Carrying Our Words
By Ofelia Zepeda

We travel carrying our words.
We arrive at the ocean.
With our words we are able to speak
of the sounds of thunderous waves.
We speak of how majestic it is,
of the ocean power that gifts us songs.
We sing of our respect
and call it our relative.

Translated into English from O’odham by the poet.

’U’a g T-ñi’okı˘

T-ñi’okı˘ ’att ’an o ’u’akc o hihi
Am ka:ck wui dada.
S-ap ‘am o ’a: mo has ma:s g kiod.
mat ’am ’ed.a betank ’i-gei.
’Am o ’a: mo he’es ’i-ge’ej,
mo hascu wud. i:da gewkdagaj
mac ’ab amjed. behě g ñe’i.
Hemhoa s-ap ‘am o ’a: mac si has elid, mo d. ’i:mig.


Ofelia Zepeda shares nature’s beauty in her own words hoping to awaken us to man’s need for a natural world, its delicate nature, and our stewardship.  Above, we read her poem, Carrying Our Words, where we are reminded that we are connected, we are relatives, says Zepeda, to nature.  According to Zepeda, as relatives to the ocean we must respect it.  As seen in The Last Man or The Tempest, the ocean cannot be controlled–it possesses its own rhythm, passion, and power. Although man cannot control the ocean, man can help take care of it by implementing measures that will reduce the damage inflicted by environmental improprieties .

Ofelia Zepeda, Renowned Poet & Linguist Expert

Ofelia Zepeda Native American Poetry Reading

Ofelia Zepeda @ Universe of Poetry

Ofelia Zepeda @ Poetry Foundation

Ofelia Zepeda @ Poetry.Org

Carrying Our Words