Cloud Man’s “White Clay”

@ Guest Poet, Cloud Man

            White Clay

This is a border place. Like all borders.

There is a feel that defies interpretation.


How does one define nostalgia for pain,

I miss my father beating my mother Or

When my mother drank she cursed my father.

I used to eat bologna sandwiches, potato chips for dinner

Dinner? Or was it a snack it was what I had for lunch?


If I went north towards home

If I went south into tomorrow


Some have made this border place a cause

I spent hours of my childhood here


How does one know of borders

When one becomes the border


I am still in between places

I still have the last potato chip bag

And that bologna skin ring

From the last night at White Clay



                                        White Clay II

There used to be an ice cream shop,

Across from Howard’s Store

One Sunday I counted all the families

Coming for floats

Chocolate and vanilla cones.

On Howard’s Store wall

Were Lakota words.

If you could read Lakota

These were items he sold

A grocery list

I used to sit in the shade by that store



  1. slpmartin said,

    April 12, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing the poems by Cloud Man…they were thought provoking.

  2. April 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I most enjoy Cloud Man’s poem. I work in Indian and Eskimo villages in Alaska, and although they are not “reservations” the sites are remote, and alcoholism is rampant. There are many similarities of experience here; thanks Cloud Man

  3. Melissa said,

    April 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    The first poem is particularly powerful. Thank you for sharing.

  4. flyingunibrow said,

    April 14, 2011 at 1:48 am

    =D I love poetry, and the first one is potent, especially the second stanza. Kudos! I should read more of your stuff when I’m less lazy!

  5. Barbara Rodgers said,

    April 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Powerful – your poetry calls up some very strong impressions and emotions from the past.

  6. Artswebshow said,

    April 15, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Two very different versions.
    Both of which are great.
    I think most people try to block out the feeling of nostalgia when its about pain.

  7. eva626 said,

    April 15, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Cloud man…very cool name lol. and the poems are really well written!

    • eva626 said,

      April 15, 2011 at 11:11 am

      hey EVA!!! i awarded you something…check my blog in an hour or so!

  8. judithhb said,

    April 17, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Just popped over from Val’s blog. Love the poems. How clever to say so much in so few words. I envy you this ability.

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