Colors in the Rain

The Way to Rainbow Mountain is a moving collection of poems that span the Americas, from Newfoundland to Patagonia. The main theme is recovery. A Native American woman living in the northern Catskills is diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully (if that word can even be used in the case of cancer) the menace is not malignant. The tumor is removed with a lumpectomy and no chemotherapy is needed.  After surgery, her lover takes her on a couple of vacations, travels that written about compete with the best road-trip works in literature. Her amante is her caretaker, guide, and best friend. He drives her to see “daffodils and hyacinths flame forth,//the forget-me-nots and spring beauties…Long after the cold comes//and snow metastasizes across the mountains.” They converse with Peruvian, Chilean, and Bolivian natives. They exchange thoughts with llamas and guanacos. He changes flat tires on red-sand roads. All during the trips, she is passing through clouds of depression, ruminating in poetic monologues while escaping the pain and hollowness left by the extracted lump left back in the Catskills: “Is this light the Milky Way’s star road//watched over by llama eyes, the flashing//out of my skin not my fleeting rapture//when solstice flares in.” When they arrive at the base of the hill facing Rainbow Mountain, at an altitude of 17,000 feet, her lover has to practically carry her up, because the air is too thin for her to breathe. The beauteous peak becomes her colors in the rain. – Stephen Page, author of “A Ranch Bordering the Salty River.”

Susan Deer Cloud

Susan Deer Cloud, an alumna of public ivy Binghamton University, is a Catskill Métis Indian of Mohawk, Blackfoot and some Seneca lineage.  Currently Susan is an MFA student in Creative Writing at Goddard College, her tribal home away from home.  She has received various awards and fellowships, including a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, a New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Chenango County Council for the Arts Literature Grant, First Prize in Allen Ginsberg Poetry Competition (twice), Prairie Schooner’s Readers’ Choice Award, and Native American Wordcraft Circle Editor’s Award for her multicultural anthology Confluence.  Deer Cloud’s work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies.  Her poetry collection The Last Ceremony (2007) and her Native anthology I Was Indian (2009) are also FootHills publications.  In 2008 Deer Cloud served as guest editor for Spring Issue of Yellow Medicine Review, a Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art & Thought; she is currently an adviser to YMR.  She lives peacefully with Wu Wei, her Persian cat, and Poetry, her one constant lover, in a second floor yurt in a rainy city in Iroquois Country.  You can write to Susan Deer Cloud at

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