Monday, March 30, 2009

The Tale Of Barakas Reverence

Nestled into the rolling hills surrounding the small town of Bruskas Crossing along the Allagash River, the Reverence family vineyard was a picturesque estate. Several generations had worked hard to cultivate the land and promote growth of the nearby town and their determination had paid off. The town of Bruskas Crossing became a local trade center and the Reverence vineyard grew and prospered.

That was how things were over a century ago. Under the reign of the curse Bruskas Crossing and the Reverence vineyard had seen a much different fate. Early frosts, harsh winters, and unseasonably cool summers had made growing grapes difficult. The Reverence vineyard suffered as grape production fell, and with it Bruskas Crossing also declined. It seems that the life and death of the vineyard and town were intimately entwined.

This was the world that Barakas Reverence was born into. A world that was so close to paradise, but yet it was so far away. The vineyard had long ago limited production on the traditional family wines and was forced to create new recipes with grapes that reduced in quality every year. New methods of doing business had to be conducted or else the vineyard, and even the town, would fail.

Barakas’s father, Damakos, and his uncle, Leucis, had concocted a plan to try to save the vineyard. Damakos would stay in Bruskas Crossing watching over the vineyard and producing wines while Leucis traveled the Allagash River trying to sell wine to towns along the river. Leucis’s marketing skills and Damakos’s brewing skills were enough to keep the vineyard afloat.

Once Barakas had reached thirteen years of age his father decided that the boy needed to learn the wine trade from the bottom up. No longer could the boy spend his summers idly cutting grapes from the vine. From now on he had to work. Convincing Barakas to join Damakos on his ship was an easy task, the opportunity to see and experience the world was enough of an incentive for a boy who constantly had his head in books reading myths and legends.

The first day on Damakos’s ship was a day that Barakas would never forget. He was expected to help roll the barrels into the cargo hold and get the ship underway. It was hard work for the boy and he tried to avoid it by hiding in his cabin. Once the ship was under way, there was no turning back. Barakas had to learn the shipping and marketing aspect of the wine trade.

Damakos was a strict but benevolent captain. He took his nephew under his wing and taught him much about ships, wine, and selling ones wares as well as how to run a ship. It was not long before Barakas was dancing about the rigging accomplishing what had to be done to keep the sails aloft. The boy also learned songs and tales from Damakos and the crew as well as how to hold a sword and fight. He even learned how to juggle.

Over the years Barakas grew up under the watchful eye of Damakos. The now young man was practically in charge of sales, he was the one doing all of the talking during meetings while Damakos looked on. A quick song before each meeting was all that it took to loosen the purse strings of prospective buyers. His inspiring songs were even instrumental in warding off pirates and thieves the few times they were attacked.

One day when pulling into port at Bruskas Crossing Damakos said to Barakas that it was time. They both knew what he meant and Barakas was left nervous about seeing his family again on this trip. Legend said that the curse on the land could be lifted, but the opportunity only presented itself once every twenty-five years. The last three times expeditions were sent out, and all three times they failed to return home. As the eldest son of the Reverence family, he knew that he would be the one sent on the expedition. The family was the largest influence upon the town with the largest stake in the town’s success or failure. It was only fitting that a member of the family be sent to try to end the curse.

Barakas only had a few days with his family before the mayor declared who would travel on the expedition to end the curse. Their mood was as sour as his; they knew he would be picked for the expedition and that there was no hope of his return. At the end of the week there was a large meeting at the town hall. After a stirring speech about what ending the curse meant to Bruskas Crossing he made his pick. Being a young man of the proper age, and as a member of the Reverence family, Barakas was chosen.

As he donned his hide armor and packed the longsword and shield, Barakas said bittersweet goodbyes. He knew that he would not be returning home and that it was a meaningless gesture that attempted to restore hope to the community. But on the off chance he was able to lift the curse, then he could restore his home to the way it once was.

The young adult made his way from the family villa on foot towards the meeting grounds for the expedition, singing a song to strengthen his heart while traveling to meet the fate lay out before him. That is how he wanted his family to remember him, confident and full of song.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rolling Down the Road

Rolling Down the Road
By: James Dubeau

Rolling down the road
Two in line
Four in each
Leading fast
Following tight
Left to late
Gotta be on time
Learning is to be done
To build for the future
Make a better life

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Smart Little Dog

Smart Little Dog
By: James Dubeau

What do you do
When I’m not around
Oh you smart little dog
Do you sit on my couch
And chew on the cushions
Oh you smart little dog
Or do you play nice and
Sit at the bottom of the stairs
Oh you smart little dog

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Muse Strikes

The Muse stalked the cold and dark city streets, every hour of the long weekend. It was Sunday evening when she finally found her target, huddled in a dark corner of a respectable tavern. It was obvious that he did not belong, not in the bar full of overpriced drinks nor surrounded by the two women.

He was startled to see the Muse standing in the doorway, blocking his escape. A wine glass fell and shattered, sending chilled liquid and razor sharp shards of glass skittering across the carpeted floor. Standing, arms outstretched in panic, he pleaded with the soon to be assailant, pleading for his life. The Muse would hear none of it. She was there for one solitary reason and nothing could stop her. They both knew it.

Her left hand reached out, grabbing his shoulder, pulling him across the low table. A water glass tipped, sending cascading waves of water to meet the shattered wine glass. Fingers flexed, filling the now silent room with creaks of leather bending and shaping to contain the clenched fist. The gloved hand reached back. Everything moved in slow motion, but it was over in an instant. Her fist smashed into his jaw, sending spittle and blood flying into the wall and hanging pictures.

He fell back onto the bench where he was sitting, dazed from the sharp blow. Leaning over the table he spat. Once, twice, three times. Three blood soaked marbles rolled across the table, the pool of spilt water cleansed the teeth. Satisfied with the results, the Muse plucked the teeth from the table. She placed them in a black leather bound book and handed them to her felled victim.

He grasped the book from her hands and opened it. Pages of the book were blank, save for the lines that ran across each page. The teeth dissolved into the pages as words seeped out. Line after line in the book was soon filled with words. With text. With poetry! His head rose from the book to look upon his assailant. As quickly as she had pounced she was gone. Three new poems were left in her wake, the only evidence of her presence.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blood Moon Rises

Blood Moon Rises
By: James Dubeau

Night falls
Blood moon rises
Crimson flows
Scabbing over
Hair prickles
Poking through the scab
Clawing its way through
Scab falling away
Crusting over
And again
And again

Monday, March 16, 2009


By: James Dubeau

Birds chirp and caw
Returning from their yearly migration
Welcoming the sun
Growing large above the land
Muscles ache
A cough rings out
Clouds part
Rays of light rain down
Through the curtainless window
Warming the room
The desk
The dresser
The bed
Brightness overtakes
Darkness fades

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pay Attention

Pay Attention
By: James Dubeau

Why are people so dumb
Why don’t they pay attention
Driving down the street
Getting cut off
No blinkers
No warning
Just before the exit
Why are people so dumb
Why don’t they pay attention
Standing in line
At the sub shop
Lady in front of me
Grabs her subs
And mine
Why are people so dumb
Why don’t they pay attention

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Absent Slumber

Absent Slumber
By: James Dubeau

The sun
The moon
The stars
Twisting and turning
Around this ball
This little blue ball
As I lay awake
Sleep eluding me
Down through the thickets
Around the old oak trees
Hiding in the deep grass
Hounds of slumber run
Through the wooded grove
Chasing the dream givers
My mind racing out
Following the beasts
Dodging around foliage
Skipping over rocks
Dashing across a shallow stream
Preventing me from rest
The forty winks I so deserve
While I hover
In the darkness
Amid one long day
And the next

Monday, March 09, 2009

Wedding Day

Wedding Day
By: James Dubeau

Warm wind blows off the lake
Birds chirp out songs of love
Filling the early spring trees
Fresh green pokes out
Amongst tufts of brown
Sun hangs low
Behind a veil of clouds
Happy couple stands before all
Gazing into each others eyes
Today is a day they will remember
For the rest of their lives

Friday, March 06, 2009

Sitting Around the Table

Sitting Around the Table
By: James Dubeau

Sitting around the table
Friends and family sitting
Flanking on either side
Along the small round room
Plates full of food
Glasses full of wine
Cheer filled the air
Happy new couple at the head
Birthday girl on the right
Songs of joy ring our
Mixed with laughter
As food is consumed
On this wonderful evening

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


By James Dubeau

Three nights
Two days
Plus two for traveling
Socks and underwear
Into the bag

It’s a wedding after all
Need a dress shirt
And good slacks
Into the bag

Will there be extra time
Time enough to exercise
Shorts and gym shoes
Into the bag

Free time on the flight
Books to read
Paper to write on
Into the bag

With any luck
The bag will shut
And make it through
To carry on luggage

Monday, March 02, 2009

Waffling Decision

Waffling Decision
By: James Dubeau

Sun slowly rises
Pouring through my window
Early morning
Sun shines bright
Waking to the warmth
With no buzz at all
Day lays long
Mornings are short
Only one decision
Rolls across the brain
To be productive today
Or just simply
Eat some waffles