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Swelter Rest

by Aleta

On a summer's night

yellow buds peel and fall,

droop and crawl

to the gritty baked soil

looking for a little solace,

a little water.

The swelter of a July sun

creeped over human skin

and with it came blisters

and tongues stirring

like fish out of water

Down they went to the cement

and blamed it on a poor night’s rest

and out came water,

pouring out of their skin

shriveled and pasty, left for dead -

what great weather for a morning’s swim!

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381 Reviews

Points: 16998
Reviews: 381

Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:38 am
Dreamy wrote a review...

Hello there, Aleta. This is not a short story!

I'm just going to let you know what I think/interpreted:stanza wise.

So the first stanza: Of all the three, the first is my favourite because it is simple and gets the point across very sharply with beautiful rhyming.

Second stanza: Oddly, maybe not so in this case, reminds me of the moisturising advertisements. And the word choice: swelter, I don't know if you used this to have a connection with the title but this rolls weirdly in my mouth. I feel "The sweltering sun of July" sounds a bit comfortable, but you be the judge.

Third Stanza: Out of the three, this stanza has a lot to give and take in because it is the end of the poem, the conclusion but I'm confused as to what it denotes. The first two lines indicates the falling of the petals and the skin to the floor while the third and the fourth line denotes the sweat(?) of the body and what comes after is the continuation that sweat and swim in the sweat-- you see, I'm completely lost in connecting the last two lines.

But otherwise, this is a cool (the irony) description of a sweltering summer and may I add, the scarcity of water.

I enjoyed this and hope this was helpful!

Keep writing!


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1322 Reviews

Points: 24411
Reviews: 1322

Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:37 am
Hannah wrote a review...


Yus. I am in love with what I now realize is your style -- taking those words and making them mean something they've never meant before. Swelter Rest? That's not a phrase, but it is because you've made it a phrase, and you're not backing down from your language claims.

So I'm going to share what I interpret this poem as, and we can see if it matches your intent, other people's interpretations, the emotions you were going for, etc.

I see the hot, hot, summer. The kind of summer that just kills any kind of motivation you have to move. Unless you're really angry about something or you get stirred up into anger, and then you suddenly find that the heat gives you lots of reasons to want to get your energy out by uh, well, killing somebody so they bleed out and you think there's enough blood for a swim. You don't necessarily swim, but it's a good phrase to hearken back to the fish out of water.

That's a really powerful image, too, because first of all, it's not obvious at all. If something's so hot, you'd think water would be the last word you'd want to use to describe it. Except you're describing a fish out of water, which gives us suffocation, and that overbearing heat is exactly suffocation.

If I had to point to a place where you could make some improvements, I'd point to the first stanza. The imagery is nice, but I think the language could be made stronger: looking for a little solace/ a little water < This is nice, and ESPECIALLY nice in the natural connection to the other two stanzas (water), but the "little" seems like filler language, and doesn't add much but a pinch of tone, which you could probably get in another way, too.

Hopefully these thoughts are somewhat helpful for you! PM me or reply if you have any questions/comments about this review.

Good luck and thanks for sharing,



Treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.
— Quentin Crisp