Friday, August 31, 2018

The Buzzard: Tale No. 15

Drawing of common buzzard
Common Buzzard with Its Prey
(Image: Illustrate by Walter Heubach via Wikipedia Commons)

By Tod Lindberg


Revised December 4, 2021
First Published by Black and Red United, August 31, 2018

Preface: This is the fifteenth in a series of Tales from Buzzard Point that explores the rich traditions and myths surrounding the legendary DC United soccer team and its fabled history at Buzzard Point. The Tales from Buzzard Point are historical fiction and parody. 

Note from Editor: Our researcher for this entry is Tod Lindberg, who scientifically explains in the Researcher’s Afterword why all Tales from Buzzard Point are true. Readers may have been taught “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe in high school English class, but in some alternate universe there exists “The Buzzard,” written by a similarly named poet.

The Buzzard

By Eddie Allen Pope

Once upon a mid-day work-break,
While I wallowed, weak from work’s sake,
Over many a YouTube sizzle-reel of a player great from yore,
While I watched the goals come snapping.

Suddenly there came a flapping,
As if something big was happ’ning,
Outside my Buckhead office door.
“’Tis some client,” I muttered,
“Outside the office door,
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember,
It was early in September—
A season full of promise,
Cut short as ne’er before.

For the onset of my present sorrow,
In vain sought I surcease to borrow
From my clips and sizzle-reels:
from the sight of the lost Leñor—
For the favorite of all the soccer gods,
The forward named Leñor—
Goalless now for evermore.

Outside my office, that strange flapping;
Within, myself, my mind unwrapping.
Compelled was I to recall again the last game of Leñor.
A study in frustration, his goalless indignation.

The treatment by the feet of his inferiors he bore!
All this to the greatest player
E’er crossed our locker room door!
All of this and so much more.

’Twas 15’s tackle made him splutter,
’Twas 4 who fired the nutter,
9 marked him on a corner
As he’d ne’er been marked before.
No. 7 would quick outrun him
And No. 10 most deftly spun him--

They closed down all the passing lanes
To him as ne’er before,
Tormented he was by his opponents
And the Black-and-Red they wore.
All of this he endured and more.

The abuse would never let up;
he felt well and truly set up,
By soccer gods he used to worship and adore!
When No. 8 did dispossess him,
Decorum’s last veneer undressed him.

A desire for revenge obsessed him,
His studs-up ruthless challenge,
He was called to answer for.
Shown the red card was Leñor.

Taunted by his foe’s supporters
Whilst beset by sports reporters,
His psyche shattered past the pow’r of soccer gods to restore,
His teammates busy losing and the local streets confusing,

Into the night he wandered,
Out of the stadium door—
The rest of his story known only to himself.
The once-great Leñor dissappeared,
He did so forever more.

Recalling that night and where our luck led
Missed the playoffs, back in Buckhead
I heard that eerie flapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “that curious flapping
Is other than mine own mind snapping,
My sanity itself unwrapping!”

I made for the office door.
“Let my heart be still a moment,
to this mystery explore.”
Nothing there was in that corridor.

Deep into the hallway peering,
Long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Indulging hopes no mortal fan e’er dared to hope before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken
Was the whispered name, “Leñor?" This I whispered,
An echo murmured back the name, “Leñor!”—
Merely this and nothing more.

Once again the door I shuttered—
When behind me, something fluttered.
I turned—there perched a fearsome Buzzard
Of a sort I now abhor.

Since that cruel night in September,
I, doomed ‘til death, remember
’Twas at Buzzard Point the last night any had seen Leñor.
Beside a bobble-head of Tata just athwart my office door,
The Buzzard stared—and nothing more.

“Thou cursed Accipitridae! Do I really look so needy,
So desperately greedy for news of my lost Leñor?
Though thy beak and crines repel me,
I must fain to beg thee, tell me!
Ghastly grim and ancient Buzzard,
Much thou hast to answer for—
Where and when will I again see the radiant one, Leñor?”
Quoth the Buzzard “Nevermore.”

Thus the Buzzard, cruelly perching,
Banished me to lifelong searching—
Searching heaven, earth, and Google for news of lost Leñor.
Nothing further then it uttered
Not a feather then it fluttered

Till I scarcely more than muttered,
“May I show thee to the door?
Thou art welcome here no longer.
Please, thou, leave me, I implore.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Thus I to my ensearching,
While the Buzzard still is perching—
By the bobble-head of Tata,
Perched athwart my office door;

No more come sounds of flapping
As my strength is slowly sapping,
The stock-still Buzzard trapping me in fruitless eternal chore:
The curse of my ensearching for the radiant one, Leñor,
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Researcher’s Afterword

I myself am no stranger to what you now call the Dark Web. It would be misleading to say that I was one of its pioneers, for the place and time in which I find myself are so highly variable that linear continuities such as “before-after” and “here-there” are, though not meaningless, highly limiting.

Many matters of great contemporary interest in this universe are indeterminate in other universes. The “Dark Web,” in this sense, is merely a metaphor for our ability – perhaps more precisely, my ability – to navigate through various possibilities. I don’t wish to make this more complicated than it needs to be, but what is “possible” in the multiverse is actual in one or more (in fact infinitely more) of its particular universes. Otherwise, it would be impossible.

Thus the oddity of my discovery: It would seem to be a poem from what is commonly known as the 19th century. Yet it describes a time rooted in a date in the 21st century. Its author would seem to be, on one hand, a famous 19th-century poet, but on the other, a 20th-century soccer player. Its narrator would seem to be an individual reflecting back on an event from years before, yet in the context of its particular universe in the multiverse, an event that has yet to transpire.

I shall leave it to readers to sort out the apparent incongruities – with only the caution that they gird themselves for a journey somewhere they may not want to go. Especially if they live in “Atlanta.”

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