One man's philosophy is another man's bellylaugh.

Jeff L. Howe

Jeff L. Howe
Strasburg, Pennsylvania,
April 19
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Jeff Howe is a bonsai enthusiast and harmonica player who has very good reason to believe that the Universe tastes like a cheap buck-fifty melon. He is a product of Walled Lake and a former Poetry Slam Champion of Milwaukee. He once shook hands with Rocky Colavito, opened for Leon Redbone and took a piss next to Mose Allison (no hands were shaken). All things considered, his best single day was July 4th, 1987 when he marched in the Marmarth, North Dakota parade in the morning, discovered a rare dinosaur skull in the afternoon, and then sat in playing harmonica with a drunken cowboy band until way past tomorrow. It's been downhill ever since. Jeff is a misemployed geologist who specializes in interpreting rock outcrops at 70 miles per hour. It's a gift. His daughter loves cows. ................................................................................................................... FOR MORE STORIES, PHOTOS AND HARMONICA RECORDINGS VISIT:


Jeff L. Howe's Links

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 17, 2010 11:35AM

The Geology of the Haitian Earthquake


The surface, or “crust”, of the Earth is like the shell of a large blue egg that has been accidentally dropped on the floor.  It is criss-crossed by jagged fractures that separate the surface into irregular pieces, often referred to as plates.  These plates float o/… Read full post »

Bonsai: The artistic cultivation of miniature trees in containers.


The most frequent question that people unfamiliar with bonsai ask (after “how do you keep them alive?”) is: “how do you keep them so small?”  The general public seems convinced that our wee/Read full post »

JANUARY 12, 2010 9:11AM

Of Dead SOBs And Lost Shiny Buttons


One day about a month ago, a young man was walking down a street. More to the point, he was walking past a mailbox at the corner of 4th Avenue E. and Tullis St. in Olympia, Washington, when something lying on the sidewalk caught his eye.

He picked it up.… Read full post »

JANUARY 8, 2010 3:31PM

The Tiara: The Acceptance Speech

 howe tiara

The following text is an excerpt from Jeff Howe’s acceptance speech at the WSFTC Tiara Awards in London Thursday evening: 

“In the entire world of writing, there is no award so coveted, so career-altering, and so fulfilling as The Tiara.  This is becaus/Read full post »

JANUARY 5, 2010 3:35PM

Old And In The Way: You Too?

Somehow, I have become old, over-educated, under-skilled, irrelevant, and virtually unemployable.  The world is – as I speak – passing me by like a thundering, through commuter train on a really fast track.  Me?  I’m sitting here stupidly on a sidetrack with the oth/Read full post »

JANUARY 4, 2010 8:14AM

Damn You, Canadian Wind

First, configure the inside of your mouth to say the word “who”.  

Now drop the back of your tongue (the part that goes down your throat) down into your lower jaw so that you produce a large, resonant cavity in your mouth.   Exhale forcefully but slowly from deep in/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 31, 2009 9:35PM

My Weirdest New Year's Eve

(January 1, 1976, 5:30 a.m.)

Like running water.

Yes, that’s it.

It was distinctly the sound of water running through my head.  It gurgled and bubbled and flushed through my sinuses, danced around my inner ear bones and sloshed back in forth inside my brain.  It was not… Read full post »

DECEMBER 28, 2009 10:29AM

When The Last Girl Leaves The Nudie Pond


Along the West Marin coast north of San Francisco, isolated patches of coastal redwoods still invade the steep canyons that cut sharply into the rolling hills from the ocean.  Acting as flumes for the fog, these canyons cut upwards where they emerge into Bolinas Ridge, a broad ridg/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 24, 2009 6:22PM

The Bread Man Of Christmas Eve


Every year on Christmas Eve, my mother would drag my brother and my sisters and I off to midnight mass at St. William’s Catholic Church in Walled Lake, Michigan.  Only Dad had the good sense to stay home and wait for Santa.

Despite all the pomp, circumstance and pageantry,… Read full post »

DECEMBER 19, 2009 6:36PM

Winter Snow Along The Conestoga River

 The Conestoga River of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

 The entire Atlantic seaboard and areas for hundreds of miles inland sleep quietly this evening, huddled beneath a giant howling snowstorm that continues to blanket the region with record-breaking snow.  Here in south central Pennsylvania, on the Saturday before Christmas, eve/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 16, 2009 11:08AM

A Well-Thrown Stone


A well-thrown stone is a joy

and I've been throwing stones

since I was the smallest boy

and pebbles...

and marbles...

and baseballs...

and rocks

snowballs and

seashells and

wadded up socks

              Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 14, 2009 10:42AM

What I Tell My Students About Global Warming

Global warming, like abortion, evolution and gun control, is one of those issues that automatically raises the hackles of people at its very mention.  I predict that your hackles are already raised, one way or the other, just by choosing to read this. You’re curious as to which flavor… Read full post »

While walking to work one morning, I ran into a group of foreign tourists at the corner of Clay and Hyde.  They were holding a map and arguing loudly, each pointing in a different direction. 

"Hallo… pleez?”   They stopped me, waving their arms wildly for emphasis.Read full post »

DECEMBER 9, 2009 9:29AM

Where Do Mountains Come From?


First there is a mountain,

then there is no mountain,

then there is.

                                    Read full post »

DECEMBER 7, 2009 8:48AM

Don't Touch Me!

DON’T TOUCH ME!”  The boy screams menacingly, his eyes wide and frightened like a caged animal.

It is 7:28 on a Friday morning.  I have just checked in.

Three staff members surround the boy down the hall.  Anger and insolence pour off of him like beads of sweat. Wit… Read full post »

DECEMBER 5, 2009 9:11PM

When Mom Ran Over The Cat

(PITA Alert: One cat was mashed in the telling of this story.)

Now, I will admit, before we even begin, that I never much liked that cat.  I don’t even recall its name – “Socks” or “Whiskers” or “Frisky” or some such thing.   It was mean/Read full post »

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water everywhere,
Nor any a drop to drink.
- Samuel Coleridge, “The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner”


A desert is a land devoid of water, a baked and desiccated condition forced upon/… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 30, 2009 9:15PM

The First Vermonters

The startling squawk of shore birds and the distant smell of the sea alerted the small band of travelers.  It was late afternoon and the sun was rapidly falling over the tall, ancient mountains to the west.   Encouraged, they pushed on through the night over a rocky land, strewn with bRead full post »

NOVEMBER 25, 2009 9:01AM

A Thanksgiving Incident*

* A Thanksgiving Incident For Which I’ve Never

Been Given A Good Explanation


There was suddenly a great commotion in the kitchen.  Women were yelling and screaming, chairs were bumping, things were crashing and falling on the floor. 

Then there was dead silence. 

And… Read full post »

(November 22, 1963)

"May I have your attention please..."

The Principle’s voice over the public address system was stern but uncharacteristically shaken.  I turned  toward the 10” speaker near the door with my fellow seventh grade science students and awaited further word.Read full post »

(I've been asked to clarify a few points from my bio.  This may, or may not, help.)

•      •       • 

The dog and I were walking along the abandoned tracks in the woods next to the river.  It was early Spring.  The quartz and calcite we… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 12, 2009 10:37AM

The Invention Of Sex

During the first half billion years of our planet’s 4.6 billion year existence, the Earth was a very inhospitable place to live.  In fact, the entire solar system was a chaotic collection of irregular protopieces, whirling around the sun in a gigantic Saturn-like ring, smashing into one an… Read full post »

I once dated a single mom with a five year-old son.  The three of us were very close and I spent a lot of time with the young boy. I liked him and he liked me. We, all three, got along splendidly.   

The boy’s name was Peter, and he and his mom… Read full post »

OCTOBER 26, 2009 10:50AM

The Harvest

A Few Days Ago

The sun rose this morning upon the first killing frost of the year.  Delicate grape leaves that were succulent and green when the sun went down are already beginning to curl and become brittle like the pages of an old book.  The cold air/Read full post »

OCTOBER 22, 2009 7:19AM

Old Baxter

Old Baxter was blind on his right side and deaf on his left, resulting in a world that came to him in a strange sort of cross-channeled mono.  His senses lacked focus, contrast or depth of field.  For Baxter, life was a blurry, faded, black and white movie with a scratchy… Read full post »