The River of Stones: post your 26th Jan small stones here

This is the 26th 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 26th small stone of the challenge in the comments below.

“Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.”
~ Susan Sontag

Comments & replies

73 thoughts on “The River of Stones: post your 26th Jan small stones here

  1. Jean Mishra

    Morning comes shyly wrapped in pastel gossamer gown. Like buttery silk she flows across the eyes. Lavender, gray and subtlest robin egg blue; a misty, smokey, mysterious woman is she. Serene, she’s still pale-star-dusted from her late night dalliance; the barest blush still in her cheeks. Softest wisps of silver-cloud-curls drift as she floats on a temple tapestry of flute, lost in her devotion, off to meet the afternoon.

    As posted on my blog:

  2. Jean Mishra

    Morning comes shyly wrapped in pastel gossamer gown. Like buttery silk she flows across the eyes. Lavender, gray and subtlest robin egg blue; a misty, smokey, mysterious woman is she. Serene, she’s still pale-star-dusted from her late night dalliance; the barest blush still in her cheeks. Softest wisps of silver-cloud-curls drift as she floats on a temple tapestry of flute, lost in her devotion, off to meet the afternoon.

    As posted on my blog:

  3. Patricia Anne McGoldrick

    January 2012

    composing words
    like fire flies flashing
    in cold January day!

  4. Kylie

    This is the start of what became a rather large small stone! For the rest check out the post at my blog:

    I must read more. I vow. I am listing books to buy for a book club.  “The Old Man and The Sea”.  I have that in the bookshelf I think…

  5. Dorothee

    a sunny day:
    freezing night to come, i think in the evening
    as i hesitate to step out into the cold
    to take out the garbage bag

    but looking up on the way back
    i stand, stunned:
    the sky full of stars already,
    and Orion right there,
    right above me.


  6. PoetColette

    Notice the sounds; notice the smells; notice the sights; notice the temperature; notice any movement; notice the lighting and shadows; notice anything outside of yourself; then stop noticing, because you’re only allowed one stone/day. Just kidding!

  7. PoetColette

    Dust settles, visibly clinging to little ledges all over textured walls. Since dust is made up of mostly particles of dead human skin cells, it’s as though we are surrounded by walls of scabs.

  8. Rena J. Traxel

    Moonlit Flurry

    The moon is blood red and my mind is dripping with ideas. I’m driving and these damn taillights are boring into my skull. Behind me a trucker lights up my cab. I am a deer in the headlights captured by every twinkling light. I glance down and over to the shoulder. My eyes stop buzzing. Relief. I can see the road again and the moon is a shimmering yellow.

  9. 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.

  10. Annie

    Listen back.

    There’s a magic in the first take.
    You record take 2, just in case.
    But in your heart, you know.
    It’s done.
    Disappointed, that it’s over so soon.

  11. Polly

    I drop the
    Small stone,
    Small, grey, tingling marble swirl,
    In a small, grey, muddy puddle,
    Cat joins me, lapping
    To catch the currents
    And ride the ripples

  12. Sandra Davies

    Pat. of the dirty smoker’s laugh
    usually in black but today a bright pink fleece
    and I try to remember whether
    she used to be a head teacher
    or was it something I made up
    in Alan Bennett mode?

  13. nan

    sipping black coffee
    in a warming morning house
    while watching the
    wind blow snow around
    outside in the dark
    before dawn.

  14. Hannah


    Broad pine
    Defines me;
    Your acient-ness.
    Each dark
    Lip and crevice;
    Bark telling tales.
    A past much deeper
    Than my short days
    Could ever relay.

    © Hannah Gosselin and Metaphors and Smiles, 2012.

  15. Revlahart

    Rats with wings.
    That’s what we always
    call seagulls.
    The mess they leave,
    the loud cries,
    greedy thieves when
    feeding more
    important birds.
    Yet this morning,
    as they perform
    their dance above
    the Thames,
    twisting, turning,
    as one in their
    My breath stops.
    I am in the presence of

  16. mr oCean

    A thrumming and screeching mass of green, yellow, orange and blue feathers swarms to seed and flower, the garden as lush as had seemed an impossible dream before I flew away. I watch, my skin slick and body heavy in air you can almost drink, surrounded by the eternal tinnitus of cicadas. I dream of a clear head, of movement, of a rockpool high on a forested mountain.

  17. Debbie

    A huge ginger tom sits on my back fence, poised to jump. He eyes me balefully as I watch from the window, then leaps on to the roof of my mini greenhouse, which collapses

  18. Marian Veverka

    My comment for 25 Jan. 2012 was listed as by “Anonymous” It is by me, Marian Veverka. Here it is:
    “In the winter-killed remains of
    the vegetable garden, a half-
    row of swiss chard is still
    producing. Scratch the
    covering of mulch and there
    they are – little nest of
    bright green wrinkly leaves.
    And they still taste good!
    This was posted 19:16. Please change the name “anonymous” to “Marian Veverka”
    Thank you

  19. Walt Wojtanik

    Baby-stepping toward Spring,
    destination in sight, but it might take longer.
    My stride gets stronger, so I walk on.

  20. laurie Granieri

    I am sitting at the picture window in the living room, looking out at the same view I’ve known since I was a child in a playpen, applying my tiny handprints to the glass faster than my mother could wipe them clean. The only blots of sure color in a winter-griege landscape are red: a tiny bird resting on a skinny branch; the chimney rising across the street; and a fire hydrant across the brook. I think about the view, how the trees have seen so much, as we have come and gone, been born and died. It all feels so solid this morning.

  21. Roz Cawley

    Sitting, guiltily, on a winter afternoon, with my reward (for filing my tax return!) of a new novel. The paperback pages are not complying with my wish to keep them apart – my cold, stiff, arthritic fingersare not up to the job of restraining them. So I’m recruiting the assistance of a blanket, a cardigan, a cup of hot blackcurrant tea – and maybe a click up on the usually frugal heating.

    I love this old cottage – but today it is a love that is compromised by chill January winds, which are finding their way between 300 years of bricks and timbers.

  22. Belinda @ Wild Acre

    stones from the last four days:

    a V and A museum gift shop plastic bag absentmindedly left behind in the bottom of the supermarket trolley I pull out of the bay. how very Waitrose.


    life isn’t always a summer day is it?
    there are bruising greys and approaching storms,
    the only truth is that everything eventually passes.

    But close to my heart, like a note tucked safely in my old jacket pocket,
    i hold the sliver of faith that there is always light, piercing and warm,
    behind those scudding slate-grey gusts.


    it’s fly apparently, and peng not butters? i don’t understand what my kids are saying. i need lessons in yoof.


    sometimes words come winging in,
    great flocks overhead,
    swooping down to me,
    making shapes I can see,
    circling truths, words for free .

    other days I look up
    and nothing swoops by
    so I helplessly stare
    wringing words out of air,
    but they stay out of reach, resolutely up there.

  23. Marian Veverka

    A snow-clad morning has changed to a bare and rainy afternoon. Because the ground is still frozen, the raindrops cannot penetrate the surface so they spread themselves around and any low place becomes an instant lake. By nightfall the temperature will drop and the rain will turn back to snow which will cover and hide all the newly frozen puddles.

  24. searching serendipity

    Jan 26 Stone
    The twin comforts of:
    The start of the day
    The coming of the night.
    Dawn urges us to wake
    If we let it.
    Night rise relaxes us
    Calms us for rest.
    Yet we pay them little heed.

    (there are two rather dark photos of both ends of the day on my blog itself)

  25. vivinfrance

    The difference wrought
    by a blink of sunshine in winter
    is to make of a dreary grey landscape
    a joyful pledge

  26. Kate

    There’s a little red-haired thief who lives in our neighborhood. I watch him from our window, and though I don’t love any thief, I must admit he’s stolen my heart.

    He’s maybe nine by now, alone, the outcast of the Bud-light kids who taunt and swagger. He catches grasshoppers in season, holding them gently up to his eyes to peer between his fingers as they tickle his hands. It may be noone warned him of tobacco juice, or maybe it’s for this he studies them so fiercely before replacing them benignly on the ground like a pint-sized god of good intent.

    Today, his wandering footsteps took him through our yard where he picked up and discarded, picked up and discarded, picked up and discarded all these artifacts I’ve given to summer flowers. He’s on his knees, his nose almost touching the ground, his little back curved as he studies something moving between blades of grass too green for the season, harbored by the mugwort. His body is so frail, I’m not sure he’s eaten a full meal in his short lifespan — but then, too, I’m not sure what tiny angelthiefs eat.

    I want to bake a pan of ginerbread and open my door, but of course, this is not possible. I can’t place good treasures out for him to steal, either, for that way leads to wrong turns. All I can do is bless the fairies that lent him to this dry neighborhood where imagination seems wholly his alone, this wild child, our red-haired thief.

    If intention means anything, I intend he find a path that leads toward keeping what he’s got now — wild joy and an infinite future of grasshopper blessings.

  27. Anne Stormont (@writeanne)

    Insomnia – an old acquaintance. Lights on in some neighbouring houses tell me I’m not the only one who isn’t tucked up. I sit in the night-quiet living-room, sipping camomile tea, reading, hearing the ticking clock, waiting for my eyes to fall heavy. Hoping to get a couple of hours before dawn

  28. W J Wood

    It was mostly cloudy today with sleet/rain/snow starting by mid afternoon. A perfect day to hold my cup of coffee and daydream.

  29. Lorelei

    Blue hydrangea plant in a pot sits alongside the dormant flower bed like a guest at a party full of unknown people.
    ~Laura Hoopes

  30. Sue B

    Oxygen- all around us
    silent and unseen.
    Bathing us in life
    sustaining and holding us.
    Connecting us to each other.
    Often unnoticed
    yet fills our every moment.
    Giving us the gift of now.

  31. Noodle Notes

    “Mitch Worms: A Tale of Two Mitches”

    (Stone #26 by Rhonda L. Johnson)

    The pale worms at the bottoms of tequila
    bottles have found a niche in Republican
    politics. One invertebrate governs the
    Hoosier state, the other snake in the blue
    grass heads the congressional minority.
    Both worms ascend the glass walls of their
    respective bottles drunk on foul dogma and
    sugary greed–smelling slightly of formaldehyde.

  32. Judith Richards Shubert

    Sundown at Possum Kingdom

    Rose petticoat furled
    Same moon and north star shining
    Indigo apron

  33. basho42

    car is the inner chamber on the drive home, no sounds, stretching arms at a stop light. driving home is the palette cleanser between the end of the work day and the beginning of the evening and my life waiting for me at home.
    gratitude…oh, this is what it “feels” like to be content, surrounded
    by such beauty.
    gratitude for noticing.

  34. Michelle

    The sink is piled high, dirty dishes of every shape and size. I should fill the sink with hot water, let the suds mound up and plunge my trusty rag in and start scrubbing. I should, I should, I should. I will. Tomorrow. Tonight I will turn off the light and leave my troubles for tomorrow, when I am looking for one clean bowl. But that is tomorrow’s trouble.

  35. Shamanic Winds

    Sit comfortably in SILENCE for just a moment right now in after the daily bliss has come to rest.

    Listen gently with an open-mind and an open-heart…

    And you shall hear the voice of
    your Inner Child speaking.

    it — yet do not deny it.

    it — but do not forget it.

    For all these years it has taught
    you in being the best you can ever
    be throughout your entire life.

    Even though at times you wished you didn’t listen when you maybe should have.

    Listen now!

    You may not like what it tells you,
    but at least listen —

    And don’t let it ever silence
    your Child Self again!

    ~Indigenous Shamanic Winds

  36. susan christensen

    Milky sky hazes out big stars
    at midnight:
    cough-induced insomnia
    providing an opportunity
    to take a look at the night.

  37. SharonW

    Collingswood Farmers Market, January

    Ghosts lurk here. This empty stretch of asphalt
    underneath where trains rush clatterscreech to
    stop in pale gray winter light, where people
    huddled under coats all scurry, find their
    cars, and flinch from cold of seats and steering
    wheels. It’s only been six months ago –
    long tables heaped with orange and green and
    red and purple – peppers lettuce basil
    peaches corn tomatoes and cilantro –
    outlined this place, and jostling in between
    bare-armed and hot, an eager crowd of
    shoppers and their dogs came hunting friends and fruit.
    Come quickly, April, full of peas and rhubarb
    Bring back our Saturdays beneath the trains.

    On my blog at

  38. Cathy

    It’s been a long day, and to be honest I haven’t noticed a bloody thing. In about two minutes I’m going to notice how excellent it feels to lie down and fold myself into the blankets.

  39. Hildred and Charles

    A small stone from the Similkameen

    January 26th, 2012

    Corrugated shadows
    stripe the snow
    speaking of sunshine and blue skies

    Posted by Hildred and Charles at 9:36 PM

  40. Claudine G.

    Voices sucked into the microphones. Voices crashing, smashing, flwoozing, tinkering, springing off the walls.

  41. Lynn Tatro

    An open door in sub zero temps, stubborn dog, errands, lost tooth, summer hat, zippers, mittens, frosted car windows, full trash bin, dirty dishes, empty bowls, phone calls, email, mail – Wuji. Taiji. Yin Yang. Wan Wu.

  42. Lightverse

    drive on rain-slick roads
    misty headlights in rear-view
    white- knuckled drama

    As I traveled up to Madison to attend a critique session with my writing group, the rain came down in spritzes, drizzles and downpours, depending on where I was on Route 287. I don’t like driving in bad weather: it’s not so much because of the rain, but because it seems to bring out the worst in some drivers. I made it to my meeting, and later I returned home safely, but the tension from driving in inclement weather never seems to disappear.

  43. Connie L. Peters

    Steel beam and concrete warehouse
    Crushed demolition worker
    Crushed sister
    Picking our way through the rubble

  44. jake chambers

    1.26.2012 ~ Just as your eyes can be sensitive to sunlight, so can the ears of a sick spousal unit… with eyes closed and quietly reclined on the couch; responds to the tender, ever so soft, clinking of a fork …against the bowel, chasing the last morsel of a homemade baked potato…with all the trimmings

  45. Sarah Dooley

    Nonchalant, cool kid that you are,
    you lift your hands and sign, “More drink,” —

    like it is nothing that you have just
    produced a two-word request
    without the assistance of technology
    for the first time.

    I flip out —
    laughing and squealing and
    squeezing you around the shoulders while I
    shove the requested drink into your hand,
    splashing juice onto the table —

    and this time you don’t have to sign —
    I can see you thinking, “Crazy lady!
    What are you shrieking about?
    I always ask for a drink
    with my baked potato

  46. Laurie Kolp

    Kids are all tucked in
    I’m working on a piece
    Hubby’s back in school
    So he’s poring over books
    He asks me for a favor
    Could I make a PB&J?
    To which I answer boldy
    Would you like one poem or two?

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