The River of Stones: post your 24th Jan small stones here

This is the 24th 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 24th small stone of the challenge in the comments below.

“Accuracy of observation is the equivalent of accuracy of thinking.”
~ Wallace Stevens

Comments & replies

73 thoughts on “The River of Stones: post your 24th Jan small stones here

  1. Anne Weizel

    The clouds and sun are a distant memory,
    For this endless, pale, grey sky.
    Barren winter trees, longing for the sun,
    Stand forlornly, except for occasional visits by a scampering squirrels, and birds.
    Garbage cans stand overflowing on wet, soggy streets,
    Planted among muddy slush and snow.

    The only sound. I hear is the screech and hum
    of the the garbage truck
    With its constant starts and stops..
    Light misty rain mixes with, the grass, and mud and snow,
    Turning a bleak mess into a bigger one.

    The world is a dreary place this rainy, Monday.
    And I feel as flat and gray as the sky, and as empty as the trees.
    Longing for sunshine, and to be filled with life, again.

  2. PoetColette

    An arc of spectrum
    pulled a plectrum
    across the strings within my heart,
    and arced a jolt of color
    into the doldrums of my soul!

    {saw part of a rainbow today}

  3. Terri / CloakedMonk

    smallstone: unseasonable

    languid warmth
    drips into my limbs
    as a full complement
    of colors eek through
    the windows, each
    rose, maize, aquamarine
    amethyst, joining to
    create a insubstantial

  4. Shamanic Winds

    “I stopped walking in silence with our dog the other night — and it was almost as if I could feel the Magick pulsating through my entire being.

    “Looking up at the trees all around me, past their bare branches in the starlit night, I heard the calling of the rain falling upon the Earth.

    “Though it was not rain at all!

    “The night was so frigid cold that as the breeze blew through the land, it hit every frozen spot like ice pelting to the ground.

    “Glancing over at our dog, I knew that I had one of the most magickal nights in a long time. I felt as if the night knew I needed to REMEMBER the magickal sounds of the Elements.”

    ~Indigenous Shamanic Winds

  5. Rena J. Traxel

    Tiny footprints in the snow:moving forward, coming back, and crisscrossing in the path of life.

  6. basho42

    After going back and forth with our karma and our dysfunctional functioning; she saw a photo on my desk of a red barn, “Oh, I like that”, she said. Then – “You know what I really like, windmills.” Me- “I L-O-V-E windmills too.” She – “That is weird.”
    Why is it hard to believe that two people thrown together, having a hard time communicating are actually more alike than different? Now, this is something to be present with even if it only lasts a moment.

  7. Svasti

    A memory from last weekend…
    His eyes expressing volumes
    As he takes in her face
    How amazing you are, he marvels
    The brilliance of your body
    Was able to produce our daughter
    Our amazing, perfect little girl
    If I loved you before, now I worship you
    Because you’ve given me this miracle!
    Expressed with no words,
    Just a twinkle in his eye

  8. Polly

    Top of the
    Evening sunrise,
    Spirito Italiano,
    Amber yellow,
    Tapering, elegant,
    Lidded, etched, in purple.
    Olive leaf quill in
    A “‘G’, please Bob”,
    Voluptuous vanilla, taste
    Scented with subtle spice,
    Thirty per cent,

  9. Sandra Davies

    Recycling bags
    straight-sided and close-packed
    along the half-dark pavement edge
    An instant, urban Giorgio Morandi

  10. T

    What’s the title of your book?
    Did you make all the phone calls you should’ve?
    Need to go start a load of clothes.
    Do the kids have anything to wear today?
    Have you paid the credit card bill?
    Need to call and make that doctor’s appointment.
    Oh! my silent scream has woken
    The neighbors eerie little dogs.
    They are howling.
    I picture the little one
    Jumping back and forth
    Over the big one.
    Writing or sleep?
    Writing or sleep?
    You can only have one.
    Writing or sleep?

  11. Debbie

    How is it that I can remember all the words to songs I haven’t heard since 1982
    and yet I can’t remember where I put the gift for my friend who is visiting tomorrow?

  12. J Cosmo Newbery

    Zucchinis, known as courgettes to some,
    Grow faster than you can collect them.
    But it doesn’t take long for the welts to come
    If I handle them without protection.

  13. Steve Pardue

    Still Life

    It has rained

    And droplets await

    Hanging limp from

    From boughs that break

    Under the weight of

    A world of problems

    We make


    Misty cloud descends on the rainforest;

    its cool, ghost-like tendrils spread among the trees and ferns.

    They settle on branches, leaves and fronds

    and gradually coalesce to drops

    that fall to water the earth.

  15. Connie L. Peters

    My mind–
    A dark little room
    Flimsy walls
    Smells, light, cold
    Flashes of pictures
    From around the world
    Attempting to permeate
    But it’s too early.

  16. Lesley

    Day Out

    Mobiles on tables, laptops out. Passengers prepare for the journey.
    Business suits and briefcases, laughing friends, day-trippers, museum goers, shopping expeditions.
    Leisurely crawl towards city perimeter, through a periphery made dingy by its wealth of factories.
    Speed picks up in a new estate where ugly boxes crowd humbly in small groups.
    Garden sheds hug back fences and rubbish is dumped over to accumulate on sidings.
    Next the cemetery. Rows of graves begin to blur. Grey stones become ribbons of death – insistent and badgering.
    Eyes cannot keep pace with the nearness of things.
    Look away to meet the tantalizing horizon as the long train glides beyond.
    On past quiet farms. A meadow full of cows lying down stimulates a silent plea for rain to be delayed until tomorrow.
    Open country under grey streaked arches tacked on the cobalt sky.
    Tracks stretch on, slicing up acres of emerald damask.
    Sunshine flashes on a mirrored surface. Windsurfer tacks across, making use of the abandoned quarry.
    Uneven line of beet pickers, like sliding knobs on a control console. A factory field complete with conveyor belt.
    Dogs in a field. Obedience class. A mini-gymkhana of exercise and control.
    Distant spire, seen through hedgerows, announces a destination.
    Rectangular patches of small scale horticulture. Hobby growers, digging for victory over bland, commercial giants.
    Industrial estate, shiny new. Warehouses selling advanced prosthetics, made to order, and children’s wooden toys.
    Don coats. Gather up handbags.
    Laptops away.
    Stand, phone still glued to ear.
    Hurry. Be first off, though the platform is not yet in sight.

  17. R.S. Bohn

    now that the lilac is bare
    i can see
    the alien thing growing
    in the middle

    long and butter yellow
    but bright green in the center
    i know
    because I cut one tentacle
    with kitchen shears

  18. Roz Cawley

    The task for today:
    Filtering the contents of the boxes
    for special items, mementos, heirlooms.
    Wrapping them again,
    together with their stories in little written notes,
    my messages to loved ones of the future.
    Couched in stories of the present,
    interleaved with those of the ancestors,
    fragments of the past, passed down to me.
    Between us all, stitching the stories together,
    Many threads embroider, intertwine and bind.

  19. Walt Wojtanik

    Mindlessly minding my muse,
    thoughts like cerebral post-its
    stuck in disarray. But today,
    I peel them off and give them order

  20. Hannah


    Ocean spoken heart songs,
    Blue tint held still
    In Morning rolling fog.
    Dreams of dabbling
    Shoreside, skirting
    Rising, deep water.
    Ambling alongside
    Managing to keep
    My feet mostly dry.
    Hungering to touch,
    Taste what it has to offer.
    Cautious and reserved
    Never really emerged;
    Haven’t really given it over,
    My body to ebb and flow.
    For having done so I’d be
    Trusting in a much bigger plan.
    Somehow I still struggle,
    Relinquishing rights;
    Giving myself over to tide.

    © Hannah Gosselin and Metaphors and Smiles, 2012.

  21. Lindsay

    The sky is grey. GREY – what a flat, dispiriting word. The hard ‘g’, the single syllable. Grey – try it. You hardly have to move your lips – more a grunt than a word.
    Instead I want to say cerulean, so I wish the sky was blue today. CERULEAN – try it. Feel how the four syllables, the soft consonants wind themselves round your tongue. Exotic. Seductive. Pure blue, deep blue, bright blue, smiling blue … oh, why can’t the sky be cerulean blue?

  22. Leslee

    The day emerges sparkling like a car from the car wash, delighting the finches. Someone has licked the icing off the playground.

  23. Marian Veverka

    The sky ic covered with a sheet of basic gray clouds. The ground, bare and frozen, is a shade of gray blended with brown – a crust of frost on its surface.

    Now snow has begun to fall. Not really flakes – I hold out my hand, catch one and examine it. A hard, tough little thing, greyish-white in color, looks like a grain of dirty rice. No fancy edges like lace curtains. No miniature doiley shapes here. These are hard working little flakes – call them grains. L want them to keep falling, to cover the bare, frozen earth

  24. Larry Piper

    Heading north, lumbering up hill,
    we see a brilliant blue, cloudless sky.
    I tell my friend,
    the Lord has given us a beautiful day.
    But, after turning a few corners
    to return heading south,
    we see a solid wall of grey
    with only a slightly bright spot
    where the sun would be
    were he allowed access into our lives.
    Our assumptions for the day
    depend on our prospect.

  25. IsobelandCat

    My tyres were a bit muddy, so I was quite pleased when I saw a shallow puddle I could ride through just before arriving at work. That, it seems, was my mistake. Wet weather, explained my uber-cyclist colleague, is deadly for tyres; all those little bits of glass floating about just waiting for the chance to slice through the unsuspecting rubber.

  26. nan

    tan tiger kitty cat
    with regal red collar
    sits elegantly on the window sill
    watching through the glass
    for movement in the gray-brown rainy day.

    he thumps his curling tail
    occasionally, on the wall below.

  27. Cathy

    Two hours before the food pantry opens, a jovial crowd already occupies all the sofas and benches of the community center. A round old man in a Packers jersey crochets a blanket-sized American flag, and offers a greeting whenever newcomers open the door.

  28. Laurie Kolp

    Weather forecast for SE Texas:
    Today- rainy with a chance for cold
    Tomorrow- sunny and warm enough for shorts

  29. Ina

    All set to go
    A wallet nowhere to be found
    Slight panic
    A feeling of losing ground.

    Hours later
    Big relief, the thing is back!
    How depending are we
    on our plastic securities?

  30. Josephine Faith Gibbs

    California Quail

    California quail pop
    through the garden fence,
    cross the yard feet spinning
    like the side wheels
    of river paddle boats.

  31. Inger-M

    The Blue Hour
    After a day with glorious sunshine, the sunset was concealed by a bank of fog on the horizon. For a while there was nothing spectacular going on. But then, during the blue hour, the time between sunset and complete darkness, the sky lit up in colored stripes, from the palest yellow to gold, orange and purple, fading into the deep blueness. For a while the sky glowed, and then it gave in to the absence of light.

    Go here for the full post:

  32. Mark Holloway

    Rocky outcrops in a clear blue sea. A vista of jaw-dropping beauty … taped to his dentist’s surgery ceiling.

    twitter @forgottenworks

  33. -k

    Sun catches the windowsill geranium, firing the soft fuzz of the leaves, outlining them in shining silver.

  34. searching serendipity

    poproweJan 24 Stone
    On trying to learn part of a piano piece:-
    A Mozart concerto is an interweaving of some unexpected intervals
    A Marvellous theme and melody: but the structure of the whole is
    A Miracle of architectural and engineered support.
    And I’ll probably never master it.

  35. Lorelei

    Finger-think grey branches of plum tree and wisteria vine, how similar they look now, but later, one will have pink blossoms and the other purple clusters of blooms.

    ~Laura Hoopes

  36. Revlahart

    I open a clementine,
    the bright scent
    makes my mouth water.
    My friend calls the moments
    that she becomes totally
    present, ‘clementine moments’
    remembering eating one
    I pay attention
    to the feel of the
    fruit in my mouth,
    the taste,
    the juicy-ness,
    and smile.

  37. Leslie Waugh

    Flowers spring open
    in their element
    but ahead of their time
    performing simply as nature dictates
    so who is out of step
    will the blooms die a late-early death
    and have a chance to rebud
    or are they doomed
    by a premature debut
    shining too brightly too soon

  38. Kate

    These days when what chases hastens and takes your breath, focus on something. Peripheral view will blindside, focus forward. The sun today does nothing for me. It’s out of tune, wasting its breath on this tumble-down doorway. Decency requires an overcast sky and a world softly drifted toward better dreams.

  39. Kate

    These days when what chases hastens and takes your breath, focus on something. Peripheral view will blindside, focus forward. The sun today does nothing for me. It’s out of tune, wasting its breath on this tumble-down doorway. Decency requires an overcast sky and a world softly drifted toward better dreams.

  40. susan christensen

    wood stove glowing
    pets cavorting
    or napping
    radio singing to me
    warmth surrounding me
    good to be home tonight.

  41. Michelle

    It was a trying day, a good day, a long day……then Good News! The new job is the perfect fit and half the tests results have come back okay. It was a race to see which phone plan was faster as we texted, “Yeah!” and “Wonderful!” and “Margaritas at LaHa!”

  42. Judith Richards Shubert

    Chalk Sunflower

    Sidewalk chalk flowers
    Powder blows yellow and green
    Remnants of child’s play

    January 24

  43. Noodle Notes

    “Slipped Haiku”

    (Stone #24 by Rhonda L. Johnson)

    On the floor like glass,
    Arms and legs splayed like birds’ wings,
    I am washed with pain

  44. Lanita

    Sea foam, coral, aqua… rich hues that are bright, vibrant, almost alive in the wet paint, but as soon as the brush sets them on bone-dry ceramic, all moisture disappears, and the colors fade to a pale memory.

  45. Lynn Tatro

    There’s no moon
    I wait
    Cold seeps into my bones
    I wait
    I search the dark sky
    I wait
    Gradually you appear
    I wait
    You begin to dance
    Some say you are bearing messages
    I watch
    I listen
    You play your visual symphony in the starry sky
    I’m trapped t by your Mysterious beauty
    I wait
    You come and go unannounced
    I wait
    I fear you not
    I wait
    Your visit is a blessing however brief
    You show me I am at home
    I wait
    You will be gone with the dawn
    I wait
    I watch
    I shiver
    Someday you will dance for my children
    They wait warm in their beds
    Tonight it is just us
    Two drifters in the night

  46. Claudine G.

    (Wrote this stream-of-conscious piece on the 24th and haven’t got the chance to post it here till now.)

    Up in the air, a solitary life carries on. Why does that not terrify me? To go home alone. Take care of self and family and work. Not married. No kids. It doesn’t sound too bad to me. No one to answer to. Just me and my freewriting book. It’s okay to have a certain amount of time like this. Not all the time. A certain amount more than others would say is all right. But I’m not living others’ lives. I’m living mine.

  47. Michelle


    I often feel
    as if I am the sun fading
    through the frosted trees
    in the winter of my years
    always nearing
    the final

  48. Lightverse

    a binder clip chain
    of many metallic hues
    snakes across my desk

    I have some small and some really tiny binder clips in my office. One of my kids clipped one of them onto another until it made a chain. I think it’s kind of cool, but then again, I’m easily amused.

  49. Kopper

    A wash of coconut-scented fragrance, the smell of melted paraffin as candles burn briefly; then a whiff of smoke. Lemon flavour, rich vanilla: another dragon celebrates her birthday.

  50. Hildred and Charles

    A small stone from the Similkameen
    January 24th, 2012

    after winter and before spring
    rutted slush and ice
    demand hope and imagination

    Posted by Hildred and Charles at 1:48 PM

  51. Sarah Dooley

    The paper says he is survived
    by a “devoted friend.”

    This is like the opposite
    of found poetry.

    A found-lie, there in print,
    on the newstand

    Next to where he, brave in the
    face of shock and grief

    Nonetheless hugs me, and says,
    “It’s good to see you, hon –“

    And it’s not hard to see why
    his late husband loved him.

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