Small stones

This page is for my “small stones” – short pieces of writing inspired by Kaspalita and Satya Robyn. I often scribble odd sentences down on scraps of paper. Sometimes they make it into a notebook or onto the computer, sometimes they disappear again. I fiddle about with the original fragment until either it feels complete or becomes leaden. Some posts are recycled Tweets.

This is a work in progress – I’ll add new stones and change old ones when the mood takes me. Most recent first.

If you particularly like one of my small stones and want to use it either as a direct quotation or as inspiration for your own work, I’d appreciate an acknowledgement.


9 November 2017 A cold grey day enlivened by half a dozen jackdaws and uncountable starlings swooping and swirling over the rooftops, landing and taking off, being avian.

7 April 2016
Patches of lichen on roofs opposite my house shine like cloths of gold in bright evening light that streams through gaps in the dark clouds.

17 September 2014
Lying on my bed listening to long-tailed tits whistling & cheeping in the garden is as good a use of a fine autumn day as any other.

15 September 2014 I live near enough to the church to hear bell-ringing practice & far enough away to make it a pleasurable sound.

6 August 2014 Autumn pleasures: the richness of the light as the sun gets lower in the sky. Crisp dewy mornings, spider’s webs, the scent of leaves.
(With thanks to Katie Willis)

6 July 2014 The rain-wet garden is full of delicious scents. Earth and wood, leaves and hay, fruit and flowers.

1 June 2014 Sitting in weak sunshine sipping my morning cocoa and thinking about going to buy a Sunday paper I notice that I am perfectly happy.
2 February 2014 A bright sliver of silver moon hangs in the navy rain-cleared sky.

4 December 2013
Yellowing fruits on the leafless apple tree gleam in a shaft of sunlight against a backdrop of moody sky.

4 October 2013
Fat spiders spin sticky garlands to decorate the autumn garden.

15 September 2013 Sitting at the kitchen table, drinking tea, writing stuff, listening to the wind and rain rage in the dark outside. I’m happy.

25 August 2013

Excellent things

Poetry Please
Sunshine and a cooling breeze
The sound of my pencil on paper
A cup of cocoa
And a slice of almond cake.

(Poetry Please is a BBC Radio 4 programme that is broadcast at 16:30 on Sunday afternoons)

17 August 2013 On the Downs autumn announces herself in spider’s webs, dewy grass, harvested fields, ripening blackberries, rusting leaves on a horse chestnut.

13 June 2013 In the clear half-light of evening a seagull soars towards the moon.

23 May 2013 Lit by early morning sun, the blossom-clad apple tree billows like a sail in the wind.

10 May 2013 The blossom on the apple tree is at the rich pink bud stage – all tightly furled potential. May the weather be kind as the flowers unfold.

From my notebooks, undated:

Watering garden tubs in the cool of summer evening wrapped in the heady musky sweetness of perfume surrounding the bright white nicotiana flowers.

Nicotiana flowers gleam chalk white in the summer evening light.

Sitting quietly in the darkening garden as a summer evening cools. The air is heavy with the sweet musky scent of tall white nicotiana, the sky deep sapphire blue.

A soft-edged October wind is blowing a race of copper bronze leaves along the street.

A bright dance of wind-fuelled tawny leaves lights the grey October street.

In October the pavements are garlanded with ragged ribbons of copper leaves.

Ragged garlands of copper leaves edging the paths that cross the park.

It’s raining so hard the puddles are blowing bubbles.

Hearing the chimes of the ice-cream van my mind flickers with scenes from childhood.

The chimes of the ice-cream van start a slideshow of scenes from childhood in my mind.

Sparrows tumble like falling leaves through the empty branches of the apple tree towards the feeder.

The crumpled sea swells and shifts like a duvet moved by tired lovers.

Hot sharpness of raw fresh ginger bites my tongue.

The hours drag across the day like slugs, leaving slime in their wake.

A few treasured times a year the wind changes direction to bring the briny scent of the sea to my open windows.

November beauty is pale shades of grey with berry and leaf highlights.

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