The River of Stones: post your 29th Jan small stones here

This is the 29th 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 29th small stone of the challenge in the comments below.

“Look around you…Feel the wind, smell the air. Listen to the birds and watch the sky. Tell me what’s happening in the wide world.”
~ Nancy Farmer

Comments & replies

65 thoughts on “The River of Stones: post your 29th Jan small stones here

  1. PoetColette

    Some bobwhite quail gathered on the golf course after the rain showers. When they folded their legs beneath them, they resembled miniature mallards floating upon a still green pond.

  2. J Cosmo Newbery

    The gentle caresses in familiar places;
    The discarding of clothes that encumber;
    The culmination in a loving embrace,
    A genital sneeze and then so to slumber.

  3. Anne Weizel

    The sight of a sapphire sky
    Viewed through, a tree limb lens,
    Or the sight of white light,
    Dancing gloriously on a wooded stream
    Can’t quiet fear’s loud knocking.

    Its icy fingers persist,
    Till my body stiffens, and I can hear my heartbeat,
    Banging against my chest.
    I beg it for mercy,
    To stop its screams.

    Until, finally I feel a smile breaking free,
    Temporarily, knocking fear off its feet.

    As I come to a hidden pond,
    Deep in the woods,
    Witnessing a fat-bull dog-
    Swimming with two exuberant Black Labs,
    Running in and out ,
    With utter abandon,
    Chasing and splashing,

    Fetching sticks,
    Joined by a Sheepdog, who plunges in.
    A crowd cheers them on.
    As they emerge in and out ,

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  4. Dorothee


    saturday drive:
    so overcast and rainy for the start
    that i don’t even take the camera
    and think of turning around
    as the fog thickens while driving
    up the Alb plateau
    who thought that up there
    sunny winter was waiting?

    with image

  5. T

    *Ok! I admit it! I’ve been SLACK! BUT! I did carry my small stones in my head…just didn’t spill them onto paper. Once again rocks beat paper. And did you hear that? I just ADMITTED that there are rocks in my head, but that’s better than rocks in my pockets and a walk into the river (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VIRGINIA WOOLFE 1/25).

    Annnnnnd I can’t stand anymore of my own jokes so…on with my small stone:

    In front of me at the stoplight
    Is a truck bed full of
    Dead piglets
    Irreverently thrown atop each other
    In a heap
    Pink and new
    Soft and downy.
    Their wee ears flap as the driver pulls off.
    Wee wee wee…
    Why? why? why?

  6. Mark Holloway

    Hey, budge up. The last of the gulls gathering at the top of the pylon has to search for a space to touch down.

    twitter @forgottenworks

  7. Sandra Davies

    Sandwiched between the background of iced grass
    and the sparrow-coloured sparse-twigged hawthorn hedge
    a Sunday parade of buggy-dragging golfers

  8. Ina

    A layer of frost is hiding you,
    cold surface waiting for the Sun
    and it gets even colder now.

    I wait for better moments.
    For now everything’ s on hold,
    only patience needed.

  9. Linda Visman

    The heat of the sun blazes down on unprotected skin.

    It has been cloudy for days, with more rain forecast,

    but today we feel the normal heat of summer.

    I have enjoyed the relative coolness up to this,

    but summer must eventually have its time, even if it is late arriving.

  10. nan

    birds hang onto iced treetop branches
    back lit by bright sun
    swaying in the gusting wind like surfers on a rough ocean,
    tail feathers jerking and wobbling as they hold tight with tiny feet
    just as flocks of curled pin oak leaves below hang on by tiny stems

  11. Roz Cawley

    On the compost heap
    Last week’s cherry tomatoes, still intact
    Untouched by little vole and mousey teeth
    Co-habitants with the wood-lice,
    The ever-wriggling, brambling worms,
    The deep-in-cobwebbed spiders,
    All seeing out the winter
    In their cosy, lidded wooden bunker.

  12. J.R.Poulter/J.R.McRae

    Love has no title

    Love, in many colours like a rainbow
    In all the botanic gardens memory has,
    Blossoms radiant as every dawn
    In paradise before the world began…

    Love grows – it is its own
    Completeness, knows peace and poetry,
    And all that is creative
    Love is to everyman.


  13. Steve Pardue

    No home for a house mouse

    A frozen and slow mouse
    Limping across frosted flakes on leaves
    No looking back now
    So far from its home Babies await safe delivery
    No longer beneath the sofa
    A margarine carton provided safe passage
    To a world outside
    No home for a house mouse

  14. Lesley

    We step out into the monochrome morning, the dog and I, and wander through a gossamer shroud laid low over the riverside. I follow the bend of the tarmac path into a silky world of solitude, while she noses through sparse shrub, her position given away by the softest snap of a twig as she gingerly pads across mulchy ground beside the stream. Over the hunched back of a small bridge I stop and stare down. Long green tresses finger the stony bed, bringing an image of Ophelia into my mind. The dog’s head snaps up to something beyond my senses. Involuntary fear makes my heart race as I stare into the ethereal fog. Fuchsia clad, a jogger pierces the pearly film and, hand hooked in collar, we stand and watch her pass. Fading away, as if fashioned from the mist itself, she becomes something imagined on our morning walk.

  15. Shamanic Winds

    A single BEAUTY contained ‘In and Of It’s Self’ left outside in Nature is the most precious thing to be seen every day on one’s walk through the woods…..

    ~Indigenous Shamanic Winds

  16. Lorelei

    The evenly spaced magnolia trees on Mountain Avenue slipped by my car in time with The Blue Danube waltz.

    ~Laura Hoopes

  17. Marian Veverka

    Someonee told me their lilac bushes had buds which were swelling and a few were even tipped with green. A neighbor has been worried that hisd pear tree is budding out, already and it is only January. This has been a strange month. We will have cold and snow for a day or so and then the sun will shine and melt the snow and coax bushes and trees (which should really know better) to break dormancy. Two more months of winter await, I hope everything will stay in its ordered place so there will be a good harvest, lateer.

  18. IsobelandCat

    I am pretty happy with my lot and don’t yearn for huge wealth. I have more than enough for my needs, being of a frugal disposition, and can support the various charities and causes I believe in without being a martyr. I’m a long way from the gutter or even the widow’s mite.
    I’d love enough money not to have to work, as opposed to not towork, but the lifestyles of Paris Hilton and her like look thoroughly uninteresting from this scruffy sofa.
    However, from time to time, and especially when I look in estate agents’ windows, I wish I had semi-serious money. I was going to say I wish I were rich, but the houses I was lusting after this afternoon are in parts of town the really rich have probably never even heard of.
    Yet earlier in my walk, which was brisk and did not involve many photos as I wanted to keep my thermal-gloved hands up my sleeves, I walked through a housing estate that I found thoroughly depressing. I think it was the air of unlovedness that got to me. That and the abundance of bins. 
    I walked there as I wanted to look at the Henry Moore sculpture. It is an incongruous setting and certainly under appreciated. Usually it is covered in graffiti. I have been thinking about t quite a bit since the theft of the Barbara Hepworth from another local setting, Dulwich Park. At least that was behind locked gates. As I approached, all I could see was this:
    (picture on my page)

    I am guessing the Moore is underneath. Maybe this is the council’s way of protecting it. But somehow, if the thieves who took the Hepworth, almost certainly for its scrap metal value, want this one too, that corrugated iron isn’t going to stop them. 
    It made me start to muse on how so many treasures are locked up so no one ever sees or enjoys them. Then thinking of how when pieces like this are left for everyone to enjoy they are routinely vandalised, I began to wonder how we deserve the environments in which we live. 
    So maybe I just don’t merit any of those houses I saw in the estate agents’.

  19. Jill

    Small Stone: Dog Park

    Big V and little v, two formations of Canadian Geese fly over our heads. When they come close, the vibration of their wings sounds like giant bumblebees.

    Eric is on my left, pointing out a hawk sitting high in a tree, and Sam stays close on my right, running away and right back, over and over in circles, getting close enough on each return to bump his head into my leg.

    Dexter searches in random patterns, nose to the ground and ears back, across the entire width and length of the dog park, looking for an abandoned tennis ball.

    It already feels like Spring.

  20. searching serendipity

    Jan 29 Stone
    From their green sheath the flowers emerge.
    On the broad lower petal-lip lie yellow tongues,
    Shaded by fragile forked canopies.
    The iris blooms; royal blue.

  21. Sue B

    It’s 10pm.
    The village is quiet.
    In the distance
    the church bells ring.
    The sound is familliar and comforting.
    They tell of another day passing
    and that all is well.

  22. Hildred and Charles

    Sunday, January 29, 2012
    A small stone from the Similkameen
    January 29th, 2012

    Watching a family movie
    which morphed from a VHS,
    which morphed from a reel,
    I dwell for awhile in the land of small children
    horses, sheep, border collies and apple blossom
    first class nostalgia
    Posted by Hildred and Charles at 4:41 PM

  23. Laurie Granieri

    I want to talk about the trees, the crazy quilt of patterns their shadows leave on the dirt path. She wants to talk about asthma. I point out the baby-teeth icicles dangling from the rock, exclaim over the sun and the murmur of the stream. I want to be here, drifting in a river of stones. But I suppose she is one of the stones, too, in her hot pink quilted ski jacket and Boston College hat pulled down over her hair. She is in the river. She is here, now.

  24. SharonW

    Struggling to Write

    My mind feels like a stone, hard, heavy in
    the hand, refusing to respond. I fight
    to quarry one more stone, one pebble, chip
    of thought. My stone mind will not answer. It
    lies smooth and silent, maybe wavering
    a bit like stones in flowing water, gray
    or brown or black. Perhaps I ought to let
    it blossom on its own, stone opening
    like petals, offering color, texture, scent
    in its time, not in mine.

    On my blog at

  25. Lightverse

    looking through glazed eyes
    incandescent avoidance
    a halo effect

    Having a migraine is no day at the beach, no walk in the park and no picnic. Having a migraine is just too cliché.

  26. Claudine G.

    Blossoms on a Blossom Plant. Brown peanuts on long stems quietly sprouting furry, white, squirrel tail-like flowers, tiny yellow beads on each fur-end.

  27. teri

    January 27, 2012- Small Stones
    too much writing by Teri H Hoover

    I have swum out too far
    and run out of words.

  28. Laurie Kolp

    Morning shower
    water’s brown
    front yard dug up
    neighbor’s frown
    it’s theirs, not ours
    but still the same
    the water’s brown
    we’ll wait in vain.

  29. Kate

    Red Dragon, Earth Mama, you have brought your gifts — today, all day, I was in the school of the Universe, I was at the feet of the Teacher, drinking in the message, that to me is new and old. Sure, I’ve had this same feeling stomping in a mudpuddle — age two, wearing nothing but a smile or whirling and whirling on some star-dark night, drunk on nothing but the freedom of a moment and a bit of song.

    Today, one daughter moves house, bit by bit, in a pullcart to a train station and across a river on those tracks she’ll follow back into her city again and again. I will myself there by her side, helping her with that load, but the miles distance us.

    Here in these hills, I dance the vibration of the world higher and higher to keep her in the palm of Mama’s hand. I sing my song for my babies, old enough now to hold their own, but always my little girls with flashing eyes and mud-stomping feet drinking in rare joy gifts in a drenching mountain rain.

  30. -k

    Butterfly. Forewings, two wide horizontal brushstrokes of orange over-arced with a broad black flourish. Hindwings, small ovals of finest-lined vertical orange.

  31. Hannah


    One lone leaf
    Has found itself
    From snow
    And icy layers.
    Caught up
    It finds
    Whirlwind fury
    Round and round
    In a secret,
    Solitary wind.

    © Hannah Gosselin and Metaphors and Smiles, 2012.

  32. Cathy

    Nuthatches aren’t just capable of feeding upside-down, they prefer it. Even on a brand new feeder with no competition, no wind, they perch and feed tail-side up. Why, when their digestive system points the same way ours does?

  33. Noodle Notes

    “End of the Weekend”

    (Stone #29 by Rhonda L. Johnson)

    The end of the weekend is looming,
    blooming like a moon flower in the darkness,
    unfolding white petals like delicate fingers,
    withering with Monday’s first light

  34. susan christensen

    Your hands gentle on my waist
    as we stand together
    before the Holy meal
    bread, broken for you
    blood, poured out for you;
    love illumined
    in stained glass light
    in this familiar,

  35. Revlahart

    Eva, just 6 months old,
    is unhappy.
    I take her as she
    screams, walk away
    from her mum,
    bouncing her,
    patting her,
    I wish for breasts
    full of milk,
    to offer, as I
    did when Claire
    was this size.
    Longing, joy,
    memory fill me.

  36. Walt Wojtanik

    My life’s story flickers in my mind,
    replays of a past held dear and near
    the next phase of growth. Aging…
    setting the stage for the grand finale.

  37. Rosalind Adam

    I may be looking at small things but apparently that doesn’t include small print! I just read your newsletter. I’ve been posting my small stones onto Twitter and didn’t realise people were posting them up here. My 29th Jan stone was:
    A first. My little grandson said, “here yar Mamma” and gave his dummy to the phone. He called me Mamma and it melted my heart.

  38. jake chambers

    1.29.2012 ~ Power; you have to have power to do different things. Power to do what is right. To do what is just. Power to get an outboard motor to crank…new batteries may be in my near future

  39. De

    She crawls up in my lap,
    some small gazelle now, legs
    spindling out in all directions. I
    breathe in her warm heartbeat, freeze,
    in fear of her fleeing loose once more.

  40. Robin Chapman

    Sunny morning,
    and a chipmunk
    out a month too early
    searches the fresh snow
    under the chickadees feeding

  41. teri

    January 29, 2012- Small Stones
    too much writing by Teri H Hoover

    I have swum out too far
    and run out of words.

  42. Kopper

    The door opens onto a grey wet street, music trickles out over the heads of the people lining up for coffee. Amber lights warm up the room as the muscians float us away on a river of harmony.

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