ACT Secondary Schools Poetry Prize (Highly Commended) – 'Entombed Within Dreams' by Leo Barnard

The inaugural ACT Secondary Schools Poetry Prize by Noted was held in 2016 in partnership with The Red Room Company. It was judged by Johanna Featherstone and Myles Gough. 

The shifting sands spread as far as the eye can see
And is deeper than even the mind can reach
Past the burrows of long dead chieftains,
Past the bones of forgotten beasts
And down to the dream realm of mythic reality

So we drift inside its abyssal depths
Seeing our hopes and wishes come true
Revelling inside bright lights and sound
That ring loud through the swirling fog
Yet above the ground naught is heard but subconscious tolling

But dreams are fragile things and oft can shatter
Like vases and ornament they lie in pieces
What once was beautiful lies ugly and broken
A treasured item that lasted untold centuries
Now poking holes in a dull green garbage bag

 Yet some dreams try to rise and escape
Trying to burst through the roof of the cave
Writhing, screaming and clawing with rage
A rage caused by little more than fear
And so nightmares are released into our world

Entombed beneath the shifting sands
Dreams drift through the Stygian abyss
Try as they might they cannot escape
And no dreams will see the shifting sands
That spread further then the eye can see