The curators of January 2011’s river of stones, Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita, have offered to collect stones into a book. These want some polishing, but here are the ten I’m considering submitting. The order reflects my preference.

A river of stones: stone #24

sits in the mug
left on the desk

A river of stones: stone #27

broken tiles
fit together
more tightly
than do those
perfect squares

A river of stones: stone #12

Clear ice is exacting.
Freezing must be slow.
Water must be flat.
A slow, slow, slow thaw
and a slow, slow, slow freeze
fly in the face of modernity.
Everything must be now.
Right now.
Except clarity.
That takes time.

A river of stones: stone #8

Somedays the world shrinks out of necessity
to a puppy at your feet gnawing on her bone.

A river of stones: stone #13

Snow keeps its modesty
between the footsteps
of passers-by.

A river of stones: stone #29

the next season's flash:
leaves flipped up immodestly
by a soft cool breeze

Skipping stones across a month: stone #31

Some race their ripples and
dance across the surface sending
patterns against far shores,
while those less artfully tossed
succumb to their own weight
(although with a satisfying plunk).

A river of stones: stone #7

The storm’s coming when the chickens spread out,
searching for breached worms,
then gather tight between the wind and fence.
Checking the scratched earth,
the squirrels scurry with one eye upward.

A river of stones: stone #18

Empty bird nests in empty trees
wait on the return of modesty
to cover bare limbs
and bared passions.

A river of stones: stone #6

all these traffic cams
showing cars, crowds, all-way stops
should occasionally
just every once in a while
switch over to a bird’s nest

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