Welcome Immigrant Children, Bienvenidos

Support the Immigrant Children

girl with face in arms cropped_2I wrote this poem to read on July 7, 2014 at the peace poetry reading produced by the Revolutionary Poets Brigade/San Francisco, the World Poetry Movement and Laborfest 2014.  The poem was written in protest and shame that people could be so cruel to the immigrant children, especially since we are a nation of immigrants.

A few days later, I had the opportunity to be in the recording studio with four fantastic musicians of generous hearts and great creativity. I read them my poem and within minutes they composed the musical accompaniment on the spot.

Edgardo Cambon added his guitar and the flamenco-esque vocal giving the prose-like poem a lyric quality echoing the pain I felt when I saw images of the children sleeping on the floor in detention, that evoked the original writing of the poem. He also brought in the inventive percussive finger snaps conveying the urgency of the situation. Diana Gameros added her evocative tender voice and guitar reinforcing the strong urge to protect the children.  Jose Roberto Hernandez contributed the guitar.

With no rehearsal, we recorded the poem instantly and spontaneously. Please it share widely with your circles.

You can hear these musicians perform in a concert, “Canciones del Mar/ Songs of the Sea” on Sat. July 19 at 8:30 pm aboard the tall ship Balcutha on the Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco.

Welcome Immigrant Children, Bienvenidos

We are deeply sorry that our tax dollars controlled by the corporate elites drove you from your family and homeland
by Nina Serrano

We open our arms
our hearts
our nurseries
our schools
our playgrounds
our sports fields
our youth programs
our after-school programs
for your healthy development
for your growing minds
for your creative spirits
Welcome Children!
May you find safe beds
affectionate adults to guide you
nutritious food
toys and tools  to stretch your imagination.
Children are born to be happy.
May you fulfill your dreams!

© Nina Serrano, 2014

About Nina Serrano: Nina is a well-known, international prize-winning inspirational author and poet. With a focus on Latino history and culture, she is also a playwright, filmmaker, KPFA talk show host, a former Alameda County Arts Commissioner, and a co-founder of the San Francisco Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. Oakland Magazine’s “best local poet” in 2010, she is a former director of the San Francisco Poetry in the Schools program and the Bay Area’s Storytellers in the Schools program. A Latina activist for social justice, women’s rights, and the arts, Nina Serrano at 82 remains vitally engaged in inspiring change and exploring her abundant creativity. For more information go to ninaserrano.comor contact her publisher at estuarypress.com. For more detailed information about Nina see About Ninaon her website.

About Estuary Press: Estuary Press is the publisher of Nicaragua Way. It is also the home of the Harvey Richards Media Archive, a repository of photography and video documentaries of various social change and political movements during the 1960s and 1970s. Contact Paul Richards (510) 967 5577, paulrichards@estuarypress.com or visit estuarypress.com for more details.

MEDIA – For photos & interviews: Paul Richards (510) 967 5577; paulrichards@estuarypress.com


Welcome Immigrant Children, Bienvenidos — 4 Comments

  1. Yes, welcome children….thank you Nina and your musician friends for some good amidst the pain….

  2. Thank you for this Nina and thank you for reading Mary’s poem, as well .

  3. Thanks to you Nina, and the musicians, for this gift of passionate response to a tragedy we struggle with. I especially like “Children are born to be happy” — so true and yet rarely expressed. Muchas gracias,

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