The Buzzard — Ron Weiss’ adaptation of The Raven

The Buzzard

Inspired by “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe.

On stormy watches, dark and dreary,

I often ponder, weak and weary,

On why I do this race,

a race I’ve done so many times before.
There I am, cold and soggy,

can’t see a thing it’s so damn foggy.

And we know we’ll be there hours more.

Hours more.

Invariably I must compare,

there entombed in humid air,

other Vineyards that were worse

(at least this current’s not reverse!),

like the time when it was steamy,

and we were drifting off Coekoenie,

By the Norwalk Islands,

those Islands I abhor.

Another Vineyard back a score,

I heard the wind’s victorious roar,

as it destroyed our Number Four,

and yet that was just the start of it,

the pounding made the fuel tank split.

And there was diesel sloshing,

washing over the cabin  floor.

The air acquired a certain thickness,

which leads of course to quick sea sickness.

Five guys lost it in their bunks,

which only added to the funk,

and yes there was even more we had in store.

Five guys were down below half dead,

and one them goes to the head,

And emerges from the rank latrine,

with a quart of Mr Clean.

He pours it out around the mast,

and then things happened really fast.

like mad wasps swarming from a nest,

that’s how one can describe it best,

Into the night the six emerged,

as even more of their meals were purged,

and right then is when the reef gear blew,

and tore right through the mainsail’s clew,

and now we were in the Gut

and in very deep,  deep doo-doo.

Without an engine or a sail,

and it still blowing quite a gale,

there was no other better choice,

the storm jib was then quickly hoist.

We ground it up and got it set,

but the story is not over yet.

The turning block for the halyard snapped,

the storm jib flogged and the sheets got wrapped,

It was at that very moment that I swore,

I swore it to my very core,

that I would do the Vineyard nevermore.


But every Buzzard has these stories,

tales of woe and tales of glories,

and other things we’ve never, ever seen before.

So raise your drinks or hoist your beer,

because to the Vineyard Race we’ll cheer.

“Quoth the Buzzard.  Evermore.

Quoth the Buzzard. Evermore.


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