The North Woods

Twenty miles of puddle hopping North beyond the land of a thousand lakes. The sun melts into itself as it retreats to its bed at the bottom of the lake. It descends, extinguishing the rainbow of fire that has enveloped the clouds. The wind bows in respect, then all is still. Faces glow, sweet tobacco rises with the sounds of…

What I Call A Nightmare

It all happened when I was five years old, in October of 1993. I was spending the night at my Grandma Melinda’s house along with four of my cousins: Brittany, three; Brandy, two; Jordan, one; and E.J., one. This night seemed to be just like any other night, or that was how it started anyway. Soon, it would change all…

The Execution

Six months, fourteen days, twelve hours — the exact time Jacob Walter Matthews had been in solitary confinement. A tiny, eight-by-ten cell was the living space for this convicted man. Sergeant Eric Jerold, a twenty-three-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, walked slowly though the damp corridor that led to Mr. Matthews’ cell. For almost a year, Jerold had…

Life and Times of Indian Jim

The Great Creator God Almighty our Heavenly Father told me I am Shoshone Native American and I believe him because the Bible says he does not lie. Sacagawea, the Indian maiden who scouted for the Lewis and Clark expedition, is also a Shoshone Indian and we may be related. I tell everybody who asks about my nationality that I am…

Tribal Seduction

Thirty miles beyond the outskirts of town, bright purple and red neon lights capture the attention of any lonely traveler in a hypnotic seduction of the visual senses, seducing drivers and gambling junkies to a tribal burial ground of money where sanctified cash spending frenzies solidify our sovereignty of currency. Where a war party is waged upon the pockets of…

In Their Shoes

In the past it was very uncommon for teens to have children; today there are more teens than adults having children. Personally, I was shocked when I found out that one of my classmates, my fourteen-year-old cousin, was pregnant. Times have changed, but not for the better. Teen pregnancy has spread across our reservation like an epidemic. The younger generation…

Boys Will Be Boys

He broke out in laughter, his eyes wide open, with a look I have seldom seen in my lifetime. He said, “That was a true story… that is a true story.” This tale took place a couple of years and a half a century ago, on the Dawes-checked Oneida Indian Reservation. The Jordan allotment housed a small Indian farm on…

Walking Among Wisdom

Four boulders over from the old airport, I come clean and certain like an elder. I walk parallel on a plane gathering wisdom. I tear side to side as piercing winds deliver into my ears whistling blows of needle-like dust. Magpies pull out and wallow in the wind as broken-down cars pass by. Suddenly, a thick, grey-yellow dust whirls and…

A Person I Really Know

Lieutenant Victor Trenton was a United States Marine, a decorated veteran of the Korean and Viet Nam Wars. He was from “The Old Corps”– hard, unyielding, and fair but just. The Lieutenant was in his late 40s. He was my friend, and I had known him for a long time. Lieutenant Trenton stood almost 6’3”. He had broad, lean abdominals…

Knowledge and Wisdom

After the Fourth World was created and the sacred mountains were in place, First Man created the times of day, he created the seasons and everything needed for the people.  With him he kept wisdom and knowledge.  He kept them all in a pot. He wanted knowledge and wisdom to be shared with everybody in the fourth world. He did…