about the author

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, performance poet, Jean C. Howard, resided in Chicago from 1979 to 1999. She has since returned to Salt Lake City. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Off The Coast, Clackamas Literary Review, Harper’s Magazine, Eclectica Magazine, Eclipse, Folio, Fugue, Fulcrum, Crucible, Gargoyle, Gemini Magazine, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Burning World, The Distillery, Pinch, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Pisgah Review, ken*again, The Cape Rock, Quiddity Literary Journal, Grasslimb, Rattlesnake Review, Concho River Review, Spillway, Spoon River Review, Willard & Maple, Wisconsin Review, Chicago Tribune, among seventy other literary publications. Featured on network and public television and radio, she has combined her poetry with theater, art, dance, video, and photography. A participant in the original development of the nationally acclaimed “Poetry Slam,” at the Green Mill, she has been awarded two grants for the publication of her book, Dancing in Your Mother’s Skin (Tia Chucha Press), a collaborative work with photographer, Alice Hargrave. She has been organizing the annual National Poetry Video Festival since 1992, with her own award-winning video poems, airing on PBS, cable TV, and festivals around the nation.

Bookmark and Share


font size


Jean C. Howard

To my mother, in memory

This day climbs
onto me with brilliance,
with a whole evening
of animals tracking through snow.

Though the wind moans
and protests,
and ice drips from the nose
of the roof,

This day is the page
that speaks of purity,
of the cleanse of white
as it clings to the hill,

Of gentleness
that follows the snow’s
slope against a railing,
or upon the trunk
of a tree.

Light electrifies
the sweep of the storm,
a sheen that spills
over rock ridges,
lies selfless and flat
on the porch.

All speak of you,
the soundless way
snow quiets the sagebrush
yet ignites the throats
of one hundred birds,
the thick drifts
between death
and still living which I
must now venture into,

Hoping you’ll lay tracks
that by morning
will give me my first
pristine clue.

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...