A Happier Note


Lately, I have been feeling trapped,
Trapped in a nightmare from which I can’t wake,
As if I were inside of a coffin
From which I’m not able to escape

And I know the sun is shining out there
But its light barely makes it here.
The coffin opens somehow and I slowly step out,
Calling out for my loved ones, for anyone, really
In my mind I seem to be screaming aloud

I try to see the world
But there is nothing but walls and fences around
So instead, I try to see the complexities of this make believe world
Swallowed by the reality of another existence
What’s worse? I cannot wake up to get back
Back to the life I was living before

The air has been sucked out of my lungs;
I am screaming as loud as I can
But nothing comes out, there isn’t a sound.
I’m running and running but somehow I’m stuck on the ground.

Then somewhere inside of my brain I realize this is simply a dream,
From what is a dream if not a nightmare that ends on a happier note.
And on that notes, I wake up:
I wake up a free man,
Free from the chains that have shackled my soul

About this poem: This poem falls in line with the hope that all our nightmares will someday cease to torment our lives and hopefully on that day they can transform into dreams.



  1. Samantha on June 29, 2021 at 9:40 PM


    This is truly SUCH a powerful poem!! Thank you for opening up and being so honest with us!

    Best regards,


  2. Brittani Forman on July 13, 2021 at 6:32 PM

    Dear AC
    I love the depth of this poem and the incorporation of experience. Also it talks about relatable things such as fears and nightmares. Keep working. Nice poem. I like the rhythm of it

  3. Yasemin on July 14, 2021 at 4:39 PM

    If you can turns those nightmares into dreams and dreams into reality, then you have figured it out. Enjoy life to the fullest no matter where you are, because if you enjoy the present moment, the future will be right around the corner.

  4. Madison White on July 15, 2021 at 11:55 AM

    Your poem reminds your readers of one of the most important things we have in this life: hope. You use vivid and powerful imagery that really made me visualize what you were writing about as I was reading your piece. We all have some sort of suffering that we are dealing with, and your poem is a great reminder that we must maintain our hope that our circumstances will one day change. Thank you for sharing this reminder and your incredibly powerful work!

  5. Bri on August 16, 2021 at 9:47 AM

    I am mesmerized by this poem, it is so beautifully real and honest. My favorite line is: “From what is a dream if not a nightmare that ends on a happier note.”

  6. Maxine Cassell on August 18, 2021 at 10:19 PM


    I think you depicted a nightmare perfectly in your poem, especially in the lines “I’m running and running but somehow i’m stuck on the ground.” There is a feeling of being terrified and scared because you can’t get out. I love how the tone also changes in the poem too. Its starts off as daunting, as a nightmare is, and ends with a feeling of ease and peace. You have have captured exactly what you wanted to, and that is nightmares will go away and dreams will come. Thank you for this incredible poem, please keep writing!

  7. A Khanna on August 19, 2021 at 10:21 AM


    This poem was written so wonderfully. What I truly loved about this poem is that people from all walks of life can relate to the message being told. There are times when I feel like it’s hard to see the light at the end of a dark tunnel. I know that a light exists, but it can seem so unreachable – just out of our grasp. This poem makes me optimistic that there will always be a solution to a given problem. I am given hope that there amongst sadness or loneliness, happiness will still find a way to sneak in and brighten your day.

    Thank you.

  8. Sirini on August 19, 2021 at 10:25 AM

    Hello, AC.
    I really connected with your poem. Even though its direct implication was about inside prison versus the outside world, I definitely think this poem can be metaphorically applied to so many other aspects of life. As a child, I grew up in an extremely conservative household, and I felt like a prisoner even in my own walls. I would have thoughts very similar to what I’m reading here. Reading this made me feel a sense of community, as I now know that I am not alone in my process of breaking free from my nightmares. You made that happen. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful piece of art with the world.

  9. Jade on August 19, 2021 at 10:26 AM

    This poem is beautiful. It reminds me of the time when I was having nightmares and flashbacks. I was feeling really trapped inside my own mind. Continue writing because poetry this is amazing.

  10. Anna on August 19, 2021 at 10:32 AM

    This poem is wonderfully haunting. You captured the essence of the fear and panic we all experience in our own nightmares. I can’t begin to imagine knowing what prison is like, but I applaud your optimism for the future, when all you have endured will simply become a dream. The line, “From what is a dream if not a nightmare that ends on a happier note.” is incredible. I’ll admit english class was never my favorite, but this poem makes me think differently about writing. You definitely are better than any other “classic” poem I’ve read. You truly made me, your audience, feel, think, and reflect. Thank you for making me feel these emotions and give me the ability to begin better empathizing.

  11. Amma on August 19, 2021 at 10:37 AM

    “What is a dream if not a nightmare that ends on a happier note.” Wow. That line especially spoke to me. I’ve never thought about dreams and nightmares being connected in this way– usually they’re viewed as completely separate entities. Connecting them in this poem adds to a hopeful ending, especially with the comparison of nightmares to a profound sense of loneliness in real life. The idea that nightmares can transform into dreams is an important one. I hope you reach a happier note soon.

  12. Adam on August 19, 2021 at 10:38 AM

    I am going to be thinking about this poem for a good while, because I have never seen a better expressed representation of hope. You write about the pain and confusing and anguish you suffer behind bars, but you also write of the days when that’s all just a part of your memory, a story to tell, a bad dream. Its inspiring. The last line is so impactful because you bring out the fact that its not just chains and bars holding your physical self, you showed me that your time incarcerated has restricted your soul, but your soul reached mine today. Through your writing, you are freeing your own soul. Stay strong. One day you’ll wake up from this nightmare, and the world is waiting for you.

  13. Joy on August 19, 2021 at 10:38 AM

    Thank you for showing your optimism throughout your life. You have inspired me to have a positive outlook on my life because I know if you are able to have this mentality, I should be able to adopt this perspective as well. The last stanza is incredibly powerful showing your transformation. Again, thank you for sharing this poem and best of luck with everything!

  14. Alex Waltman on August 19, 2021 at 10:42 AM

    I like the section that starts with the air, it really captures emotions that are hard to explain. Nightmares are only temporary, keep pushing and you find the daylight.

  15. Soumyaa on August 19, 2021 at 10:45 AM


    This is a beautifully written poem. Especially the lines “So instead, I try to see the complexities of this make believe world / Swallowed by the reality of another existence”. I think that many people, incarcerated or not, have nightmares about another, happier, existence. One where they don’t have to deal with the laments of their current life (some bigger than others). I struggle with severe anxiety myself, and your emotion of feeling trapped in a nightmare is similar to what I feel.

    I think that your message is truly beautiful. The fact that we can use our nightmares and shape them to become our dreams. It’s truly inspiring for anyone in any situation. We all have nightmares about our lives, and the frightening possibilities that face us. I hope that my message provided some light into your day, and always know, while the sunlight may barely make it inside your four walls, you can always find light inside. Please continue writing and blessing the world with your talented work.

    – Soumyaa

  16. ahvuhnee on October 14, 2021 at 6:06 PM

    I loved this poem and the themes of hope in a time where everything seems pointless. The speaker wants so badly to feel the light, but because of their circumstance have no means of feeling it. The speaker has positivity, but is being beaten up from the inside, and balancing those two perspectives is very challenging. I really felt the emotion, great job!!

  17. Bhavin C Narotam on October 18, 2021 at 1:24 AM

    Another great poem AC. It is such a relatable piece that I am sure that everyone can feel the emotions on a deeper level. Keep up the work and can’t wait to read more.

  18. Julia on October 25, 2021 at 7:05 PM

    This poem is very emotional and relatable. We all have hard moments in our lives, but it is important to remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel and to hope for that. It really is easy to lose site of this and focus on the negative parts of life. I appreciate this because it has reminded me of the positive and the possibility of future. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Chynel on November 2, 2021 at 1:10 PM

    Such a great poem! You have very unique and interesting ideas and you write about them so eloquently! I have never thought about the relationship between nightmares and dreams like this before, but I certainly will take this thought forward with me. Thank you for contributing your perspective.

  20. Flynn on December 3, 2021 at 1:43 PM

    AC, This poem is a wonderful story and I hope your nightmares have fully been eradicated. It is everyone’s joy to wake up after a wonderful dream and should never have to endure the horror of night terrors. Thank you for writing about this journey

  21. Brook on December 13, 2021 at 5:43 PM

    I find it so inspiring that despite the circumstances that you have endured that you are still staying hopeful. It takes true strength to stay hopeful when there is hardship. I wish you the best, there is so much power in your words.

  22. Sophie on January 7, 2022 at 12:27 PM

    Dear AC,
    Wow, this poem really transported me. Dreams are so powerful, whether they are something we strive to reach or something we want to wake up from. I can relate to the feeling of powerlessness while inside a dream or nightmare, and how real it can feel until I wake up. Your writing is so effective at recreating what it feels like to be in a nightmare. Thank you for writing a poem with such a powerful and inspiring message. Please keep writing!


  23. Mackenzie on February 27, 2022 at 6:31 PM

    AC, the way you express hope in this poem is incredible. The expression of suffering through description, compared with the eventual hope for the future has a profound effect here. Being able to show the pain and nightmares of isolation but have it compared alongside a dream is something beautiful. I hope you continue to write AC.

  24. Zach on April 13, 2022 at 6:07 PM

    I love the idea behind this poem and the ending is so beautiful! I love the idea of turning nightmares into dreams and how we can take difficult or bad situations and turn them around for the better. That is what I feel resembled most with me! I feel the flow of your poem was really smooth and fitting to the theme! This was great, thank you for sharing!

  25. Kora on May 31, 2022 at 10:59 PM

    this is a great piece and it truly resonated with me. The organization in the stanzas and cadence of the poem is done effortlessly. The situations in our life encase us and literally suck the life out of us. However, as you said, we can have hope that what torments us, we can wake up from and live life on a “happier note.”

  26. Jill on October 16, 2022 at 5:41 PM

    This poem highlights how even though we may have bad days or nightmares we have to remain hopeful. Hope is what can turn these nightmares into dreams and better days in the long run. I like the wording you used in your poem as well and I think it flows very nicely. Great Job!

  27. Ainsley on November 21, 2022 at 5:26 PM

    Hi AC,
    I love this poem and the message behind it. The way that you conveyed a nightmare was incredible, and the ending was so powerful. The message of going through hardships and finally being happy, living the life you want through realizing that all of it was a nightmare and waking up a free man was so creative. I really enjoyed reading this poem, thank you for sharing!

  28. Oshane on December 15, 2022 at 3:29 PM

    Hi AC,

    Thanks for sharing this poem that has a message of hope.
    I agree with you that whatever we feel now is a challenge in our life or haunts us one day they will be transformed into a dream come true.

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