Monthly Archives: November 2012

Small kindnesses


Small Kindnesses is a book by Fiona Robyn which is free to download on kindle today as it is relaunched with its new name. Reading this same book when it was first published introduced me to Fiona’s blog, and her idea of writing “small stones”. Find out more at her website Writing Our Way Home.

As part of her blog splash we are all writing about small kindnesses. Kindness is such an important part of life, and many spiritual traditions. But sometimes we can overlook it, take it for granted, or even find it difficult to receive.

My contemplation of the small kindnesses I receive on a daily basis leads me to one special person in my life – one who is so faithful in his thoughtful and practical love.

Small Kindnesses

They are just that –
And so might seem

Early morning tea, help with tyres,
Hoovering while I’m out, putting out the bins.
Cooking, shopping, washing up,
Clearing gutters, mowing lawns.
Holding me when work is tough,
Children small, and children grown,
Being there through thick and thin,
In times of health and not.

Warm daily expressions
Of faithful supportive love,
A thirty year accumulation
Which is the opposite of small…

Thank you, Steve.


To a bare beech

Here are reaching fingers,
clutching brittle, dying remains.
Here are silvered arms,
rain sluiced and wind tossed.
Where skeletal shoulders
bare their shame and
bear the winter of Creation.
Here is the moss stroked body,
Here is the straight formed trunk,
Here is the inner downward thrust
To roots deep underground.
Where something unknown
wants to live.

This poem is unashamedly another “exercise” from John Fox (see last post), based on the format of a poem by David Wiley.
Same tree as last post too, another exploration of metaphor, and perhaps an expression of my mood at the moment.



I am an autumn tree.20121110-110916.jpg
My strong black skeleton,
Dark arms branching
Into twiggy tangles of fragile fingers,
Is swathed in leaves
Still green with sap,
Soft, flexible
They hold firm.

But ageing now
Dry, leathery and yellowing
Burnished with the brown of death
They cling less
And thin into a sprinkling
Which f l u t t e r s away
Leaving me

A combination of the view from my window, and how I am feeling at the moment. Sorry if it seems morbid, but perhaps it is the season. November is the month when I tick off another year on the calendar of my life, and that always brings the reminder of my mortality.
More encouragingly November was celebrated as the start of the new year in the Celtic calendar. A reminder that the journey into winter, the dying of the year, letting go and being stripped back, was the way towards the new life of spring and the light at the end of the tunnel.

Putting it into a metaphor form was another prompt from John Fox’s “Finding what you didn’t lose” which I am enjoying and you can find on Amazon if you click here



Sea grass
box and basket

knitted texture

personal folders

And a growing
peace lily.


A mindful noticing of everyday objects in my room got me thinking about containers in my life. What do I use to “hold” important information, to carry or contain precious objects, or growing changing living things like plants, or even my clients!?

For me I particularly like woven containers, baskets, textiles of all sorts. Perhaps because they have an organic quality, and a flexibility, not too rigid, but still strong. Many trains of thought led on from here including the way we can form and structure poems with rhythms and line breaks…! (but not too strictly 🙂 )

And I certainly find it hard to resist the opportunity to buy another basket! Any one else out there feel the same way?

First fix (coffee!)

My small stone for Mindful Writing Day 2012

Dark brown gritty grounds in spilling powdery heaps,
Your bitter smell assails me.
Pressure of gurgling bubbles transforms you
And smooth warmth awakens me.