Saturday, 1 February 2014

Friday, 31st January

I place a stone
on top of the cairn
breathless but content.


About writing small stones this month:
I’ve found the practice to be a four-fold challenge. First, there was the challenge of paying proper attention. Then, once I’d made a mental note of which things that day had jolted me into wakefulness, came the challenge of choosing which of them to write about. Next I had the challenge of working out what it was I wanted to say. Finally there was the challenge of choosing the words I wanted to use to say it. On most days I struggled with one or more of these challenges. On a few days, like today, I struggled with all of them. I’ve managed to write a small stone every day this month, although some of them are a bit ‘cheaty’, because the writing isn’t really observational.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Thursday, 30th January

I was wearing this jacket 
when my husband told me, 
'We can't be together any more'. 
It's black,
but down the lapels and around the cuffs
pastel rose buds are blooming.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Wednesday, 29th January

getting to know silence
is like peeling away
the layers of an onion

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Tuesday, 28th January

flying home at dusk
heard but not seen
a skein of geese

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Monday, 27th January

in the copse at the back of the car park
a heap of clothing, plastic bags and fluttering silver foil
a stench that flips my guts
a realisation that flips my heart

Monday, 27 January 2014

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Saturday, 25th January

I listen to an audiobook on my phone.
The cat is perplexed by the person in my pocket.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Friday, 24th January

Beneath the ancient abbey gate
people come and go
like snowflakes in June.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Thursday, 23rd January

I enter my silent flat
the most beautiful sound
still ringing in my ears - 
the laughter of friends.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Wednesday, 22nd January

what could be rarer than
these blood-red jewels
faceted like an insect's eye
raspberries in January

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tuesday, 21st January

on top of the wall
stalks sprout
from hummocks of moss
like pampas grass
on sand dunes

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Monday, 20th January

Small stone number 1


Watashi wa Nihon o mawashi teru
Watashi wa Nihon o mawashite iru to omou
Watashi wa hontōni sō omou

I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

This small stone was brought to you by The Vapors and Google Translate.

Small stone number 2

today my muse
has her eyes closed
her tongue out
and her fingers in her ears

Monday, 20 January 2014

Sunday, 19th January

on the black slate floor
a chunk of white gravel
today's small stone

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Saturday, 18th January

with my tongue 
I hold a piece of dark chocolate 
against the roof of my mouth 
and rub slowly 
back and forth
back and forth
spiced chilli

Friday, 17 January 2014

Friday, 17th January

the full moon's anguished face
peeks out from a trailing veil of cloud
a runaway bride

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Thursday, 16th January

today's weather report:
wet pawprints on the coffee table

Wednesday, 15th January

bindweed creeps along the washing line
reaching for one bleached blue peg

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Tuesday, 14th January

When the call comes I'm on my yoga mat in supta baddha konasana – supine, knees apart, soles of my feet together, with a strap holding my legs in place. I start fumbling with the buckle on the strap and there it is again; loud and insistent. I swear (unyogically), extricate myself gracelessly from the strap (doubly unyogically), and stumble across the room (triply unyogically) to answer the call – a cat on the wrong side of the door.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Monday, 13th January

a mysterious sound
from the damp, dark garden:
raindrops bouncing off the lid of the barbecue?
or a band of reggae mice tap dancing on steel drums?

Monday, 13 January 2014

Sunday, 12th January

a rhythmic squeaking of bedsprings
from the flat upstairs –
in the library of my mind
I trawl through the section labelled
ancient history

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Saturday, 11th January

from inside a tangle of branches
hugging a red brick wall
a robin sings
a love song to the sun

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Friday, 10th January

Raindrops rap a message on the window:
This is your life
and this
and this
and this –
pay attention!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Thursday, 9th January

The sky is an ebony table.
The moon, a rice bowl
knocked over by a cat.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Wednesday, 8th January

this water
warming my hands 
through rubber gloves
smells like a lemon grove
on a summer's evening

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Three impressions from an evening walk

a Mother Goose moon above cobbled streets
the scent of woodsmoke


a stranger's smile
fills my heart with helium


as I walk under a streetlamp
an unseen thrush
fast-forwards the dawn

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Monday, 6th January

Tiger-coated, he prowls outside the window,
broad paws padding the ground,
shoulder muscles rippling;
around his neck
a heart-shaped tag reads 'Bubbles'.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Number two

It stands alone on the street corner, perfectly rectangular, its front door central and bright blue, its square windows evenly spaced, its roof featureless apart from a chimney at one end. A child's drawing brought to life.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Saturday, 4th January

in a white bowl
tapestry red and parchment yellow

lighter than snowflakes
crisper than autumn leaves

petals from the last roses
I ever gave my mother

Through the window, 6 am

against a blackboard sky
chalked with stars
a flock of gulls

Friday, 3 January 2014

Work, interrupted

I open the door to a blast of cold air and a Van de Graaff cat.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Wednesday, 1st January 2014

in the winter-stripped
wind-whipped garden 
a flash of colour
one red rosebud

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

What next?

I've really enjoyed the experience of writing a small stone every day during January. Many thanks to Fiona and Kaspa over at Writing Our Way Home for their inspiration and encouragement.

I've never taken part in a daily writing challenge before (although I've just completed a year-long photo-a-day project, which is similar). I found, to my surprise, that I was almost never at a loss for a subject to write about, but I often (okay, make that 'almost always') struggled with the best way of putting my observations into words. I'm pleased with some of the results I managed to cobble together, and embarrassed by others. But I'm not going to tell you which. ;-P

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A good day

She tilts her chin upwards slightly, and looks at me through half-closed eyes. It's always a good day when you've been smiled at by a cat.

Monday, 30 January 2012


driving on a summer afternoon
hot leather under my hands
cold air on my feet

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sea change

A salt tang wind blowing through poplars brings the echo of waves breaking on the shore.

Saturday, 28 January 2012


A tiny spider is struggling to climb the North Face of the bathroom sink. I airlift her to safety.

Friday, 27 January 2012


a sunny evening, a sudden downpour
arcing up from a neighbour's field
the end of a rainbow

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Untitled 3

in the draft from an open window
a loose ball of cat hair
tumbleweeds across the floor

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


a cream coloured horse
with brown spots on its hindquarters:
evidence of a graffiti artist
surprised by police?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Untitled 2

kissed by summer evening light
even this cow pat
is beautiful