Peer Review by yapyapxy (Singapore)

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Human Behavior

By: Gabby Mahabeer


PROMPT: Open Prompt

I'm not a psychologist, but I want to be.
Neither am I doctor; I simply observe what goes around me.
I believe that if a person were to truly open their eyes, they'd see
Everything as it is and won't live forever happily.

Because people have a tendency to push the unknown away,
Creating space between them and anything that's a stray.
We're taught to love the things that are pure and clean,
But to push the filth and rags away is to be mean.

Many of the invisible things that we believe in aren't that great;
Santa is just a scheme and Jesus can be late,
Yet we still fantasize about them, slowly becoming blind-
In need of light as we grope in darkness that's hard to bind.

Darkness is the absence of light.
Blood is the residue of a fight,
Water provides strength that we waste on fighting,
Stabbing, and backbiting.

Let's be honest, shall we? We fight
Each other more especially during the night
As we lay side by side promising that in the morning everything will be alright,
But it never is because we kill ourselves before the first flight 

Of energy hits us and we slash our skins, leaving the marks behind.
The memories and guilt are left unrefined.
It's locked in a bottle that we push away because we're not
Man enough to face the thoughts

We have in our head as voices dance 
Around in an empty space,
Yet they never seem to fall down; they're encased in grace,
Yet we seem to fall all the time on our faces

As we run around trying to hide from what we've lost
And all the things that cost
Us too much but we keep spending on them to appease the voices
But then again we make stupid choices.

These are just some thoughts I had. 

Message to Readers

Any suggestions or tips to improve are appreciated.


Peer Review

I would say that this piece is insightful about our paradoxes and contradictions as human beings.


I feel its biggest strength is that it is unflinchingly honest, drawing light to truth we sometimes overlook.


The last stanza was somewhat confusing because I felt as if the speaker was trying to bring across two ideas within the same paragraph as signposted by the "but"s. Perhaps a further breakdown of the paragraph will be a clearer sign to the readers of the author's incorporation of her own ideas. I couldn't decide whether it was humans making stupid choices or us that keep spending unwisely that leads to the speaker's thoughts on human behaviour.


Reviewer Comments

I liked how the poem was structured such that it was an observation in the first two lines of each stanza followed by a contradiction, it creates a kind of pattern for the readers to expect.

I particularly liked the stanza about Darkness, Blood and Water (stanza 4), but I couldn't decide on the purpose of that stanza, Water seemed to pull the direction of the poem in a different direction.

I really liked this piece and it's effort to rhyme! I felt that it made human behaviour somewhat beautiful and poetic despite its flaws. :) Nice job!