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A Handful of Small Stones

Last January I joined a number of other writers in a month-long Mindful Writing Challenge hosted by Writing Our Way Home, where each day participants wrote a Small Stone – that is, “a short piece of writing that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment” – and shared it with the group (and, in my case, here on Alphabet Salad).

I really appreciated and enjoyed the opportunity, so since the challenge didn’t take place again this year (so disappointing!) I thought I’d gather the Small Stones I wrote last January and offer them here once again. Hope you find (or rediscover, if you saw them the first time!) a few that you enjoy.

Small Stones

Day 1

Monochrome sky in soft silken grey
Filigree of black-lace branches
Plush white cape of velvet snow draped

Day 2

Pan sizzles, silverware tinkles, dishes clatter
He sings silly songs and chatters at the cats
And dinner is served.

Day 3

Angel’s hair, purest white
Pink-padded paws, softest touch
Love-lit eyes, sweetest heart

Day 4

Two sparkling glass Mason jars,
shiny screw-top lids,
handfuls of small polished pebbles.
One cradles nurtured hope…
the other, celebrated progress.

Day 5

Stark dark roughness transformed
Softened, brightened
Spiky branches blunted, festooned with plump cottonball clumps

Day 6

crystalline feathers
fairy-etched with a brush of ice-tipped bristles
a chill breath of frost to freeze them in place

Day 7

cocooned in fragrant comfort
warm silken water, coconut-and-lime-scented steam
then
stop
curtain harshly yanked
chilled onrush of ice-cold air
shiver

Day 8

metal stack puffing white smoke dissipates merging with baby blue sky

Day 9

December air
moisture-depleted, electricity-drenched
every touch a spark

Day 10

splotches of caramel and butterscotch
chocolate brown edged with marshmallow white
sweet mama cat

Day 11

icicles, grip loosened, liquescent
dripping, dropping
puddle-forming
thaw

Day 12

Sunday afternoon
soft somnolent hush
dream-beckoning couch, warm blanket, curled-up cats
naptime

Day 13

featureless, nothing-coloured sky
dirty mounds of melting snow exposes limp, winter-dead grass
even the birds look depressed

Day 14

crunchy peanut butter
stash of baking sundries in snap-top glass jars
flour-smudged nose, warm oven, parchment-lined baking sheets
and the sweet promise of cookies

Day 15

Who would think that a small cardboard box
left between screen and door after hurried rap of notification
could contain so much joy?

Day 16

try to squeeze and twist and wring that stone
the only blood that drips will be your own

Day 17

fresh snowfall, or
sun-sparkling fairy glitter?

Day 18

Shopping mall, busy Saturday
Harried parents trailed by small beings
crying, whining, coat-tugging, foot-stomping
“Buy me one!”
“Why can’t I?”
“You never let me have anything!”
And I smile to myself, utterly content
As I walk back to my car
Alone

Day 19

pinned in place, warm beneath the bedcovers
held by three furry four-legged hostage-takers
a welcome imprisonment

Day 20

not sure what I expected
when the well-weathered mailbox lid
creaks open with a rusty grind
and nothing of import is revealed

Day 21

rooftops like so many iced cakes
frosted with a layer of snow crystals

but the days have lengthened
five pm, sun-pinked clouds in a newborn blue sky

Spring can’t be far away

Day 22

early morning wakeup call
jingle bell rolls melodically across the bamboo floor
as two kittens play

Day 23

a memory:
sharp-bladed, white leather skates
frigid rink, breath visible as puffs of steam
hot chocolate, creamy-sweet, scalding my tongue

Day 24

from my window
bland winter palette of grey, brown, white
punctuated by the pop of a cheery orange door.

Day 25

Snow-reflected winter sun beam through the skylight
Bathes my closed, drowsy eyes in soft warmth
Turns the dreamy world behind my vision to radiant red-gold.

Day 26

thoughts and words scatter and swirl
like pink spring blossoms that fall and spiral in a playful wind
and cannot be collected or contained

Day 27

blue skies
blue eyes
blue mood
blue moon

Day 28

let’s eat a bowlful of summer:
cherry tomatoes cut into juicy halves
torn leaves of green lettuce
crisp yellow peppers, thinly sliced

let’s eat a bowlful of summer,
close our eyes,
and pretend
it’s not January.

Day 29

every morning, clockwork ritual
vertical blinds fly open with a dramatic whoosh
three cats converge, jockey for position on the sofa back
the perfect spot to watch the world go by

Day 30

three wise monkeys
elbow to elbow, knee to knee, tails entwined
speaking, hearing, seeing no evil

Day 31

mind-heart-thought snippets
gathered, shaped, polished
a humble handful:
thirty-one small stones

Did you find a favourite Small Stone?
Please share!

NaBloPoMo January 2015
Write Tribe
/

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

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