The River of Stones: post your 22nd Jan small stones here

This is the 22nd day of our January mindful writing challenge: The River of Stones. Each day in January we’ll create a post, like this one, where you can leave your small stone for that day as a comment. This is today’s small stone thread.

Also look out for blog posts by our guest writers this month, on topics such as creativity, writing and mindfulness. Click here to view the guest posts.

Do leave your 22nd small stone of the challenge in the comments below.

“”It always comes back to the same necessity:
go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard.”
~ May Sarton

Comments & replies

83 thoughts on “The River of Stones: post your 22nd Jan small stones here

  1. J Cosmo Newbery

    At the end of a hot day:

    Cold and amber, the tall glass is dewed
    With beads of condensed appreciation;
    Beer that has been so carefully brewed
    Is an elixir, deserving heartfelt adulation.

    At the end of the day when the work is done
    Few rewards will so wash your dusty cares away
    As a cold beer; sometimes even more than one
    If it has been an overly dusty care-filled day.

  2. Kel

    the windmill out my window
    is whirling madly
    slicing through the hot northerlies
    while i eat my hot buttered toast

  3. Jean Mishra

    Droning tones of call to prayer drift ghostly in unpopulated fog. Eerie specters to the ears roam from home to home. They’re peering in windows, creeping through doors, searching for believers. The cold predawn defies the rule holding people in their beds, but it relinquishes them reluctantly. Duties must be fulfilled.

    As it appears on my blog:

    As a footnote: We live in a predominantly Hindu neighborhood, but the Muslim call to prayer can be heard in the distance. In the stillness of the early morning, before the sun comes up, it has a very eerie quality.

  4. Anne Weizel

    Blind-sighted by your sudden anguish,
    Released, with flash-flood force
    Its tiny droplets pouring, over my heart
    Until I felt saturated,
    With its power
    Making your sadness, my sadness
    Your primal cries of pain
    So stunning in an eleven year, old boy
    Who doesn’t usually cry.

  5. Sandra Davies

    Fractals of red in my overnight wine glass
    illustrate my concern felt on hearing
    of an overnight fracture of earth in Chiapas

  6. Polly

    Clean and
    Cold now,
    Black barbeque
    That cooked
    Minted butterflied lamb,
    Succulent ham,
    Sizzling saucy fat sausages,
    Fragrant onions and big boy burgers,
    Mouthwatering melting cheese
    That dripped from rolls;
    It waits for warmth.

  7. PoetColette

    Insipid cloud bank
    in sepia tones
    paraded out from behind the mountains,
    threatened to wash out all the color
    from the tennis courts,
    and rained on our tournament
    just to show us it meant business.

  8. Claudine G.

    A crackle startles the sky. Its growl trails off until the next round. The shower carries a smell of grass. Invisible droplets are sprinkled onto my hands upon the keyboard. And onto my screen. I stretch a hand out to pull in the windows. They screech in protest.

  9. alfred booth

    both twins watch me closely, my actions a cartoon I imagine
    Andrea chatters away with me about broccoli 
    Julia watches and only barely whispers a forced hello
    both have stolen different parts of my heart
    but my tenderness goes for silent, watchful eyes…


  10. Ina

    To find the truth in you and make it last,
    your eyes reflecting what has been unsaid,
    a mere reminder of your troubled past,
    your shoulders tired of your weary head,
    to see the pain in you that hasn’t gone
    it all is there in every close embrace.
    I feel now time and aging must have won,
    your mind is drifting to another place.

  11. Lesley

    This morning it starts again – the daily intrusion of calls breaking into my time, disturbing my mindfulness, always asking for that one name and never pronouncing it correctly. This number has been reassigned. She is no longer here.
    I know you’re just doing your job and since politeness runs through my veins I’ll put up with your small talk, even though I find it unlikely that your name is Kevin.
    Me? Oh, I am very well, thank you. Yes, the weather is nice today. Actually, I’ve never had an accident. No, I don’t have a mortgage. Good lord! You’re ringing from Microsoft Support? I’ve never been able to get hold of you in the past.
    Well no, I don’t need anything. You see, I’m pretty much content, or I would be if the phone didn’t ring so often when I’m trying to write.

  12. Jill

    The memory of the beach, the ocean, the waves, the peace of that place, brings joy and stillness to me, even as my body stands in my living room in landlocked Colorado, with it’s blue skies, river, and mountains. The truth is, both places are home. The whole story with pictures.

  13. Karen

    snack attack
    crunchy salty cravings
    crowd out the sensibility of healthy consumption
    i search the cupboards
    for morsels bound to please
    not to be found
    disappointment reigns

  14. Cathy

    Railroad track metaphor: Two black lines stretching across the white, though doggedly parallel, may meet in an imaginary place called east; two people determined to flaunt their differences may find understanding through the persistence of shared time.

  15. Roz Cawley

    In January
    The produce of the vine does not come wrapped
    In sweet, juicy, purple, popping capsules,
    But as gnarled branches,
    Dug out from the gutter in which they have rooted
    Held aloft by valiant Alec’s bleeding fingers,
    and to my tentative enquiry for ’anything plantable??’
    He triumphantly announces ‘pot up this!!!’

  16. basho42

    brilliant blueness
    cool wind
    smooth voice of jazz spreading healing balm over the heart
    simple choice, simple joy

  17. basho42

    J Cosmo Newberry:
    beautiful #22stone…”beads of condensed appreciation” – lovely.
    (not always able to get to people’s sites to make comments)

  18. Larry Piper

    A guest walker volunteered
    to forge ahead with my small friend,
    so my old friend and I,
    arthritic geezers that we be,
    could perambulate at leisure.
    It was not to be,
    our small friend could not bear
    leaving her beloved uncle behind.

  19. Lindsay

    Pink streaks festoon the evening sky. I imagine the laughter of shepherds as they slap each other on the back and raise their glasses to the morning’s delights.

  20. IsobelandCat

    I was just going out after lunch when I met a neighbour. She can be quite loud, and Not Cat loves her. After we had discussed various issues affecting life in the block – people putting plastic bags in the recycling and chicken bones in the compost – she told me that the ginger ninja had visited another neighbour’s ground floor flat, gaining entry via an open window.

    He wasn’t actually seen, but he left a trail of muddy paw prints across the newly changed bed linen.
    What am I going to do with him?

  21. Mark Holloway

    Alongside the river, the wild sway of slender, leafless trees. How DO such ramshackle nests stay up there?

    twitter @forgottenworks

  22. Mark Holloway

    The winter river. On days like this, I need to remind myself: the meander IS the course, not a wandering from it.

    twitter @forgottenworks

  23. Lorelei

    As I back the car down the driveway, the sun shines on five big raindrops at the top of my windshield. The lower half of each one has blinding radiance. Should the water in the top half of each raindrop be jealous?

    ~Laura Hoopes

  24. Walt Wojtanik

    Vegetables steeped in beefy broth,
    a much needed wealth of warmth and flavor.
    A soup of comfort and contentment meant
    to be shared and savored.

  25. Robin

    Bend your knees. Learn forward slightly. Relax the knees. Long, thin, strips of fiberglass designed to spread body weight evenly will slide, glide, and coast across the snow. Relax! Bend your knees! Ready.

    I am a goofy foot, launching on my right ski.

    First rule learned in first lesson: Relax! Put a little bounce in your body. Slight uphill to start and then a gentle, gentle glide through the meadow, sunlight sparkling on the snow, cold air grazing my face. At the end is the turn and steeper downhill.

    I often end up in the brambles at the end of that hill. I forget to relax.

    Swoosh! Snow flies. I fall, laughing as I do the turtle, skis and feet high up in the air (how can you not laugh at that position?), and roll over on my side to get back up. There is freedom in that first fall. Joy.

    Relaxed, knees bent, a little bounce in my body, I take on the big hill with a joyful wheeeeeee!

  26. Marian Veverka

    The sun has gone away and replaced by a flat gray sky only a few shades darker than the snow on the ground. The wind has shifted to the south-east, a rain wind and now we can listen to the rumble of the freight trains crossing the Bay Bridge. The snow on the ground has changed from a light powder to a damper good packing, snowball making snow. All signs of an approaching warm front with rain, probably by tonight and by tomorrow – no more snow cover!

  27. Leslee

    Cane tucked under an arm, she feels in her cart for the shapes of vegetables, in her purse for the size and texture of coins.

  28. W J Wood

    I spent some time with the Sun as it rose and changed the sky form black, to blue, to slightly orange and then to daylight.

  29. searching serendipity

    Jan 22 Stone

    A rabbit  with reddish fur at the back of its head, a white feather in the wing of a blackbird and a robin, too fluffy and pale breasted to be fully grown – each of these make me curious for answers I may never find, make me consider the value of the usual and the unusual and most of all make me aware of how even the most ordinary of environments is full of ever changing detail.

    And those Questions:
    Wild grey, a rabbit met an escaped pet
    She was seduced by his russet fur?
    The boy blackbird bullied in the nest?
    Or was the white feather a badge of status?
    A warm winter and a fledgling robin
    Early nesting is possible
    But this early?
    Any answers or more questions could all be enlightening.

  30. Noodle Notes


    (Stone #22 by Rhonda L. Johnson)

    My older brother’s smile
    (a set of sly piano keys)
    bites back on the brown filter
    of his burned down cigarette
    (looking like our grandfather in
    a black and white photograph
    from the 1940s) as he poses
    with his new red car in our
    parents’ narrow driveway.

    His amaretto eyes still have
    the same mischievous energy
    they had when, like Delilah’s
    henchman, he cut all the silky
    yellow hair from my new Barbie
    one fateful day in third grade,
    and I cannot help my laughter
    when I remember him this way,
    and I miss him on this sad anniversary.

  31. Patricia Anne McGoldrick

    January 22–Small Stone Poem

    Holly green

    Berries red

    Snow white on branches so sweet!

  32. Laurie Granieri

    The column of water that runs loose and free along the canal licks the thin skin of ice pressed against the snowy bank.

  33. Hildred and Charles

    A small stone from the Similkameen
    January 22nd, 2012

    a pale translucent sun
    is overcome
    by horizontal snow

  34. Mary

    His old bones prance to life
    as the door opens to cold.

    His twisting body
    presses into the snow,
    rolling over, his nose burrows deep.

    After chomping at the snow
    he settles into his spot and rests.

  35. SharonW

    At church

    It’s Sunday. Kneel to pray and stand to sing,
    the rhythms of the service soothe, preset,
    always the same (at least if you weren’t in
    the hall where final plans are improvised –
    who’s here to read? do we have acolytes
    enough?) – the Eucharist is coming, scrap
    of bread and sip of wine, and does it mean
    a thing? Yes. Yes, it does, a promise and
    a danger, to be led beyond what you
    intended, easy yoke, light burden, but
    still yoked; but easy, light. At last, we’re sent
    “into the world in peace, to love and serve.”
    Who knows what love and service might demand?

    Our lives? Our selves? All that we have, or are.

    On my blog at

  36. Kate

    I spin and spin, raising on one foot, hands together overhead with this ridiculous gadget I’ve concocted from socks and weights. They slip around and around my hands that cross and uncross, this toy I’ve found so late in life. Almost sixty, I’m learning what I knew until the age of ten, that the most important thing in life is play

  37. Hannah


    Wishing to Copy/Paste
    Nature into the poetic equation.
    Past has pointedly
    reminded me of mis-steps taken.
    Sprained and black with bruise
    Fissure now hidden deep within;
    Invisibly imprinted tendons
    Bones once less brittle
    Bend not so easily now.
    Kneeling never an issue
    Ensues with radiating pain.
    Promise to self to heed sudden
    Cricks and clicks
    In my humanly weak ankles;
    Answer to winter aches, maybe.
    Mistaken footfalls
    Recalled as I breathe.
    Little relief found
    In lavendar,
    aromatherapy heat pack.

    © Hannah Gosselin and Metaphors and Smiles, 2012.

  38. Lanita

    Her black form sweeps from one end of the courtyard to the other, with a dancer’s grace, her fluted bill in search of the scarlet locusts that sometimes grow here. She pauses all but her rapidly buzzing wings, mere inches before my face, and it is only in this brief moment, lasting only seconds, that I see the hummingbird’s iridescent masque of amethyst, violet, and plum.

  39. Judith Richards Shubert

    I’ve been sick the last few days with one of those winter colds that isn’t too terribly bad, but bad enough to stop you from feeling like doing anything very constructive, like housework, or baking, or sewing, or even reading very long. I read stones half of the morning and didn’t move from my chair, but I kept dropping off to sleep. I notice that my face feels very warm, but when I take my temperature the thermometer reads below normal. Is that normal? Do you think I may be abnormal? Do you think something may be terribly wrong? Probably just a hypochondriac speaking, you say? Yes, I imagine that’s it. But I am sick with a cold. And I’m going back to bed now. Toodles.
    January 22, 2012

  40. Shamanic Winds

    “For most flowers that die in the Fall, there is always HOPE that their slumber in the darkened Earth will replenish down to their roots in the Winter, and come Spring — will shoot up again with freshness and new beginnings.”

    ~Indigenous Shamanic Winds

  41. Michelle

    I love a good eraser, I love the disappearing mistake, I love brushing away the shavings. I hate the idea that isn’t transferring from my thoughts to my hand to my pencil to my paper.

  42. susan christensen

    Walking across the rug
    past our wood stove
    alive with fire
    smelling dinner
    in the oven –
    feeling grateful
    for these gracious gifts
    and the one I love here with me.

  43. Revlahart

    Under the covers,
    on my back, book in hand.
    The cat settles in,
    her face near mine.
    She tucks her head
    under my chin
    Comfort and peace

  44. T

    I had a million things
    All piled up to do today:
    Laundry, paperwork, housework
    But she is 88 years old,
    And her great-grandbabies are just little
    So we put the work away
    And cooked us a dinner
    And threw a lasso around this day.

  45. Lynn Tatro

    Plundered True Crime Detective magazines reburied beneath musty layers of clothes in the old dresser drawer – A 10-year-old’s booty..

  46. Lightverse

    [Warning…long-ish post follows]

    casting aspersions
    without knowing the whole truth
    demeans everyone

    I went to Penn State. I was an English major. I was a member of a sorority (ΦM) and I was a little sister at a fraternity (TKE.) I was a total rah-rah back then. And so that you know, I never missed a football game – not even once – during my four years at the school. I loved Penn State. By far and away, the biggest human icon there was Joe Paterno. We all adored him, not only for his winning ways at football, but because the man did so much for the school and for the community.

    This past fall, terrible news came out. Like everyone else, words cannot describe the despair I feel for the victims. As a mother of tween children, I can honestly say that something like that is a horror which is first among our worst fears.

    But while in hindsight – perhaps – JoePa could have ‘done more’ to make law enforcement aware of the situation, no one really knows exactly what he knew. He did report what he was told (by another party) to campus administrators, which included the official in charge of campus police. But the trustees needed to appease in a big way, to avoid further media damage, so they fired the coach.

    Are any of us free from the sin of not doing more? For not speaking out when we ‘thought’ something was wrong? For most of us, I think the answer is yes. And yet there are haters.

    I am saddened by the passing of Joe Paterno. Officially, cancer may have been the cause of his death, but I will always believe the man died of a broken heart.

    RIP JoePa.

  47. Steve Pardue

    Heron’s Flight

    Heron’s Flight
    Ghosting over
    Black and still

    A river sleeps
    At low tide
    Waiting for the
    on rush
    of a full and
    Glowing moon

  48. Snowbourne

    How many beautiful birds did you
    miss when your attention was
    drawn to the passing Ferrari
    or the Jimmy Choo shoes?

  49. teri

    January 22,2012-Prompt-Photography by Dan Habermehl
    host and banditry by Teri H Hoover

    A changing sky of bright white clouds,
    emerging into a snowbound contentment


    A cheerful insurrection of chickadees and sparrows,
    painted into the passive leaves of winter.

  50. susan

    Last night the stars came down to greet me.
    See the yearning in my heart?
    Snow flakes
    on my eye lashes—
    Earth’s mirthful tears.

    small stone 22

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