A Journal of Small Thoughts and Small Stones

Photo Credit: Mike Adams

Below is an open journal on a public table, edited to protect the innocent or guilty. Rather than crafted blog pieces, it contains small thoughts, small stones and small amusements. Do with it what you want. 

Diary Nov. 2, 2012
Once, I was interested in promoting my blog. The hope was that it would somehow make me look professional and competent and then result in a kind of fame. At this moment, that idea seems as useless to me as standing at a subway station and trying to blend in, while holding out my hat and expecting change.

The change, man. It comes and it goes. I am too flighty for such fickle accolades.

My bent lately is to instead improve my craft through bold experimentation and the practice of typing words whenever possible so that my friends can read them if they want.

I adapt, you see.

Next month? I will be writing in ink on pieces of napkin. I will install these in the MOMA for you to read. Just look in the wastebasket closest to the front door...

The truth? I have nothing but Small Stones in my pocket. I will chuck them at windows, set them in puddles, melt them into magma and use them to ignite the unassuming stillness of the unwaked page.

Nov. 1, 2012
The heat hums and beats the ducts;
a percussion of dying things.
Six AM cloaks the world in dark,
All Hallows Eve just past.
I went to bed in ashes
and woke risen again from flame.
Just like every morning
I arise.

Nov. 2, 2012
Again the repose of writing is punctuated
by the asphyxiated death-howl of a cat
without his can of food.

Nov.3, 2012
The chickens, they are waiting,
as soon as I can see the trees, the streetlights and the cars,
as soon as the sun is rose.
They are waiting for their compost,
while I sit inside and make them wait
a little more.

Nov. 5, 2012
Cage fight.
Migraine vs. Writing
Migraine Wins.

Nov. 8, 2012
My cat, who could go anywhere he wanted,
is in again this morning and on my lap
which is the essence of being free.

Nov. 9, 2012
Six glass bottles filled with colored water adorn my counter,
 a science demonstration, an instrument, a stained glass window made of pop.
Tap these with a spoon and they will sing,
Pitch, vibration, matter, sound wave, scale—a symphony of knowledge
It is all happening at once in the widened eyes of my child.

Nov. 13, 2012
When everything feels like an emergency,
it is impossible to decide what to do next.

Dec. 6, 2012
No words will come to the place that needs to speak;
Prudence is a vacuum shutting out the onslaught of the things one simply should not say.
Say nothing, then, say nothing, howl the ages of maturity, if you have nothing nice to say.
Close up your lips and rest your pen and ache as your heart shrinks
to a thing the size of a raisin, rattling in a rib cage built to hold something bold and brave.
Be a writer turned a pauper outside the door
of her unwillingness to say what was in her mouth to say.

Dec. 6, 2012
Christmas wants everyone to be merry.
I can't help but wonder about the slaughtered goose.
I'm rather lively that way.

Dec. 6, 2012
I have started thinking of Christmas when I mean "Walmart."
I imagine three kings out of Bennington,
tagged with everyday low prices
 and bringing gifts of cardigans, wide-screens and lingerie.
"Merry Christmas, Jesus!"
"Hail the birth of the Son."
Everything here is 50% off if you buy right now.
Miracles are cheap.

Dec. 10, 2012
The cat with an abscess
keens at the door.
All my sentences are turning into echoes of his meow.

Jan.1, 2013
Christmas is now in boxes,
piled upon one another,
mountains of spent stagecraft in my living room.
Without Christmas to arm me,
it is cold and spring is months away.
I am one woman in a house full of ordinary dreams,
protected from winter by only walls.

May 25, 2013
In the center of the panic,
Where the sensation of pain lodged yesterday,
where muscle pain tore
and depression was like mud choking out a stream,
I feel a small something trickle.
I am going to call it peace.

May 26, 2013
My feet, like sandpaper,
scratch against each other
Warm and true,
My own flesh.

May 27, 2013
The cat and the dog nuzzle noses,
Dog watchful
Cat affectionate
Just a simple moment of love exchanged to begin the mammal day.

May 28, 2013
The child who is refusing
has my whole psyche gripped between his small brown fists.

May 29, 2013
A dove calls out
his keening,
rhythmic like a heartbeat
to mourn the waking of the world.

May 30, 2013
Pressing seeds into the earth
like small prayers that will be answered in green.

May 30, 2013
Reading my old journals,
I find my old self is lodged into me
Like fragments of tiny glass.

June 1, 2013
My papers are stacked at angles,
as if taken up by a tornado
and dropped again
to ground.

June 2, 2013
My cat purrs
as if his tiny stomach were a shekere,
as if unseen water boils in rhythm
with his contentment in my lap.

June 3, 2013
Lifting aside heavy vines of
paper clutter,
the weight of disorder
strains my wrist
as I search,
intent on one exotic Post-It note.

June 4, 2013
The air smells like a sweat lodge,
where we sit praying
for the flaming mountains to go out.

June 5, 2013
This coffee tastes like hot ashes
as if the falling forest,
had sat percolating on my tongue
while I lay asleep.

June 6, 2013
Bitter seeds of emotion,
left unattended
have grown thoughts
I keep trying not to think.

At the Pool
Teenagers, flustered
by hot dogs no mustard
Too-loud music over speakers
is like sandpaper against the 
wrinkling soft flesh
of old ladies in swim suits with skirts.
No change for twenties at the snack bar
and no Diet Cokes.
Just the blare of sun and summer,
adolescence and first jobs,
tip jars full of mayonnaise packets
heating in the high mountain sun.

June 12, 2013
Leaving the shower for meditation,
I encounter in the hallway
a small, rumpled child,
still creased and warm from blankets,
smelling of bed-books and hugged dogs,
and two hours early to greet the day.

June 15, 2013
The boys, lost in giggles,
wield foam swords that land on one another like a kiss.
Grins light like butterflies on small mouths;
unspoken the joy of belonging to a friend.

June 15, 2013
Wind moving through leaves like friendly whispers.
Dull headache pain smothered by the pleasure of an evening of pleasant company and friends with good true hearts.
The sound of my husband gathering my giddy son, like so many spreading organdy ruffles, into bed.
A cat meows. And the day is done.

June 17, 2013
Thursday—my birthday
I am gathered with friends in my garden,
the patio swept neat.
Tomato plants—nine kinds!—poke their crowns
out of a bed sprinkled with sunflower, bee balm, oregano—
as precious as frankincense and myrrh.
The world hums bliss.
Friday—the sky opens
and out pours hail like an ice apocalypse,
much-needed moisture
smashing destruction as violent as careless clubs.
Every plant is torn, frozen—a stem, a ripped-up ghost.
And the weeds come up, loving the deep moisture of the storm.

Monday—in my chest still sits a sob unreleased,
a wondering pain at the splendid impermanence of the world.


  1. I think I like you.....and I think I am gonna follow you so I can learn more. :-)

  2. "When everything feels like an emergency,
    it is impossible to decide what to do next." Yes. Just yes.

    I too wonder about the poor geese and shudder.

  3. You're a terrific writer my lady and don't you forget it. Not everyone can come up with a line like the one about your son playing the violin and sounding as if he's killing a cat. sublime.


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Faith in Ambiguity by Tara Adams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License