Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "The Festival of Wine and Song"

This is the free epic for the June 2, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $200 goal, as selected in an audience poll. It came out of the May 5, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl. It also fills the "Godship" square in my 5-1-20 card for the Sumerian Me Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis.

"The Festival of Wine and Song"

The wine harvest
was about to peak and
last year's autumn wine
was just maturing when
Agricole came to Shaeth.

"Green or purple?" said Agricole.

"What?" Shaeth said, staring
at the follower who held
a pair of napkins.

"Green," he said,
lifting the first one,
"or purple? We need
a main color for adorning
the Festival of Wine and Song."

"Why green or purple?"
Shaeth wondered.

"Those are the colors
most associated with grapes,"
Agricole said. "Later years,
we can vary it with burgundy
or champagne, but this will be
the first, so I'm going traditional."

"First ... wait, what?" Shaeth said.
"Nobody told me about any festival!"

"Yes, we did, my lord," Agricole said patiently.
"You don't have many events in your calendar
as the God of Drunks. So far all we have is
your birthday, and that's a campout. We
need an urban festival to attract followers.
So Belfegar and I asked, and you told us
to pick whatever events we wanted."

Oh right. He had said that.
He'd thought they'd forget it.

Just then Belfegar trotted up.
"Lutes or drums?" he asked.

Shaeth rubbed a hand over
his face. "For what?" he said.

"We're holding a competition
of drinking songs," Belfegar said.
"To avoid total chaos, Prell thinks we
should feature a specific instrument,
and so she asked me to ask you
which one you want to hear."

"Lute," said Shaeth, because
that's what Prell played and he
liked the sound of it. Besides,
they already had some hymns
set to lute, so it was convenient.

"Thanks. I'll go tell Prell,"
said Belfegar. "By the way,
Trobby is looking for you
to talk about wine selections."

"How did I end up in charge?"
Shaeth said. "I thought this
was your festival project."

"It's our project, but it's
your festival, my lord,"
said Agricole. "We
just want to give you
the praise you deserve."

"It's just like old times,"
Belfegar said with a chuckle.

"What is?" Trobby said as
he joined them, carrying
several bottles of wine.

"The First Myth in
our old religion was of
how Shaeth wandered into
a burning city and started
giving advice," Belfegar said.

"Really?" Trobby said, intrigued.

So Belfegar and Agricole recited
the Sack of Sardonhalyx and
how Shaeth had come to teach
Garn the Great and Terrible
the art of starting fires with magic.

Shaeth was startled to find that
it was still a fond memory.

A round dozen of little hooligans
had followed him out of the ashes
like smudgy, determined ducklings
and they never quite left again.

"Yeah, that's how it goes,"
Shaeth said. "You start
trying to fix something
and end up with followers."

He looked around at
his slightly tipsy ducklings
and smiled at them.

"All right, Trobby, let's
hear the wine selections
for this festival," said Shaeth.

* * *


Wine can be aged for different timespans depending on various factors. Autumn wine is one term for wine, often homemade, aged 3-12 months -- that is, made in summer to drink in autumn, or made in autumn to drink next autumn. That's the version used here. The same term can also refer to types of wine that go well with fall weather and foods.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, holiday, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing
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