NTUSU 30th Anniversary Writing Competition Merit Winner: “Conquest”

By Maisie Loy

My toes sink into crumbling dirt.  

The air tastes angry with  

Lifeless smoke and seething embers.  

Waiting for fires to be set ablaze.  


Where there was once grass; 

We have birthed stone  

Where there was once ocean; 

We have grown islands.  


Long forgotten, is our fear of the dark 


As we remould the very earth,  

Scorching our legacy  

Down to the very roots. 

Terrified that we may be forgotten  


We came and saw the land  

Full of wild, tangled curls and curves;  

And we tamed it to our will, 

Breaking and bending  


Strangled into straight lines 


We came and forced  

The rolling hills  

To prostrate themselves  

at the feet of iron giants  


We came and silenced  

The roaring of rivers,  

Forcing sand down their throats  

Till their whispers only haunt  


The dreams of bygone deities.  


I stand upon the crumbling earth 

And see how we have enslaved it  

Her tangled hair, now combed, 

An iron foot pressing against her spine.  




‘Conquest’ is one of the award-winning poems submitted for the NTUSU 30th Anniversary Writing Competition, organised by the Editorial Committee. To read the other entries, check out our website and the latest print issue of U-Insight!