James Welch

3/11/14 & 3/12/14: This week on "Reflections West:" Robert Stubblefield reflects on the power of the written word to bring immediacy to story-telling.  He pairs his thoughts with a passage from a James Welch novel, Fools Crow.

"Still Alive"

Feb 10, 2014

Grain from farms along the Highline
fills the hold of Nordic Monarch.
Madrona sheds its bark like skin and
the surface of the sea is more
sensitive than skin. Somewhere
my noble fir breathes in
a million cells of air.

"Magic Fox"

Oct 7, 2013

They shook the green leaves down,
those men that rattled
in their sleep. Truth became
a nightmare to their fox.
He turned their horses into fish,
or was it horses strung
like fish, or fish like fish
hung naked in the wind?

Stars fell upon their catch.
A girl, not yet twenty-four
but blonde as morning birds, began
a dance that drew the men in
green around her skirts.
In dust her magic jangled memories
of dawn, till fox and grief
turned nightmare in their sleep.

Ken Billington

The new Montana-made film "Winter in the Blood" received a warm reception at its recent premiere at the Los Angeles film festival, and will have its Montana premiere this Saturday evening in Missoula. The film is based on the acclaimed novel by the late Montana author James Welch - who was a family friend of the film's directors, brothers Alex and Andrew Smith. Both the novel and the movie give a harsh but authentic portrait of growing up on Montana's Blackfeet reservation and the hi-line, where it was filmed.