Poetry Writing Prompt: Southern California

Southern California has a ton of imagery already associated with it (see below), that writing a poem describing the place probably will not do it justice. Either way, I decided to rise up to the challenge and see without being literal if I could incorporate the feeling and essence of Southern California in a nonsensical way using words and rhythm.

Before I began writing the poem I jotted down a list of things that instantly came to mind when I thought of Southern California:

  • beach
  • palm trees
  • wave
  • ocean
  • sand
  • coconut
  • surfboards
  • skater boys
  • sunglasses
  • red hot chili peppers
  • TJ miller
  • silicon valley
  • pavement
  • chillax

As I said, I was trying to write a poem that didn’t have a literal story but rather gave the sense of being in Southern California relying on nonsense and perhaps and also trying to emphasize rhythm. I had to figure out what the rhythm of the ocean was. And I couldn’t really like of a way to do that in regards to iambs, so I decided the best way to do that was actually through line breaks and word count.

Burning Sun,
Alleving Water.
Scortching Sun,
Relieving Water.
Blazing Sun,
Comforting Water.
Charing Sun,
Rescuing Water.
Incinerating Sun,
Giving Water.
Melting Sun,
Supporting Water.
Smoldering Sun,
Calming Water.
Torching Sun,
Abating Water.
Baking Sun,
Cooling Water.
Broiling Sun,
Chilling Water.
Cauterizing Sun,
Hushing Water.
Cremating Sun,
Sedating Water.
Roasting Sun,
Quieting Water.
Scalding Sun,
Assauging Water.
Singe-ing Sun,
Appeasing Water.
Smoking Sun,
Blue Water.

Well, it’s not the best piece of poetry that I have ever written. The opposing themes reminded me of the ebb and flow of the waves. I get sunburnt and there’s nothing greater than going into the ocean to cool off from the hot sun. I hope you agree that I captured the essence of California. As they say “It Never Rains In Southern California”