this world is so full of trash.
money makes things so difficult.
band aid solutions are everywhere
but parts of our system are broken and bleeding.

i want to think that big systems can work
that we can take a summative approach to knowledge
stand on the shoulders of giants
but all these creatures keep shoving each other down
and everyone's knees are skinned.

we all want something
yet givers are few
and sore
and tired.

when i read the giving tree
i admired the concept of sharing yourself freely
using your body to build
but then what?
leaves turn brown, branches break, wood splinters,
people don't come back.

i don't want to be another stump for someone to sit on.
i want to cultivate this old dirt
grow new things, strengthen roots
thicken the bark, protect the magnolia blossoms

maybe it won't work with the first seed i plant,
or the second
or the sixth.
but i'll keep digging, watering, and tending.

when a wild flower grows from a teeny stray seed,
my friend calls it a volunteer
because no one asked it to bloom,
yet here it stands, swaying in the breeze and adding color to the earth.

maybe i need to focus less on the fallowed land in front of me
and more on the fields
where new roots form everyday.

forget the giant's shoulders.
let's climb a tree and reach the sun on our canopy.
if you're trying to find the light,
working with what you got
is better than grasping at something
that was never yours to start.

This world is full of trash
because people keep producing things
with no plan for how they will biodegrade
People keep buying things because

Money makes people inconsiderate
I had my students build towers
out of paper cups and pipe cleaners
One student started filling the cups with sand

then all the other students started doing it
the first student was upset - he said it was my idea
so I should be the only one to make money off of it

I told him that open-source laws allow you
to make things public for learning, and reuse
but not for profit
he said, "my ideas are mine"

he was disappointed because all he had wanted
to do was play soccer and not build towers

"We don't have enough time to play"
I asked, "can't building towers be playing"
he replied no because it was a competition
I asked "isn't soccer a competiton"

I want to tell him that in the desert they build houses
out of tires filled with sand
and that he was so smart,
that it's not wrong to want to play soccer
but that it's not a game I like playing

big system make for less personal agency
he doesn't get to pick
what he's doing with his time

Everyone's knees are skinned
they're tired of listening
One girl tells me that her teacher is mean
that her teacher is just in it for the money

Small systems work better
we don't need money in small systems
and we all need to give more
each according to their ability

We need to think about profit for the group
not the individual, but in order for that to happen
we need the right groups

finding the right group seems almost impossible
convincing the group that we no longer need money
is even more unlikely

instead I focus on living within
this broken system
I want to practice growing food
volunteers are nice but we can't depend on them

trees we can depend on
we should plant more of them

I spend so much time thinking
if we plant more trees the wars will stop
we'll learn to share the space
but it isn't true

I can plant olive trees in the demilitarized zones
I can pant orange trees under highways
but people will continue to do damage to each other

so maybe I've just resigned to keep planting seeds
hoping to be pleasantly surprised

soon the land in front of you
will no longer be fallowed
and overtime we can learn
how to cultivate fields
and treat the wounds
that this system has caused

Some trees are giants
some trees you plant and never get the reward

sometimes I dream about planting oak trees
sometimes I think, that would be the perfect job

though I'd never get to see the rewards
someone else might
your right -- working with what you got
is all we can ever do