Peter Blue Cloud – The Cry
Peter Blue Cloud (Aroniawenrate) (born 1935 – 2011) was a Mohawk poet, and folklorist. He was born on the Caughnawaga Reserve in Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada and died in Montreal on April 27, 2011.
In the late 1950’s, he traveled to California, where he was employed as an ironworker in the Bay Area. After quitting the iron, he worked as a logger with the Haida people in the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia, as a ranch hand in the vicinity of Susanville, California, and doing archaeological field work with the Paiute people of Pyramid Lake, Nevada.
He lived for some time at the Maidu Bear Dance grounds near Janesville, Ca, where he absorbed the stories and teachings of Maidu elders, and where some of his first creations as a carver and sculptor emerged.
Moving back to the Bay Area, he discovered the Beat poetry and folk music scenes, and the social and political upheaval of the 60’s. There he continued to develop his talents as a poet, sculptor, carver and painter, collaborated with other Native artists and writers, and participated in art exhibitions.
While an artist in many genres, Blue Cloud is most known for his writing. He published several books of poetry and his poems appear in numerous anthologies and journals.
It was all darkness and always had been.
There was nothing there forever.
Creation was a tiny seed
awaiting a dream.
The dream came to be
because of the cry.
A howling cry which was
an echo in the emptiness of nothing.
The cry was very lonely and
caused the dream to
turn over in its sleep.
The dream did not want to awaken,
but the crying would not stop.
Well, thought the dream, opening its mind,
so now I am awake and there is something.
The dream floated above itself
and looked into its mind.
It wanted to see what the cry was.
What it saw was a dream
within its own dreaming.
And that other dream was Creation.
And Creation was the cry
seeking to begin something,
but it didn’t know what,
and that is why it cried.
So the original dream lifted
the Creation dream from its mind
and set it free.
Then it went to the other end of nothing
and let itself go back
to dreamless sleep.
Creation floated all over the nothing,
dreaming of all the things it would do.
Its dreaming was interrupted
often by crying.
So, it wasn’t me crying after all,
Then it thought again,
but it is me because I dreamed it.
So, I have begun Creation with a cry.
When I begin to create the universe,
I must remember to give the cry
a very special place.
I’ll call the cry
Peter Blue Cloud
Date: April 5, 2012
Categories: Peter Blue Cloud