fireworks at the beach

poetry and process – creative writing experiment

bronze explosion
compulsive crowded chatter
tanned beauties
copper curves

bodies under
exploding arcs of colour
orange and caramel and vanilla
sparks tinting flesh

reflecting faces
upturned to dazzle
dappling skin
with gold and silver

stars upon stars
upon stars in the sky
streaking over brassy bodies
shining eyes

This poem was written in response to a creative writing exercise demonstrated in Hazel Smith’s The Writing Experiment : Strategies for Innovative Creative Writing (2005). As part of current studies, I have experimented with word pools, word association, word clusters and other language based techniques for free writing.

I began with a word randomiser that churned out 12 – 15 unrelated nouns or adjectives. After experimenting with this list, I created a phrase for further word play using rhyme or assonance, similar or contrasting associations and wrote a randomised ‘poem’ with these snippets.

Playing with phrases “an explosion of bronze”
  • a bronze explosion
  • a bronze compulsion
  • a compulsion of bronzed bodies
  • a body of compulsive tanners
  • tanning the body bronzed beauty
  • copper coloured curves
  • exploding curves of colour
  • fireworked copper and bronze
  • sparks of fire colouring bodies
  • reflections of bronze on our faces
  • upturned to fireworks
  • sparks on the skin
  • colouring copper and bronze
  • gold and silver
  • stars upon stars upon stars in the sky
  • over copper faces bronzed bodies

I subtitled this ‘summer carnival’, but it didn’t yet hang together with the mental picture I’d imagined of a summer evening festival, with fireworks going off over a crowded beach. I tweaked a little more, finding extra ideas to lay alongside the metallic themes for a more organic description. Finally, the poem reached the finished version above.