The River of Stones LAST DAY: post your 31st Jan small stones here

Whoop! Whoop! This is the last day of our January mindful writing challenge: The River of Stones. This is 2012’s last small stone thread. Let’s go for a record number of comments…

Do leave your last small stone of the challenge in the comments below. And let us know how you got on this month – what was it like? And do feel free to add your blog addresses so you can keep in touch with each other.

And we DO hope you carry on writing them. Thank you all for sharing your small stones – we’ve enjoyed reading them very much!

(We’re sorry to hear that some people were stymied by the overzealous word verification codes… I’ve turned them off for the time being so you can post away at your leisure!)

“Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn’t we?” ~ Terri Guillemets

Comments & replies

132 thoughts on “The River of Stones LAST DAY: post your 31st Jan small stones here

  1. T

    The kids’ bubble bath bottle
    On the side of the tub
    Says “grape soda bubble bath,”
    And in French underneath says,
    “Soda aux raisins pour enfants.”
    Soda of the raisins for children?
    And there’s a yellow rubber ducky,
    with a grape on his head,
    which kinda looks like a beret.
    He’s sipping on an alledged soda bottle,
    Which kinda looks like wine.
    I AM sipping on wine,
    And finding him amusing.
    Cheers, Ducky, cheers!
    Parlez-vous English?

  2. Elisa

    Like a bird or a duck going about leisurely in their ways. But it’s all the same for all of us. Even the time moves steadily like a heartbeat. The difference of it all is that as time dances by life is passing through.

  3. Anne Weizel

    Jan. 30-2012 -MOTHERHOOD
    No one ever told me:
    That the day you were born.
    My heart would be lost forever,
    Tossed out to sea,
    To rise and fall,
    Venturing through sun, and storm

    Some days
    Floating precariously.
    Like a raft in the middle of the ocean,
    Fighting for survival,
    And begging for mercy.

    While other days ,
    Like a surfer riding the crest of a wave,
    Gliding and soaring so smoothly to the shore,

    Rising and falling again,
    Soaring with seagulls,
    Feeling I could reach the clouds,
    And then like glass breaking-
    Shattering loudly into a million pieces.

    Your bitterness and sorrow,
    Shocking ,in its intensity for one so young,
    Cuts into me, like a sharp knife,

    While your sweetness,
    Fills my heart,
    With overflowing tenderness,
    Like tasting the sweetness of a juicy, ripe peach,
    And filling my heart,
    With the scent of roses.
    Taking my breath away

  4. Sue

    Supermarket Squeeze

    The soap you once bought
    from the market and which
    smelled awesome is now being
    stocked in the supermarket
    & doesn’t smell quite so
    super anymore.

    This is no coincidence.

  5. Claudine G.

    Woke up tired of sleeping. The sky turning from black to blue. Slowly. With the chirps of few birds. And vehicles moving to work. The river between my mind and the aching nose rose, crashed, thrashed.


    I’ll keep this river of stones flowing. I love what it’s doing for me. 🙂

  6. Marian Veverka

    A rain in winter will melt away yesterday’s fresh layer of snow
    that has decorated our world with a delicate white icing
    and expose the trash that over-flowed from the dumpster and lies by the side of the road
    where eveyone can see.

  7. Sandra Davies

    A black and white, super-furry seat cover
    deceives me into seeing, momentarily,
    a dalmatian in the driving seat.

  8. Cassam

    For my final stone I choose the stillness of the early morning,the muted colours of its’s sky, the quietness that surrounds me and the anticipation of a brand new day.

  9. J Cosmo Newbery

    The house is now quiet, darkly, softly so;
    A clock marks the measured steps of time.
    The moon casts a timid, tentative glow;
    And somewhere a possum eats my vines.

    Thank you, it has been fun.

  10. Kirsten

    Today is the last day of the hunting season.
    No more mimetic outfits lurking by my fence.
    Now I just have to watch out for small stones.

  11. Cassam

    I’ve enjoyed Riverr of stones. I’ve never done anything like this before. I have been posting them weekly on my blog. Thank you Fiona and Kaspa for the inspiration.

  12. Annie

    Running on stones

    The sound of him
    is out of sync
    with the sun speckled film
    I watch through squinting eyes.
    Black limbs dance
    across a jittery screen.
    Stick man runs on the beach.

  13. PoetColette

    ~ Fifth Slapped! ~

    Just before winter break, my son came home from school with bright red cheeks. It looked as though he had been slapped on both cheeks, yet he had not. We thought maybe it was an allergy and kept an eye on him but he had no other symptoms or fever, and it cleared up within a day or two. This was over six weeks ago.

    Today the school sent home a notice that Fifth Disease had been going around, explaining that it is a mild virus most often seen in children, a symptom of which is a bright red rash on the face which resembles slapped cheeks.

    This sudden realization was a real slap in the face.

  14. Revlahart

    Red numbers tell me
    that it is too early.
    My mind races,
    spinning.
    Near my sternum
    feels tight, my
    breath shallow.
    I rise, make tea, start the day.
    Too early.

  15. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    I never did get a small stone posted here this month, though I tweeted them and of course put them in my own blog. It has been a busy month and in some ways a distressing one … but anyway , I thought I must at least do this for the final day, so here it is:

    Looking at those hills
    I know an old home of mine
    is still there beyond them.

  16. Helen Lewis

    She tilts her chin upwards slightly, and looks at me through half-closed eyes. It’s always a good day when you’ve been smiled at by a cat.

  17. PoetColette

    If you look through stained glass, you will see. . .
    stains.

    *that might sound negative, but it’s actually my take on mindfulness as I have been introduced to it this month. I have learned to begin to look outward from my own inner stains and to notice that all of creation is filled with stains, including other stained people. I remain alone, yet I am not so alone.

    And now I’m only half as lonely,
    because I like myself twice as much.

    Thank you, River of Jan, 2012

    p.s. it only took me until Day 25 to learn to properly stone. I had been using line breaks, like some kind of poet. 😉

  18. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    And how was the month for me (in terms of doing this)? Extraordinarily difficult! Unexpectedly, I have been dealing with grief, shock, and major changes in my life – changes for the worse. I’ve always loved writing small stones in the past, but this time it was an effort to put my focus outside myself and frankly I didn’t always succeed. But I made the effort every day, and each day I came up with something that I was glad to have recorded. I rather think it has kept me saner. I have something else now to look back on this month for than the problems and distress. And I have it in physical form on my blog, along with appreciative comments by nice people. Further, I have had occasion to look at other people’s streams of stones, and that is perhaps the best of all. It is they which have really taken me out of myself for a time, for which I’m glad and thankful.

  19. Nine

    Not enough sleep and not enough food can cause your memories of just a few hours ago to feel distant and patchy, like the culmination of a drunken night out.

    I found my way to the church, lit a candle with a whisper of mizpah, watched a woman praying. I saw my mother today, in a photograph I saved online. It’s seven years today since I celebrated her birthday with her for the last time.

  20. Roz Cawley

    At bird-feeding time – a constant battle between me and my cat. His one desire – to interfere with my life saving mission. But Cat and Bird and Hunt and Death are the reality – I am the interference.

    *****************************
    It has been the most wonderful experience to take part in The River – Thank you, with immense gratitude, Fiona and Kaspa for introducing me to this practice – a practice which, for me, will continue daily. Thank you to all other posters, whose writing I have loved reading.
    I have felt amongst kindred souls during this month – please keep in touch!
    Roz at Autumn Cottage
    http://rozcawley.typepad.com/

  21. Polly

    Fiery flaming firework
    Finger link;
    Pain sparklers in
    Luminescent ligaments.
    Cussing the
    Agonised interphalangeal;
    Grip, gripe, gip,
    Grasp, gasp,
    Lightnening flash.

    ___________________

    I have enjoyed the challenge of coming up with something small and focused each day – thank you – it’s been fun

  22. Lesley

    My canine naturalist is intent on her daily study – the life of the garden. Attention aroused, her body stiffens. I follow her intense observation. Two cheeky starlings strut about on the ridge tiles of the kitchen roof. A gregarious couple, checking out the gaff in a dash of silver, determined, in their dotted hurry, to bag the best nest.

  23. Catherine van Vliet-Saivres

    Small Stone 31st: Final small stone… What an experience, what a challenge! Thank you all for your support. To tell you the truth I might continue to write small stones from time to time, just to keep the stones rolling…

  24. Michelle

    My desk
    is a cluttered mess;
    My desk
    is in full dress;
    Littered with poems
    and manuscripts;
    My desk
    holds my printing press.

    Had a wonderful time writing small stones this month. I don’t know if is our mild January winter (unusual for Minnesota, USA) or what it was, but the small stones seemed to flow quite smoothly this year. Thanks Fiona and Kaspa!!

  25. Inger-M

    Finale
    I can hardly believe January is gone already!
    Since I started photographing more seriously, I have noticed that I am always scanning my surroundings for stuff that needs to be photographed, so in that way I have been mindful for quite a while. But the added depth of writing something down too has been an amazing journey. I was invited to join The River Of Stones by Laura Hegfield at Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice, and I will be forever grateful that she sent me that invitation. (I recommend that you check out her blog as it is so wonderful!)
    I have met new bloggers with brilliant blogs, and I have had so many kind and wonderful comments on my small stones. Thank you so much, all of you!

    I am writing this in the lobby of the W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain. This hotel is so visually amazing that I could write many small stones here, but not now. In a few minutes we will grab a taxi and board the MSC Fantasia. For the next 11 days I won’t have much internet access, and I haven’t for the last 3 days either, so there are some blogs that I am not up to date on commenting on. I’ll get back to you 🙂

    The post is here:
    http://writtenbyim.blogspot.com/2012/01/day-31-finale.html

  26. Karen

    sweet girl
    smacks a big sloppy kiss
    on my cheek
    as her arms circle my neck

    a sticky residue remains
    to mark the spot
    where love is planted

    candy kisses

  27. Lynne Rees

    Strictly speaking, this is my stone 31a : )

    a scatter of snow
    on the slate roof
    some things are
    worth waiting for

    Many thanks, Fiona and Kaspa.

  28. quillfyre

    Just reflecting this morning on the difficulty we have when it is time to move on. It has been an interesting journey downriver! Thanks.

    Letting go

    a house becomes attached to things.
    to routines, beliefs. to people.
    they all leave, in one way or another.
    the house remains, adding another layer,
    a patina of its own history, its own connections.
    when a house creaks and sighs in winter
    it is dreaming its past, memories sinking deep
    into its bones. When the time comes,
    the house lets go, knowing its ghosts remain,
    a blanket to keep its story warm.

    Carol A. Stephen
    http://www.quillfyre.wordpress.com

  29. teri

    January 31, 2012- Small Stones
    on our way to the food bowl by Teri H Hoover

    On our way to the food bowl
    sun shines on the new day.
    My dog whirls right by me,
    dancing with anticipation-
    while I scoop up dog toys off the TV room floor.
    This momma bird lets the toys fall into their bin.
    A small red heart squeaks out,
    “I love you!”

    For a month I joined with hundreds of people in the January 2012 River of Stones . Taking time to pay attention to at least one thing everyday… and write that observation into words. I am glad to have found this little river and have been participating since January 2011. Great thanks goes to Fiona Robyn’s Writing Our Way Home community and for bringing this idea to life, and coordinating it for all of us. I will continue to observe my world with images and words, finding that I am always where I need to be- even when it does not feel right. This little practice brings light to many things; not all are comfortable- but with love I am transformed to seeing the blessings. May there always be a little light in your heart. And if it seems dark know that there are people out there carrying a little light for you. Blessings – teri

  30. Jill

    Small Stone(s): Morning Walk

    Walking in the dark before dawn, my headlamp reflects off ice crystals in the dry grass, making them sparkle. Stars shine overhead. Each out-breath fogs in the cold, momentarily blurring my vision. None of this could be captured with my camera, only with my eyes, my attention, my heart-mind.

    Later, by the back pond, a beaver. In an attempt to adjust my hold, because I know Sam will rear up, lunge at the beaver as soon as he sees it, the leash drops from my hand. Sam sees the beaver and runs towards the edge of the pond, jumping and barking. I yell for him to stop, imagine him jumping in. He stops about a foot away from the edge, sits and barks, but I feel no relief. I am still not close enough to grab him, and the beaver is about to smack its tail. A smack and a splash as it dives under the surface. Sam edges closer, him barking and me screaming his name, telling him to stop. Sam lies down at the edge and whines. I grab his collar, take a deep breath. Dexter looks at me like I’ve lost my mind, and nudges my hand with his nose.

    http://thousandshadesofgray.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/small-stone-day-31/

  31. Connie L. Peters

    We whispered
    our goodbyes
    through a casket lid
    but the heaviness stays
    as we wonder
    how our sister
    will face each morning
    with his side of the bed empty.

  32. Lorelei

    The sun seems stuck in the peach tree notch for a long time. Should I help it? It will take care of itself.

    ~Laura Hoopes

  33. jake chambers

    1.31.2012 ~ Stepping outside my box, glancing back, realizing now I need a larger box in which to store my future stones. Again, thanks to Laurie Kolp, for the challenging invite.

  34. carla

    in a corner of the desk
    late January
    shadows fall behind
    a skyline of lotion bottles
    and pencils
    ***
    Thanks for a wonderful January! I managed to write 31 plus small stones. You can view them here:
    http://wetleaves-cmwilson.blogspot.com/2012/01/cluttered.html
    ***
    Also, I wrote a little about my experience, here: http://cmwvaps.blogspot.com/2012/01/31-days.html
    ***
    I found that my writing did not improve, as such, but that I felt myself expanding and reaching further. It was truly wonderful. Thank you to all who commented, and thanks so much to Fiona and Kaspa for putting this on, and for doing all they do!

    Carla Wilson

  35. Julie Gengo

    January flies by
    stones have reached their destination
    fizzle and pop
    new stones on the verge
    waiting to meet you

  36. Lightverse

    silvery faucet
    pearly white water current
    soap bubble rainbow

    Watching the water flow out of a faucet is really cool looking, in a hypnotic, meditative kind of way. This is not to say I want to waste water by just running a faucet indefinitely, but I made this observation when I washed my hands earlier today. What else I noticed was that the lather from the soap bubbles made a shiny grape-bunch of rainbows – and I liked this because I imagined that the colors were making their own individual and collective statements about what they were and what they wanted to be.

  37. rbarenblat

    I posted several small stones on twitter (@velveteenrabbi) — certainly not daily (alas) but a few more than I otherwise would’ve done, I’m sure. And I know that this challenge inspired me to look more closely at the world around me. So thank you!

    (Here’s today’s: The rhythmic putt-putt of the printer provides accompaniment for my heartbeat.)

  38. Patricia Anne McGoldrick

    JANUARY 31*

    Cardinals are back.
    Brownish female with brilliant red male—
    Red beaks are a sure sight!
    Find them if you can
    In this small final January stone.

    *Note–will be posted on my blog with related photo at http://pmpoetwriter.blogspot.com/
    Thanks to Fiona & Kaspa for the Challenge! I did it!

  39. Laurie Kolp

    After waiting outside and in
    freezing moments of blank time
    floating silence, a tick-tock
    tick-tock; will I be chosen?
    Tick-tock, tick-tock; what
    if I’m sequestered? Tick…
    click, the clerk appears:
    everyone can leave now.

  40. Sarah James

    Hi Fiona, Kaspa and everyone,

    I’ve not been so good at posting my small stones on here – so here’s a round-up of the nine I’ve managed this month.
    xxx

    i)
    after the party
    the mirror ball’s stillness
    turns our fragmented world
    into patterns of light

    ii)

    blue of the swimming pool
    water crumpled with light
    swimming through my reflection

    iii) Looking Out

    through the window, I see raindrops on glass
    through the raindrops, I see pale blue sky
    through the blueness, I sense something vast
    and just beyond sight, the source of our light

    iv) The Morning After

    Against a light-whipped egg-white sky,
    our parasol blusters like a paper hat
    precariously perched and about to fall…

    One patio chair is flat on its back,
    another’s clutching an arm to its side.
    Two have tumbled head over heels on the grass.

    Someone’s clearly been having a party
    but forgotten to clean up the mess.
    Listen – the wind chimes are still chanting.

    v) Cocktail Sky

    layers of blue, grey, white
    cream shaken with light
    and a bright cherry sun

    vi)

    in the waiting room
    pots of wilting leaf stars
    footsteps and whispers
    echoes of something
    just beyond grasp

    vii) vapour trails

    a distant plane draws out the sky’s knotted spine
    the single bird’s flight leaves no trace behind

    viii) Drawn

    draw back your curtains onto late morning
    draw towards day’s sunlit daubed glass
    draw in berries on the bare tree
    draw up snowdrops buried for spring
    draw over frost with softer grass
    draw forwards at last, closer to see

    ix)

    broomhead in the brambles,
    plastic green bristles, leaves sprawl
    the smallness of thorns, spreading
    yellow petals climb through

  41. IsobelandCat

    I cycled home in a shower, the sort forecasters describe as wintry. It felt like little specks of glass hitting my face. So tonight, with freezing temperatures anticipated, I have hung up my cycle clips and topped up my Oyster card. In a moment, I shall take the bus to my evening class, or walk. Somehow, this feels rather sad.

    And this is the last stone for January too. I have enjoyed this exercise; the being in the now, focusing on one aspect of the day that shines out for good or bad. Thank-you Writing Our Way Home for organising it. I shall be back.

    isobelandcat.wordpress.com

  42. Virginia Curtis-Threadgill

    I am a bit sorry that the month is over. I wrote my small stones and posted them on Facebook. I have saved all thirty of them so I can print them out and read them consecutively. This was a fantastic motivator for me, and I enjoyed taking that moment to look for the small stone at the end of every day. Here is my Small Stone for January 31: The first month is already gone, but what it portends bodes well for the rest of the year. We are well on our way to a more mindful and grateful year. Looking forward to what will be revealed in the fullness of time. Virginia Curtis-Threadgill on Twitter @mustangmaverick

  43. Stevie

    Thanks once again, Fiona and Kaspa, for another month of stones!

    united we stand
    in the river
    of stones

  44. francesca perry

    Corner Stone
    Today I see a horizon slashed by great swathes of black rain and think aha my stone for today and then I think oh but it’s the last day and then I know that no it isn’t really because these stones make ripples and then bigger ripples and then waves and there are no beginnings and no ends……………

  45. Wild Roses

    my small stones turned into somewhat complicated verses somehow .. but thanks so much for the inspiration – I’ve published on facebook everyday and in my personal website – have managed to write just about every day and to take a photo too 🙂 I intend to keep going …. here’s todays – a riddle

    My first is in sylvie but not in her love
    My second in solstice and starlight above
    My third is in moondance but not in sunlight
    My fourth is in raven as black as the night
    My fifth is in maizie but not in her son
    My sixth is in shadows and will they have won?
    My seventh in young magus and in his great love
    My eighth in his sister of the shaman beloved
    My ninth in dark waters into which they must dive
    My tenth is in heggy and five always five ….

    If any of you know the Stonewylde series of books ……
    my blog :- http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv27/wherethewildrosesgrow.co.uk/wwwroot/page26.htm

  46. Abby

    January 31st

    The wheels rumble and squeak,

    piercing my ears,

    jarring me from

    groggy, just-woke-up, peaceful sleep

    What the hell is that? A flame of annoyance licks at my temper

    And then I see him

    stocking cap, disheveled jeans

    pushing his shopping cart with the broken wheel

    limping patiently toward the next recycling bin,

    blue treasure box

    or survival kit

    squatting indifferently on the lawn,

    And a wave of compassion overwhelms me.

    The words arrange themselves

    and I hear myself say out loud with a smile:

    We all belong here.

    Instead of anger,

    love warms my cheeks;

    it energizes me.

    And as I drive by on my way to work

    I give him a nod and a wave, hoping he’ll find what he’s looking for.

    We are all looking for something.

  47. basho42

    another sunrise
    more beating of my heart
    joy is my natural essence
    it is for the having and the giving; true joy can’t be stolen.

  48. e.gajd

    Here’s my penultimate Haiku (31st still 12 hours b4 it ends).

    Once I had a dream
    that what I thought was a dream
    was being awake.

    My Blog is egajd.

    As with last year, this exercise is invaluable. And worthwhile, too.

  49. barbara

    there was a hawk, yesterday, beside my neighbor’s house
    (and, as it was between our two houses, also beside mine)
    on the ground, white feathers in his beak, like a milk moustache.

    this is not a place for hawks, runs through the back of my mind.

    he (I assume, and why is that?) bends, and rips at what’s
    between his feet. white feathers float around his head.
    dead, the pigeon has become clean and gracefully light.

  50. Amy

    Well – it is not the last day for me. I have chosen to write a small poem daily for the year. Thanks for the impetus in getting started! Below is mine from today – the rest of my month is in a collection here: http://radicalamazement.wordpress.com/daily-poems/
    It is lovely to be able to read all of these here – somehow I did not know before that this blog existed!

    ————————

    sitting in stillness
    on a moss covered
    freshly fallen tree
    listening deeply

    birdsong and forest hum
    white breath in cold air
    sun slips in between trees
    the ground calls

    walking lightly
    on a forest floor
    naked feet on sacred ground
    cold mud sharp stones soft
    composting leaves

    sensations are strong
    simple does not mean easy
    mother earth is
    firm yet fair.

  51. searching serendipity

    Jan 31 Stone
    Today my friend slept too much and too long. He will not wake again. It came, as an asteroid hits the earth, not unexpected but no less destructive for our anticipation. I shall miss the companionship of an uncritical, trustworthy and trusting presence in my life. He could keep secrets and never tell. Always welcoming when we met again, he never showed resentment at shortcomings. Unconditional affection was his to give in abundance and he loved us all. My old friend, my dog died today.

    Reading so many wonderful stones each day in the last month has been a privilege for which I am very grateful. I have admired the writing, laughed at some things, shared sad or worried feelings at others. Thanks to everyone. Especially to everyone who has organised. Thank you for letting me be part of this experience. H

  52. Laurie Granieri

    Coffee shop, waiting for Renita’s convoluted order, straining to peer into every face, as Pema Chodron suggests, to see each face as that of an individual. So many faces! The girl leaning over the laptop, the student beside the window, the woman with the thick layer of silvery eye shadow, awaiting her own convoluted coffee order. Ahhh…looking–without judgment. Now that’s new.

  53. Anonymous

    River of Stones # 31
    Karen Cesar
    01/31/12

    My goal for ‘River of Stones’ was to do something creative every day – a haiga, a haibun, a haiku, anything really. And to post whatever was created on my Facebook page, regardless of perceived quality. The following quote by Annie Dillard was my guiding inspiration:

    “One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes. “ “Write Till You Drop” – Annie Dillard

    At the same time I was writing my ‘small stones,’ I participated in the NaHaiWriMo Challenge. I wrote and posted a haiku each day according to the prompt that was provided. My criteria here too was to write a haiku – sometimes more than one – and post the haiku I judged best on the NaHaiWriMo page.

    Since many publishers consider anything that has appeared anywhere public to be ‘published’ this meant that I had to ‘give away’ things that I might have submitted for publication. It also meant putting work ‘out there’ that was more raw and unfinished than I would have liked.

    Initially when something struck me as ‘good,’ there was the temptation to hold it back for submission and go with something else; when something was ‘bad,’ there was the temptation not to post at all. Over the month, this mattered less and less. The more I wrote, the more material became available. I became less attached to my work product and more attached to the process of creation. I became less attached to my ‘mood’ and ‘just did it’. I found that I did not ‘need’ hours of uninterrupted time to come up with something creative, but could use whatever time was available. I also became progressively gentler with myself. The days when I felt tired or was out for the day, or when the well was dry, I lowered my expectations to a haiku or to a couple of sentences. Other days, like today, my offerings were longer.

    Thank you Fiona for a wonderfully creative month and for introducing me to the River. I hope that I have the beginnings of a habit and that I will continue writing my small stones everyday even if I do not always share them.

  54. Rachel Fenton

    Well done everyone. I didn’t take part in an official capacity this time but I do take a minute each day to really notice something and that’s thanks to Kaspa and Fiona.

  55. SharonW

    When I was little, nothing needed to be real.
    I piled up handfuls of small stones or shells
    or laid out sticks, just touching end to end,
    and look! I made a town, a road, a fort.
    They had to be the things I said they were.
    I know that’s silly, now. You can’t make stones
    be what they aren’t – they’re stubborn. So are sticks.
    These days, I make-believe with piles of words instead.

    On my blog at http://newpillowbook.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/stone-22-last-day/

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the discipline of piling up my verbal stones over the last three weeks – I didn’t stumble across the Small Stones site until a third of January was gone. And I’ve enjoyed seeing the images other posters offered to the world.

    Some days, it’s been a challenge to come up with a topic; many days, it’s been a struggle to stay simple and concrete. Every day, it’s been rewarding. Thank you! I’ll miss our river.

    My blog is “A Number of Things” – please stop by and see what caught my attention!

  56. Hildred and Charles

    A small stone from the Similkameen
    January 31st, 2012

    Who goeth here?

    None but the quail
    who have marched up the meadow
    to break fast early in the morning

    Posted by Hildred and Charles at 1:03 PM

  57. alfred booth

    the river slows, ice forms thick layers
    no warmth touches the words describing or praising its flow
    this heart mourns, like winter’s deep white

    the river slows
    [2012.31.1…b]

  58. Pseu

    A contribution from me

    There were tiny flakes of snow in the air drifting from a flat grey-white sky. The village was full of cars parked in unusual places, and I saw lots of people dressed in black, who walked purposefully towards the green as I drove down to the village hall.

    The Church was packed, full of his friends from all walks of life. Standing room only at the back.

    more here:

    http://pseu1.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/river-of-stones-xxxi/

  59. Madeline Sharples

    Thanks Fiona and Kaspa for hosting this great project again this year. I thoroughly enjoyed it this year as well as last, and I’ll probably continue on – but, perhaps not every day. I’ll keep posting my stones on my blog Choices: http:madeline40.blogspot.com.

    Here’s my last one for January, 2012

    In celebration of my husband’s success, I had some sips of wine last night after a 30-day hiatus. It was a nice red Syrah. It felt smooth and dry going down, but as usual, it didn’t give me a buzz.

  60. De

    Did you hear it?
    The sound of the month whoooooshing by,
    a whispershoutsong carried by breeze and trees
    and flashlight moon and simmered sun,
    ticking and tricking of clock, the rock
    of stones both known
    and thrown
    and silent pebbled pockets
    held for quieter days,
    more willing phrase.

  61. Dorothee

    it’s evening here – i just revisited the 31 stones. big THANKS to Fiona and Kaspa for the stone “sparks” and the inspiration along the way. and thanks to everyone who shared their stones. such a beautiful way to start a new year.

    some reflections on the stone time, here: 31 small stones

  62. Mark Sargeant

    Clear cold night, stars tingling
    distant rumble of the motorway
    the earth has bellyache

    ———————————–
    I’ve enjoyed taking part in this month’s river of stones. Its not always been an easy practice. There have been times where I’ve been sitting at my computer at 11pm trying to wrack my brains for something that I had noticed that day. As well as the commitment to notice things, there was also the pressure to create. Sometimes the words flowed, sometimes they didn’t. Occasionally, I noticed something that evolved quickly into poetry. At other times, I was conscious that things that I noticed would not translate well into words, they were too ordinary, too dull. My mind wanted to move on, to find something more poetic, more beautiful. It was a practice in acceptance, in observing a moment and telling its story.

    yakihoshi.blogspot.com

  63. Helen H. David

    Inlaid in cement
    Is an outline of a dove
    That will never fly.

    Hi Fiona, Kaspa, everyone,
    Thank you so much! And please forgive me for waiting until today to post a stone. My laptop has been in the shop most of the past three months, so I wrote mine on paper. My so-called smartphone wouldn’t let me enter the captcha. When I got my computer back, I made a Tumblr just for them:
    Spiral Notebook Sutra.
    I wrote mostly haiku this month, with a few reblogs of things that interested me. Like Neil Gaiman’s posts, lol.
    Thanks, again! It was so much fun!

  64. Sue

    The night air
    curls around my fingertips.
    Pressing in close
    leaves icy kisses on my cheeks
    and whispers good night as
    I hurry into the warm.

  65. Cathy

    The air is so still that contrails remain in the sky for hours. They streak from horizon to horizon, sometimes crossing each other, like chalk marks made by a careless baby cloud.

  66. Kirsty

    Hi all

    Sorry I’ve not been posting on here daily – it’s been hard enough to remember to write then add to own blog some days.
    Anyway here is my 31st Jan small stone:

    Winter Trees

    Still beautiful in
    cancerous fragility
    they will thrive again

    I took part in this challenge last year and really enjoyed it. This year I’ve decided to carry it on throughout the year on my Tumblr blog alongside a 366 Photo Challenge here – http://kirstyes.tumblr.com/ so I’d love some support and encouragement every now and then. Or you can find me on my main blog here – http://kirstyes.co.uk/

    Well done all.

  67. ariandalen

    Bees collect
    Rosemary nectar in
    January.
    Even in
    Winter,
    They’re getting
    While the getting’s
    Good.

    My small stones can be found here.

    This is the third time I’ve participated in a River of Stones challenge. I enjoy it, and hope to continue, though my track record isn’t very good outside a challenge. That said, within the challenge I do post a small stone every day.

  68. Walt Wojtanik

    Adversity forged in love
    tempers the heart and strengthens
    its metal, shielding and protecting.

  69. Cynthia

    an old pine birdhouse
    rough-grained and weathered to ash
    nestled within the grapefruit tree
    longs to be a home

    Thank you Fiona & Kaspa for another wonderful month of small stones writing. And,thank you Half-Assed Mama for keeping the blogroll going for all of us. And so many beautiful blogs discovered in the process 🙂

  70. Colleen Leonardi

    Candle flame burning bright and steady on my coffee table. Whirl of the bus stopping right outside my house. It slows enough for me to know its there and then whirls on, to the next stop right outside someone else’s house where perhaps they, too, have a candle burning steady and bright on this quiet Tuesday night.

  71. Linda

    The sun breaks
    over the tree line
    dripping yellow yolk
    on sky still white,
    a fitting beginning
    to the ending
    of this river.

    ***

    Thank you for a wonderful month of stones. I wrote a stone every day here: http://the bluetruedream.blogspot.com

    Such a wonderful exercise, a wonderful warm-up to the rest of my writing. See you nest year! Peace…

  72. d Kate d

    She moved her hand and I moved mine. I placed one foot and then another, watched and moved and watched and moved, around us mirrors echoed each inflection and the mirrored trees outside the mirrored window flowed with flawless chi.

  73. daphnepurpus

    light bulb
    goes off
    tutoring joys

    Thanks for the month of small stones! It has been wonderful!

  74. Hannah

    ~SHE WAITED~

    As shifts changed,
    Shadows lengthened,
    Street-lights
    Became illuminated,
    While she wondered
    Whether “it” would ever come.
    She picked at fragments,
    Green paint peeling;
    Tattered by beams
    Of scorching sunlight,
    Rendering it useless.
    She embodied that bench,
    In her waiting,
    Became just a space
    For someone to inhabit.
    Somehow she’d been mistaken
    She’d been awaiting
    A who, an “it,”
    Some magical thing
    Moon for mindedness
    Abandoned plans
    Soul callings
    Cowering in corners
    Waiting for faith
    Believing “it”
    Was supposed to be bigger.
    Not realizing the person
    Keeping her waiting,
    Delaying her dreams,
    Was none other than herself.

    © Hannah Gosselin and Metaphors and Smiles, 2012.

    This experience has been a notable journey, daily stepping into the creative realm, letting go and trusting that the words will be there. It has been both very comforting and envigorating.

    Thank you so much Fiona, Kaspa and the other brilliant and shining, writers of this years “River of Stones.” It has been a memorable month. Metaphors and Smiles always!!

    http://wordrustling.wordpress.com/

  75. Shamanic Winds

    *I wonder what our Ancient Ancestors thought if…*

    One never truly lives until they walk out in the woods and quietly watch the snow falling to the Earth — thinking if they were to fall ASLEEP peacefully on the ground.

    Whether or not they were going to ever wake up again after laying there for what may be believed as days in a row in silent slumber.

    Even if not awoken and brought back to life again, I wonder if the Ancient Peoples ever realized — that at least they had LIVED???

    ~Indigenous Shamanic Winds

  76. Michelle

    The big dog in the little car, his barks resonating in my ears, his claws click clack skittering on the glass, his forceful lunges rocking the car, so glad he doesn’t have opposable thumbs.

  77. Noodle Notes

    “Aging”

    (Stone #31 by Rhonda L. Johnson)

    Silvery wires curl into
    strands of deep chestnut,
    and sunshine illuminates
    the fine lines in my mirror
    invisible by soft candlelight.

  78. susan christensen

    The last day
    of the first month
    lightening earlier
    lingering later
    as we eek our way
    toward spring.

  79. Ambiguitylotus

    quarter moon
    leaving us behind
    all the feathers
    of his sky in our hands
    our sweet parakeet
    (RIP 1/31/2012)

  80. Old Miss Lavendar

    It has been a wonderful experience writing these small stones daily (except for the last few days) throughout this month. I decided to take part in order to start the year off doing something that I knew would be challenging, different, and rewarding. It was all of these things. I would like to continue to some degree. The last few days, as Fiona had pointed out in a recent e-mail, life got in the way. And on those days that events and being busy seemed to get in the way, I felt a certain regret. A regret that I could not remember what I had noticed, if indeed I had noticed anything around me. Fiona’s message really made me feel better about all that. I think that I will take a little break and then perhaps start up again. Many thanks to Fiona and Kaspa for setting this all up, and to my friend Amy for getting me into the blogroll! The guest contributors on Writing Our Way Home were fantastic, and really quite helpful. It was also lovely to get some comments from other river-folk ;-), and to read so many amazing small stones. Thanks everyone! Thanks so much.

  81. merlin

    Every day I wrote my small stone, I kept them to myself. When I recently reread them it was an amazing, eye opening experience, truly amazing. Thank you.

    Final small stone:
    camera captured what my eye could not see, the tiny spores in the moss, the wee little fairies dancing, heads bobbing in the emerald softness, all perched on a graying, lichen encrusted fence board

  82. Starrington Magna

    I’m a little bit sad that this month of small stones for the river has come to an end. I missed a few days recently but otherwise was quite diligent in throwing something in, as it were. The quality varied, and I saw that (and I think it was on one of Kaspa’s posts on WOWH that I read this): focusing on the words really does get in the way, that to focus on feeling the experience one had would best capture the essential spirit of that experience. And so it was that *not* caring about the wording, yielded (I thought) my best offerings. These seemed few and far between, but….that’s okay. I want to thank everyone: especially Fiona and Kaspa, and all the guests who contributed their advice and experience regarding this endeavor. I found out about this writing challenge through my friend Amy, and am grateful for her help in getting me set up. I also appreciated the comments I received. Everyone made such great contributions to the River — it’s been a real inspiration! I’ve also very much enjoyed getting the WOWH newsletter. Thanks to everyone, it’s been a wholly worthwhile experience. I hope to continue with it as I am able.

  83. Polly

    I have never taken part in The River of Stones before and have enjoyed the challenge of coming up with something small and focused each day – thank you – it’s been fun

  84. Kopper

    I sift memories through my fingers, choosing the photos and the captions. My eyes revive again to see the lush greenery of the south, the carnival colours, the dancing and the high blue sky. I can feel the thrum of the ferryboat’s diesels, hear again the brass of band music.

  85. Kopper

    This wasn’t always easy for me, but I did manage to notice something everyday, and write it down. Mostly I was just alone in cyberspace writing out of my heart.
    Not all of my small stones were equally pretty, and I wasn’t always happy with the result.
    But it is a nice way of pinning down the day as a single memory in that river of time that washes over us.

  86. Ruth Feiertag

    I had such splendid intentions of posting dutifully on the River, but those intentions paved other pathways. I did manage to write everyday however. I offer three small stones here to make up somewhat for negligence.

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

    In the breath of fresh air, Orion — close, focused; brilliant, brittle, indiffuse lights — snags in the shadow branches of the locust tree.

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

    The water in the fountain plays such a different air in winter: harder yet more tuneful, the percussion of harpsichord more than piano, of glass rather than bells.

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

    The rising sun finally reaches over our house to the tree I watch through the slats of the window-blind. It lifts the branches from shadow and stains them an orange almost pink (the slats makes the colour look like tiger-stripes). The colour fades and brightens to a Midas’-touch, to the glint of sun on water, before clearing to reveal merely the day.

  87. Aarthi

    So crushing the hours
    the moments crumble like dust waiting for the wind
    to blow away the specks
    to strange lands…

  88. Anne Arbuthnot

    walking with my father / his hand reaches for mine / the strong supporting the timid and frail / time reverses roles.

    It’s been a fabulous experience to be part of the river of stones as a small stone writer. It gave me the courage to put my words out there, via twitter, and I realised that even in the midst of life’s biggest challenges there are moments of creativity to sustain me. I’ll be gathering mine together and putting them on my website. Thank you.

  89. Lanita

    School’s out, and the campus erupts with a mass of little bodies that flood the block along with their parents’ automobiles.

  90. Josephine Faith Gibbs

    A day late with my posting, but this is my 31 January stone:

    Popping Puddles

    Kuh-kuh-kuh-kuh-kuh-krunchch!
    He stutter steps the frozen length of bubbled ice.

    Blessings to all! May the River roll on even if it is underground!

  91. susan

    For small stone 31 I gathered stones from each day of the month and combined them into one river of stones:

    I too am one who likes to look for things

    What bright event sounds a raven’s wing,
    garuda, wise bird, schooling me in joy?
    Simple, but barely straight
    see the yearning in my heart,
    a dark canyon with its own living stars?

    I am a tool belt.
    I am a puddle.
    Between ‘too soon’ and ‘walk, beyond’
    I heard, “Miss you.” Which way?

    Mischief in the night,
    a sapling, a blue horse, the sea
    —lalalalalalala
    heaps of memory left to the wolf-howling wind.

    A prayer flag folds around the world.
    A warm breeze sweetens the day.
    Dish after dish scrubbed clean.
    Outlaw, the trail ends here.

  92. DrS(nowboard)

    Looking back at stones I’ve written since starting this and other challenges, there are some I look at as unfinished, some over elaborate, some over emotional, some just ‘a point’ to me.

    But none would have been written without the prompt, the cajole, the seed of the ritual.

    Thank you for making me take the time

  93. Leslie Waugh

    You could take the time
    to inspect
    each grain of sand
    in an hourglass
    every one distinct
    from the other
    like fingerprints
    and snowflakes
    but don’t press
    your nose
    too close
    for too long
    because the minutes will pass
    just the same
    and you could miss
    the world behind you

  94. Leslie Waugh

    I just posted my last small stone … a day late. I wrote one every day but got a *bit* behind over the past weekend. It was a really fun thing to do and exciting to see so much great writing and observational tidbits from everyone else. There are some really beautiful blogs out there.

    I participated in the small stones group to try to do at least one semi-structured writing thing each day. There were days the topic easily presented itself, but on others I’d cast about for something to “notice” and share. Overall, though, just having my antennae up made a difference. Some stones came from external observations (about a thing or person), and others were internal (my obsession of the moment). I found it hard to keep them super small, however.

    Plus, I got lots of spam comments on my blog from U.K. Web addresses. Hmmm ;).

    Thanks to Fiona and Kaspalita for organizing this and sharing so much through WOWH.

  95. Faith

    Thanks so much for the great new practice! I started practicing for January in late December, wrote at least one small stone every day in January (sometimes more), and now it’s part of my daily writing! I may not get enough time in my day for songwriting these days, but a simple haiku — I can handle that. I never got to posting any of them online until now, but I’m definitely enjoying them…

    My 1/31 small stone came from my acupuncture session. Seems appropriate, somehow:

    Meditative trance…
    Then… ZING! Nerve ending triggers!
    I am present now… 🙂

  96. Fiona Robyn

    Deep bow to you all.
    I shall miss the daily stream of small stones. I hope to see some here and there – and that some of you will keep in touch in some way.
    Keep writing 🙂

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