Poetry Friday-Giving flowers of Hope

Happy Poetry Friday!

I have been consumed with the unchanging situation of the teens being held, and continuously brought to the Tornillo, TX detention camp, near El Paso. At last count there were 2400 teens between the age of 13 and 17 years that are being held there–some since June. They all came into the US on their own and anticipated being reunited with family already here. They are being kept, hidden away, in a tent city that’s surrounded by a barbed wire fence. They are dressed in a uniform, fed  but allowed hardly any social interaction. I read this as a crime against children, against humanity–I wanted to do something. 

A man named Joshua Rubin has temporarily left his job to hold vigil there outside the detention camp on behalf of these teens. He has a Facebook page that he’s set up with some images of the camp, a couple of things we can do, and lots more info. The Facebook page is Witness Tornillo. 

1 Flowers of hope tornillo tx detention camp 11-2018

december flowers
bring hope and remembrance
to fill your heart.

© 2018 Michelle Kogan

I originally wrote a heart wrenching anaphora poem that I thought I would share–But when I found out that a group is going to be at the internment camp at Christmas, and they are looking to receive 2400 flowers  to represent the 2400 teens that are interned at this camp– I decided to offer you this haiku instead and save my other poem for another platform. Making these flowers is a very small act but sometimes small actions plant seeds and multiply, I’m hoping this will blossom and happen. Perhaps some of the flowers will reach the hands and hearts of the teens inside. Here’s the direct link for Flowers for Children in Tornillo.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is being hosted this week by Carol at her blog Carol’s Corner, thanks for hosting Carol!

About Michelle Kogan Art, Illustration, & Writing

Michelle Kogan is an artist, illustrator, instructor, and writer, creating colorful allegorical figure, flora and fauna paintings and children's illustrations, which have a sensitivity to endangered species, and the environment. She is an art instructor at the Evanston Art Center and offers Plein Air Painting Workshops at nature venues in the Chicago area including the Lincoln Park Conservatory, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and Lurie Gardens at Millennium Park. Visit her online Etsy Shop at: http://www.MichelleKoganFineArt.etsy.com and her website: http://www.michellekogan.com
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12 Responses to Poetry Friday-Giving flowers of Hope

  1. lindabaie says:

    I have been following the news, Michelle, but have not come across this new site, nor the flower idea. Thanks for sharing. The news is flooded with so much, and only sometimes do I read of these teens. I taught 13 & 14-year-olds, can’t imagine how they are surviving.

  2. Tabatha says:

    I hadn’t heard of this — thanks for letting us know, Michelle. Your poem and flower are just right.

  3. jama says:

    Thanks for the heads up about the flower project as well as Joshua’s efforts to bring attention to the situation. Your haiku and paper flower are lovely.

  4. alwriting says:

    It seems this hardening of the heart towards people seeking refuge and freedom is a world wide phenomenon Michelle. It’s appalling and disturbing, so even the smallest of actions matter. I recently organized a poetry and pasta evening to raise funds to purchase books for refugee kids. It was so well supported, it gave me heart. Our actions matter. The flower project is a symbol of hope and a reminder to these young people that someone does care, so more power to you Michelle. Poetry and flowers- two acts of positivity!

  5. macrush53 says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I will share with others.

  6. maryleehahn says:

    Tragic and heartbreaking. But yes, every small act makes a ripple.

  7. Michelle, thank you for your art, your heart that breaks and mends and fills with hope. I am just devastated by what’s going on in these detention centers and many other areas of life we live. Your art, your words, the seeds that you and all of us are planting are truly what make me keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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