Lines From Above the Griffith Observatory

Four long years have passed; the summer never ending
And again I hear the cars zooming
The actors, immigrating from their small towns

All with the same hope- Once again.

I look upon these concrete rivers
So wild and connected they boast

Thoughts of connections and collusion
The landscape molded with our hands
And sky colored by our minds
The day has come when I recall
Here, under this great palm tree

The sprawling urban print

Always in season, you can find it all
Clad in a heavy haze, never to see a fall
I see again the rows of hedges, trimmed in perfect geometry

Fairies take care of them all

Sent up, in silence, among the trees!

Where they dwell, no one knows
Uncertainty is evident, in a sanctuary
We are so connected, I see you in my hands
Neighbors sit alone  

Now, with my attention waning
As I sit here in traffic, in wait
What comes to mind is my beloved city

She thrives and pulses with energy

I recall all about that career

The food drove around with life

The concrete unchanged from our last affair
The gentle brown dust floats above

And kisses us all

From the Valley to Santa Monica
I drove endlessly through the pathways
Over the Great River, her character and resilience so apparent    

Wherever business travels, they will follow

The 405 rumbles with excited and mystery
haunts me to this day

The vibrations of the motors, the plastic bag floating through the air carelessly
And the smell of industry, were then to me

An imperilment, a feeling of love

It oozed with a crowded glamour

Gripping the world’s interest, it’s time surely has not passed

For those dreamers who seek to find meaning
Join the game in all of its magic

For I have learned to look on the concrete

Not in my high school days
At all of the people I could help

Tents and blankets line the way

The beat of the machine, so powerful and mighty

Will have some unfortunate casualties

I have felt a presence that fills me with desire

Of calculated thoughts, a sense of invincibility

Of something deeper in my history

Whose origins are mixed and messy
And the fresh ocean and the heavy air

And the tinted sky, and in the mind of us all

A goal we all desire

All cultured factions, all people of greed
All go through the motions. Therefore am I still

A lover of PCH and Hollywoods
And mountains, all that we infect

From this concrete land, an all powerful world
Of importing, of communicating- both what they half create

And what is celebrated and acclaimed

The anchor or my industrial thoughts, the promoter

The model, the keeper of my wallet, and soul

Of my moral being


Dear Red Hen,

The choice to name the poem after the Griffith Observatory is very meaningful when you compare it to the work this poem is parodying. This beautiful building is a place of worship for the modern Angeleno, their religion is science. They look up to the heavens and are struck with awe at the ever expanding and powerful universe.This relates to the underlying theme of power in the poem as it is secretly what every citizen is truly after. There is also something very curious about how a godless society treats their environment. The environment cities have today is very manufactured and has little to no nature in it.  If you compare this to Wordsworth’s poem about the natural phenomena he observes one must question how much of that is inspired by the faith demonstrated in that period. The problems that face the environment and society are swept under the rug as charms of the magical town where dreams are made. The fascination with LaLa Land and its objectification as a mecca for industry causes people to fetishize it. Los Angeles is no longer a city it is a flawless destination. In reality there are issues with smog, traffic, and immigration. The concept of sanctuary cities is mentioned and is an incredibly important topic many fortunate individuals can afford to look over. There is also a large homeless problem that has led to the development of shanty towns beyond the infamous Skid Row. The root of these issues is suggested to be people’s overwhelming desire for power and fame. The city is being used to facilitate people’s selfish desires and as a result it is being destroyed. The author of this poem stays true to the conversational tone of Wordsworth’s poem as even uses some of his original lines to display irony. This poem is a critique on the careless mindset of the power hungry Angelenos.

-Maya Gonzales

One thought on “Lines From Above the Griffith Observatory

  1. I really like the imagery you have created. Similar to Wordsworth’s ability to have done so in his poem,you too are explicit in your description while being implicit in the message you are sending. -Maricela Martinez


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