Sections of time melting away,
Tearless eyes seeming to say,
I cannot be hurt, I will not bleed.
Although the truth is easy to read.
Once a fierce warrior, now fallen.
The only rule to battle, not all can win.
His mighty sword, broken and lost.
Once he possessed a heart of fire, now frost.
Broken will, shattered dreams,
All is lost, so it seems.
On the darkest of nights, hallowest of eves,
Visitors seek the warrior rustling the leaves.
The warrior stands up unwilling to fight,
Outside stand three warriors in the misty night.
One calls his name but he shows no fear,
“If you are expecting a Challenge, you will not find it here.
I am not the warrior I was in the past,
My courage and strength, for long, did not last.”
One calls to him, “if your spirit is lost you will surely die,”
The three warriors look fierce, unbeatable to his eye.
Fear and envy rage, he wishes he could be more like them.
Beaten before starting, this night, to him, looks grim.
A wolf cries in the distance, the wind wildly shrieks,
To him, he is sure it is death now he greets.
Raising his guard, lowering his head, he steps out.
The night is cold against his skin, he starts the bout.
His quickness is slow, but he knocks one to the ground.
He follows him down and snaps his neck with a cracking sound.
With swords not yet drawn, the other two attack with might.
Blows exchange blows, these warriors are too strong to fight.
The last two warriors he will kill, this in his mind he sets,
Beaten badly he still stands, the sword of the dead warrior he gets.
The warriors pull their swords and engage him.
Their skill is great, he will need more strength to win.
He summons all his strength, the fire inside burns bright.
He strikes one to the chest, only one more to fight.
The one left is the strongest of all three,
His skills and strength are great, damn, I wish I were he.
Blood spills on both sides, but no one gives in.
Both giving their best, for only one will win.
Blade meets blade, as iron meets stone,
The night turns red, as the final blow is thrown.
The last warrior falls, losing this fight.
The once fallen warrior’s spirit is rekindled on this night.
Battle beaten and tired he sits down in the grass,
Now he has regained his self, this time it will last.
He sees with his eyes the three dead warriors start to rise.
He stands quickly, what black magic has kept them from their demise?
Healed, without wounds, the three walk closer to him.
He pulls his sword, stands his ground, fear spreads within.
He beat them once, he feels that he will beat them again.
The three dead warrior, swords sheathed, they too know he would win.
They stand before him, they speak his name once more
“We are ancient warriors of an ancient Lore,
We died in battle long ago, our fires bright until the end.
Your fire would have died before its time, it, we had to mend.”
He asked the three, “why my fire to mend from beyond the grave?”
“Young warrior” one replied, “it is our family honor we save,
For I am your grandfather’s grandfather, young warrior you see.
This is my grandfather’s grandfather, and so on is he.”
He sees the oldest ancestor was the strongest of all three.
Twelve generations back his family was strong indeed.
The young warrior descends to his knees in respect of ancestors of his.
“Great now is your strength young warrior, greater than ours, it is.
We leave this earth once more, keep our family strong
It is your responsibility now, bear us no wrong.
You will too leave this earth one day, honor you will earn.
If another member falters, to this earth you will return.”
He watches as his ancestors disappear into the mist, out of sight.
The young warrior lays back to gaze at the stars, again alone with the night.
Grant Smith – 1995