“I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

Friday, December 31, 2010


The moth on the bathroom door
is so tiny, and has such a short life —
why should I shorten it further?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Did you know?

Joseph brings his 15-year-old grandson to visit.
‘Did you know your Pop was a writer?’ I say.

‘Did you know he makes beautiful boats?’ the boy asks.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baby Face

We sit in the waiting room,
silently angry with each other.
A blue-eyed, gurgling baby
stares and we both smile.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Son and Father

He reminds his father
of an old hurt.

'You're still doing that!
Maybe you can't change,
maybe it's too late.'

'Maybe it is,' his father says,
trying to conceal his hurt.

Monday, December 27, 2010


After weeks of rain
my basil plant
grows big and bold
like a tree.

The other herbs
fall over
and trail weakly
along the ground.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Stepson's Visit

He leaves his keys on the table
casually, where he chucked them —
he is feeling at ease and at home.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Still not the exquisite couplet

The kid in the street
jumps on his dad with a yell.

‘I don’t know about him,’ I say,
‘You scared me!’

He grins. ‘He was scared!’
I’m not the one who matters.

(Too long? Goldurn it, maybe there's no right or wrong way to do this, and this is just how I do them.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Gold moon
low and bright,
with the curved shadow
halfway across.

We didn’t wait
out in the cold.

It was so quick,
when we looked again
the moon was bright white
high and full.

Today the first image
still floats in my mind.

But this is about paying attention for (only) a moment. Not quite the same as capturing the moment. That's all right; I am practising during December. By January, I'll be doing better. I like the desctription od small stones at inkseeds — and the examples there — and shall try for that rather than what I've been doing.  Meanwhile this poem can stay here now it's up, but I know it doesn't really belong so I'm also posting it at my main poetry blog.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Early morning

Two Indian mynahs
in our tree
wake and preen their feathers,
then fly off for breakfast
as if they own the place.

Soft Sunset

The moon almost full.
Soft sunset.
One bird in the tree.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I open the door ...

I open the door late
and it's still light out:
Midsummer shining palely
through cold rain.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Small Town Shopping

Saturday morning
this close to Christmas,
everyone’s out on Main Street.
I meet half a dozen in turn
who stop for a chat and a hug.

There are some
who don’t want to be stopped.
Their eyes look inwards
or down; they have
an invisible veil around them.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Becoming Available

Deciding to 'be available', as Fiona says, seems to have planted a subconscious suggestion. I notice it is starting to happen, taking me by surprise.  I have managed a couple of meditations, but I wouldn't have thought them sufficient yet.

Yesterday, while driving, I was suddenly struck by the look of the weeds by the river — a detail about them which I'd never noticed before. And I wasn't seeking small stones just then; I was focused on driving.

The hedge of weeds
between river and road
is tesselated.
Thick and crinkly,
its darkness ripples.

Today I was eager for the first sight of ocean when I visited the coast, but the way it apeared surprised me. Perhaps surprise is a feature of small stones?

The sky is sea today
air blue and ocean grey.

And finally I saw:

On my windscreen
three raindrops,
brushed upward
by the headwind,
form a fan.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Going within

Fiona tells us there are three ways to approach the finding of small stones. The first, and by implication best, is 'become available'. 'Tune into the world' she says, and more. And I realise it is time to start meditating again,. Well, it was always time; we'd all be better for meditating daily. But this reason might be enough to make me actually do it! By going within, we become more present thereafter to the world around us.

Meanwhile, does something we see in a networking site count as part of the world,  or did she really mean the natural world? Anyway, I noticed it — and needed a double gogyohka to tell the whole of it:

In his LiveJournal he presents
clichés like ‘poor but happy’
quoted from an old novel,
and the disturbing thought
that they might still be current today.

He comforts us with a picture
of rocks at the edge of a stream
topped with moss,
dotted with lichen,
and, in a crevice, red leaves.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I read him my verse.
‘What’s that got to do with stones?’
He is getting old.

Not Waiting for January

I cant wait; I want to practise now.

I think the idea is to communicate the small stones as vividly and succinctly as possible. They don't have to take any particular form. However, I like making verses, so I'm going to try it that way. There are a number of short forms to play with, and then there's free verse. So here we go! (If you were expecting beautiful evocations of nature, think again.)

My feet ache,
not from too much walking
but long sitting.

Monday, December 13, 2010

What's this all about?

You've heard of NaMoWriMo. Introducing (drumroll.....) NaSmaStoMo!

For the month of January, Fiona Robyn asks people to join her in writing a short piece of writing each day for the whole month, and blogging it either on their usual blog or a new one (or in a notebook if they're shy).

Find out more at her new blog,  A River of Stones, and please help spread the word by tweeting and sharing the link on Facebook and emailing your might-be-up-for-it friends.

Fiona says: Don't worry about whether you're a 'writer' or not - this project will help you to connect with the world, and we could all do with a bit more of that. Start the year as you mean to go on.

So are you in?

Obviously, I am. Can hardly wait until January.  :)

Note: Fiona later chnaged hername to Satya Robyn