The River of Stones: post your 27th Jan small stones here

This is the 27th 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 27th small stone of the challenge in the comments below.

“Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details.”
~ Arthur Conan Doyle

Comments & replies

71 thoughts on “The River of Stones: post your 27th Jan small stones here

  1. 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

  2. Anne Weizel

    an. 24, 2012
    The greyness of yesterday’s rain, has all disappeared,
    Bringing, a fairy-land , of soft pinks and blues
    Rising and expanding,
    Across a dawn sky.

    Sunlight dances on tiny waves,
    Bathing the water, in hues of glowing silver.

    The geese are out in full force today,
    As a huge flock rides
    Up and down,
    Hilly waters,
    In utter serenity,

    The waves rise and fall,
    Calmly, but forcefully,
    Never missing a beat,
    As the tide,
    Is drawn magnetically
    To the still, damp shore.

    Seagulls flap their wings vigorously, to gain momentum,
    Then glide smoothly, soaring through the skies, with the ease of an expert.
    Darkness has again, turned to light.
    Providing for a moment,
    A renewal of faith,
    That the glory of sunshine, will always return.

  3. Kel

    crisp and cool
    clean sheets
    one of life’s
    little luxuries

    hands up if you like clean sheets night 🙂

  4. Polly

    On a cold sentient night,
    Stars stir bright.
    Fraught, frigid, frightful,
    Malevolent pigs,
    Ghastly, ghostly,
    Pinkly gimlet-eyed;
    Teeth shine,
    Scream, bite
    Rattle buckets.

  5. Claudine G.

    A dark, mellow yellow soft stick unflowered. Its charcoal brown roots creeps like scrawny fingers; its pale flesh is sweet and mushy. Ripe. With a thick, woodsy fragrance wandering in the mouth.

  6. Sandra Davies

    Awaiting Amazon’s delivery
    of the next Mark Billingham
    I begin A.L. Kennedy’s ‘Paradise’;
    immediately feel altered impact
    and glad I resisted Pride and Predj.

  7. J Cosmo Newbery

    Mosquitoes announce their presence with a whine,
    That turns sane people into anxious self-hitters.
    There are those who swear on Intelligent Design
    But none give a reason for these sucking little critters.

  8. Annie


    I saw them swoop down,
    ink splattering a basket of black branches.
    Everyone shrieks at the same time
    in the twittering hedge.

  9. Kylie

    Outside the day is rustling to life:
    A kookaburra’s staccato call circles up into the air.
    The white noise of the highway surges in the distance.

  10. Linda Visman

    I am overwhelmed with images, with sounds and smells;

    with memories of the place where I grew up and of its beauty;

    – and with the changes that have despoiled it.

    In too many cases, productive dairy farms have given way

    to new roads and streets, to concrete and fences,

    to new schools, and housing developments of Macmansions

    – and to imported dairy products in the supermarkets.

  11. Lesley

    The chilled hand of this breath stealing wind hinders my progress, while sending my hound wildly bounding a full field away. No small bird is safe from the ear-flapping frenzy of her pursuit.

  12. vivinfrance

    All senses feasted
    preparing Seville oranges –
    the multiplicity of pips,
    the zing of chopping lemons,
    perfumed droplets in the air
    to sting my eyes
    in anticipation of the bubbling boil
    of a year’s supply of marmalade.

  13. Roz Cawley

    In the footsteps of Old Magnificent, the new, handsome, visiting cock Pheasant paces cautiously up through the grass, scanning back and forth for lurking threats…
    Burnished, glinting breast feathers in the sunlight, he catches sight of me, returning from the feeder table where I have sprinkled seedly temptation before him.
    But still too nervous to run towards me (as his predecessor habitually did), he turns and ‘legs it’ back down the garden, stately, clerical, head rhythmically jutting forward at each increasing step, with as much speed and dignity as can be mustered (the first quickly triumphing over the second!)

    I can see him now, from the safety of the bushes, watching, still, peering up at the house, waiting for the chance of the next foray.

  14. mr oCean

    The ibis,
    long legs half-vanished
    in these impromptu lakes,
    like the lanky spear-fishers
    before the sails and shackles,
    and probe
    at what the rain washed out
    and do not turn
    to watch
    the train roar past.

  15. Ina

    Every second, morning changes
    in a rearranged embrace.

    Beams through branches,
    rooftops shining,
    golden linings under clouds.

  16. Lightverse

    the fuzzy edges
    of sleep slip silently by…
    in the glow of words

    I woke up around 6:30am this morning (after several earlier awakenings) and decided that trying to go back to sleep again was not a good idea since I had to get the kidlets up within the hour. Afraid that I actually might fall back asleep, I picked up my iPhone from my night table, and in the otherwise total blackness of my bedroom, I turned on the device – which glowed eerily – and began checking my messages.

  17. Leslee

    Dreams of sleeping cars on a hurtling train. Up before the dawning of my neighbor’s lights. A lost glove waves from the porch.

  18. Marian Veverka

    This morning we awakened to find that a soft snow has decorated our lane, cottages, sheds and trailers. In the fields and gardens, stiff brown stalks wear a jolly cap of white. The trees, too wear stripes of white on their exposed branches A few degrees of lowered temperature has transformed the world from the dreary browns and grays of yesterday into a bright wonderland of white.

  19. Connie L. Peters

    “I have to use that thingy
    on the windshield.”
    Californian sister.
    Can’t remember the word
    for ice scraper.

  20. Inger-M

    A pair of black jeans. Old, worn, and faded, but otherwise in good shape. Just a bit frayed along the edges. A bit like me, really… They are comfortable, and fit me so well. Far too good for the bin, or even the thrift store. They just don’t look good any more. So I rehem them, on my trusty old sewing machine that has served me so well since 1977. Then a cycle in the washing machine with some black dye, and they’ll be as good as new!

    Go here to view the full post:

  21. Hannah

    ~WRITE ME~

    Day has devised
    It’s own plan for me,
    Spreading thin
    T h o u g h t,
    C r e a t i v i t y.
    Still, I can hear
    Soft spoken word
    An underlying,
    Invisible vibration
    Through nature.
    Quiet o’ mind
    Silence society,
    Release me
    From your hold,
    hinder me
    No longer.
    Poignant poem
    In the varied
    Length of limb.
    In the very
    Field of wild.
    Write me
    O’ poem.

    © Hannah Gosselin and Metaphors and Smiles, 2012.

  22. Noodle Notes


    (Stone #27 by Rhonda L. Johnson)

    Early morning is painted in wide blue
    strokes radiant with white light pushing
    through wispy clouds, and on the street
    below, tiny cars seem to glide in slow-motion
    toward the scatter of northern suburbs.

    The world seems so quiet from this vantage
    point. It murmurs, hums, whispers like the
    soundtrack of a faint dream lost somewhere
    in the ether of sleep. And I am not
    ready to take my place in it yet.

    I sit and wait for the sounds of human
    work to emerge; the grinding metal music
    of drills in the elevator shaft, or the sharp trill of a
    bulldozer receding from its hole in the
    earth in the parking lot across the street.

    That parking lot occupies the same
    space where one night last summer I
    watched a rabbit finding a warm place on the
    pavement to make his temporary bed, knowing
    that he would go undisturbed until morning.

  23. Jill

    The sky this morning is heavy, gray, foggy, and cold, with just the slightest hint of light. I close my eyes and look inside, realize that it’s a mirror of my internal landscape in this moment. The snow falls slowly, and I make a silent wish that it keeps up, blankets us in quiet and white. With pictures.

  24. Walt Wojtanik

    The auburn glow of distant memories
    placates my soul and has me feeling
    that blessings bestowed never leave you;
    they only serve to strengthen you
    and bless you long after you had relinquished them.

  25. francesca perry

    Shoah Stone
    I place my stone on history’s memorial. It reminds me to remember never to forget what we, at our worst, are capable of.

  26. Josephine Faith Gibbs

    All He Surveys

    Marmalade cat curls his tail over his toes
    on the frosty green garden bench,
    blinks at the chickadees in the bare lilacs.

  27. jake chambers

    1.27.2012 ~ A friend called this morning, leaving a message explaining his need of another computer which covered the missing communications between … friends that write. I cannot remember the last time I penned a note to someone…anyone, in my progressively deteriorating longhand scribe

  28. Lorelei

    Dark soil with fifteen bright green points breaking through it, thrusting it aside, coming of the bluebells.

    ~Laura Hoopes

  29. IsobelandCat

    How lovely to cycle to work under blue skies this morning. To see purple and yellow crocus and white snowdrops in the park; sunlight hitting the top of the Victoria Tower and turning it golden; the gleaming steel and glass of the Eye; and the pale green familiar dome of the Imperial War Museum. Structures which have become like old friends; constant constellations in an urban firmament, renewed by spring.

  30. Patricia Anne McGoldrick

    January 27

    Red cardinal,
    crafted by an artisan,
    what do you see as you peer through our window screen
    on this snowy white January day?

  31. SharonW

    Picturing Waterfalls

    The photo is a lie, too quiet. You
    can’t see this without motion, sound,
    a smell of water in the air,
    and dampness on your skin. Mosquitos
    whining, too. It’s their home more than yours.

    A steady stream of water pours
    and sparkles past the lip of rock
    that edges that pool on your left –
    then, bored, decides to drip in four,
    no, five, twelve wide spaced trickles – wait,
    those two have merged…what’s constant here is change.

    * * *

    This particular waterfall is hidden away in the Laurel Highlands of western Pennsylvania, in a little park, down a muddy trail. I took the picture in May, 2009 while standing on a bridge over the stream that flows away from the base of the falls. But the stone above applies to all waterfalls, doesn’t it?

    On my blog, with a photo, at

  32. searching serendipity

    Jan 27 Stone
    Sunshine makes for friendly gestures
    when rain dark day may not.
    Cold but bright may make
    for conversations- light –
    where head-down battling
    the gale to surly silence tends.
    A perfect cloud, atop a burnished hill
    And sunset gold subsides
    As new moon climbs.

    with photos

  33. Sarah Dooley

    (If there were snow,
    it would fill the gaps
    between us)

    In this winter that does not feel like winter,
    you leave for work before dawn
    and I leave for work before dawn
    and we come home tired and smelling of rain,
    and we leave our muddy shoes
    on opposite sides of the door,
    and your mud is black city mud
    and mine is red country clay.

    Oh God,

    when did we stop walking
    on the same Earth?

  34. Robin

    moving slowly from image to image
    soaking up, breathing in, captivated by
    the light and color of art
    on a gray and snizzling day
    a marvelous way to wile away an afternoon
    as we sail through the January Doldrums
    on our way to the February Funk

  35. Sue B

    the moon rising
    behind the winter trees
    its light seeping in between the branches
    and casts a gentle glow across the

  36. De

    Dear ocean hungry toes:
    tide and time must wait.
    Here is lush carpet,
    quiet grass
    and your forever
    footsied love.
    Dig in.

  37. Judith Richards Shubert

    Hardscrabble Fields

    Someone has left a rake leaning upon the porch corner against the dirty chipped paint.

    The ground appears scraped bare of all living things;

    Shabbiness surrounds the house.

    Is it empty?

    Or are there children huddled inside trying to stay warm?

    The end of January approaches and the men and boys are working hard;

    But work is hard to find, and the fields of 1947 were just as hardscrabble as they are in 2012.

  38. Leslie Waugh

    Pain wants to leave the body
    but first it migrates
    seeking solace
    in dormant recesses
    the newly plumbed alleyways
    begin to compensate
    and a searing ache here
    becomes a dull throb there
    a wounded animal
    trapped by helplessness
    tries to make itself smaller
    shrink into invisibility
    in a corner
    in search of release
    from a hurt
    that no room
    or house of bones can contain

  39. Michelle

    Thank God for daughters who like to cook and bake….who can make dinner when Mom’s not feeling well….who can whip up a batch of lemon bars just for funsies. Thank God for daughters, period.

  40. Hildred and Charles

    A stone from the Similkameen
    January 27th, 2012

    I sort through old photographs
    slightly faded, – a little stained
    I come across one that catches my heart
    a white horse
    two beloved children
    and a meadow
    I sigh for the passage of time.

  41. susan christensen

    Half-sunk stump
    and the Neighbors’ lamps
    perfectly reflected
    in slack-tide waters of our little
    Against the dimming grey
    twilight sky,
    snow banks throb.

  42. Steve Pardue

    Gull on Grass

    A white gull
    Stands still

    On green baize
    Miles from the sea

    Waiting as if
    For ever

    Silent as if
    Listening for the sea

  43. Laurie Kolp

    Driving home from the funeral home
    after saying goodbye to a friend
    I receive a call, a baby’s been born;
    the circle of life continues again

  44. Shamanic Winds

    “What’s in your wallet?”

    Peering inside, I see nothing but green and white, white and green…

    Not the value of use in buying a book or purchasing some things I’ve had my eyeball on for ages now —

    but that of Nature’s precious beauty in the making blown in by the cold Winter snow!

    Money is only worth material value — NATURE is the Gift we are given freely.

    ~Indigenous Shamanic Winds

  45. T

    Last night’s steady rain brought:
    Smelly dogs on wet blankets,
    (Why do they carry their blankets out into the rain?)
    Mud oozing up between patio blocks,
    Musty cigarette smoke smells from a million years ago,
    The smoker doin’ her dyin’.
    But inside the grocery store:
    Gerber daisies, Valentine’s candy and Easter foreplay
    Parley beneath florescent lights.

  46. Anne Stormont (@writeanne)

    My back cramps, my left hip aches and my knees crackle. Fingers ache with arthritis. Once out of bed, I look in the mirror – my late mother appears to be looking back at me. How can this be? How did I get to be fifty-five? Inside I’m still in my thirties. I look at my reflection and smile – it’s not all bad this ageing thing – sure beats the alternative. And as I grow older, I can let my eccentricities and subversive streak rip and people will put up with it. I plan to grow very old, very disgracefully.

  47. Mary

    Dark clouds lift for the first time today
    revealing a strip of soft blue sky.
    Dusk’s orange light turns the clouds pink
    and cast shadows that sway on the window.

  48. teri

    January 27, 2012- Small Stones
    blue whispers by Teri H Hoover

    the muffled evening sky
    whispers bedtime stories to the trees

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