Traverse City Record-Eagle

Northern Living

June 16, 2013

Terry Wooten: Native heirlooms spark imagination

When I was 6 years old Grandpa Helmboldt gave me an old Indian pipe made out of wild cherry wood. That same summer he gave me a flint spearhead he’d found in the woods on a mound north of a ghost town. He always said an inner voice told him to look down while rabbit hunting.

The pipe was older than great-grandma who could remember when Woodland Indians migrated through every spring and fall. The spearhead was from a time so long ago even Indians couldn’t remember. I could hold the sharp stone in my hand and imagine.

Grandpa’s gifts touched something he must’ve seen inside me. I’m not a pipe carrier like in the following poems, but the heirlooms affected my life and my art. Grandpa had a way of sparking my imagination that set me on a creative path. Today, the pipe and the spearhead are two of my most prized possessions.

Another Summer Solstice is close. Stone Circle begins its 30th year of poetry and song on June 22. Now is a good time to acknowledge a nature-based, holistic lifestyle.

After receiving tribal consent, J Sam II participated in my Brethren Elders Project, along with seven other community elders. The eight elders were interviewed by Brethren High School students, and the project was

sponsored by SEEDS.

All the students wrote poems from their interviews, but the three below are mine.

A big hug goes to Chelsea Hummon Nester and Ben Parsons, the Brethren SEEDS coordinators, for gathering the elders and students, and making this event happen.

Poet Bard Terry Wooten has been performing and conducting writing workshops in schools for 29 years. He is also the creator of Stone Circle, a triple ring of boulders featuring poetry, storytelling and music on his property north of Elk Rapids. Learn more at

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Facebook Is Officially A Mobile Company 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter