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Across the Rez Line

Across the rez line…
I was just a rez joe…just to live my life on my own land..
But wanting that life the sits just right there
Across the rez line…
The wind is always blows out here
I was the first born the son of my father
From that place just over there…a place with no name
I wanted to cross that line and go over there
But wondering how it will be for me…can I find what I am looking for there…
I can hear the howl of the wind…somehow the look of it is just plain
But I can’t get there from here…they don’t like me there and I have done nothing to them
I have done nothing to them and they look at me like I don’t belong…
What they have is not mine….you can’t have what we have…
You need credit…money and…you have to fit in and you my friend…just don’t
All I want is a taste of the life…here on the rez…to have it at home…
There is a wall there…you can’t see it…but it is there…no bricks…no fences…
It has always been there and you can walk through it but to stay out there you have to leave
All you…
Recent posts

Bus Stop

Bus Stop
He sat at the bus stop on the main drag; central and smiled at me as I stepped up to wait for city bus. He was quiet at first but looked unafraid to look people in the eye way out here in the big city. downtown Phoenix Arizona is pretty rough toward evening a lot of strange types move around the street, but he sat there. His features where finely chiseled, high cheekbones, narrow eyes that had laugh lines around the edges and his perfect teeth gleamed white in the
evening light.

He said, “Where are you from?”

“Shiprock” I said and he looked at me and smiled real big. “Nataani Nez” (the Navajo way of saying Shiprock) he said and went on, “Me, I come from Tuba City, down by Moenkopi Wash; went to school there in Tuba.”

He talked about the old trading post and dorm there, the way he used to play on the bluffs behind the school up near the water tank. He said somewhere there his initials are covered on there. He originally comes from the Gap, a slice in the red rocks where he spent h…

The Spring

The Spring

I stood with my grandson, I am an old man and we came to my spot on
this mountain top. I have been here many times and with me, all those
that have come before have taken a little of their vision and shared
it with me.

I can see far and it is pretty, clear across the valley and all the
places there. My sight is not so good but I know it looks the same, it
is beautiful.

My great grandson has helped me to this spot. I can not remember his
name, but he looks a little like me when I was his age. His body is
young and strong. He helped to stand tall and erect. I told him the
story of his fathers and how we had survived to bring him life. His
eyes are bright, wide and innocent. He listens patiently to the
rambling talk of an old man.

Look over there, that is the place I have spoken about, it is a
spring. There you will find fresh cold water. When you are thirsty you
can take a drink and wash yourself on a hot day. You can lie down next
to it on the grass, soft ea…

Up on Red Lake Road

It was winter time and the rez roads were pretty wet
Muddy and slippery, one of them was Red Lake Road
Two Navajo cops were working swing shift
They worked the area around Fort Defiance
It was snowing, cold and wet, and they wore
Heavy coats the large green filled down type

A little girl called from the store and told the dispatcher
There is a friend of mine I am worried about
He hasn't been to school for a few days
His parents drink, and he lives up Red Lake Road
Can someone go up there and check on him
His name is Engelbert, he's about 8

The call was logged in and the dispatcher said
If someone gets a chance, go up there and take a look
The radio crackled, "If you want to get stuck, go on up there"
One of the officers said the road was too bad, too muddy
The kind if you go in you will have to work out
What is the call about?
A Welfare check, a friend of hers from school
Didn't come for a couple of days, the parents
She said they like to drin…

Gathering by the Rio Grande

Sitting watching Sam. He is making a new set of
bussels to dance with. His hair is long, tied in
the back and is going nearly all gray. His craggy
face has laughing lines that melt the years away.
He is patiently wrapping the hackles, the tips of
the bussels, small feathers that go on last.
His outfit is near ready, and for him it is the
week before he can take off from work.

His wife, works as an LPN, she dances as well,
she comes from Washington, far from her native
home at Salish Kootenai. Her buckskin is white,
and covered with elk teeth, a prized possession
indeed, so hard to come by.

These two dance traditional, but Sam this year is
dancing fancy, a dance for young men. He has been
seen twisting and turning at strange places like
the parking lot, in the grocery store and at
work, getting the moves just right. It takes
practice to get them so that when you are fully
dressed you move like a bird in the wind,
floating and dropping and turning to dance in the

It was just another enemy way

She stood a ways off, just beyond the firelight. The embers from the
bonfire lit up the sky and made the night gold on this bit of open
space among the sage.She glowed with the color of firelight, reds and gold giving her a
soft flow against the black night.

Summer Sing, the Nightway, where people travel for miles to gather on
a flat stretch of ground, to sing in a circle all night, and then to
dance the night away, to talk and to laugh. That is how it is done,
while a short distance away the healing ceremony goes on.

It was July and the nights were warm and pleasant. Folks gathered by
the firelight and when the songs raised up in the night caused the
ground to swell, the motion of dancers near the cedar fire swayed back
and forth.

Arriving with cousins, three of them; looking for chance to see some
old friends, relations and to hear the goings on around this area
known as Sanostee not too far South of Shiprock. Getting ready
earlier, meant a sweat, a quiet time to refl…

Pow Wow at Fort Duchesne

The Pow Wow grounds sit off just the highway, the main thoroughfare
connecting Salt Lake City to Steamboat Colorado, it is a two laner, a
narrow road that runs through the rez. It has a large Pow Wow ground,
planted in grass this year and large shade arbor forms a semi-circle
around it with an opening on the east side where the flagpole sits. It
is a level area, and scattered around are campsites, where native
people and some visitors from around the world have come to take in
the Pow Wow this year. Just to the south of the Pow Wow circle are the
stew stands, temporary indian cafes set up to serve hamburgers,
lemonade, indian tacos, coffee and lost of fry bread.

On the North side of the Pow Wow arena there are many small shade
covers set up, where under them people have come to sell jewelry,
bones, hides, t-shirts, sandpaintings, pottery, and trinkets of all
sorts. Some camp next to their site with license plates from Montana,
New Mexico, Wyoming, Washington and Oklahoma…