Friday, June 29, 2012

Man in a Tree

While my family was walking in the woods, we came upon this wonderful carving. I don't know how long it has been there or who did it, but I was glad I had my camera along.

I love being outdoors and observing nature, whether it be the honey bees pollinating, colorful wildflowers, gnarly old trees, field mice scurrying under exposed tree roots, or a cerulean sky painted with fluffy white clouds. This time, it seems the roles were reversed in a way. The old bearded man in the tree is watching us.

My "stone" today is a tanka. Tanka is a form of Japanese poetry. It is somewhat like a haiku with two extra lines added. Those lines usually offer a twist, a change in mood or a related idea that give it a broader or deeper meaning.  Though some people faithfully follow the syllable count 5-7-5-7-7 most modern writers simply follow the rule of short-long-short-long-long. A tanka does not have a title. Often there is no capitalization and little if any punctuation. However, if you google "how to write a tanka" there seem to be varying "schools", each with their own set of defining factors.

old man in a tree
his wooden stare follows me
as I pass him by~
some people never really leave us
memories etched upon our souls

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I am really good at seeing "stones". During the past year, I have learned to observe and appreciate the little things. What I am not good at is recording them anywhere other than in my wee widdly head, especially on this blog. Today is the last day of the January challenge and I have managed to do how many posts? What's that you say...only one? FAIL! Guilty as charged. But that post did have a whole week's worth. Here are a few I remember from the past, ummm, FOUR weeks. (blogger hides face in shame)

Two pigeons dive for the same crumb. Peck, peck, poke. One hobbles away, then the other. I examine the morsel still on the pavement. A cigarette bud. I guess pigeons don't smoke.   (yeah, I am also a failed that is exactly the stupid joke that came to mind at that moment)

 Delicate lacy bonnets~hoar frost on the rosehips.

Morning surprise~ a white heart center in the kiwi halves.

Cuddling~ only the sound of his beating heart breaks the silence.

Okay...I feel better now that I posted a few. Now it is time for bed.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Whole Week

The first week of January has flown by. After posting my New Year's stone, I have neglected to share them since. So, I will have to list them all together and kill two birds with one stone--or is that one week with 7 stones? Whatever. Here they are.

Monday, January 2

She wraps one arm over my waist, leans her head against by shoulder. The fragrance of her freshly washed hair is pretty flowers and innocence, a reminder that underneath all that teenager my sweet little girl still exists.

Tuesday, January 3

While others ridicule him, I blame his friends and friends. They should have told him he can't sing. 

Wednesday, January 4

No stone today. I suddenly remember what it is like to be young. I'm a kid who just failed a test.

Thursday, January 5

Sudden storm. Feet encased in cold, wet socks trudge on through puddles of melting sleet. These black, studded boots aren't waterproof.

Friday, January 6

Sitting across from you I see every sign of age, every flaw, and don't give a damn. My heart is yours eternally.  

Saturday, January 7

Skin on skin. 
Blooming like a rose 
wet with morning dew.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012

The new year is here! January 2012. Do you know what that means? It is time once again for the River of Stones. If you want to pay more attention to the world around you and make note of one simple observation each day, click here for information on how to take part. I will be posting my observations here daily during the month of January.

Photo by Linda Hofke. Copyright 2012.

The sparkler looks like a fiery dandelion shooting glittery seeds into the dark of the night as we plant our hopes and dreams for a new year.


Sunday, October 9, 2011


The Grasshopper

Perhaps it is like a child who wants to jump from the swing and land on a cloud. One leap and he's landed on a plaid seersucker sky.   

Isn't it adorable?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


The four baby birds I'd been observing up high in the bush in our garden have grown and flown away. They've probably got their own little high-rise nests someone near by. In the meantime, I discovered that a smaller bird with a lower nest now has little ones to take care of. Three tiny ones are just now starting to get their feathers and look adorable. Here are two of them:

Stone 23:   Fledglings sporting thin, feathery mohawks peep as mother bird gathers worms.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Animals, animals, animals. (18-22)

This photo by Katarina Hofke.

As the cat relaxes on the sun-warmed macadam, slivers of shadows from the wrought iron gate paint new stripes across her fur.

With the blue lighting, the bat's wings look thin and crumpled like pieces of burnt paper.

As all the horses continue to graze, the curious foal trots over to greet me, and I become the "stone". 

Walking along the wooded path, I brush up against a tiny branch. On it a snail, attached to the backside of a leaf, begins to uncoil from its shell, its antennae moving back and forth as if waving "hello".

            Sometimes life is a rocky road, whether you are man, mouse or beetle.
                                                      Just keep going.