Peer Review by seaomelette (United Arab Emirates)

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Beyond My Fence (Draft 2)

By: Minvra


Here I had lay,
splaying across the grasses while I gaze at the ranges.
That once upon ago I had viewed behind a rail,
and always came back,
as if winter frozen over.

In the moment, when I took my first step, I felt shock,
no word uttered—not even in my mind.

A feel, inexplicably unfathomable still chills me, 
and sends tremors down my spine and core.
Perhaps its feeling is attune to dread—
With a foreboding knowing when one knows ice water will pour down their shirt.

But no, t'was not that, not exactly.
For yet another emotion originating from the same origin manifests.
It, I cannot be too sure where it's directed to, but surely it is thrill.
When a child hides in the shadows, with the patience of a crocodile,
waiting for mother or grandmother to leave the cookies cooling.

It was that thrill of success but magnified.
Because I find myself beyond the borders. 
But there was more: the thrill of risk.
Why? I know not.
For it is completely and curiously unusual in my nature.

And now I sit at my desk,
unsure and confounded as to what think of these strange sensations.
(Although a ringing in my head says: Stop thinking and do.)

Like a crescendo of blended harmonies and melodies,
where the player soars with the song that shakes them to their core.
I find my eyes, wide as jewels, as adrenaline piles.
Blood, I hear, pumping to and fro from heart to body. Body to heart.
A dropping dread and trilling thrill.
That I feel even upon the mere presence of thinking,
when I stand (or lay) on untenanted territory. 

From existence to present,
I always stood watching with observing and curious eyes
upon anything it settles.
T'was only until later did I grew curious beyond the borders.

The fence, worn and dinky—that I could so easily tip over—
and explore the horizons of the landscape.
But an invisible force, lodged in my heart, halts me.
It's irrational, irritating, silly, and feeds only on my thoughts, and
gnaws—to this day—at one particular instinct:

For I realize—and always known—
—that to walk in the calling landscapes,
Would be walking in unfamiliar territory.

Of my thrumming thumping heart,
I conclude my slow-to-settle musings.
I hope this epic step into the world of ink and quill,
will not be the last.
For I know this feeling of uncertainty, an immortal bird, 
will manifest again sooner or later. 
Whether I handle it well or not.

And deep down, knowing I,
this will be the greatest step in my life.


This is my first poem I'm publishing. To be honest, I think that is my first time I've actually joined something this big. I'm looking forward to writing more short stories (going to write once every two weeks and ease into one:one).

Message to Readers

I'm hoping if you can read and give me tips with what I can add for more depth. I'm intending for the stanzas before "And now I sit at my desk" (or something similar to that) to be past tense, then from there I am in present. But I'm kind of unsure how to deal with that. I am not very good with consistent tenses.

Peer Review

This was a really lovely poem - I loved how you conveyed the narrator's shift in emotions throughout the piece. Each shift was really smooth, and the imagery and wording used was highly vivid and melodic.

You've provided a ton of fantastic details in this poem, and I think there isn't a need to expand the richly vivid emotional musings of the narrator. However, I would suggest the opposite - trimming the sentences a little to convey the full impact of the narrator's conclusions. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved your statements, and I don't think any substantial edits or restructures are necessary. Just a tiny shift in phrase position or a little pruning here and there will help make this poem even more powerful than it already is. I've highlighted a few phrases to illustrate this. I notice that you've expressed concern about tenses throughout the poem, and that's totally fine. Tenses can be daunting! Since you want to express the thoughts of the narrator in the present, while relating to the narrator's past, the key thing to remember is to keep track of your tenses and maintain consistency. One way to help is to pretend each stanza is a hunk of plain white play-dough. Let's say that you have a few glasses with weird lenses. Looking through yellow-tinted frames, you see the play-dough as completely yellow. Relating to the tense, think of the yellow shades as being a cast of consistent tenses. When you're looking through the yellow shades, or into the past, the stanza has past-tense verbs throughout. I hope that wasn't too confusing, but reading your poem aloud can also help you find any odd-sounding tenses or phrases.

Reviewer Comments

Keep up the amazing writing! I'd love to read more poetry and short stories from you. If you have any questions, just ask me, I'll be happy to help. :3