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Youth Poets of Los Angeles

Lynne Thompson, Poet Laureate of Los Angeles,
Colorful photo illustration with text Youth Poets

In my role as the City’s Poet Laureate, l issued a call to L.A.’s middle schools for students’ poems responding to the following questions: What location or site in the City means the most to you & why? What part of Los Angeles would you want to save forever?

The responses that I received reflected a broad swath of the students’ interests and concerns, from the Los Angeles River to local malls to—most poignantly—their own homes. I’m happy to share some of these submissions here on the Blog and hope you will take time to read them. I think they will restore your faith in our young people who are engaged and committed to the world around them.

Lynne Thompson
Los Angeles Poet Laureate


Los Angeles to me

If you zoom in on the city of L.A.
Past the bright spotlights
Cast on famous icons who rest in cement stars
And you dive into the shadows
of the world-famous sky-scraping buildings
You will find a little green sanctuary
All set with chalk field lines
And the hollers of my soccer coach
Trying to be heard over
The Jimmy Kimmel Live show just across the way
And trying to be seen under
The bright Hotel Roosevelt neon sign
There sits my little green sanctuary
Where I go to have fun, work hard
And play the game of soccer untouched by the sun
Because we hide in the shadows
Of the towering Hollywood sign
That sits on the hill above
My city, your city, our city: the City of Angels

Elina Arteaga
8th Grade
Girls Academic Leadership Academy
Teacher: Sheila Reed


The First Sip

Saturday night, 9:48 pm at 701 S. Vermont Ave after crying, and
Fumbling with the receipt as I wait.
Into the clear night ever so few cars driving by, and my
Mind empty unbothered by music going in and out.
As my number was called, I grabbed the drinks and walked out, the cold air
thrashing.
Why Boba time?
Boba Time was the place to go after a good cry.
Boba Time was the place to go after a bad Friday.
Taking a sip of my boba was the smartest thing to make my day.
Saving this forever so I could come back after everything and anything to just take
that first sip.

Jimo Lee
8th Grade
Girls Academic Leadership Academy
Teacher: Sheila Reed


Santa Monica Vibes

The Boardwalk, the Pier
The beach, the Promenade
So many places to be
And many activities to do

On the Boardwalk, there are
Many faces from different places
You can see artists painting
L.A. scenes
And dances causing a scene

The Pier had fun filled games
and rides
Hamburgers, hot dogs, funnel
Cakes, and hand pies
I stroll to the end and
watch the fishermen as
the boats sail by

On the beach, I relax as
The waves hit the sand
in my beach towel just
in my Santa Monica Vibe

Kaira Clarke
7th Grade
Today’s Fresh Start Charter School
Teachers: Dr. Rangel/Dr. Young


Where little Me Was Born

If i will save a place it will be
The place where little me was
Born the first time i fell in love
with my beautiful independent
Mom the first time i seen something and felt something
So bright, beautiful, cold i see
My sister that look like me i was so confused curious shocked
All at the same time

Zameya manor
6th Grade
Today’s Fresh Start Charter School
Teachers: Dr. Rangel/Dr. Young


A Place I Don’t Feel Alone

One place I would like to keep is the nipsey hustle store
It is the one place that i don’t feel alone
I know he is watching us from up sky
And we have to do our part to keep him proud

Ty’lonnie LaFlora
6th Grade
Today’s Fresh Start Charter School
Teachers: Dr. Rangel/Dr. Young


No Place Like The Mall

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Do you like a place in LA?
I know you do.

My favorite is the Baldwin mall
You can walk in the hall

You can go from store to store to shop.
Buying up everything, until money stop.

Rosemary Ramos Suarez
6th Grade
Today’s Fresh Start Charter School
Teachers: Dr. Rangel/Dr. Young


My Home L.A.

I love L.A.
It is my home.
But it seems like this construction
isn’t leaving it alone.
All the drugs in the streets.
It’s making us weak.
I just want the city to be what it used to be.

Jahleel Logan
6th Grade
Today’s Fresh Start Charter School
Teachers: Dr. Rangel/Dr. Young


I’m Going to Save a Place

I’m going to save a place
It will be the place this human feels free
At the place she belongs
Place that’s home the place that’s riverside

Bryanna Mateo
6th Grade
Today’s Fresh Start Charter School
Teachers: Dr. Rangel/Dr. Young


[untitled]

This place is where I sleep

Where I eat

Where I live

This has my tv

My couch

And my bed

I worked

Laughed

and cried here

You may wonder where

what place has so many memories

memories with family

And with friends

My comfortable heaven

That has everything I love

The one place I could stay forever

HOME

Cindy Napa
6th Grade
Today’s Fresh Start Charter School
Teachers: Dr. Rangel/Dr. Young


Poem for the LA River

Muddy waters moving slow,
Through the city; a darkened slash.
A dirty place where few will go.
Silently, past banks of ash.

To save is not to stop all change,
To save is to restore,
To save is to make anew,
Better than before.

Soon the water crystal clear,
The trees, a hearty green,
Sounds of nature you will hear,
And wildlife is seen.

To save is not to stop all change,
To save is to restore,
To save is to make anew,
Better than before.

Let’s save the birds that make their home,
In this beauty giver,
Let’s restore the water’s bubbling fan,
Let’s save the L.A. river.

Aaron Bain
6th Grade
Da Vinci Connect
Teacher: Jennifer Johnson


Save The L.A. River

All throughout the city,
A channel void of green.
Although it’s called a river,
River things are rarely seen

A river should be full of life
With banks made of mud and sand
Where trash doesn’t line the shore
Where giant trees do stand

Our river’s bottom is concrete
Trash is what the animals eat
We need to restore this natural sliver
We must save the L.A. river

The trees boughs are weighted with trash
The river, a road, seems not alive
The waters run as dark as ash
The wildlife, not able to strive

But when we help, the river will run clear
The birds will chirp and the trash will disappear
Then the river will finally be seen
The river will finally be a vein of green

Dahlia Bain
6th Grade
Da Vinci Connect
Teacher: Jennifer Johnson


The Grove

Too gleeful to get out.
Like a drug to a snout.
Both bellies and hands full,
Warms the insides like wool.
The place you buy and buy.
Your interest peaked to the sky.
Go in like a huge storm.
And back home all transformed.
A smile on your face.
Like you just won a race.
No harm be done there.
Pulls you in like a snare.
Anywhere else is fine,
But the Grove, to me, is divine.

Juan
7th Grade
Culver City Middle School
Teacher: Brett Barhydt


Yellow House

In that small yellow house
Up those gray stairs
Past that worn-down couch
Along the window with singing birds

Across that wooden floor,
Kissing the soft carpet
Into that room, all cozy and warm
Step into that soft light,
And over that stack of scribble paper

Look over that shoulder
Of that little girl
Her pencil gently dancing,
Writing a poem

About her small yellow house

Ari Bristow-Ingkom
7th/8th Grade
Arroyo Seco Museum Science Magnet
Teacher: Joshua Almos


My Simmering Jewel

My simmering jewel
My flying ace
You are the one
You are my place

When I am down
I see your face
Simmering in the moonlight
Like a fire in a fireplace

When I am up
I feel free
Like a bird in the wind
Like the leaves on a tree

When I see your face
I fall apart
Like an arrow through my heart
My precious piece of art

Don’t ever leave me
Don’t you dare try
My heart is yours
And yours is forever mine

Cathryn Abrishami
7th/8th Grade
Arroyo Seco Museum Science Magnet
Teacher: Joshua Almos


Abuela’s House

Everyday after school I go to abuela’s house
It’s no big mansion or fancy house but it’s abuela’s house

It’s not only abuela’s house but it’s
la casa de los recuerdos, the house of memories
la Casa de amor, the house of love
la Casa de abrazos y besos, the house of hugs and kisses

Time stops when I sit on the porch and watch the cielito lindo as my grandma calls it
The neighbors have fiestas and dance the night away while the kids sing and cheer
Wonder fills the air as I sit and watch it all unravel before my eyes

I can hear the Simpsons playing on the tv inside and the radio blushing mexican music
These little details are what makes abuela’s house so special
Magic happens here in this old cobblestone house
Happiness that is experienced here can be found nowhere else but abuela’s house

Adrien/Amanda Urgiles
7th/8th Grade
Arroyo Seco Museum Science Magnet
Teacher: Joshua Almos


 

 

 

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