What are small stones?

What are Small Stones?

Small stones are an observed moment,
written down. My small stones were initially inspired by the River of Stones
project each January, which sees hundreds of people observing a moment or
experience in their day and writing it down for the month. They can then be
shared on blogs, Facebook, Twitter or just written in a notebook, on a pebble,
the loo roll... To find out more about the flow of this simple movement to bring
more presence and awareness into our lives, check out the following link:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

How Bright The Moon!

I was just thinking how bright the moon!
How clear and full of stars, the sky tonight.

When I saw the ambulance in the road,
a curtain being drawn.

And I remembered how instantly
the universe can change course, implode.

Leaving us stumbling in the dark.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hello February! Happy Imbolc!

Well, I didn't quite make it through the last few days of the Small Stones January challenge, coming to an abrupt halt on the 26th! Which doesn't mean that my days have been suddenly empty of moments and unobserved. All those observations and moments just never made into the shape of words on a page so just kind of floated back into the flow of time.

Today we celebrated Imbolc, the first day of Spring. I see Imbolc as that time of late pregnancy when what is growing in the darkness is just under the surface waiting to be nurtured into life. So there's still cold weather and dormancy, but there's also the stirrings of awakening and birth to come. There are snowdrops and narcissi blooming already in my garden and on our walk at Milton Common today we saw buds on the trees and the pointed green shoots from where bulbs have been planted.

My 'small stone' moment appeared when I stood at the edge of the lake and a coot responded to me by climbing up out of the water...

Thick webbed feet striding towards me
boldly and purposefully.
I turn quickly to check the dog
is distracted in the grasses,
and we exchange greetings
before you turn back to the water
and I walk on, feeling something
special passed between us there.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Small Stone #26

Observing the fervent flow of people through the foyer,

seeing how they diverge for the man carefully

sculpting his hair in the main door's reflection,

and steer around the couple practicing their

rock, everybody, let's rock.

So, Elvis is alive and well in Portsmouth

while I sit lonesome tonight down on sweets

(except for the bear).



Friday, January 25, 2013

Small Stone #25

Getting off the computer,
just as soon as I find the right words
to say how this moment contains
only thoughts of a warm bed, sleep,
and gratitude. There, that'll do!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Small Stone #24

OhMyGod! OhMyGod! OhMyGod! Nick Park!
OhMyGod! OhMyGod! OhMyGod! Peter Lord!
Here! Now! My son SO EXCITED! Biggest smile ever...
"I don't think you know how important this is to me"
I think I probably do have a bit of an idea!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Small Stone # 23

Sprays of water fly across the path,
a blackbird splashing his whole body,
shiny wings shaking so vigorously
he leaves hardly any in the puddle.
Freezing bite to the air
but his bath-time energy
makes me stop and smile,
makes it feel like Spring.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Small Stone #22

The seed of an idea taking root
growing faster than my hands can write the words
of a plan forming which is already throwing up shoots
and leaves... not stopping to work out just how much
feeding and attentive cultivation it will want from me!
Oh dear, here I go again, sabotaging my chances
of taking it easy, being idle, doing nothing.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Small Stone #21

Shredded paper all over the floor
next to the dog who sits like a statue,
except for her big eyes following me carefully
trying to work out my next move,
while I decide whether to be angry or not.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Small Stone #20

Making this call to offer invitation, encouragement,
life has more to offer if you step out to meet it...come with me.
Having to accept that all I can do is make the offering,
much as I want to I cannot force the door open
or push you through it, hearing 'no' is understanding
you have a choice and I'm doing the best I can,
but this is your journey and I put down the phone.
It has started snowing again and the dog needs walking.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Small Stone #19

The dog running down the hill chasing the sledge
tail wagging and invigorated with icy joy
never tiring it seems from being this happy
his family laughing as they roll over in the snow.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Small Stone #18

Standing in this open field, snow falling softly,
settling on me, on earth, these trees, old woods,
here only for now. Only for now, this land
belonging to us: me, these gentle people, birds,
badgers deep under the hard ground.
For now it all pauses, snow falls
as if in slow motion, everything is held just as it is.
Safe. Standing here at the scene of the crime,
while it has not yet happened, trees still standing,
as if there still could be wisdom in the world,
as if there still could be hope.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Small Stone #17

Folding love and strength and solidarity
in with the almonds and apricots of this cake...
A sprinkle of magic to warm them in the icy branches
a grating of protection for when the bailiffs come.
Several drops of courage for when the saws begin.
May the metal-toothed blades dissolve
peacefully into the snow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Small Stone #16

Deeply ice-veined leaves crunching underfoot,
hardened earth laced with silver,
feet cosy and warm in my new snow-boots :-)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Small Stone #15

Pottering in the kitchen getting lunch,
son strumming on the guitar in the next room,
his voice moving me to a sweet soft place,
Heard there was a secret chord...
The dog coming over to cough up the crap
I watched her eat in the park earlier,
You don't really care for our rugs do ya...
A cat bathing on the shed roof in the sunlight
as if it isn't close to freezing, I see the snowdrops
are in bud, the neighbour putting her rubbish out,
life just being ordinary and moment by moment,
this is how we are composing hallelujah...


Monday, January 14, 2013

Small Stone #14

Irritation seeping through the cracks where the mind's dam is breaking...We all have too much to do already and still I'm trying to figure out how I can take just a day to help people who are trying to save trees.

Trying to force the pieces into our jigsaw.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Small Stone #13

Watching candlelit shadow patterns
of our arms on the ceiling as we dance,
flower petals closing and opening.
Breathing in the gentleness and peace
and the smell of this year's first hyacinth.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Small Stone #12

Neck crunching like gravel as I look around
after a whole day staring at this screen.
I suddenly remember I have a body
that needs water; to stretch; a break!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Small Stone #11 With thanks to the brilliantly loud Daisy, nearly 8!

Again and again and again and again
and just when we think we can speak,
she's even louder again and again and again,
and again and again, so we give up for a while,
surrender to her voice filling all the spaces,
and Stu opens another bottle of beer!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Small Stone #10

A sick feeling makes me want to sleep, slow down, contract my energy.
But this beautiful geek has got my attention with his impassioned interest,
"I've prepared a presentation if you have time?" Yes...thank you!
The universe expanding and the mysteries of dark energy accelerating
everything apparently, while we talk. And I'm suddenly conscious
of the old wooden floorboards of this ship's deck beneath my feet,
and the trees they once were, growing their roots slowly down into the Earth.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Small Stone #9 (possibly grown a bit too long and becoming something else?)

Trying not to look at the clock
yet so conscious of time,
the slow tread along the desk lines
these education front lines,
air charged with the struggle
of young minds retrieving
what they think is required,
battling nerves and whatever
other demons they carry.
Some confidently writing
all these long minutes away
into a future they trust is theirs.
There is time enough for me
to wonder about each one of them,
about what their lives will be like
ten, twenty, years from now
and if our world will be kinder then
to children, not least freeing
the imagination from its capture.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Small Stone #8

Curling sliver of crescent moon
in the morning darkness
just before the dawn.
We stand still, barely visible,
one of us nose downward
sniffing in the earth.
The other, nose upward
breathing in the humbling
brilliance of the stars.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Small Stone #7

Sketching together at the table
with our best pencils,
talking about shapes and colours,
about what inspires us and what doesn't,
and how we wish we could draw like Chloe!

(Note: Chloe is our lovely friend in Cornwall who is an incredibly awesome artist.)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Small stone #6

She moves to be next to me
each time I move.
Needing to feel her body
in contact with mine.
I reach to touch my hand,
stroke her soft warm belly.
She stretches a leg and sighs.
I never get over this -
how simple yet incredible,
and ultimately how unimportant
the difference in our species.
And how purely
Love can be shared.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Small Stone #5

The roar of cars displaced by hundreds of geese
chattering over breakfast in the mudflats.
Early dogs sniffing through seaweed
excited by what the tide has left.
Offering up my face to the fine mist of the rain
eyes feasting on the soft colours of reeds, pebbles, boats...


Will remember to take my camera next time! Just had my phone with me today to take these pics.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Small Stone #4

Metal blades gliding on ice,
laughing red cheeks.
Above, gulls gliding across
the empty grey rink of the sky.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Be Quiet!

A boy unable to sleep
is singing in the next room
keeping me awake.
I lay in bed torn between
annoyance and cherishing,
noting how annoyance brings guilt
and cherishing brings bittersweet
awareness of change.
And that's how easily I slip
out of this moment,
into looking back at it
through imaginary future eyes,
tinted with fear of loss.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On the way home from work...

Another flapping umbrella
dumped in a hedge
catching my eye.

Unhooking the black fabric
it becomes bats wings, crows feathers
waiting to fly.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First Day of January Small Stones Writing Challenge 2013!

Sharpness of stone,
iciness of water,
dog barking at our cries.

Here where you died,
we are being so alive
and suddenly I know,
this is the best way
to honour you.