I sleep and dream of towers in the sand
Whose wondrous figures stand gleaming in the sun
For all to marvel. I dream of men who stand
And build there glories with eyes stretched to heaven,
And hearts turned ever upwards towards new heights.
Then many more I see, alike in kinds,
Beholding gloriously the towers’ mights,
With hopes and wonders flowing through their minds.
I wake, and see the peoples’ dreams in ash,
That drift among dead ruins of rusted metals.
Where be the men with skyward eyes so brash?
Blown away like the desert sand that never settles.
And as I lay there dying in the dust,
I see the sky is naught but dying stars.
If you read this poem and went: “Zack here has clearly read Shelley’s Ozymandias and isn’t being subtle about it”, you’d be correct! If you’ve somehow gone your entire life without reading it yourself, go do yourself a favor and look it up, it’s quite good. I wrote the poem you see before you for an assignment in high school, and looking back on it, I felt like it held up decently well. The image of ruins in sand has always struck me. It’s a very powerful image for futility and impermanence, as the shifting nature of sand mirrors the impermanence of the structures (there’s a reason Shelley chose this image for his masterwork of a poem). Unlike Shelley’s poem, mine isn’t saying or trying to say anything particularly profound, but that’s ok. Not every poem needs to reach the heights of great art, or even try to. Honestly, I just wanted to write a poem centered around the image of sand shifting and blowing in the wind. To that end I guess I succeeded. I suppose it’s a bit melodramatic, but eh, what from high school isn’t? If any reader has considered writing a poem but has stopped themselves, fearing they have nothing profound or worthwhile to poem about, I’d encourage you to reconsider. Why let that stop you? A poem doesn’t need to be as good as Ozymandias to be worthwhile (I used “poem” as a verb! Behold, the power of poetic license).
About the Author
Zack is a junior at Eastern University who occasionally likes to pretend he knows what he’s doing and stitches together words for fun.