Read Poem: The Highlander’s Dream, by GrinOlsson

In ancient times throughout our land of peace,
An enemy came with terror, destruction, and desolation beyond belief!
Our men were decapitated and our women defiled;
Our children enslaved with torture ingrained, as the enemy went wild!

Those who fled this cruelty or were free, came together,
One by one and son by son;
We gathered under our tartan colors and clans,
For news of what had just been done.
With the pipes as our heavenly sound,
Came forth our petitions for peace and freedom, or death, shouted in screams!

It was from this beginning, which brought forth our Highlander’s dream:

As I fell into a slumbered sleep one night,
A never-ending nightmare came forth with wisdom and insight:

“Son,” said my Father, who was also a Chief.
“Your schooling is done and now;
You are a man of our Highlander clan.
It is time you stood guard over our land!”

“And, during this time of your life,
Which you offer to protect this land;
Should an enemy first appear before you, do not shed a tear;
But, my Lad, begin to play the pipes to warn us all!
Village by village, man by man, and Clan by Clan,
The Highlanders will assemble to defend this land!”

“At this time, go out and meet your enemy with a smile;
When you’re face to face and eye to eye,
Present him with the symbol of Peace, which also may be your life!
Do not despair with sadness, instinct or fear;
Should he try to end your life with a knife;
That’s when it time to fight!”

“But, Father, why are you telling me these words
And what’s this all about?” asked I.
“And, why should I come in peace or possibly die?”
“Son, you did not give up! You came forth in Peace.
With your life, being the first to die on our soil;
Bears witness to God that we were struck first!
After an enemy strikes, and should you not die,
Then, that is the time for you to fight and is our time to kill!
Live or die, your life will be avenged by other Highlanders;
Our enemies will know us as the screaming ladies from Hell!”
“Oh, my dear Son, remember my wisdom to keep you alive!
When any battle first begins, when we come face to face and eye to eye;
And, as we fight our enemies man to man and hand to hand;
Always be sure the sun is behind your back, but in the enemy’s eyes!
And, do not forget those Highlander souls taken in the past;
By reminding our enemies that we always pay back!”

“So, now it is our custom, when there is a lull in the battle and time at hand,
Take your first captured enemy and stake him to the ground.
Disembowel him, before his very eyes, while he’s still alive!
With your teeth, rip the flesh from his face and break out his teeth;
Then, cut away their manhood to stuff in his mouth.
Remember now, to gouge out his eyes!
With God’s fury our enemies are despised!”

“Now it’s time, just before he dies;
Let his last thoughts not be mercy from his god, but the mutilation of his body!
As you finally stick your sword through his skull and lop off his head!”

“Take your second captured enemy, while he is alive for all to see;
And, push a pole-stake through his mount and out his ass,
Having first, tied his hands and feet behind his back.
Tie him good, my Lad!”
“Yes, prepare a fire for a ‘feast of peace’ and roast him like a pig;
Then ask your other captives, “Are you hungry? (I love you) Eg elska thig!”
This feast is the other captive enemy’s first dinner on Highlander soil!
After they are fed, release a few of the captured as a surprise.”

“From this moment on,
They will know a Highlander’s song, are but, an enemy’s pleas and cries.
For them, it is a lesson learned late, but they can tell others of their fate!”

As this nightmare continued forth in this terrible dream,
My stomach had become sickened and my sense became dull:
During this time when my mind, as it again,
Pictured my sword sticking through another enemy skull!

“What is the meaning of all of this? We are not at war! There is peace and bliss!
My mind is picturing the terror and screams!
Why are you telling me such a horrible story and abominations to do?
No enemy would dare commit such crimes against a people such as us!
Tell me a story of peace and trust!”
Said I, to my Father, in this wildest of dreams!

“You are a Highlander, my Son!
You must remember what has happened to our people;
And, know the power of the word called Peace!
You’re to be the first line of defense on our sacred soil!
Or, when we are provoked,
Knowing an enemy wishes to bring war to our shore;
We must take our fight to them, sparing our villages, homes, families, and land,
From becoming enemy spoils!” said my Father in his reply.

“Father,” said I, “I don’t want to die or to mutilate an enemy man.
Why should I?”
I turned to my Father and looked him in the eye,
Waiting to hear what further had had to say.

“One must be more evil, than the evildoers,
To win against evil, when evil attacks!
And, these my son are the facts!” sternly spoke my Father to me!

“This Highlander’s dream has been told father to son,
By our ancient fathers to our present sons, on what to do once war has begun!
With respect to the enemy of which we speak,
The mutilation of an enemy is a warning;
To their fellow enemy comrades of their future fate, come the next morning;
They will know there’s only one place in our land,
Where we’ll allow them to dwell; When we escort them into Hell!”
Responded my Father with a very stern look,
As if, he’d memorized this story from a book!

A change of expression came across his face,
Then, a tear came from his eye, as if heartbroken.
His features began to show sorrow and hurt, before he’d even spoken.
“Son, do not think I want you to die.
There are times when men must fight!
There are also times when many of our enemies,
Learn of how we Highlanders fight in defense of our land;
They choose peace, rather than attack against a suicidal foe.
It is our custom to be the first men to fall, if death is the price for peace!
As a Highlander in battle, have no fear, as all of our clans will soon appear!

Someone will always take your place with revenge in their hearts.
We always mourn another Highlander’s death;
By our promise to fight for victory, up to our last breaths;
And, make it back before our God is ready to bless!”

“Remember to not question a Chieftain’s orders when it’s time to die;
Unless you know without doubt, his orders aren’t right.
First, let him know your concerns and demand your claims;
If this doesn’t work, then pass the hat and claim you’re insane!
Prepare for battle by painting your face such as blue in color,
And rehearse your voice to shriek, as we begin our screams!”

“Learn how to begin blowing the wind for the beautiful sounds from our pipes;
To be heard by all whom challenge a Highlander’s might!
These beautiful sounds are heard by enemies, yet, not to their delight;
But, as terror, from the wind, air, and sky that they are going to die!
If you recall, the Romans found out and they built a wall;
Whether it was to keep us in or keep us out;
They did not say, as they ran away!” Said my Father to me!

In my sleep, I began to toss and turn,
As my mind now removed me from my Father’s presence;
I now found myself in the heat of battle before my enemy,
Face to face and eye to eye, as I watched this human die!

This savagery, barbaric, abhorrent, ruthless struggle,
Now before my very eyes surely a Highlander’s fight!
There was no doubt in my mind that this was not a dream;
As I saw the bloody enemy and heard the terror of his screams!

In our battle, we pushed forward and we were fighting hand to hard,
This was hand to hand, to the very last man!
Over this attack, I was angry and scared!
This was no dream! I took time to quietly say my prayers,
I see the fear on this enemy man’s face;
I swung my sword without any Grace!

“This is a never-ending nightmare, will it ever end?” Thought I?
There was a terrifying sound with a crash and a thud!
I felt my body hit the ground!
From where it came or what it was I do not know!

Suddenly, my Father appeared in my dream!
“Am I having delusions or is this an illusion?” Thought I.
Again, he began to speak. His voice was very sweet.
“All over the world there are men such as you and me.
Who know the cost and power of the word called Peace.
And, what it means to be free!
Remember; do not waste your life unnecessarily!
Make the enemy pay and always think of new ways to win!
Be sure it will work and strive on at all costs!
Make your life worth 10, 100 or even 10,000 enemy souls.
Learn new weapons that shoot fire and rumble in the sky!
There are many people, whom seek a land of peace,
So, respect others whom have had to fight such as you or me.

You are not much different from Ivan of Rus who fought the Golden Hordes;
He too, has fought to the last man!
Learn to gather allies and comrades from only those,
Whom have never thought to be a foe,
But be sure they know the cost of peace.”

“Father,” said I with a tear in my eye.
“I am not afraid to die for my family, clan, God or King!
Having you appear and hearing your words of wisdom,
Before my very eyes, while I’m in the heat of battle,
Is some kind of blessing to me! I don’t have to understand!
You and your words are my heart and soul!”

A smile came across my Father’s face,
And he had a twinkle in his eye, as if he were proud of me!
We gave each other a last embrace.
Then, suddenly everyone in my family appeared before my very eyes!

Happiness filled my heart!
I then spoke to them all, as I said:
“Father, Mother, brother and sister,
Let me give you a huge good-bye!
Grandfather, Grandmother, my uncles and aunts,
I will miss you until the day that I die!”
I hugged each of my family and kissed them good-bye.

As a shock to my conscience, my family unexpectedly disappeared from sight!
Dazed, as I looked up to see what could be seen!
Reality struck me, as the nightmare had returned, “It’s time to fight!”
The full fury of this bloody battle appeared to be lost!
“Yes, I have time!” Thought I, as I grabbed my sword from the ground!
“We need more men!” Thought I, as more of the enemy advanced.
Striving on at all costs, I could feel the sweat pouring out from my pores,

As I again swung my sword, taking off another man’s head!
This never-ending nightmare had returned, with the stench of death!

Suddenly, music blown in from the wind, burst triumph in the air!
“What are those heavenly sounds?
Yes, more bagpipes blaring their beautiful sounds!
Where? Ah, from there, over that hilly mound!
Ah, they’re here! I knew they’d come!”

Still, I fought on! Another scream and another enemy man is dead.
This nightmare of terror! Oh, how I prayed that this was only a dream!
All of a sudden, I awoke and looked around!
“Where am I? Where are my men? Are we in a town?
Am I dead or how long was I out?
Then again, to be sure, I looked outside, round and about;

I was astonished as my neighbor waved and smiled!
As I smelled the scent of the air, then came a startling, but happy shock.
“Yes, It’s spring! And, the birds in the tree, I hear them singing!
Oh, now the church bells are ringing! Oh, silly me!” Said I,
As I now saw that my wife and children were safe in the house.

I am so relieved that our land is a land of Peace free of strife!
“Thank you Lord for this wonderful life!”
With a sigh of relief, I knew this was not a nightmare I had;
But, a pleasant Highlander’s dream!

Just then, my Son came into the room full of joy;
“Father,” spoke my Son, “I have just finished my schooling,
And, I passed with good grades!”
“Son,” said I, “Your schooling is done and now,
You are a man of our Highlander clan.
It is time you stood guard over our land!”

I suddenly realized as this was my fortieth year,
And that I am now one of the Chieftains of our Highlander Clans;
With a new generation of sons at hand!
“It’s time to pass on our Highlander dream!” Thought I.
As I began to speak the very same words,
Which my Father had told me, so many years ago!

As I have grown older, gaining more wisdom with age,
And, as times have changed to the present days;
I have learned that other nations now respect a Highlander’s dream,
Knowing the power of the word called, Peace,
By allowing Highlander’s the honor of our clan’s tartans to be worn.
As we march man by man and playing our bagpipes, clan by clan,

In parades as a proclamation and warning to all lands,
“That there is nothing to fear and that Peace is at hand!”
Yes, now there are children who giggle about our men who wear skirts!
As their parents, quietly tell them with a smile, to “Shush, before you get hurt!”

Hear what I say with wisdom and love from my heart;
There are times when Peace is costly or your very survival,
Might depend on these very words as we now part!

There are times when poetic rhymes are not so sweet;
Yet such wisdom is used as a way for us to remember knowledge and to teach!
And, let us pray, that these words only remain as a remembrance,
Of a simple Highlander’s Dream! Amen.


Author: poetryfest

Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.

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