In Pine, Arizona

By Ray Young Bear


On a picnic table, in Pine, Arizona,
a Bear, Makwa, sits and meditates.
Occasionally, with menu in hand,
he scans the reddish-brown landscape
partially draped with snow, a climatic
rarity. But it’s heavenly here, he resolves,
adding, inittawetti-menwi-bematesiyani,
that’s why I’m feeling good. After
New York steak, jumbo prawns
and woodland mushrooms, a bottle
of cabernet is placed on a cedar deer
rack. While dipping the sopapilla
honey, he reads the wine called
Zah was highly coveted by Bonnie,
the 1930s gangster. The ruse evokes
a smile. Then, on a cart that’s
in beside him, a miniature cast-iron
stove with its legs embedded
in ice crackles as two potatoes
revolve and bake. From a silver
with a wobbly antennae,
a saxophone is heard faintly,
with Mayall singing “Going
Back to California.” Nostalgia,
the D. J. Epic, graphic


Soon, sparks fly from the microwave’s
slender chimney, reminding him of the time
he gave Black Eagle Childs a tune called
Askotewi-Ttimani, Fire Boat. Akin
lovers separated by a wide river,
whispers Nemese, Fish, the butter’s
fragrance is corn tassel sweet
and the sour cream senses earth
akameeki, overseas. Combustible
emotions, you could say, through
supernatural alchemy. And per
etiquette, the handles of your
are designed with turquoise
and corral inlay. “Say, I seem to
have forgotten,” he asks, “but what
do they mean?”


From a nearby table, a Mawewa, Wolf
politely intercedes: If I may answer
for Mayrin—once the shell-shock subsides,
you’ll recall the East is a star and the South
a galaxy falling as snow into a dish that
breathes, especially at noon; and the West
is a door of purple seashells, with the North
being a lodge made with pillars of swirling
quills. Natawinoni, Medicine. These gifts
will keep apoplectic reactions at bay.
“Wekone? What?” More so, if by birth
your heart is exposed. “Jesus Christ!
you know?” Nanotti-meko-Makwa-webi-
nenekenetama-wettikweni, Eventually,
Bear begins reflecting on where he’d
been. In Tanzania and Mozambique,
of white string that guided land
mine-detecting rats over dry, ochre-
colored fields resembled gardens
being prepped for spring
back home. Beautiful,
speckled atamina, corn.


Remarkably, rats can also detect TB,
said the Wakotte, Fox. “They can?”
Moreover, in the desert where you
visited, a waterfall came back to life
a single raindrop, the one that travelled
with you on a Spider’s web, floating
in the wind over distant mountains,
oceans and clouds. Manetwi-kiyaki-
There’s still much we have to do.
Because the Earth beneath our feet,
Kokomesenana, our Grandmother,
struggles to heal herself. Thus,
the moment before the Northern
Lights glow fiery red, arcing over
us en route to Antarctica, you’ll ask
in a solemn, musical voice that
be granted in perpetuum to the culture,
language, religion and history of your
children and their grandchildren.
He was contemplating all of this
an old, toothless gentleman in
a large suitcoat approached
and asked, are you Randolph Scott?
After saying “Yes,” an armor-clad
became audibly restless at the four
dragon-headed dogs staring at three
galley sails billowing on the hinterland