The River of Stones: post your 28th Jan small stones here

This is the 28th 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 28th small stone of the challenge in the comments below.

“I think that my job is to observe people and the world, and not to judge them. I always hope to position myself away from so-called conclusions. I would like to leave everything wide open to all the possibilities in the world.”
~ Haruki Murakami

Comments & replies

66 thoughts on “The River of Stones: post your 28th Jan small stones here

  1. Jean Mishra

    Two Little Soldiers and Red Glove Rain

    The barks of a mother overhead announce the dropping of gloves left behind like thunder precludes the rain. Two small boys stand in the guilt and dust as a tiny pair of red gloves flutters to the ground from a fourth-floor balcony. Dressed in tiny gentleman suits and already-crooked ties, their usual enthusiasm is neatly bridled. Neither tries to catch them. The gloves land on the ground with a puff as more mother-barks hammer down like hail. The dusty gloves are snatched up and quickly stuffed into a pocket to be forgotten again. History, as they say, inevitably repeats itself.

    Shifting cumbersome backpacks they begin their trek to the gate with the snail’s pace of old men. The conversation is equally glum. No giggles or sticking out of tongues; just somber expressions and an occasional nod. The weight of the day ahead chokes out even the gleeful anticipation of the rollicking race home when it’s over. The bus arrives with a squeak of brakes and two little soldiers trudge off to war.

    As it appears on my blog:

  2. J Cosmo Newbery

    A quartet treacles through the night,
    Playing Mozart with mathematical precision.
    The music is a sublime delight,
    An escape from reality’s mundane prison.

  3. Sue

    Anal Retentive

    You take a look around as soon as you walk in. One other person here, finishing up. Good. Hopefully they will be gone by the time you get to begin. It is far better when you have the place to yourself.

    It’s a situation studded with intricacies. It’s most crucial there’s no soundtrack – the splash factor is ably avoided by scrunched up paper.

    A social embarrassment strangely and irrationally shared by many, the Public Toilet Poo is best avoided wherever possible.

  4. Anne Weizel

    A crescent moon, lying sideways,
    A lighted smile in the sky,
    Sitting within, a sea of winking stars,
    Following me, while driving and walking.
    Assuring me that everything will be alright.

  5. Dorothee

    i hadn’t noticed them when leaving:
    too busy with the things to do, to get,
    on this rainy friday afternoon.
    but coming back from running errands
    i finally see them, right there,
    at the side of the carpark,
    maybe drawn to the surface
    by the rain:
    this tiny wonders
    of new green

    (with image)

  6. Ina

    I call it night
    but is it
    than the day has been?

    Now stars are here
    a more or less
    full moon
    I see more clearly
    than earlier
    when I called it a day
    officially at five pm.

    It is too soon
    for me this way
    to leave this day
    in need of light.

    To call it a day
    I shall wait
    till deep at night.

  7. Polly

    Terracotta equine
    Warm and rough,
    Grecian grave offering
    Shows mourners’ respect,
    Now sold to sightseers
    Who know something
    Of the source;
    T’was a mark of status
    Political power,
    Held in society,
    Nodding thanks
    To Gods who
    Grant favours.

  8. Linda Visman

    Chatting and playing with family by the sea – children and grandchildren;

    cooking, then eating dinner with my older men – husband and father;

    a relaxing glass of wine to top it off.

    I won’t trade you this day!

  9. Claudine G.

    Watched a Chinese painting in animated form. The river flowed and trickled. The men hollered and drank and guffawed. The cranes and birds flew overhead. The donkeys pulled wooden carts along.

    I could have been one of the storytellers, listeners, scholars, or merchants or labourers or boatmen or wives or children in pigtails in one of my previous lives. I could have been alive during the Song Dynasty.

  10. Sandra Davies

    Sadly, the stooped caution of the woman
    crossing the potentially icy road
    belies the high-flagged confidence
    of her vivid scarlet coat.

  11. Roz Cawley

    Farewell to our old Galaxy,
    People carrier, War Horse,
    Off to the knacker’s yard,
    Sold up, stripped down,
    pillaged, crushed.

    Our family Magic Chariot in your youth
    Through the mists of Glencoe To the Highlands,
    Skirting sheer mountain paths of the Islands,
    South to skim the sunbaked roads of France

    There, in your worn-out old age,
    you sickened and failed,
    Towed home in indignity
    Languished, rusted,
    Jump-lead sputtered your last few gasps today,
    Left our gates for the last time, forever.

  12. nan

    day rises —
    a black and white photo through the window glass
    with two horizontal stripes of pink candy floss
    low across the grey sky
    in the east

  13. Barbara

    Aches run in the background, the system slows
    requiring greater pain crossing the threshold.  aches
    are TV and traffic.  Last night lightning struck nearby
    and shook me.  Is this a heart attack? 

  14. Jill

    Our house has these amazing patterned plaster ceilings. Last night, I looked up and remembered them. A few are now cracked in places, probably from the Cottonwood roots shifting the house and the natural settling that happens over time (to all of us).

    As the sun moves throughout the day, the patterns change, deepening and shifting with shadow and light. Sometimes, I sit and stare at it, settling in to the infinite stillness and movement of the pattern–each ceiling was composed by hand and each room has a different design. The whole story, with pictures.

  15. Michelle

    Not a song is heard
    as a larger bird
    swoops in to stay.

    He cocks his head
    the birds have fled
    no meal here today.

  16. Steve Pardue

    Morning Cereal

    Frosted flakes


    Making a sugar crunch

    Every step

    Morning before


  17. Fi


    Colour isn’t just a visual experience. It can be found in the beat of a rhythm, moving the boards beneath your feet. It seeps into the taste of a meal shared with friends. It ripples with the sudden laughter of my children when their father arrives home. It is the expectancy of an unopened gift, the sense of loss as a loved one slips away and the smile of an infant as it grasps its mother’s finger.

  18. Laurie Kolp

    The day ahead brings-
    basketball games
    snacks, check;
    dance practice
    time, check;
    Pinewood Derby
    cars ready, check;
    family fun guaranteed,
    check, check, check.

  19. J.R.Poulter/J.R.McRae

    Pebbles in the stream,
    Pick them up,
    Hands a cup,
    See them gleam.

    Everyday treasures,
    How can we measure
    The way of one pebble,
    What its journey means?

  20. Marian Veverka

    Winter depression is common in our lattitudes of the world. However, I have noticed that a covering of white snow makes a difference in how I feel. Gray days with brown, bare earth are depressing. An overcast sky with a cover of white snow are not so gloomy. A sunny day with bright blue sky and a blanket of white snow on the ground are downright cheerful!

  21. searching serendipity

    Jan 28 Stone
    A dreich day wraps damp fingers
    Around me.
    Bird-like I seek a dry hedge
    To surround me.
    Dry at home I the feel warmth
    All around me.
    Now will rest from all probing
    Surround me.

  22. Cathy

    Hundreds stood outside the Wisconsin state capitol on the cold night of the governor’s annual address, celebrating 1,000,00 signatures on the recall petition against him. The band drummed out “This is what democracy looks like.”

  23. Revlahart

    A dull pain
    in my upper back,
    right next to
    the shoulder.
    I notice that they
    have lifted up.
    I breathe deeply
    and drop them
    back to where
    they belong.

  24. Robin

    blown about by the North Wind
    the tang of woodsmoke
    drifts in and out
    sparrows spiraling
    black polka dots overhead
    meandering across a drab gray sky
    mobs of snowflakes arrive
    silently rioting and gathering
    in patches and drifts
    the blue jay in the woods
    in a counter-demonstration

  25. Lesley

    I cannot write today. Exhausted by anger, I wallow like a sad dishcloth, depressed that an eruption of rage can obliterate all promise for the day. Weary of misunderstanding and provocation, my evacuated brain flits restlessly. My soul is empty after a flood of hot tears and I am unable replenish the joy, for that would mean swallowing my pride and revisiting the same tortured words.

  26. Karen

    forest floor brilliance
    a glimpse of crimson glory
    whimsical delight
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~
    in crimson it screams
    this warning must be heeded
    poison lurks within

  27. Lorelei

    Santa Ana Condition with sere wind and heat is here. The slanting sunrays pick out the delicate design of a cast iron decoration on a neighbor’s house and the tall, white branches of a birch, waiting patiently for its leaves to reappear.

    ~Laura Hoopes

  28. Snowbourne

    Little glass animals from the
    five-and-ten-cent store sit
    upon the fireplace mantle
    like a bargain hunter’s
    big game trophies.

  29. Inger-M

    Reflected Object

    While walking onboard a ferry, I noticed this thing in the water. I just caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye, and my curiosity was triggered. So much that I had to stop and snap a shot of it. I have no idea what it is, or what purpose it has.
    I just liked it.
    The contrasts; one lit side and one shadow side. Hard coarse metal against soft shiny water. Straight lines reflected slightly distorted. Rustic brown against shades of blue, and the darker color of the reflection. I just liked it.

    Go here to view the full post:

  30. Hildred and Charles

    Saturday, January 28, 2012
    A small stone from the Similkameen
    January 28th, 2012

    The fire invokes sleepiness
    fifteen minutes turns into an hour…
    I dream a little, and waken
    not knowing the time or the place

    Jacobus Vrel
    Posted by Hildred and Charles at 3:06 PM

  31. Kopper

    A bit of a meta-post for Jan 28:
    Living Space
    Working with a set designer helps me notice all the furnishings and knick-knacks that are in my house, how they relate to each other and how they have been moved and shifted over time. A room is not just a container for furniture; these shifts are a story of how we live in space.

  32. Kate

    Three wise women came to call. We gathered laughter, carded it well to blend with tears, spun it into a moment to be woven and well worn in memory. We took up the beat and followed it with voice, with feet on woodfloor, with drum and rainstick, with shaker shakes and gourd rattles. We traded recipes with each other for cornbread, goat cheese, and magic that would simmer well into our elder years. Old friends circling back again, finding forgotten pathways.

  33. Laurie Granieri

    I always hate ordering a decaf soy capuccino from this guy. The ornery coffee guy—I would never dare call him a “barista”—is not about soy anything, let alone decaf. He looks like a sailor—the hard-drinking kind, with red, puffy cheeks and a scraggly beard. He was probably a cute kid, although he’d never cop to having been a kid.

    I try to explain my allergy, because for some reason I want this relative stranger to think I’m not like “them”: the latte-swilling, I want-what-I-want crowd. He grimaces, cracks a joke, serves up my decafsoycap in a pristine white cup. Sure, he has pinkeye. Sure, I have my concerns about the pinkeye and the decafsoycap. But there’s something about ornery coffee guy: He just knows he’s a star.

  34. Hannah


    Some where in the world
    Between awake and asleep,
    Setting sun woos crescent moon.
    Almost meeting (It seems),
    As light departs from day.
    Darkening of blue
    Bright beneath liquid layers,
    Clouds move swiftly in on night.

    © Hannah Gosselin and Metaphors and Smiles, 2012.

  35. Lightverse

    lava cake truffle
    flavor lingers for a while
    epicure daydream

    Today I took the kids shopping at the mall. Among the shops we visited was Godiva. I had some gift cards from left over from the holidays, so I was in a position to be generous. As it happened, I kept one truffle for myself, which was one of the chocolate lava cake ones. The flavor of it lingered deliciously on my mind’s taste buds long after I had finished eating it.

  36. Sarah Dooley

    Why is it that hitting the SEND button is the only thing that lifts the magical cloak of typo invisibility?

  37. jake chambers

    1.28.2012 ~ Spent a couple of hours with an old friend today. We hung out in my driveway, going over memories of time spent on the water, anticipating the not to distant opportunity to generate more fish tales…my boat cleaned up pretty well for sitting idle for the last 7 months.

  38. De

    Chopsticks and Stones

    Poem girl wokking.
    Steam rising dramatic, behind
    Slurps noodle’s wisdom.
    Fortune cookie offers no genius,
    only crunch.

    The fade of day
    gives way.
    The sky a scarlet scrim,
    she shadow boxes her own soul.

  39. Michelle

    An unexpected kid free night: it’s dinner for two, a movie on TV and a love seat that fits just right.

  40. Renee


    The hazelnut tree
    now laden with
    seed pods
    brings the promise
    of nuts to
    the blue jay
    he visits later
    this Summer

    © January 2012

  41. T

    I race in my little car
    Up a one-lane country road.
    The saplings hang over
    And wave their arms to cheer me on.
    They throw dried-leaf confetti.
    The sycamores shake their pom-poms.
    Go! Go! Go!
    We are all in agreement that I need a motorcycle.

  42. Noodle Notes

    “Drive Home from Northfield Haiku “

    (Stone #28 by Rhonda L. Johnson)

    The icy highway
    stretched out like a salty vein
    beyond our windshield

  43. Lynn Tatro

    This cold is no longer poetic. It is no longer a temporary diversion or aberration. It is no longer romantic. I’m weary of trying to make the best of it. It has given me and my vehicle an acute case of Tourette’s. Theater patrons walk like aliens eyes cast to their feet, teeth clenched, all skin covered, hand in pockets, steam curling from their nostrils, brisk stiff steps. We need to escape!

  44. Shamanic Winds

    During this brisk Winter Snowfall season of Imbolc amongst the Land I live on bring forth the coming of Planting the Seeds once again in my Spiritual Life. The Seeds this year in 2012 lay embedded amongst the surviving Burdock bush embedded in the snow in front of the Sacred Goddess Tree and Stump in their Burrs. Come closer to Spring, may the Seeds manifest from their core PROTECTIVENESS and open up New Beginnings for me on my Path!

    Blessed Be~
    Indigenous Shamanic Winds

  45. Lanita

    A parade of blondes in mini skirts of silky and metallic fabrics walk by our table in Panera; a local sorority arriving for their luncheon.

  46. Mary

    Snowflakes stream horizontally past the french doors,
    Cuddled warm by the fire, I am hypnotized by the surging winds.

  47. Lynn Tatro

    The sun is bright; there is no warmth, broken glass frames a moose head, some fear their differences while some fear their similarities. Music and love require friction and change. Harmony and happiness require Grace.

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