiator hisses hot breath angrily, registering dissatisfaction about having to work so hard to meet demand.
    There are groans, clangs, and spits as it flusters its way to a crescendo, amidst bass, tenor and finally soprano pitches.
    I wait with baited breath, curled into myself, clutching my arms and ribs until the pivotal moment of temperance.

  14. Andrea

    My daughter calls her grandmother
    puts her arms around sixty years
    and squeezes.

  15. Lindy Fly

    8:53 a.m. Sandpoint ID
    Early trucks muffled,
    plows scraping quiet along.
    Long live Christmas lights!

    What not a snow day?
    Still falling straight down pristine.
    Snowmen gestation.

    Write winter poem
    instead of shoveling walk.
    (Looking forward to.)

  16. Pam Niles

    Welcoming the rain,
    face and spirit uplifted.
    It has been so long in coming
    this season.
    Elsewhere—I know I know—
    winter dominates.
    People complain, burdened.
    People even die,
    for the cold and wind and snow.
    Here, it’s as though we exist
    twenty degrees north latitude.
    Might we swirl our hips and smile, aloha?

    How I long for normalcy.
    That’s all I ask.
    It seems such a simple request.
    In our world where weather
    becomes increasingly unpredictable,
    I push against it.
    I feel defeated now and then.
    It seems I take it personally.

  17. Virginia Curtis- Threadgill

    A slice of paper, a slice of life. Envelope, stamp and a walk to the mailbox. Remember to raise the flag.Feeling anachronistic in this age of immediacy, I send myself across the country.

    1. Jean S

      Like the thought of sending yourself across the country.
      Perhaps humor is among the top forms of awareness or not?

  18. Carol A. Stephen

    I’m taking my inspiration from A Year with Rilke, a book of daily readings. Here’s today’s: Jan. 8, 2014

    Why am I out of step
    with my own life?

    I run to catch up,
    then slow to the speed
    of moving backward.

    If I am hot,
    I long for cool, then
    shiver in the wind.

    On one foot,
    I wobble, untethered


  19. Patricia

    I look at Snoezy. He stretches his paws after his nap and I decide to do the same. First I lift my arms as high as possible. Then I stretch my legs backwards, one by one (of course). Snoezy watches every move I make. I can see how the look on his face changes. “Oh no, my human has an identity crisis. She thinks she’s a cat!”

  20. laurie granieri

    Morning sun: Fingerprints smudging a plate-glass window, flesh pressed to glass, remembered.

  21. SM Jenkin

    The window is black and bare, chocolate brown curtains shoved to the sides. Before the window, laying plain on a blue plate on the bare grey table lies the high spot of the day. Chips, beautiful golden yellow and full of innocent promise like a freshly boiled egg. I pick one up, a thick chip, the edge is highlighted in a single line, suntanned crispy and brown. The heat permeates my fingers, the edges crisp and hot against my chapped lips. The inside yields soft creamy starch. Something missing….? Cold tomato ketchup spurts easily out of the plastic bottle, transforming golden chips into candy cane brightness.

    1. Malek Montag

      Lovely, SM… The colour and the texture are all there. And the taste too. I can feel your chips between my fingers! 🙂 Excellent stuff!!

  22. Hajra

    It was a grey and dreary morning
    Every person, every creature, in short everything seemed numb with cold
    It started raining in the afternoon
    That did not make any difference to the stillness of the atmosphere
    Yet as night descended
    The sky turned into a beautiful shade of Indigo
    With lilac clouds drawn upon it…
    And the silence was broken by the singing of a bird…

  23. Daphne Radenhurst

    Torn between tasks to be done
    And my desire to listen to the music,
    I realise I am neither here nor there.
    I sit
    and listen ……

  24. Jean S

    Crowded bird-feeder, my cat throttles an alert.
    Puffed feathers and raised wings,
    More cat chortles.
    Clock ticks.
    Moment observed.

  25. Jackie York

    dripping, rotting
    that big leaf was summer silver and green
    now soft, wet brown, flooded winter
    fish skeleton-like it has
    blown up the hill
    a long way from its branch

  26. beverley

    If I were the size of a woman who lived in a doll house, peg-sized say, I would have climbed the lofty layered sponges of my birthday cake, and after admiring the view of several tall flaming spires, would have stepped onto the sticky expanse of chocolate ganache that topped the lot, not caring a jot for my small shiny shoes. And the walk across that sweet oozing plain, would remind me of this footpath that is slipping and sliding under my new boots.

  27. John S Oliver

    Tall Skeletons

    Bare winter trees line the lovely neighborhood street.
    The pale grey sky can be seen through the naked branches.
    These giant plants seem like tall skeletons.

    Yet wait 6 months and an abundance of leaves will be there again.
    Green will fill the gaps in the tall skeletons.

    Then wait a long while as the green leave turn brown.
    They will be shed as the cycle of seasons continues the sacred dance.

    Surely next winter these tall skeletons will reappear only just a little taller.

  28. Helen Lewis

    this water
    warming my hands
    through rubber gloves
    smells like a lemon grove
    on a summer’s evening

  29. Steve

    In summer, cold, I love the sweat
    on your glass rolling to the table sea

    but now, I love you the more,
    warm my hands, my heart

    you, are my tea

  30. A. I. Nu

    The orange on the table
    casts a long early morning shadow
    The light catches in its ridges the way water would.
    Motown on the radio, oblivious.

  31. Lonnard Dean Watkins

    the young thrush
    pokes it head through my back door,
    showing no fear,
    yet I fear for its innocence,
    the innocence of nature

  32. Linda Saccoccio


    Pink and puce horizontal,
    smooth stepping clouds
    jagged silver slices,
    vertical jet marks
    gray haze over Pacific
    dawn into day
    crows caw

  33. bob

    A load of fresh laundry hangs limp
    on the drying rack,
    the world’s largest air freshener.

    The scent of unfamiliar detergent
    triggering vaguely familiar memories
    of of a space that can’t be placed.

    I close my eyes,
    trying to retrace
    the laundromat of my mind.

    Stuck in a spin cycle.

  34. Catriona

    Standing in steam,
    Rivers run down rose-flushed valleys,
    Hot droplets plop upon green glittered toes.

  35. Sharon Black

    First day of the sales – Soldes blares
    from every window as we steer
    past smiling mannequins,
    through the crush of glossy teens
    and mums and prams and flapping coats and
    bulging plastic bags emblazoned -50%
    and into overheated shops spicy
    from sweat and crowded changing rooms
    and staff who’ve not ha d time for lunch
    and queues pouring from each till. I slump
    against a rack of racy underwear,
    waiting for my daughter who’s trying on jeans.
    On the rejects rail, sales tags droop
    from unwanted garments –
    others litter the floor,
    trodden and stained.

  36. sue

    January 8, 2014

    On the porch
    where feral cats
    daily find their food
    are unexpected
    delicate traces
    left by feathered guests.

  37. Paul L. White

    A year ago, a year ago…
    That’s what my notes declare:
    My first of these, these poem-stones,
    Was written then with care.
    Oh, thank you all for your support,
    Your constant words of Cheer.
    I say it true that each of you
    Is measured more than Dear!
    (written in gratitude for the Daily Gem Stones group established by Satya)

  38. Kathy Nguyen

    the rhythm
    of windshield wipers
    on the way home
    I try to forget
    what I’ve already lost

  39. cathy catterson

    the cold leaves my fingers dead man white.
    the doctor has named it Raynaud’s disease.
    better yet ill call it arctic vortex
    swirling and whirling my life’s blood
    away from my extremities
    but coloring my heart red and alive.

  40. larry p

    An old man wished to cut
    square, pink, origami paper
    into four smaller squares.
    His previous attempt,
    using a paper cutter,
    had been a dismal failure.
    But, mature eyes, it seems,
    have difficulties reading rulers,
    measuring a square’s width, and
    determining its mid points.
    Perhaps drawing diagonals
    from one corner to the other
    would find the paper’s center point.
    Then a mere drafting triangle,
    aligned with border edges,
    would bisect the center points.
    A few exacto cuts later, and voilá,
    baby crane folding begins.

  41. Sherilee

    Caught short by the brevity of each day, but the length of the week.
    Is it true that time keeps speeding up as we age?
    This is going to seriously suck.

  42. Nina

    Another late one –

    In the role play corner, now a house,

    a little blonde girl wears a colander on her head

    and waits for the boy to give her

    her baby back.

  43. laurie granieri

    One of the wise men now lives in a sun-lit jewelry-store window on George Street, a robed figurine toting a jar of something important, frankincense or myrrh. A scratched silver dog tag slung around his ceramic neck urges us to “Fear not man.”

  44. Sallie

    Instead of disappointment and disapproval,
    what I wish she’d said:
    Work smarter, not harder.
    Follow the passion not the expectation.
    Love wisely but with abandon.
    Create memories not excuses.
    Happy trumps material.
    Kindness always wins.
    A mother’s love never dies.

    #smallstone 9

  45. Morgan

    Overwhelm and tiredness chase each across my body like shadows in the sky as I battle to keep on. I know who always loses in

    1. Morgan

      Overwhelm and tiredness chase each across my body like shadows in the sky as I battle to keep on. I know who always loses in this war.

  46. Maaike Klaster

    An echoing voice, a creeking noice
    Streetsounds, airsounds. Motors running.
    Plane up there, car on the ground.

    Imagining rubber tires being
    pressed against the red-bricked street
    as a cheek against a chest.

  47. Kym W

    The dark grey belly of cloud swallows the fiery orange sun round and whole. It slowly slides down its flimsy veil-like tract transformed, still whole and round but dark electric pink.

  48. Lynn

    Did I notice one thing today? –
    Maybe it was the way time flies
    and leaves me breathless
    as I race to catch up.

  49. S.E.Ingraham

    January 8, 2014


    It’s flu season again but unlike most years,
    the strain is more virulent than usual and
    the scare tactics about not having the vaccine
    have been ramped up. Or, maybe they’re
    not tactics after all; the number of dead rises
    daily, and that bears thinking about, even
    for those who are wary of the fear-mongers,
    like me…maybe I need to reconsider my
    options. Even being a carrier would be
    an awful eventuality and worth reconsidering
    taking the preventative…

  50. claire barton

    24 hours mist
    sleep the drug
    by which i
    The past year has been so very difficult in many ways, in those all days
    i heartfelt the hardships were for my greater good.
    This tenth Janus day,
    I am filled with gratitude for: through them;
    i have grown in countless directions
    and willingly

    and feel such compassion for the struggles of others, that while they smile, i see in their eyes, their pain. We are all connected ~ this truth, i ‘know’. Namaste!

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