The River of Stones: post your 25th Jan small stones here

This is the 25th 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 25th small stone of the challenge in the comments below.

“Direct observation of the luminous essence of nature is for me indispensable.”
~ Robert Delaunay

Comments & replies

74 thoughts on “The River of Stones: post your 25th Jan small stones here

  1. Sue

    Overcast skies this morning. A drizzle so fine that you just barely notice it on your arms, but it is damp underfoot when you rise from the grass to go inside.

  2. T

    Hey!
    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.
    SHUT THE HELL UP, VOICES!
    I’M TRYING TO SLEEP!
    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.
    Chanting:
    Writing or sleep?
    Writing or sleep?
    You can only have one.
    Writing or sleep?

  3. mr oCean

    Tapes from the early 1990s
    An archive of my youthful heartbeat
    Every note, every place I’ve been
    Printed into the patterns of my flesh

    A radio telescope trained to a distant star
    Reveals the image of our own beginnings

  4. Patricia Anne McGoldrick

    January 25

    Solar flare
    Excited by chance to see Northern Lights
    Not happening with this cloud-filled sky!

  5. Helen Lewis

    ‘Unfinished’

    a cream coloured horse
    with brown spots on its hindquarters:
    evidence of a graffiti artist
    surprised by police?

  6. J Cosmo Newbery

    Out for a walk, beneath twilight skies,
    I greet passing strangers with a cheerful ‘Hi!’.
    Some respond with a start, as if caught by surprise,
    While others avert their gaze and hurry by.

  7. Revlahart

    The Australian shepherd
    dog was a blur of energy
    along the river.
    She waited for
    her person to throw a twig
    that she eyed with such
    intensity that it might
    combust, then when
    it was picked up
    spun in lightening
    circles, and
    ran furiously to
    grab and chew it.
    Laughter bubbled
    up from deep inside
    at the show of
    joy and focus.

  8. Roz Cawley

    In this moment, intrigued, pre-occupied and constantly poking the springy surface tension of the single large and many small blisters between my thumb and forefinger – the result of a blow-back of boiling water when filling a hot-water bottle last night. Blebs surrounded by inflammation, which itself has a firm, delineated edge – bubbles floating on a pond of ointment pink, set in a field of fleshly white.

  9. Sandra Davies

    Smug pleasure as snug
    as my tight black jeans
    that at sixty-plus
    I’m not wearing a nice mauve cardy
    and a servicable-coloured skirt

  10. Linda Visman

    It is a scavenging herbivore that feeds on decaying plant matter on the moist forest floor or the suburban garden.

    Its long, cylindrical body consists of many segments, each with one or two pairs of legs.

    How wonderful it would be if humans could work together as well as do the many legs on a millipede.

  11. Lesley

    Feeling blue, producing doggerel,
    Now my temperature is high.
    My nose stuffed up with clogging clay,
    It hurts to view the sky.
    My shoulders ache profoundly.
    My mouth is filled with sand.
    I need to drink another Lemsip
    And hold a tissue in each hand.
    I feel less like editing my novel,
    And my notes beside me lie.
    Deserting the blank screen and keyboard,
    I take to the sofa and die.

  12. Jill

    Small Stone: Late Bloomer

    You’ve never bloomed this late. It’s just one blossom, but still. Your hot pink pistil shoots straight out like a rocket, petals bent back from the sheer force of it. You remind me that it’s never too late, and that a single, focused act, small but true, can cut through the dullness of a moment, wake you up and make you notice. With picture.

  13. Fi

    Beginnings

    Branches reaching, budding, opening to the winter sun greet me on my morning walk. What green gems they will reveal is still unknown.

  14. Ina

    How come in parts of happiness I live,
    which sometimes hide under a lot of fears
    and pop out now and then when I see well,
    the meaning lies of being in this world?

    If I could find a way remaining there
    in peace with whom I am inside, unchanged,
    then I achieved the goal I set myself.

    How come I am not able to succeed
    to do so on my own? I do fall back
    at times into my lacking self esteem.
    It will take time, but going there is life.

  15. Kylie

    I have been off line for a few days – these are my catch ups (I took a train journey, as you can tell!):

    We pass a dense stand of tall, straight trees; their branches reach skyward and look like artist’s shading. In the midst of this stretch is a lone white bird – startling against the smeary green of the land and the trees. It is long-necked and long-legged and looks like a miracle.

    On the train I try and meditate. I open my eyes to a paddock coated with sunflowers, black faces waving on long stems. Each is draped in pale green leaves, lush and ruffling, like party dresses.

    the sky is thick with grey clouds
    the mist gobbles up the horizon
    the raindrops are having races on my window

    the train pulls into Maitland station and a platform full of people have arrayed themselves, it would seem, for me. we eye one another. I look and think.
    I realise I am holding my notebook up at an awkward angle – a skew-whiff offering of words for the tableau they are presenting

  16. Walt Wojtanik

    Keeping your wits about you while the walls are crashing in,
    surely beats the alternative. Climbing out from under the rubble
    would have been more trouble than you would have wanted.

  17. Laurie Kolp

    In the silence of the morning
    when the day is half awake
    I lie supine and drink it in-
    this new day you may take.

  18. vivinfrance

    Nearly half a century ago today
    a proud mum welcomed a new baby daughter,
    of whom she’s just as proud today.

    Two hundred and fifty-three years ago today
    a humble labouring lad was born,
    to leave a glorious legacy of poetry and song.
    still celebrated today with piping, reciting and haggis,
    a tradition honoured in this house, but without the piping.

  19. Claudine G.

    A particular worry tugs the sleeve of my consciousness. I keep pushing it to the farthest back of my mind. It lurks, like the stare of a stalker. I know it’s staring. But I refuse to look its way. Breathe. Concentrate on the things I can do. Wish for all the Brightness for those I can’t. Wish for Goodness for that stalker.

  20. Jean Mishra

    Slap, Slap, Slap

    Watching traffic buzz along like aimless bees, I hear “slap, slap, slap” coming up behind me. I pause a moment before I turn, wondering what this mystery sound could be. “Slap, slap, slap.” My mind frolics with possibilities. “Slap, slap, slap.” Whimsical rainbow fish fallen from the sky? “Slap, slap, slap.” A walrus in a hurry? “Slap, slap, slap.” A bear on a bicycle with a flat tire? “Slap, slap, slap.” I turn. A little brown man in a dust-colored sweater, hunched against the cold is hurrying. The sun reflects from his bald dome atop a white ring of hair like an egg. He smiles a toothless smile as he passes. “Slap, slap, slap,” go his slippers as he scurries home. Much better than a walrus in a hurry.

    As it appears on my blog: http://moonlightenedshelves.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/slap-slap-slap/

  21. -k

    10:55am. Late arriving cars circle the parking lot, circle, circle, in big slow arcs. Like vultures seeking carrion.

  22. francesca perry

    Six tiny fat little birds fussing and fluttering in the bush overhanging the balcony, one cat looking at them as I might look, luxuriously, at the contents of a box of chocolates.

  23. Lightverse

    how many hands had
    held the coin in my pocket…
    did it change a life?

    Yesterday, I found a quarter in my pocket. I pulled it out and stared at it…and wondered how many hands it had to have passed through before it reached the fabric of my jeans. Did someone use it to scratch off a winning lottery ticket? Did someone find it in the laundry? Did someone accidentally drop it in a parking lot?

    I decided to place it into a charity collection can outside the super market, and then I made a wish – that it might bring the next person who finds it a bit of good luck.

  24. Connie L. Peters

    Sausage and toast
    in a circle around his plate
    like a wreath.
    Nothing in his plate’s middle
    means something’s in his middle.

  25. Cathy

    Mike the cat sticks his bald rump out the shower curtain, and tilts his head to lick at the dripping faucet. Ah, me! Ill-favoured things, but mine own.

  26. Snowbourne

    Coarse hairs sprout from here and there; and, it may make some wonder if shaving it off will allow them to slip quickly through air and water.

  27. Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn

    The stone glints up at me from the river bed. Water streams over it, but its pearly translucence catches the light. I imagine its smooth roundness, the comfort as it nestles in my palm. I want it. I delve into the water. Its icy tendrils trap my hand. Wind round and through my fingers. The stone glints. My fingertips graze its surface. Just. I reach for it. Almost. I stretch further. The water rushes onward and my stone shifts and slips from my tentative grasp. It’s gone.

  28. Lorelei

    Because I slept late, the den was flooded with light when I came out, and I felt renewed by the generous beams.

    ~Laura Hoopes

  29. Anonymous

    In the winter-killed remains of the vegetable garden, a half row of Swiss Chard is still producing. Scratch away the covering of mulch and there they are, little nests of bright green wrinkly leaves. And they still taste good!

  30. jake chambers

    1.25.2012 ~ Gentle rainfall settles the dust at work, a sudden clap of thunder reminds you of the danger of lightning, and I wonder if my big yard dog at home is cowering in the garage or still scratching on the patio door…

  31. Mark Sargeant

    In my daydream I became a fisherman,
    casting a net of starlings over a cloud,

    army helicopters were distant silver buoys,
    marking the spot where the horizon joined up

    with the earth. A wily bystander was a buzzard,
    hunched in a tree, a crooked figure draped in a greatcoat.

    Believing in other ways of fishing, he cast his own net onto the road,
    onto a meal prepared by a car, and picked at the formless red interior,

    his head moving with sharp, little movements, his yellow eyes
    crystalline, vast; and above, the clouds kept shifting,

    and the starlings had gone.

  32. Anne Stormont (@writeanne)

    It’s the Bard’s birthday – Robert Burns, Scotland’s poet . He’d have been ace at writing these small stones. And I’m taken back each year, as I am today – to primary school days – reciting ‘To a Mouse’. What foresight and wisdom in one small poem.

  33. Robin

    immersing myself in melancholy
    (a pity party with whine and cheese)
    life gives me a sudden chiropractic treatment of the mind
    (an attitude adjustment)
    pulling me out of the muck of my own making
    opening me up to possibility
    and joy

  34. Hildred and Charles

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012
    A small stone from the Similkameen
    January 25th, 2012

    I remember the haggis,
    the address,
    and the civilized dancing.

    Posted by Hildred and Charles at 1:52 PM

  35. IsobelandCaT

    I assumed the eighteenth century house was the venue for the talk about its chequered history, but when I checked the details, I saw it was in a library I have never visited in an area I know only slightly. It wasn’t that far away from home, but an awkward journey by public transport, and too many busy main roads during rush hour for me to feel happy about the bike. I decided to walk. A slight tussle with Not Cat who thought he should be allowed out made me slightly late, so I set off at a good pace, practising the new techniques I am learning.
    The first part of the walk was familiar territory, but when I turned off the main road into a street I have driven down but never walked before, I found an unsuspected neighbourhood of gracious houses either side of a generous street. The lights were on in most, but few had drawn their curtains. The rooms looked comfortable, there were high ceilings and works of art. There was a pub on the corner, and musicians were tuning mandolins and fiddles around a table inside. Early Victorian gave way to the details the later Victorians loved to include in brickwork above doors and windows. There were almshouses on one side of the road next to a park, locked against the dark. Another main road, and after some bleak, surely soon to be demolished buildings, there were cosy bars and restaurants, their names telling me of a local Portuguese community.
    The flyer had advertised refreshments with the talk, and I anticipated cups of tea, which I don’t drink, plus a plate of biscuits. What delight then when I arrived at the threatened Victorian library to find wine, red and white! and nibbles. I walked home the same route. The next time, I’m going to do it in daylight.

    http://wp.me/pMKim-13c

  36. searching serendipity

    Jan 25 Stone
    Today’s wind
    The wind that stopped the ferry’s arrival
    and churns the lochs into whirlpools
    and the waves into breakers and rollers.
    Is the same wind that gently riffles
    the water lying on the path into patterns
    Is the same wind that raises the stream
    till it flows back up stream from the cliff edge.

  37. Hannah

    ~DEPENDABLE~

    When words flee
    I peer heaven-ward
    Toward the violet sky.
    Sun seldom skips a beat
    Repeating never
    The same exact sunset.
    Always a subtle, sweet,
    Visceral variation
    In each sunrise.
    A constancy I can depend upon
    Even when words escape me.

    © Hannah Gosselin and Metaphors and Smiles, 2012.

  38. Kelly E

    I’m playing catch up. Here are two:

    Winter night: fresh air (surprisingly warm), soft patter of rain, the perfect single croak of a frog.

    ~~~~~

    My dogs are chewing raw-hide bones; both have a far-away, dreamy look in their eyes.

  39. Mary

    Lost in the folds of flannel blankets
    we lay curled up,
    deliciously warm,
    perfectly cozy.

    Black skies turned grey
    my mind slid between
    waking and dreams.

    I sank further into my bed.
    The beginning of this day would wait.

  40. Noodle Notes

    “The Nuances of Brown”

    (Stone #25 by Rhonda L. Johnson)

    Ordinary brown; dress-shoe brown.
    Utilitarian, dusty-yellow, camel brown.
    Earthy khaki, beige-blonde brown
    –the color of work pants everywhere.

    Bittersweet espresso, glossy sable brown.
    Dreamy sepia, golden sunset brown
    –the hue of aged photographs; sweeter times.
    Burnt sienna, deep cindery brown.
    Auburn, rusty chestnut, cinnamon brown
    –like my mother’s hair.

    Soft, heathery fawn, hazel brown,
    which is the brown of your eyes.
    It is the shade I love best.

  41. Michelle

    He found Gandalf’s staff, or a stick that looked just like it, on the beach. He may have out grown it….the staff sits in a corner of our dining room…..it may have gone back to being just a stick. He may have forgotten, but I will always remember his joy the day he found Gandalf’s staff…..so it sits in the corner, getting dusted occasionally by me.

  42. susan christensen

    Walking out in morning twilight
    passing the creek,
    the rush of unseen water
    overcomes the crunch of my boots
    on the snowy roadside.

  43. T

    The first spring day
    Brings the yearlings out to play.
    Wild, wispy baby hair
    Has been cut into conformity for the first time,
    But it’s covered with a primary-colored hoody:
    Blue, Red, Green, Yellow
    Bounce around the playground
    Like rubber balls.
    Their spring jackets combined with
    Tiny, fresh, white sneakers
    Running by in a blur
    Look like a bag of marbles
    Has been dumped out.
    Newly discovered sand
    Sticks to a chubby creased hand.
    The other hand rakes a silvery snot trail
    Across a pink, wind-whipped cheek.
    Robin’s egg eyes marvel at:
    The clouds, an inch worm,
    A stray gummy bear resting on a patio block.

    Another year indoctrinated into humanity,
    And they’ll become the unabashed terrible twos.
    Along will come the horrible realization
    Of sharing and competition.
    The toy wars will begin and stretch into forever.
    But for now they are still wide-eyed with
    Pure innocence from the other side.
    They have seen spiritual beauty and truth,
    And they still remember.
    They would tell you, if they could talk.

  44. Kopper

    Masks in wood and copper, grotesque and beautiful, hang on a wall the colour of the shadows in a forest of blue spruce. Beneath each one a student crouxhes cross-legged in silent concentration, drawing down the image onto a blank page.

  45. Shamanic Winds

    A beautiful Winter Poem I found and shall use it wisely by sitting by the fireplace and LISTENING to my Inner Self — diminishing it all to the Flames and watching past thoughts as they go up to the clouds in Spirit:

    the winter of listening
    ~by David Whyte

    No one but me by the fire,
    my hands burning
    red in the palms while
    the night wind carries
    everything away outside.

    All this petty worry
    while the great cloak
    of the sky grows dark
    and intense
    round every living thing.

    What is precious
    inside us does not
    care to be known
    by the mind
    in ways that diminish
    its presence.

    What we strive for
    in perfection
    is not what turns us
    into the lit angel
    we desire,

    what disturbs
    and then nourishes
    has everything
    we need.

    What we hate
    in ourselves
    is what we cannot know
    in ourselves but
    what is true to the pattern
    does not need
    to be explained.

    Inside everyone
    is a great shout of joy
    waiting to be born.

    Even with the summer
    so far off
    I feel it grown in me
    now and ready
    to arrive in the world.

    All those years
    listening to those
    who had
    nothing to say.

    All those years
    forgetting
    how everything
    has its own voice
    to make
    itself heard.

    All those years
    forgetting
    how easily
    you can belong
    to everything
    simply by listening.

    And the slow
    difficulty
    of remembering
    how everything
    is born from
    an opposite
    and miraculous
    otherness.

    Silence and winter
    has led me to that
    otherness.

    So let this winter
    of listening
    be enough
    for the new life
    I must call my own.

    ~David Whyte, The House of Belonging

    (Founded at PATHWRITER: a collection of random thoughts and inspirations)

    ~Indigenous Shamanic Winds

  46. Kate

    We’re linked, your inked-in replica of what you intended, and who you are becoming. Your blessing us is blessing you. We offer our small steps toward making you whole. Bless our steps for they are your way forward.

  47. Sarah Dooley

    We walk side by side on our path, knowing that it might separate soon into two paths, and one will go up and one will go down. And if this happens, still we will keep sight of each other through the trees as long as we can. And even when the hills have hidden us from each other, we will each know for the longest time how far the other has got, simply by ingrained knowledge of length of stride, speed of step, strength of will.

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