Student Debt

You want to cancel debt
But you haven’t fixed the problem yet
Will you take away the sports centers
The luxurious salary of tenured professors
The constant updates and new computers

Our debt piles up
While campuses expand
Education inflation
Loans on demand

What does an 18-year-old know of debt
Their brain hasn’t formed yet
Tricking kids into an expensive education
Before they’ve got the information

Can you cancel the problem without a solution
Will you also forgive the exorbitant institution?

Erase the debt, erase the problems
It’s easier to erase them than to solve them

How will we change the education system
For we must change, everything is different
What we now pay doesn’t get us what we want
An education no longer pays the bills
Our debt stays with us until we write our wills

A student comes out with no opportunity
For what do we pay this enormous fee?
When it’s all on the internet for free
Perhaps college should teach financial security
Critical thinking skills could come in handy
How can you cancel debt without reducing the cost
It seems the point has been lost

Wipe the slate clean
For the American dream
You’re forgiveness doesn’t mean a thing
When the colleges are still charging

More than we can pay
Another student takes a loan every day
Just to get through
Without a thought of what this will do
You’ll never to be able to buy a house someday
But all of this we won’t say
A mountain of debt
An unsustainable way

To grow up
To start a future
Does college really pay?

We are paying till the day we die
We can kiss the college dream goodbye
The universities are getting rich in front of our eyes
Do you see what our debt buys?
A stuck generation
Don’t cancel the debt
Cancel the lies

Make the colleges pay the bill
For they are participating in the problem still
Getting fat checks from wealthy alumni
Dedicating buildings, while the rest of us stand by

First make the cost go down
Address the hole we have not stopped digging yet
Until then we will continue to drown
In student debt

Dementia

Your mind is a traitor that has betrayed you
It has left behind a body
But stolen your personality
Your ability to have a conversation
Your presence is here
Although not really

We all pretend like you are the same
What you have created still stands
Surrounded by your family
Reminiscing about who you used to be
Your wisdom and generosity

I found you a different person
Robbed of your energy
Greif with a side of dementia
To remember again
To be reminded again
Just to go back into that far away world
The fuzzy place of your childhood
A false memory that does no good

You look at me with blank eyes
Not seeing me
And ask where your soul is
Where he is
What can I say
Nothing I say can make it better

I don’t want to remind you
You know he is not here
Your heart breaks over and over
Every time you ask
There are no words for this
I’ll hold your hand through the fear
I’ll stay by your side during the loss

There’s an empty chair
And empty bed
Empty after sixty nine years
A house full, but empty at the same time
A table with the centerpiece missing
A room devoid of pictures and light
You can feel that something is different
But can’t place it, can’t explain it
There’s a void next to you every night

The walls have shifted
A desolate wilderness is left behind
You are alone in the desert
An arid land with no reprieve
Trying to find him

You are looking for water
He was your oasis
And has dried up, disappeared
The world has turned upside down
You don’t know where your place is

Your spirit left with him
Your love of so long
I can see it in your eyes
You have already gone

Band Aid

You stuck to me like a band aid
The colorful one
That you put on sometimes
Just for fun

Giving my days a rosy hue
I’ll dig through
All my cluttered bags
For you

Soothing my wounds
Yet you leave a residue
When I tried to take you off
So I decided to keep you
An extra layer
I try to make belong

A charismatic plaster
Always in the midst of some disaster
Creating wounds
And dressing them up
An illusion that they’ll heal faster

A band aid
Covering my fears
But you never expose yours
Non absorbent
Deflecting my tears
You always disappear

A dreamer
Who doesn’t do
Eating up my time
Always making it about you
Talking yourself through

A band aid that has no depth
Adhesive worn thin
It only lasts for a few hours
You always leave, hide
Evade my deepest desires
When I need you

I’ve taken you off so many times
And walked away
My emotions sway
But you sneak back in
Enough time
Allows you to play
Tricks on my mind

The one that got away
Is easy to say
Every time your efforts
Had a delay
It’s much harder to show up
To be the one willing to stay

A dirty band aid
On the floor
You’ve been ripped off too many times
I can’t make you stick
Anymore

Cotton

I sat down in meditation
And lost myself
My mind went on vacation
My body started to hum
Full of vibration

And I turned into
A ball of cotton
Fluffy and white
Wispy
Floating free
Without a body
My normal life has been forgotten

An open window
A gentle breeze
Causes the slightest movement
Weightless and free

It shifts me slightly
Off my cushion
I roll and float
Through the mediation
Across the floor
Over the mat
Nothing to stop me
No coming back

All eyes are closed
I float undetected
A cotton ball is not suspected
I brush by a cheek
But all is still

The wind dances through me
A force of will
And then with a gust
I blow away

Float up into the sky
I leave without acknowledgement
Without a goodbye
I’m carried into the big blue
The infinite

I float so high
The wind is my guide
I exist up here
There’s no fear

A light ball of energy
There is no me
No space and time
Just a ball of cotton
Floating by

Snow

I walk at night
With no place to go
Illuminated by the iridescent light
The soft snow falling around me
I’m alone
The streets are empty
The sky reflects off the dull white
Glowing brightly
A hazy melancholy

I bundle up tightly
Can’t feel my toes
But I want to walk
I wore all my clothes
Prepared
To get lost
To be in the snow

Soft flakes kiss my face
In the vacant night
I have so much space
So much room
A faint outline of the full moon
Subtly shines through

I move through the snow gently
With no place to be
Called forth by the storm
My desire to think
Stronger than my want to be warm

It’s like seeing the streets
With no makeup on
Unwinding
Just before they go to sleep

An intimate moment
A special time
Walking in the snow at night
Is my secret
My peace of mind

Why

Life feels like I’m running on a treadmill
To no avail
No lost weight, just time.
Like dieting, desperately
Just to find
I look the same
Nothing’s changed
No matter what I do
I’ll never be able to fit that small size

Why still try?
It seems as if the Gods
Have already decided
They are against me
A fight with reality
A fruitless effort
A frustrating ride

I spent an eternity calling you in
Yet you just walked by
Without a smile
Without catching my eye
A life wasted
An unsaid goodbye
A lucky break
For the wrong guy

I put in so much effort
But I’m barely getting by
Dated my whole life
And never met my soulmate
Did all things right
Except participate

Got caught in civil wars
Poor countries
The wrong side of the caliphate
An incorrect direction of fate
Born in the wrong color
The wrong state
One year, one minute
Too late

Punished for things
Beyond my control
That happened
Before I could even cry
At what point am I responsible
For my life?

I’m unable to find a reason why
A universal struggle
With no answer
To the question
That’s been asked
Since the beginning of time

Or so the story goes
We all wonder
But no one really knows

Why?

Freedom

What is it to be free
Is it to think independently
To have lots of money
Buy anything you want
Own property
Be on the right side of the red line
To have status and credibility

Do we get it when we are wealthy
Or when we learn to set boundaries
Maybe it’s not blaming others
Taking personal responsibility
Over our lives
Or does it have to do with being happy
Certainly it’s not being right
It seems quiet hard to define

Is it the ability to leave the country
To sit quietly
And turn off the mind
Freedom of press
Openness to express
Our true selves
Not being confined

Is freedom movement
To exercise your ability
Move about the world freely
To seek whatever you want to find

Is it to make your own decisions
Perhaps it’s concerned with our rights
To speak and act
Think and move forward
Without looking back

Perhaps it means something different for everyone
A fluid state
A dance, an escape
From the system
That tells us what to do and think
Absence of foriegn control
The corrupt government
Pushing us to the brink
Of our humanity

Perhaps there’s levels of freedom
To be free mentally
Overcome your childhood
Trauma of your family
To be free physically
And have a healthy body
Participate in society

Free your mind
But how will we know when we find
We can have it and lose it a thousand times
To have freedom is to have power,
But what kind?

Freedom
Maybe it’s an instant feeling
Like flying
Or perhaps it’s gradual
Like a deep sigh after a long day
Simply just breathing
Allowing things to unfold
Knowing what to do or say
Without being told

We all seem to want freedom
But we don’t know how to find it
We can try to detach and let go
Yet we are still alive
We have wants and needs
To thrive and survive

We are so influenced by our society
This culture, this state
This idea of being free
Perhaps to talk about freedom is hypocrisy

Who made this word
This elusive idea
And what did they want it to be
How will we know
When we are free?

Decisions

How to make the right decision
And is there a right one
If I choose one path, do I forfeit another
I’ve made my choice but I still wonder
What I should have done

Making choices is hard
I try to go with the flow
But even after I decide
It’s hard to know
What I should have chose

I sit here and ponder
Where I’m supposed to be
What path should I have followed
Sometimes I wish I was not here
But I’m waiting for the Universe to lead me
How long do I wait
Do I follow or choose my fate

I accept my consequences
I choose my actions
Yet I question myself
Every time I become uncomfortable
I don’t accept my reactions
To uncertainty
Despite my precaution
There’s no guarantee
That I’ve made the right decision

For whatever is not happening
I cannot find
It’s not real
Only transpiring in my mind
Yet I question everything
Drive myself crazy
Filling my time
What if I miss what’s right for me?
Make the wrong decision
I try to re-evaluate
Adjust my position

For I always have another choice
I am not stuck
Despite my feelings
My apparent luck
The things that don’t go my way
I always have a voice
I can choose my path anytime
Shift and realign

Perhaps the best I can do is think less
Let go and try to not make a mess
I don’t know what’s supposed to be
What’s right for you or me
For there’s so little I can control
I can’t comprehend or pretend
To understand the flow
Life is a practice of letting go

Release

I release my deepest desires
Through my eyes
I still don’t have an answer
I still don’t know why
Must I always fill up my time
For it isn’t until I have space
That I can arrange and place
My feelings
My dreams unrealized
Quiet my mind

I’m a relationship with the Sun
I found the one
It’s bright and yellow
A handsome fellow
The trees whisper
Don’t be afraid
For I can’t listen
Until I’m silent
Until all the feelings have been flushed away
The pain sways with the breeze
I stomp my frustrations out
On the crunchy leaves
Nature restores my energy
Only then can I say
To the blue sky, the sun, the trees
I trust you

I trust you and I don’t understand
I had so many things planned
That didn’t happen
That I wanted to happen
I made demands
The Universe laughs gently
And they don’t land
I throw tantrums
But it’s all bigger than me
I can’t possibly see
Still I make more plans
It just happens
Like breathing
So easily

It’s not until I leave that I can see
My imagined plans and designs
And how it’s not aligned
It somehow makes sense in my mind
Yet I get so intertwined
That I can’t find the answers
Until I step away
My perspective changes
Life rearranges
My place looks different from far away
I can’t see myself fully in the space I usually stay

I feel lost I say to the trees
And they look back at me
You’re not lost, you just can’t see
I come back with fresh eyes
And realize
There are no answers
I must keep walking
Things will materialize
You’re not stuck
You just don’t know where you’re going
It will all unfold
Try not to hold
So tightly

Release your pain to me
I can take it
Say the leaves
Don’t do anything
Listen to me sing
All you have to do is breathe
The sun will never leave
Even when you can’t see
It’s just waiting patiently
Stay for awhile
I’ll make you smile
Trust me

Masks

I must wear it when I enter
But not when I sit down
Don’t you think particles can get around
This invisible barrier
As long as it makes you feel better

It’s like sitting in the non-smoking section
Thinking that you won’t be affected
By what’s already in the air
Smoke travels
It’s an enclosed space
Maybe we don’t care about logic anymore
We eat snacks just the same
Sitting on the plane
Removing our masks next to each other
But our germs better remain
In their places
For the few moments we are exposed
A thin piece of cloth will save us
Better keep it
Imposed on our faces

We can’t exist in a room
Without covering our face
We now prefer to Zoom
Only communicate with your eyes
Can’t smile at babies
Or attractive guys
Don’t sneeze or breathe on me
God forbid you cough in public
You’d better not go
Any time you feel remotely sick

Some even mask alone
In their car
Talking on the phone
Running down the street
Breathing
Threw a filter
You’d better hide
We’re not even safe outside
Still you must comply
But are we safe anywhere?

We just need rules
Mask mandates
Enforced, political tools
To control us
Make us feel like we’re doing something
We’re definitely winning
Virtue signaling
Put your mask on
We’re still going strong
Yet we’ve known all along
We need to see each other

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