Archive for the ‘Tohono O’odham’ Tag

Kitt Peak — Looking To The Stars   Leave a comment

Wassen Peak (1 of 1)-6 II blog

Wassen Peak (1 of 1)-7 blogView of Kitt Peak from Gould Hill Mine Trail In the Tucson Mountains. — Images by kenne

The Kitt Peak National Observatory is a United States astronomical observatory located on Kitt Peak of the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O’odham Nation, 55 miles west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona.

San José de Tumacácori Mission   Leave a comment

NogalesSan José de Tumacácori Mission Church Ruins — Image by kenne

Father Kino wanted a good place to settle:
A place near water, like the Santa Cruz River.

Listen close — the sound of water and animals
in a region then known as the Pimería Alta.

The Fathers followed the trading routes of the
Tohono O’odham, where they worked together,

often roaming hundreds of miles
sleeping by the rivers, purifying their ears.

— kenne

Mission San José de Tumacácori Sobaipuri Structures   Leave a comment

Nogales

NogalesSobaipuri (a branch of the O’odham) Structures on the Grounds of the Mission San José de Tumacácori
— Image by kenne

“The importance of any story is what is it trying to teach you.
I’m O’odham, and I’ll always be O’odham, so these stories are a part of me.
If I choose not to value my own culture, then I would have a conflict with who I am.” 

— Ron Geronimo, Tohono O’odham

Feasting On Saguaro Cactus Fruit   2 comments

Each spring the white-winged doves return from wintering in Mexico and the air is filled with their mating calls. The hoots and coos are so common they sometimes drown out the sounds of other birds.

White Winged Dove (1 of 1) blog

The return of the white-winged doves plays a very important role in the life cycle of the saguaro cactus. When saguaros flower, white-winged doves move from flower to flower, sipping nectar and pollinating the plant.

White-Winged Dove on Saguaro-1764 blogOnce the flowers become fruit, the doves have a new food source. The sweet fruit is filled with thousands of tiny seeds, which pass unharmed through the digestive system of the dove. If seeds are passed while the dove is perched on a tree or bush, that tree or bush might become a nurse plant to the growing saguaro. Such a plant protects the young saguaro from extreme weather and animals and greatly increases its chances of survival.

White-Winged Dove on Saguaro-1763 blogFor the Tohono O’odham, the saguaro cactus and its fruit (bahidaj) is a very important part of their heritage. The towering saguaro cactus provides both physical and spiritual sustenance for the people. With temperatures now over 100 degrees, the bahidaj is now ripening and being harvested by the Tohono O’odham.  (Images by kenne)

— kenne

White-winged Dove Abstract Art(1 of 1)-9 blogWhite-winged Dove Abstract Art by kenne

 

Easter Along The Borderlands   1 comment

Spring Flower (1 of 1)-2 framed blogEaster Along the Borderlands — Image by kenne

When you’re at the mission
Sixty miles north of Nogales
And it’s Easter time too

It’s so easy to put on airs
At the place where
Father Kino drink the

Spring water that once was
Near the banks of the
Santa Cruz River.

On the first Friday after Easter
The Tohono O’odham of the
San Xavier Reservation

Conduct a candlelight parade
Just as the setting sun kisses
The white dove of the desert

Where she awaits the coming
of the
“Excellent Builder”
to complete the second tower.

 — kenne

The Sonoran Desert’s White Dove   2 comments

Green Mountain, Saguaro, Mission

Green Mountain, Saguaro, Mission

Green Mountain, Saguaro, Mission

Green Mountain, Saguaro, MissionMission San Xavier del Bac — Images kenne

The White Dove Of The Desert

Imagine this:

Stranger
On horseback

Dark flowing rode
Moving in the breeze

Crossing
The desert southwest

Entering
The village of the

Desert people –
Tohono O’odham

Friendly people

Bonding
With the stranger –

Father Kino
Jesuit priest

Establishing
Third mission —

(Twenty-four total)

Upon which
The current church

Was built
Century later

Reflecting
Baroque architecture

Blossoming
In the desert blue sky

The White Dove
Of the Desert.

kenne

Where The Desert Touches The Sea — Puerto Peñasco   2 comments

Why, Arizona

Why, Arizona

Disregarding our “laced with fear” friends, Tom Markey and I drove Ajo Way (Arizona 86 Highway) out of Tucson to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. The drive, most of which is through the Tohono O’odham Nation, is a very picturesque drive to Why, Arizona in the Sonoran desert.

On The Way To Why

The road is long,
a straight blacktop
across the land
of the Tohono O’odham.

Each passing mile
stirring up reflections
while pondering
each crucifix
with plastic flowers —

conquering my thoughts
drifting in and out
of my soul
wondering why,
why-not,
on the way
of leftover dreams.

— kenne
(The Sonoran desert has awaken my yearning for the spiritual allowing me to feel the mysterious anguish of all things.)

Tom and Pedro

Tom and Pedro

We drove through the communities of Sells, Why and Lukeville before crossing the border about 80 miles north of Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point). This sea-shore desert town is at the north end of the Gulf of California on the narrow strip of land that connects Baja California with the rest of Mexico.

Our plan was to have Pedro (the boat owner who has taken Tom fishing in the past) take us fishing in the Gulf. However, given the neuropathy Tom was still experiencing from his last chemo (#6) session, and after meeting with Pedro, we decided fishing would be left for another day.

Now Tom and I would have more time to walk the beach discussing poetry, philosophy and life stories.

Tom had brought alone the bilingual edition of Federico Garcia Lorca‘s Collected Poems. I don’t recall my having discussed Lorca with Tom, but he soon learned of my love for the man, his daemonic genius and ability to invoke the duende in his poetry. 

“I want to summon up all the good will, all the purity of intention I have, because like all true artists I yearn for my poems to reach your hearts and cause the communication of love among you, forming the marvelous chain of spiritual solidarity that is the chief end to any work of art.” — from Lorca’s “Lecture,” Poet In New York

Until moving to the desert southwest, it was Lorca’s writings that served as a substitute for what was absent, since nothing is as it should be. I had a powerful desire to move from the there to the here and until I could be more in the presentplanting roots in the spirituality of the border lands — invoking a deep trance-like emotion, his poetry satisfied the desire .

Ed Hirsch & Yard Photos

KenneTurner, Edward Hirsch and Dave Parsons

In his book, The Demon and The Angel, Edward Hirsch writes that duende (or the demon) and the angel are vital spirits of creative imagination, two figures for a power that dwells deep within us:

“Lorca’s myriad crystal tambourines wounding the new day are fresh poetic fact, an extrasensory event that strikes the reader or listener as something that has been creatively added to nature, something beyond natural or even metaphorical description, something visionary.”

As we drove the Tohono O’odham land, the land of the “Desert People,” so much around us began to invoke the presence of duende, a feeling I continue to try to express, but remains beyond description, while allowing a spiritual absolute — “toward which all artistic endeavor, especially music and literature, seems to tend.”

 

Tom Markey On The Beach At Mayan Palace

Tom Markey On The Beach At Mayan Palace

The poet is the medium
of Nature
who explains her greatness
by means of words.

The poet understands
all that is incomprehensible,
and things that hate each other
he calls friends.

He knows that all paths
are impossible
and thus he walks them
calmly in the night.

— Federico Garcia Lorca

kenne

Rocky Point

Where The Desert Touches The Beach

“The duende does not come at all unless he sees that death is possible,” Lorca wrote in “Deep Song.”

Malagueña

Death
goes in and out
of the tavern.

Black horses
and sinister people
pass along the Sunken roads
of the guitar.

There’s an odor of slat
and female blood
in the feverish spikenard
along the shore.

Death
goes in and out,
out and in
of the tavern goes
death.

— Federico Garcia Lorca

“All that has black sounds has duende.”

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