Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home.

Every Time I Think I’m Home

every time I think I'm home

If I left somewhat suddenly (after 11 years) or you were surprised, then I think maybe you weren’t paying attention. Every time I think I’m home, something changes my mind. Maybe it’s the porch or its the lack of the porch. Maybe it’s the wide open spaces, or the bats and the trees. There were…

Getting all emotional

anger and writing through it shopping cart

The extremely useful writing website Writer’s HQ recently called for pitches related to the theme of “Resistance” and writing. For me, the idea of resistance and protest is highly emotional. I’ve been known to get “worked up” on a topic or two in my day! Any person who stands ready to challenge the status quo…

That’s Not Me

Don't type Angry - that's not me

In reading the pile of reports the school sent over regarding my youngest child, I thought: that’s not me. On every occasion in parenting, I am reminding how very few people I encounter — whether as friends or acquaintances — who really understand me. They do exist, and they are ridiculously loyal. But the by…

Everything you can possibly imagine

Fantasy Star Trail by Nicolas Raymond New Years Resolution

There’s a reason why we every year we do that “resolution” thing at the new year. It has to do with hope. The turn of the new year is a false sense of new beginning. But it’s one we love to embrace. It’s proof of the enduring human spirit and our attachment to hope. Every…

Advancing Through the Unpredictable

White out snow storm lake effect

In the course of driving to Ontario for Christmas, we encountered a lake effect snow squall. Neither Colin nor I are strangers to snowstorms of any size or might. We are both veteran snow drivers. However, this was our first encounter with a true, pop-up blizzard. Along Interstate 81, we were warned “Lake Effect Snow…

The baby in the fire

rohingya baby fire

All weekend I keep thinking about the Rohingya baby in the fire. (And so this is Christmas. And what have you done?) The New York Times correspondant Jeffrey Gettleman reported on the violence and likely genocide of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. In one account he reported a Rohingya mother, Rajuma, whose baby was ripped…

Name the Stars in the Night Time

stars in the night time - Painting by Larry Elledge

I take the dog out at night, on the nights Colin doesn’t. If you own an animal, that’s it. You have to take care of them. Forever. Same with kids. They don’t go away. They are always going to need to eat, walk, pee, be stroked. Every night. All the nights. Until they or you…

An Ode to Sally, on her 50th

Howlips & Cabezas With Dogs

Who is Sally thinking about today? Her daughters. Her friends. Faith. Her mom. Dan, of course. On any given Friday, Sally jumps to the beat of love. Sally moves to move you, drives to inspire you. A Monday morning dawns and she Breaks out of the blocks, running down The day’s, the week’s, the season’s…

I can only be myself

Existential Angst bubble

Adoptive kids have a special layer of wonder in their lives. Why am I in this family? How did this happen to me? Who am I really? What might have been? This special layer of wonder undoubtedly will shape them and their life direction, as all mental efforts do. But as I worry this thread a…

The Big Question: Can I Change the World?

Can I change the World?

Can I change the world?  That is the question I want to put to myself and to other writers in my re-boot of THE BIG QUESTION series at Letters from a Small State this month. Why this question? Because it leads to so many questions! Is the American experience rapidly becoming a series of knee-jerk…

How to Love a Day Like Today

Love Light Love Letter Las Vegas Shooting

In the face of the senseless Las Vegas shooting, how do we get through a day like today? I felt frozen most of the day, the horror buttressed by the president’s hypocritical and milquetoast response. How do I get through a day in which the acid undercurrent of anger and instability that has been pouring…

On Being Called an Idiot

Stupid idiot shenpa

It’s a perfectly lovely, breezy day, and I’m walking my daughter to school and taking the dog for a stroll. Conversation surrounds whether the dog minds being on a leash and “Dogs have feelings too mom!” I’m feeling general anxiety I haven’t felt in weeks, frustration that ebbs over the general state of the world…

Let Me Be a Jellyfish

Let me be a Jellyfish

Let me be a jellyfish Brainless and glowing My beauty innate– Unquestionable, even, Since I’ve no amygdala for Shouting orders, no hippocampus Busily collecting Potential threats. Let me be a jellyfish, One of a tribe of Transluscent pancakes Mindlessly ganged around Jews cutting the Red Sea waves or Rubber-tubed tourists — Either way.

A Good Look

Neon Flower Petals

Because spring masquerades with us Because friends continue to report I can’t breathe Because although my heart drags Daffodils design to have their way. Because spring upholds its wretched promise to us Because friends scrabble to apologize If I’d only known Because passing sorrow remembers my shape Regardless of my shrinking wardrobe. Fill up the holes, the advice calls. Plug up all the places the…