This month I took part in a mindful writing challenge to write a “small stone” every day. I did not manage every day, and some were not good/interesting at all, but here are the best ones.

I did find it hard and did not work on them or polish them at all – I just had to write them and not worry about whether they could be better or I knew I would not have the energy/will to do it at all. It has been a hard month! On the plus side, some of them remind me of the better times and take me right back to being in that moment.

31 December 2012

Crows rising up,
Blowing apart
And regrouping in
A buffeted dance.
The taste of ginger
In my mouth.
The creak of the house
In the wind.

1 January 2013

Waves chasing forwards while
The wind blows them back
And the spray rises in the
Brightest forceful sparkling.
A large gull stands by the
Water’s edge, and others sweep past,
Over the beach;
Bright, with lines of water,
Shining wet sand and
Dark seaweed and rocks.
I can hear the waves in the distance,
Feel the cold wind on my hands,
But also the sun,
Warm on my face
Sheltered in my hood.
The wind is audible too,
Behind louder intermittent cars,
Shouts of people and dogs.

2 January

Strips of light and cloud catch my eye.
Dark greyish purple over pink
As the day ends, so winter-early
And yet it has felt so long.
Only now am I able to do
Some of the things I need to
After a bad night’s sleep.
I am glad to feel able now
And glad I have not missed this sky.

6 January

The smell of seaweed at my feet, and smoke.
The sound of the Sea King helicopter
That hovers low over the silvery water in the distance.
The sky looks like sunset, yet it is midday.
Smudged pastels and soft greys allowing light to filter through
To touch the waves and follow them as they roll towards the estuary.

~~

Waves so silver and bright
They make the white crests
Which break over them look dull:
Pyramids of light
Travelling towards shore.

8 January

An unexpected surge of gratitude
As my partner comes home
After such a hard day:
A day so full of discomfort
And where everything felt
So much of a struggle
That I did not expect to feel gratitude
For anything.

13 January

Extra carrots cooked for me at teatime
Waiting in a plastic tub with a blue lid for me
To reheat with my microwave lunch tomorrow.
How happy and glad I am to know you are there,
Waiting for me!

14 January

Snow is falling.
I fix my gaze on the hedge in the distance
And watch as my eyes are bombarded by flakes:
Large ones with lots of space between them
Right outside my window,
And smaller tighter flurries seen in the distance.
It is very calming and reminds me of childhood.

15 January

Under the ice-cold darkening sky at dusk,
Two girls, one taller than the other,
Set off across the snowy field
Carrying large, bright red sledges.

18 January

Watching people walking in the snow.
How does it feel?
Can I remember?
The sting of cold and ice hitting my face,
The blood pumping in my legs,
Breath laboured, and a
Feeling of exhilaration.

19 January

Gulls fly like they are shavings of the grey sky.
They are almost invisible on this dull day,
Save for their sharp edges
Tilting through space.

20 January

Pink grapefruit tang with an almost sherbet-like feel in the mouth.
How interesting to taste something really new and different as I start my 36th year.
I have never had sorbet like this before!

26 January

A drop of water clings to the tap,
Sun shining through it.
As I move I notice it turn dazzling red,
So I move from side to side and see
Intense purple, fresh leaf green and bright yellow too.
I move again and it is back to white light: rainbow gone.

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In December we did CJT7 – an easy little bit of writing each week on a theme. I have been reading over them and they seem quite personal, a bit like a dialogue between us, so I thought I might just post a couple to give you blog readers a taster, but keep the rest private…

Here is what we wrote for “something beautiful”:

Rachael:

Winter is

Something beautiful to me

Most especially the clear and cold starry nights

With crispy glittering frost underfoot

And a coldness that makes me feel  brightly awake

Me:

A pheasant on the lawn:

Visiting dignitary.

The gravitas of a peacock

Beautiful feathers

Golden Rust

Green and white neck

Red face.

So plump and regal, with

Strong tail feathers out behind.

Shame, to be reminded of silly hats.

I can now share with you my poem “TEN”, because the book people do not want to publish it. I don’t mind, i can’t expect my first effort to be successful and i am still happy with it, even if it’s no masterpiece! Maybe it being about M.E. is a bit predictable but they do say write about what you know, don’t they? I enjoyed writing it and working on it/editing it, which took some time. I have never really changed a poem or worked on it much before, or written anything with a particular title or theme and that was a learning process which i think will help me next time.

 

TEN

 

A decade, I say, though I try not to count;

But every time I do go out:

Hello, so nice to meet you!

What do you do?

I don’t. I’m unwell.

Oh, but you really can’t tell…

 

How long has it been for you?

Since I turned twenty two.

You were so young! Just making a start –

It must have really broken your heart?

 

Yes. And now it breaks again:

I never thought then

That I’d look back now and count to ten.

 

 

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ahem… announcing a new regular “column” to this blog… “Word of the Weak!”

(it won’t be every week you see, as i shall wait for inspiration and energy to blog it)

I shall say where i heard the word, what it means and then maybe create a new sentence using the word!

So the word is:

GNARLY

as heard on BBC1 on Sunday lunchtime in the programme “Countryfile”. John Craven was up in the snowy Cairngorm mountains in Scotland and was discussing with a woman what species of animals and plants could survive in that cold alpine climate. The woman was showing some tiny little plants to John and described them as having to be GNARLY to survive there!

The dictionary says:

gnarl 1. n. a twisted knotty outgrowth on a tree  2. v.t. to twist, contort

gnarled adj. twisted and knobby

The way the woman used it was more as a description of their personality and tenacity rather than their actual knobbliness, which is what i liked when i heard it so i am taking it more in this way in my own sentence:

The gnarly rock did not flinch as wave after wave crashed over it, sculpting soft shapes and persistently revealing its insides.