Writing My Way Home



For my last small stone writing practice of January 2016, I would like to share a Kyirelle poem that I wrote at my writer’s group. A Kyirelle poem is structured so that all the lines have eight syllables and each stanza of four lines ends in a refrain. There are four stanzas. It takes on a rhythmical form very much like a rhyming couplet. I won’t go into its exact structure – let’s just say that it’s like finishing a puzzle in the form of a poem. Writing a Kyirelle poem was given as an optional prompt or writing exercise, and while I often ignore these, I jumped on it and finished it with a flourish. This poem almost wrote itself, and I was the scribe. Since its theme centers on this month’s blogging, I am sharing it here:


Writing My Way Home  – A Kyirelle

As a mindful writing practice,
I blog daily on that and this.
It is called sharing a small stone,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

January lobs with a cold moon,
And winter scenes of snow monsoons.
My muse inspires an artful tone,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

Tales of grit, grace and gratitude,
Shape its forum and latitude.
With tears of laughter, grief and groans,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

Presence is my daily prayer.
Growth is awareness being here.
To this end I write my way home,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

c   Andrea Grillo ~ 2016



A confusion of crows

The calculus of corn

A jubilee of apples

The skyscraper of nouns

A storm of giggles


today’s small stone a teacup of words

Family Stone



Endings and Beginnings

“Mixed in with piles of this and that are glimpses here and there of who I want to be then and now”.

I wrote this line a couple of weeks ago here on “The Poetry of Soil”  and titled it “Creative Scraps.” It resonated with me long after I hit the post-button and the sentence tumbled into the pantheon of words-on-line that return to life as screen dust.

It’s almost January and time for my annual exercise, started by another blogger, called “A Small Stone.” A small stone is the practice of writing a short piece on a daily basis for one month about a moment or more that occurs during your day. It can be poetic, a rant, a hoot or anything in-between. The idea is to support paying attention and bringing light to even a small part of your day and thus honoring a fragment that most often gets lost in the blur. I believe that this is the fourth year that I am working on this original intention despite it no longer being a group on-line activity. Gratitude is a big chunk of this exercise, and the practice itself nurtures and sparks creativity.

I am starting today with this introduction, because I need to begin by stretching similar to stretching before a run or workout. It’s the last Sunday in December and 2015 (already), and it feels like a good place to begin.


Endings and beginnings.
Piles of this and that.
Glimpses of here and there.
Who I want to be then and now.


a small stone in my pocket last year’s laundry list



Mindful Writing ~ 2014:23

I missed my mindful writing post yesterday.  I sat down to write at the end of the day and came up with “too tired to write, too cold to think,” so I went to bed instead.  Something did not feel right about posting just anything and calling it a small stone.  At the time it was not mindful.  Today however, after a good night’s sleep, it is honest enough to write about.  I am trying to simplify my life and this encourages a great deal of truthful appraisal and re-prioritizing.  Last night I wavered between fulfilling a committment I (happily) made to myself for the sake of the committment itself and staying true to the spirit of the goal.  In hindsight, I’m glad I went to bed.

a rolling stone gathers no moss or rest

ag ~ 2014

Mindful Writing ~ 2014:07

Some of the old masters used brushes with very long handles which forced them to look at their own paintings at a distance while at work. For the rest of us, it is so very important to step away and disengage from our own process in order to see wholly with fresh eyes. Sometimes it also takes another pair of eyes, a mirror-image view or time off to really grasp and appreciate the entire piece.

In my case, it often entails all of the above AND turning the painting upside-down. It’s amazing what pops up, at least for me. Who would have thought?

winter blue sky
I flip my painting
and begin
at the beginning

ag ~ 2014

Kettledrum roll please…

It begins with a soft tap
almost a twitch
ever so slowly
the percussion picks up
lightly rolling 
into a steady beat…  …  …  …  …

sounds and resounds
joined by the hiss and tingle
of a tambourine oscillating
and announcing the crescendo 
kettledrum roll —

as the old house pipes
clamor ’til horse
and lazily collapse
into the sound 
of a warm pillow.

ag ~ 2013

2014 Mindful Writing Challenge

For the month of January, I am writing one small stone per day. This means paying attention long enough each day to record impressions of a fragment of my life.

Presence. Stillness. Wonder. Tumble, play and roll down river.

I wrote these words on December 31, 2011. It now feels like a couple of lifetimes ago. I do remember enjoying and growing with this process of writing/posting/tweeting a small stone as it was called back then (and still) as a daily practice. Sometimes simple, sometimes new, sometimes borrowed and sometimes very blue.

So once again, I am taking part in this “mindful writing challenge”. Hopefully, I will be able to post without too many errors that are nere impossible to correct on my now ancient iPad that cannot be updated. The real challenge will be twofold: write about some small or large occurrence in a meaningful way and try to post it with as little pain as possible on this original tablet. I kid you not – the typing and proofreading may do me in… may the work begin and the best of the two of us show up here.