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A collection of creative works by students and staff of the College of Menominee Nation. Published by the College of Menominee Nation - 2014 Once again, Fall 2014 Feather Chronicles is published online through the digital publishing platform, Everything published in the magazine since the first issue in 2008 is accessible in one online place, with consistent formatting that features state-of-the-art appearance and paging. Thanks to CMN’s Webmaster, Sue Delrow, for developing this platform for the magazine and for her work formatting and uploading content. This edition includes prose, poetry, and images from authors, poets, and artists contributing to the magazine for the first time: Nicole LaForge, Sabrina Hemken, Tasha Cleveland, Carlos Nieto, Kateri Cornelius, and Larry Madden. Their work appears alongside contributions from talented writers and artists whose creative work appeared in previous issues: Madona Wilber, Mary Anne Hill, Sandra Shackelford, Melissa Wilber, Jessica Buettner, and Michael Guyette. As always, Feather Chronicles thanks our contributing authors and artists. Feather Chronicles is produced by College of Menominee Nation students and includes contributed work from students (current, former, and future), CMN staff and faculty, and anyone engaged in the college’s many community activities. Submissions are welcome; please email them to The content of Feather Chronicles is protected by copyright controlled usually by the original author and in all other cases by Feather Chronicles. U.S. and international copyright laws apply and visitors may not reproduce any content except for personal, non-commercial use.


Feather Chronicles December 2014

Cover image by Sadie White, logo by Michael Gomeyosh. The Scott Zager Venture Fund makes possible production of Feather Chronicles in hardcopy.

Synapses by Sabrina Hemken – Pg. 5

CONTENTS The Institute of my Spirituality – Nicole LaForge . . . . . 4 Synapses – Sabrina Hemken . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 The Death of a Honey Bee – Sabrina Hemken . . . . . . . 6 Purple Flowers – Madona Wilber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Bonfire – Tasha Cleveland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Dark Clouds – Madona Wilber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Up La Luz Trail – Mary Anne Hill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Lotus Blossom Mosaic – Mary Anne Hill . . . . . . . . . . 11 The Coffee House – Michael Guyette . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Feather Chronicles December 2014

CONTENTS (cont.) River – Madona Wilber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 A Walk Down by the River – Carlos Nieto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Lessons Learned – Sandra Shackelford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Rain on Window – Madona Wilber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Greed Is … – Kateri Cornelius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Leaf in Water – Madona Wilber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 House of Leaves – Mary Anne Hill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Enchanted Love – Jill Martin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Cranes – Madona Wilber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Love Poem – Larry Madden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Crane – by Melissa Wilber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Eagle in Tree – by Melissa Wilber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Intertwined Lives – by Jessica Buettner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Wind is Power – by Melissa Wilber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Cranes – by Madona Wilber Pg. 25


The Institute of my Spirituality - by Nicole LaForge

Sweat Lodge is my College, Mother Earth is my University, The Great Spirit is my Principal, The voice of Nature is my Teacher, The animals, my Classmates, The words spoken by my Elders, my study book. The Hembleciya is my exams, Respect all living things and speak in truth, my Assignments, Ceremony, my Attendance. Wisdom is my degree and living in harmony is my motto.


Love Poem

- by Larry Madden I kissed her lips on a falls sunny day. I left her, though I wanted to stay. Time had come, that she must go away. Miss her I will, till her time of return. My heart filled with love and concern. Lack of her company will cause me to yearn. Just as day passes, from darkness to light, The season’s progress, marked by geese flight. Return, yes she will, like the dawn of the day. I’ll welcome her home and cheer all the way. I’ll hold her again, she won’t slip away. Never again will we have a sad day. But by chance, that time never comes. I’ll stand strong my vigil, as I long for my Love. 4


- by Sabrina Hemken


The Death of a Honey Bee - by Sabrina Hemken

Tempted and tortured A living exercise in the ultimate restraint Licked lips and locked hips A grenade being launched at my centered disgrace This emptiness eats at the heart As absence becomes an art Bee to the honey A fly to the rotting So much time swooping vultures away For a foggy outlines heart that lives in constant dismay So much for this present afterlife Spent too much time dusting off the dusty While sipping upon the lusty Always finding more holes to fill and more time to kill Any sparkle in your eye Leftover eyelash kissing dandelion Tell me they’re more than just a lie Give me your long lost lord of lord With your vagrant, rapturous, telegram heart that beams out of something more I know you have it in you You know I have it in for you Vanquish those demons to let go of the poison Suck out the venom and believe in something more You handed out the offer now show me what it’s for


Purple Flowers – by Madona Wilber



- by Tasha Cleveland Embers dance o’er the fire and slowly fade away The ashy remains lightly tap their way to heaven I watch the beautiful ballet and smile Winds encircle the fire as it seizes faint pieces of earth The aroma of charred wood, grass and sand fill the air I close my eyes as I breathe in to fill my senses and smile The fires wave of light contour his face In that moment his eyes shine a sea of blue I admire the hint of the fires art and smile The shadows hold unspoken words But no words come as I search the shadows I sit reservedly and smile The night grows longer and the fire slowly dies Shadows taunt me as words have yet to leave my lips Courage escapes me as I glance his way and smile Dawn approaches and the bonfire has concluded The possibility of a connection fades with the coming light But I dare to hope as I walk away and smile


Dark Clouds – by Madona Wilber


Up La Luz Trail

- by Mary Anne Hill

I have run up this trail in all seasons, Autumn gold leaves, amber cognac against green velvet, Winter bare and brown under a white powder veil, Spring’s fuchsia cactus flowers sprouting sharp, new thorns, Summer spears of red paintbrush waving hello to granite peaks, Only three years past, I was here alone, running free, Inhaling the blessings of sand, space, and sky, Now, my steps are surrounded by new, sun-blocking adobes, That power-climb the foothills To the edge of mesquite mesas, And plant a giant oppressive foot On my open-space throat.


Lotis Blossom Mosaic - by Mary Anne Hill

The design I have chosen for this mosaic square is a pink lotus blossom floating in a serene turquoise sea. One can see the blossom’s dark magenta reflection, as well as segments of its strong stem and the green lily pads that surround it. In many Asian religions, the lotus flower has become a symbol of awakening to the spiritual reality of life. It starts as a small flower at the bottom of a muddy pond and grows toward the light. When it finally surfaces, it blossoms and becomes radiant. I am drawn to the lotus blossom because it is a symbol to me of hope, reawakening, and rebirth. It is an image that symbolizes that dark periods of my life are over and, at least for today, I have risen above them. This flower is a reminder that rebirth happens over and over; just as the lotus blossom closes each night and rises back up above the water at daybreak. There are no promises or guarantees, although the blossom relies on the strength of its stem, the nourishment of the lily pads and the serenity of the water to blossom during its day in the sun. 11

The pink blossom is the color of breast cancer; the magenta shadows are the reflections of uncertainty which undermine hope. The variegated, blue-tiled waters represent different experiences that touch and hold one up along the journey, as well as reflecting the peace and serenity of the sky and water. The lily pads represent nurturance and the help of everyone along the way. The segments of the stems remind me that I am attached to a strong center core of faith and determination that has risen out of the darkness and pushed me toward the light. Designing and creating a mosaic is a wonderful metaphor for healing and recovery. One starts with a blank, black slate and no clue about where to go or what to do. Then, an idea begins to form which morphs into a colorful, healing vision. The next step involves drawing the vision into reality with as much perspective and skill as one can muster. Then, one must gather the necessary resources, knowledge and materials to express the vision. With new eyes, one must learn to select the color, size, luminescence, opaqueness and shape that will work together to create the picture. One must learn new skills, including how to cut, turn, and handle the fragile pieces of glass without causing injury or harm. It takes practice, patience, and often, the encouragement of a skilled teacher to achieve proficiency. Mosaics, like recovery, involve taking the broken pieces and putting them back together in new ways. Frequently, one must step back and take a breath to gain perspective. New connections are forged and strong bonds are developed over the mortar of quips and laughter. Support and synchronicity spring from sharing the same process, but producing unique and different outcomes. Both healing and mosaics depend on many pieces fitting together to form a beautiful new image. With renewed hope and healing, the lotus blossom rises to greet the new day.


The Coffee House

- by Michael Guyette

Hey, look at those people hangin' round. They don't come out ‘til the sun goes down. Hey check out that dude lookin' real cool. Watch how he smiles while he's playin' pool. He's so hip with that wood in his hand. He plays it like a guitar in a rock 'n roll band. One ball after another, they roll so quick. Man! He's a real pro with that cue stick. All the dudes and dudettes sit around, talkin' the talk', it's a real cool sound. Everyone's smokin', the room's one giant cloud of nicotine. But it don't smell like cigarettes, if you know what I mean. That guy over there is on cloud nine. See ya when ya get back. Hope your trip is fine. When all the poets finish their sets, all the cats and kittens stand up and stretch. They rush to the bar for some thick, brown juice. They drink their java while they're hangin' loose. I could give a damn what that coffee's called, a long as it's hot but doesn't scald. I pay the man and I go home. I'll be back tomorrow at the microphone.


River – by Madona Wilber


A Walk Down by The River - by Carlos Nieto

One lazy morning, I sat in my big suede recliner. I was drinking hot coffee looking out the window when I noticed a group of red robins chasing each other playing a fowl game of tag. It was a warm sunny day out without a cloud in the sky. I decided it would be wonderful to go out for a walk by the river. When I was ready to leave, I heard my dog, Noche, whining to come along. Although he had been back by the river many times, he had a knack for finding trouble, once even finding a family of beavers to pester and upset to the point they chased us half way home. Since I hadn’t been back by the river in some time, I thought it would be best to leave him home this time. I walked through the old field feeling the crunch of the grass under my feet. The light breeze felt good on my face. It was a beautiful sunny day, not too hot, with a nice light wind from the north. I reached the path that led into the woods to the sound of a light rustling of maple leaves high above me. I could smell the cedar trees and sage as I took a few steps down the path, reinvigorating me as I walked along. As I came across an old birch tree, I laid tobacco at its base as I always do, remembering to say a prayer to the creator for the opportunity of being allowed this day in the woods. “You always lay your tobacco out for the spirits,” I was told when in the woods. Do this so no spirits will get mad and follow you home. It is also done so you may have a safe journey. I try to keep to those teachings whenever I can. I kept walking down the path, taking in all the beauty around me. There were beautiful white trilliums interlaced in the poison ivy all along the path. It made me think of how funny nature can be, with its beauty and evil living side by side. Even though I was alone, it was not quiet. High overhead I could hear the singing of songbirds. In the distance, to my left, I could 15

hear the mighty Wolf River flowing over the rocks. Everywhere I looked there was movement. The trees swayed in the wind tall and majestic. At my feet, Army ants marched along, working on storing up food for the winter that was sure to come. Just then I heard a rustling in the woods ahead of me. Two brown squirrels ran across the path, chasing each other, barking back and forth as if in some lover’s quarrel, oblivious of those around them. I watched as they went into the woods out of sight, still being able to hear their back and forth banter, an argument that was surely not going to end any time soon. As I reached the river, I could smell the freshness that comes with water here on the Menominee Reservation. I sat on the bank at the edge of the water. The river was clean and clear. You could see right to the bottom, everything looked so close you could just reach down and touch it, although it was probably fifteen feet deep. I removed my old shoes and socks to put my feet in the water. The water felt cool and refreshing around my toes and feet. I sat there breathing in the clean fresh air, when a tiny trout came up and nipped at my foot. He startled me and I jumped up, almost falling into the flowing river. Not that I blame him, but it was kind of rude to just go up to someone and scare the bejesus out of them, in my opinion. I kind of swore a little under my breath at the little guy for a second but then felt guilty for it. Maybe he was just mad at me for sticking my smelly feet in his beautiful river. I offered up some tobacco and laid it in the river. As I watched it float down steam, I prayed to the Creator once again for the wonderful day, the wonderful woods, and the wonderful walk. It was the kind of day where all your worries were washed away by the beauty and tranquility of it all, in and around you.


Lessons Learned

- by Sandra Shackelford

My father was a country boy. He was born in 1901 in the family dwelling place near the Rolling Fork River in north central Kentucky. His mother died of tuberculosis. Giving birth to my father was her last act on earth. Gestating in her womb, her tuberculosis marked him even before he made his fragile appearance on this planet. The index finger on his right hand, his trigger finger only had one joint and there was a shiny, taut patch of skin high on his spinal column between his shoulders. I always thought that that's where the hovering angels poured in kindness and humor so he could pass those qualities on to his only daughter. And his face, his left cheek. It, too, was marked. Oh, how I loved to sit on his lap as a little girl begging for one of his stories. Leaning into him, I'd reach up and touch that rough, rust colored depression that covered most of his left cheek. Later, when I went to grade school and learned that the world was a big, diverse place, I likened the scar’s shape to Africa. I treasure those early days sitting on Dad's lap. He was a man who respected nature, who fed us from its generous bounty. Fish. Rabbit. Pheasant. Ducks. And when I queried him asking exactly what I was putting in my finicky mouth, he'd smile across the table at me and say, “Tastes just like chicken, doesn't it, Sis?” It was rabbit, Thumper, the sweet little friend of Bambi's I'd met when I attended Saturday matinees at the Bay Theater. Life moved on, too quickly from my perspective. In his mid-70s my father suffered the first of two heart attacks. Unfulfilled by my job at a newspaper, I moved home to care for him after my mother died. Sensing the briefness of our time on earth, I decided to record my father's stories, track his growth from farm boy to father. Through his words, I would give others a sense of who he was. I pulled out my reporter's tape recorder. I was a grown woman now not the little minnow he'd catch whenever he fed me the embellished line of his tall tales, hooking me. “Dad,” I said. “Let's talk about hunting, that time you went to the Bear Tooth Range in Montana and learned a lesson that shaped your hunting life.” Dad, still week, recovering from his first heart attack, settled back in his chair, laying out his experience in that slow southern voice of his; his cloudy eyes focused inward. “An old granddad took me hunting,” my father began. “He must have been 65-years old. He was just an old frontier guy who lived out in the boondocks away from everybody. He had everything anybody could want. He had food on his table. Meat to eat. And within about 200 to 300 yards off from the house, he had a big trout stream. And there were trout just 17

swimmin' around, waiting for someone to come and catch them. He had deer. Antelope. Sage hens. Anything he wanted, it was there. He and his wife didn't want for too much as far as food and contentment was concerned. They were contented people. Just good old mountain farmers. So we go out. I wasn't used to the altitude. I was huffin' and puffn'. The old man sees I'm having trouble so he tells me to put a pebble under my tongue. Well, I started huntin' with that old man and he damn near killed me. We were going along on a flat piece of land and here comes a jack rabbit. He was doin' about 220-miles-an-hour and he was only in second gear. He wasn't even strung out yet. He was just getting' started. So I figure, Man. I'm going to take you!” I reached for my gun and shot him from the hip. I beat the hell out of that jack rabbit. So I looked over at the old man – times were tough, you know – and I said, “Do you want the jack rabbit?” And the old man said, “Not if I have to carry him, I don't.” And I said, “Aw, hell. I'll carry the jack rabbit.” “Be my guest,” the old man said. So I puts the jack rabbit in my hunting coat and away we went. We climbed about four more rim rocks and I say to the old man, “Do you want this jackrabbit?” And he says, “Not if I've got to carry him, I don't want him.” So about the fourth time I asked him that, I said, “To hell with you. You're not going to get the jack rabbit.” And he said, “I didn't think you'd keep him when you put him in your hunting coat.” So I cut off his ears, stuffed them in my pocket and let the jack rabbit lay there. And the old man said, “Now let that be a lesson to you. If you can't handle it, don't take it.” I switched off the tape recorder. Dad was getting tired. But I didn't put it away. I kept it near. Thank goodness, there was tomorrow and another tomorrow after that. And just as he had done when I was the little girl sitting on his lap, he'd hooked me again, reeling me in to record and share his stories.


Rain on Window – by Madona Wilber 19

Greed Is . . .

- by Kateri Cornelius Greed is something that can strike any of us or our brothers Greed is a lack of sight for what is best for others Greed is the flame inside that ferociously burns inside of someone who doesn’t know any better, someone who’s never learned Greed is a temptation that the weak can’t resist It doesn’t know the right choice from the wrong choice so the right choice is dismissed Greed paints a glamorous picture of a life we think we’ve been wanting without regard for the consequences that in the future will be haunting We’re the tall dry forest and greed is the lighter It only takes a little spark to start a wildfire and once it starts and once it spreads like an epidemic that you can’t contain it’s hard to restore what you’ve destroyed and you can’t relieve the pain Greed flows through the empty spaces in the heart where there’s a lack of compassion pumping they just didn’t understand, and they had to strive towards something So I mourn for the greedy and all of their confusion They’ve always been lost, their whole life’s been an illusion 20

So I mourn for the greedy and the sickness in which they’re doomed Their whole life spent consuming and in that consumption they’re consumed Greed is what greed does and what greed does is take Individually gaining power as the world around you breaks Real strength and real power lies within education it replaces greed with real inspiration The more we teach and learn all together will lead us towards making the world so much better



Leaf in Water – by Madona Wilber


House of Leaves

- by Mary Anne Hill I remember raking rows of leaves Into floor plans for my imaginary house, Outlining the shapes and doorways, Dancing through my many rooms, All with spectacular views, Not letting my sister enter Until I invited her in for tea. I made endless adjustments, Expanding sizes, creating alcoves, Lost in weightless time, Until my house was perfect for me. But the north wind began to ruffle the walls, Lifting the leaves, sending them skittering, Ragged remnants against a navy sky, Erasing my fragile creative castle walls, As my mother called us in for dinner.


Enchanted Love - by Jill Martin Our eyes met A lightening strike As the souls collided Your mind in mine I recognized you Enchanted love

I dreamed of forever Lost in my sea of dying hope Drifting on the edge of time But the end was the beginning And I believed in you Enchanted love

I called your name An echo of hope In my lifetime of sorrow I knew you would always come I wished for you Enchanted love

And there you were My soul in yours Born of my dreams Bewitched by our destiny I desired only you Enchanted love

You came to me In the force of destiny A hurricane of love and war A storm of survival I waited for you Enchanted love

Our first moment lingered Smiles infected with hope Electrified with inevitability Consecrated with intention I am of you Enchanted love

My heart heavy With an eternity of love Waiting for your arrival You ruptured my sleepless nights I dreamed of you Enchanted love

It lives What always would be It breathes life into our souls A sorcery of fated allure It was always you Enchanted love It was always us Enchanted love


Cranes – by Madona Wilber


Love Poem

- by Larry Madden I kissed her lips on a falls sunny day. I left her, though I wanted to stay. Time had come, that she must go away. Miss her I will, till her time of return. My heart filled with love and concern. Lack of her company will cause me to yearn. Just as day passes, from darkness to light, The season’s progress, marked by geese flight. Return, yes she will, like the dawn of the day. I’ll welcome her home and cheer all the way. I’ll hold her again, she won’t slip away. Never again will we have a sad day. But by chance, that time never comes. I’ll stand strong my vigil, as I long for my Love.


Crane – by Melissa Wilber

Eagle in Tree – by Melissa Wilber


Intertwined Lives - by Jessica Buettner Ruth Fulton Benedict's radicalism is reflected in her revolutionary heritage, social reform motivation, ground breaking career, and sexual changes throughout her life. The middle class ancestry in her family had backgrounds in migration, dissenting, moralism, and well educated female reformers, which were rare for the time. Benedict's family settled in upstate New York, in an era where Puritan moralism, revolutionary idealism, and westward expansion grew. Benedict was born in 1887 with a troubled childhood due to the early death of her father, which she believed led to her own mental and physical anguish. Lois Banner, the author of Intertwined Lives, suggests that possible abuse within the family might be an issue as well. She moved to Buffalo when she was twelve, and had a relatively idyllic middle class experience and had participated in close friendships between girls that were central to gender socialization of the time. She entered Vassar College in 1905 and while in college the issue of women's rights and race were important, but contrasted older women's equality ideology. This new feminism concentrated on motherhood and marriage but also included higher education as well as having a career. After returning from a tour in Europe, she decided the social expectations of marriage and motherhood were a way to find happiness. She married Stanley Benedict, but chose to keep her last name Fulton and also agreed on a marriage contract, which was uncommon for the time. The reform ideals she further developed in Vassar inspired her free love ideals and after they moved to Long Island and she failed to conceive a child or fill the expected housewife role, she ended up rented a room for weekly 28

living away from her husband in Bedford Hills. She came to New York City in 1914 when radical women's movements were developing, and was inspired to infuse feminism with humanism, individuality, and independence to achieve social change. In 1919, she enrolled in a course titled “Women and the Social Order� taught by Elise Clew Parsons at Columbia University. This course focused on both genders and urged an end to social distinctions. She entered anthropology graduate studies at Columbia in 1921, and in 1922 became a graduate student instructor. This is where she met Margaret Mead, whom she recruited to anthropology and who became one of her lovers, with both of their relationships to men being strained. They worked under Franz Boas, who was one of the first academics to take a stand against growing racism and nationalism in the nation. They agreed to work on projects that focused on documenting Native American tribes in the nation before their cultures were lost to Westernization. Despite gender discrimination among men within the department who thought that women were intellectually inferior, they did realize they needed women to carry out research with women in tribal societies. She focused her studies on males in various Native American tribes and the painful rituals they used to achieve vision quests. She was against male aggression and domination and she also recognized the matriarchal respect and leadership within some of these tribes. She also recognized the oppression and homosexual tendencies of people within some tribes, and rejected the increased hostility and homophobia in her own culture. She believed that learning from other cultures and focusing on nonaggression should be the way to measure worth within a society. According to Katherine Pandora, Benedict's book Patterns of Culture changed behavioral science by concentrating on relativity in cultures.


Benedict also embraced the ideas of sexual freedom that occurred in the 1920's, believing that utopian free love was a way to reach social reform. This was a direct threat to morality of the time, and she sought a way to change labels of deviance, promote understanding of abnormality, further individuality and adopt a Deweyian style of social planning to overcome these threats (Banner, p. 303). She promoted race relations by designing anti-racist programs for elementary and secondary schools. She claimed that there was no such thing as racial purity and believed that racism was the direct result of nationalism, exploitation, and saw racial equality as a way to save democracy. Benedict supported FDR's New Deal and thought that the state had the power to reform. In 1947 she became president of the American Anthropological Association, and died of heart failure within a year. Her free love ideals, entering the male dominated society of anthropology and her marked stand against racism make Ruth Fulton Benedict a true radical of her time.

Works Cited Banner, Lois W. Intertwined Lives: Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict and Their Circle, 2003.


Wind is Power – by Melissa Wilber 31

Feather Chronicles Fall 2014  

Feather Chronicles is produced by College of Menominee Nation students and includes contributed work from students (current, former, and fut...

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