Nightmare, poetry by Marilou Polymeropoulou at



written by: Marilou Polymeropoulou


There was a man who lived in a forest and was an artisan
He lived alone, and called himself ‘Father,’ but had no daughter or son.
He resided in dreams and he made wooden things:
artifacts, trinkets, tools and figures, and anything crafted by hand.
At night there were dreamers who roamed his land
he was happy to see them but when they left he was sad.
“Come, stay, have a drink; here is a gift!”
Uttered lively, extending his fingers, but a dream is unstable like sand.

Tired of his loneliness, exhausted by their greed,
he cursed all those who dreamed.
He carved by day, plotted at night,
prowled in the dawn to bring any victims in sight.
“When you dream that you float and you suddenly drown
when you scramble down a hilltop but drop to the ground,
when you fly in the sky but then swiftly free-fall,
when you are chased and you run to avoid being enthralled.
I will be there, I will catch you, I will not forfeit,
and I’ll take you in my realm and you’ll never escape.
If you think you can hide you are truly naïve
I lurk in the shadows of your mind when asleep.”

When Hypnos became aware of the Father’s nasty aim
He was enraged, as a Nightmare should not dominate.
He arrived at Father’s land with a plan to establish peace
between dreamers and Nightmares, without whom He doesn’t exist.
“You are a fool to demand so many souls that you ask,
For the balance of dreams would easily crack.
But as your Lord I will grant your wish, just once per year,
when you can keep for a full night the dreamers who fear.
They will stay with you; enjoy your craft, drink, and cuisine,
but in the morning they will awaken to their usual routine.
I will also join you that night, and we can convene,
For it is a special occasion – Halloween.”

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