How does it work?

You (the client) hire the poet to create a poem of lasting literary quality for $100 per poem.
(You pay $25 by personal check or money order to begin the work, and $75 when the poem is completed.)
Via email, telephone, and/or snail mail, you provide details about your ancestor's life, including traits or incidents that make them memorable.
The poet creates your poem within 3-4 weeks. A rough draft may be discussed with the client before a finished work is delivered via email or snail mail.
The client owns all rights to the poem, and may publish it at their discretion, with the proviso that the poet must always be credited with each publication; including, but not limited to electronic, oral, and text-based publication. The poet may publish the poem with the permission of the client.
Email or snail mail agreements will be considered to be a contract between client and poet. The poet prefers to select both form and content, but will write to specific forms per the client's request (sonnet, villanelle, and so forth).
Email the poet:
Phone the poet: 208.357.1917 (USA)
Snail Mail: 441 Hummingbird Lane, Shelley, ID, 83274mailto:lynna.howard@mac.comshapeimage_3_link_0

All photos and text ©Lynna Howard. Appearance online as work samples is not to be construed as publication. All rights reserved. Do not copy nor distribute without the poet's permission. Thank you. Contact


Image courtesy of Leland Howard.


A Husband Returns

That she knows it's him

before she turns

to the footsteps

still familiar after ten years.

That he changes his cologne

and she still recognizes

the scent of him approaching

in one of her dreams. 

That other phone voices

may be mistaken

but never his—

even as he begins with breath

or a sigh. 

Excerpts from:

A Mother/Daughter Poem 

I move in for the kill

and the mouse blinks.

Sun glints off the axe,

a god-spear of light. 

80 million years since mouse and I

shared a common ancestor—

blink of an eye in time's long line.

There's a resemblance in the face.

Yes, I'm the kind of woman

who owns an axe, and

sharpens it too. My daughter,

New Yorker, Manhattanite, and

we assume, civilized,

has to kill bare-handed. 

We the chosen,

sharing quality-of-mercy genes

honed to sharp edges, forget again

what we look like, what planet we ride,

where our bodies end

and the ones to be killed begin.

© Lynna Howard

Sample Genealogy Poems

Not a Prudent Man

My brother, artist of rocks,

is officially not a prudent man.

His lease on a mine in Idaho's dry land

has been rescinded.

Official High Poobahs say

even a Prudent Man

would make no living

thereon or thereof.

 With his artist's eye

for the alchemy of jewelry,

for music hidden in stones,

for the raw makings of sculpture

or garden walls—with all this

he misses the blunt point

of extractive industry.

 All that official time wasted on surveys

and tailing piles of paperwork,

I could have saved.

 Ask me. I'll tell you, Sir or Madam,

my brother is not a prudent man,

not hollowed out,

humanity extracted, talent crumpled

like a folded dollar—

but only my brother, artist of rocks,

a proclaimed dreamer.

Wisdom of the Ages

I want to tell you about my great grandmother.

Every day for fifty years

she would swing her legs out of bed in the morning

and rest her bare feet for a long moment

on an oak floor laid down by her husband.

For at least three months out of the year

there would be a square of sunlight warming

the golden boards near her four-poster.

No bedside rug for Granny,

she met the soul of her dead husband there,

with her soles on the warm planks. 

In her nineties,

she placed her feet with increasing care

in a patch of June sun

that moved almost too quickly for her.

Rising slower and slower,

Granny finally came to a full stop with her cold feet

in her husband's warm embrace,

and she never moved again. 

There are many ways to die,

and before she managed it herself,

Granny saw most of them,

accidental, natural, suicidal, and acquired.

Don't trade your friends for anything.

Don't look for death because he's too easy to find.

© Lynna Howard