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A River of Stones

January 31, 2011

Peat Stream, Burley Moor

For the past month I’ve been participating in a project curated by Fiona Robyn and Kaspa called A River of Stones. As Fiona explains, “a small stone is a polished moment of paying attention.” A River of Stones asks people to write a small stone each day during January 2011. The project appealed to me as I thought it meshed quite well with the micropoetry writing style that I’ve developed on Twitter, which tends to be initiated by a small observation from the world around me. It also concides with my embarking on a Blipfoto journal, which is similarly based around small observations. The sensory prompts for my observations tend to be predominantly visual or aural.

I’ve been tweeting and blipping my small stones since the beginning of January. This entry is just a convenient way of putting them all in one place, and seeing them as a whole.  Reflecting on the outcome, I’m not sure that I’ve adjusted my writing or observational style sufficiently to the AROS brief, but I do see a distinction between these as a group and some of my other poems where I more explicitly add some symbolism to the description.  I’ve focused on the aspect of paying attention, rather than looking for things that are necessarily of beauty.  The entries reflect my oscillation between the urban and the wild in my daily life – something enacted literally in my commute from the edge of the moor to the heart of the city.

01/01/11  –  Crows and Gulls

crows and gulls

 circling the moor

 changing places

same as always

 always different


02/01/01  –  Four Boots


brittle like glass

stamped on

by four

little boots


03/01/11  –  Cold Air

cold air

 fills the void

 left by the cat

 as I let him



04/01/11  –  Foraging


of long-tailed tits


 at the station

half-light silhouettes


05/01/11   –  Iceberg 



 next to the icebox


 to iceberg


06/01/11  –  Bradford Pagoda

church spire


layered planks

 and steel

 chinese pagoda


07/01/11 – Snow Gorse

snow falling softly

 impaled by gorse javelins

a golden flower


08/01/11 – Meltwater Pool



in a meltwater pool

grass grows through



09/01/11  –  Spiked Turf

spiked turf

cheesegrater pattern

rough fairway 


10/01/11  –  Black Ice

as my feet

sailed past my nose

I noticed

black ice



11/01/11  –  Half Moon

half moon

white sail

deep blue


of sky


12/01/11  –  Struggling to Notice


through tiredness

to notice something

my laptop and fridge



13/01/11  –  Winter Midges

fine rain


with the sunshine

a cloud

of midges


14/01/11  –  Syncopated

rhythmic sounds

of the city

at night

stars flicker



15/01/11  –  Gulls

black eyed gulls


 summer plumage


16/01/11  – Boiler

boiler flares

 pipes knock

hot water


17/01/11  –  Cutting Edge

cutting edge


slice the sky

in two

steel water light


18/01/11  –  Lunar Corona

translucent cloud

diffracting lunar light

rainbow rings


golden egg


19/01/11  – Contrail Comet


lit by a full moon


across the sky

like a comet


20/01/11  –  Ash Keys

cold night wind

ash keys

clink softly

deep inside

moonlight shadows


21/01/11  –  Cat Purring

cat purring

trilling voice

of a thousand crickets


22/01/11  –  Rest in Pieces

past lives


carved stone

gathering moss

rest in pieces


23/01/11  –  Hiss of Tyres

serpentine wind


hiss of tyres

on wet roads

into my ears


24/01/11  –  Brush Strokes



 on a blue canvas


25/01/11  –  Wet Stone

circle of wet stone

a mirror

to the sky

rain clouds



26/01/11  –  Walking at Night

walking at night

headlamps race up

from behind

my shadow

runs past


27/01/11  –  Shadow Tree II

shadow tree


arms aloft


with the sun


28/01/11  –  Walking at Night

walking at night

headlamps race up

from behind

my shadow

runs past


29/01/11  –  Bright Winter Day

bright winter day

 on the moor

 rich colours

 grass trees sky

 swaying together


30/01/11  –  Boots

on frozen ground

my boots



31/01/11  –  Frozen Vomit

monday morning street

 a pool of frozen vomit

 pigeons break their fast


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