“I Come From” By Tara Davoodi

I come from rainbow-splashed saris

From chadors and hair covered up.

From seas of emerald tea leaves

Rippling in perpetual waves, but

Also grapes in grassy greens and rich purples

Tumbling into the mouths of hungry children.

I come from rice and curry, blended spices

The flavors that taste like home.

But I also know crispy tadig, hands

Scrambling for the mouth watering rice

Scraped from the bottom of the pot.

I am comforted by the sight of sparkling sapphire seas

And mystical majestic mountains.

I come from Christmas mornings,

From midnight mass in the Colombo church.

But also early morning praying

And visits to the mosque in the town of Shahrud.

Or easter baskets filled to the brim

Or the seven C’s laid on the Nowruz table.

I come from two ancient stone cities

One’s power from its young freedom

The other’s power from its long-lasting religion.

I come from two cultures

From two worlds

From two religions

But one life.

 

“School Rules!” By Justin Wan

People say school is cruel
But I think it is quite cool
Everyday they wait
But I want to leave late

 
With teachers to talk to
While kids are like boo hoo
I think school is cool

 
Some say it’s boring
While I find it adoring
Where I can keep exploring
When others are just ignoring

 
School is cool
But others just drool
Some can’t stay awake
When I don’t need a break

 
Everyday I’m ready
Where others are unsteady
Grades can be merciless
But only if there’s carelessness
School Rules!

 

“Birthday Everyday!” By Justin Wan

I wish I had birthday every day of the year
I wish I had a birthday that was extra queer
From a flying ship to a rainbow zip
I would wonder and wish
But I would like a birthday everyday
As the time would tick, tock, and swish
When time passes by it just flies away
It’s a mere once a year
Where nothing is wrong
With cheers and root beer
But there are no jeers or boos to make you blue
All cheery and happy
No people who are sappy
The most wonderful wish of them all
Is a birthday for every day to celebrate
Instead of fights and brawls
There’s no wait to have fun and be great
I wonder if I could have a birthday everyday
I just wish I could have a birthday everyday

“Signs of Fall” By Avantika Thyagarajan

When you wake up for school and the sun hasn’t even risen,

That’s how you know it’s fall

When you walk home and the leaves crunch and crackle under your feet,

That’s how you know it’s fall

When it’s too cold to be summer but too sunny to be winter,

That’s how you know it’s fall

When red, yellow, brown, and orange leaves litter the streets,

That’s how you know it’s fall

When kids walk around in costumes trick-or-treating,

That’s how you know it’s fall

When the air fills with the smells of cinnamon, pumpkins, and spices

That’s how you know it’s fall

When bulbous pumpkins and apple cider sit on the side of the road waiting to be bought,

That’s how you know it’s fall

When families have big meals together with turkey and mashed potatoes,

That’s how you know it’s fall

When honking birds soar across the sky in a V formation,

That’s how you know it’s fall

When farms sprout with fresh vegetables ready to be harvested,

That’s how you know it’s fall

 

“Politicians” By Ethan Schenker

The bustling streets of Washington D.C

Filled with democrats, republican, and those in between,

Clashing opinions,

A journey for truth,

Getting the “big scoop,”

Staying up at all hours,

In a struggle for political power,

Blinded by arrogance,

Ignorance and greed,

Not knowing what they really need.

A single ounce of compassion.

 

“When the Sun Sets” By Dhruv Raghavan

When the sun begins to set

We all go home and place a bet

How long will the sun last today?

Will he ever care to stay?

The sun shows his bright colors

But darkness comes and smothers

He fights back

But darkness gives him a whack

His blood is like a colorful quilt in the sky

We watch and say goodbye

The sun sinks down to the ground

Darkness goes and keeps him bound

Each night, they have a fight

Each day, the sun shows his light

But when he’s forced away

Darkness then comes to stay

We may always want light

But we can’t always win a fight.