Tag Archives: Sea of Cortez

Lines in the Sand

As promised yesterday, I’m posting more photos of the Sea of Cortez. I took them in 2006 while on vacation in Mexico. I thought this post would just be about the photos. But, as often happens when I start writing, I never know where I’ll end up. True to form, my voyage today to the Sea of Cortez has brought me to some unexpected territory.

The featured image above shows 13 birds (12 pelicans and 1 independent-minded seagull). I thought that was rather fitting for the Day 13 Nano Poblano challenge. Here are some other photos that I took that day:

I’ve always found footprints in the sand intriguing. The bird tracks were made by a seagull (maybe the one in the photo above). The wave tracks make me think about how temporary everything is, like these word-tracks that I’m typing right now.

I was surprised to see a U.S. Capitol building on a beach in Mexico. I wouldn’t have expected that, given the tensions between the two countries. But the picture was taken in 2006, before talk of any border wall, right? Wrong. I just Googled “history of U.S. border wall” and found this article on worldstir.com that gives a timeline of U.S./Mexico border issues since 1845. Construction of a border wall was first mandated in 1993.

One thing that struck me about that timeline is that U.S. policies toward Mexico have always been calculated to serve our interests and ignore theirs. First we took their land through war, then we encouraged their people to immigrate here for their cheap labor, and then we deported them again when the Great Depression hit. We even require Native Americans whose tribe spans both countries to carry documentation with them when they travel within their own land, and we arrest and deport them when they fail to do so. I’m interested in this topic because, having worked in Tucson schools, I’ve known of many “dreamers” who feel like they’re out of options, or who live in fear that their parents will be deported while they’re at school.

After reading the timeline, I was curious to learn even more and found a Library of Congress post about the history of Mexican immigration. The article begins like this:

“The first Mexicans to become part of the United States never crossed any border. Instead, the border crossed them.”

A line in the sand, the imprint of war. Why can’t we all be like the pelicans and gulls, and just learn to get along?

Badge 2017

 

 

Sea of Cortez

It’s Day 12 of the Nano Poblano blogging challenge. I’ve managed to get through days 1 through 11 without too much trouble, but today I really struggled to think of something profound, interesting, funny, or newsworthy. My mind was a blank, so I looked in my blog closet. (That’s where I keep all of my old, wrinkled, dusty ideas.) But my blog closet was empty, except for a bunch of hangers. Well, there was one thing hanging in it. A t-shirt. The t-shirt said, “I went to the Sea of Cortez, and all I got was this lousy poem.”

Just kidding. I don’t really have a blog closet, or a t-shirt that says that. But that’s how I felt, until I re-read the old poem below and thought to myself, “I kind of like it.” So here it is, my old raggedy t-shirt of a poem. I hope you like it, too. Tomorrow I’ll post some Sea of Cortez photos.

Oh, and by the way, I went to Nano Poblano 2017, and so far I’m getting a lot more than a lousy t-shirt. I’m bringing back a lot of great souvenirs (your posts).

Sea of Cortez

Thin white clouds as flat as sheets
lay pressed and cool against the sky
while underneath, the warm sea surged
like liquid glass on wrinkled sand.

A bent man in a canvas chair
sat silently and watched the waves;
his hearing ran out long ago
and so he listened with his heart.

Two boys with skin as pink as shrimp
dug holes and filled them up with stones,
then threw them at some guileless gulls
just to make them fly away.

The old man saw the flat white clouds,
the pink boys, and the pale blue sky
and felt the pounding of the surf,
a pulse that came in measured beats,

A song of stones hurled into space,
of blood thundering through the veins,
a sound that only mermaids speak
and only hearts can understand.

© Lori Bonati, 2017

Badge 2017