Friday, January 8, 2016

Special Feature: “To the Immolated” by James Frederick William Rowe, Frequent Contributor

It is an honor for Songs of Eretz Poetry Review to present this special feature, “To the Immolated”, by James Frederick William Rowe, Frequent Contributor and the coming week’s Poet of the Week.  A biography of the poet may be found in our “About Our Editor & Frequent Contributors” section.

Poet’s Notes:  When ISIS savages burned a Jordanian pilot alive in a cage, I felt compelled to watch the video in order to experience the true evil of Islamic radicalism. Though less gory by far than the beheading videos I have also, sadly, felt obliged to watch, the sheer horror of watching a man scream to death as he died sparked a poem that came to me just before I went to sleep.

I wrote this in bed in a matter of minutes, framing it as advice to the captured pilot on how to hasten his death in the face of hopeless agony. One rarely dies from the actual wounds of being burned alive, but rather by being suffocated. I suggest to the immolated to breath in, that he should "burn the screams from his throat", and that none of this is a concession, or surrender, but simply a recognition that this is one's death and nothing shall stop it.  As guessed by a poem written in minutes, I altered very little of this. I added only the last line which I thought tied up the poem better.

It is the fact that he was caged that is probably the most gruesome element of the whole affair. The sheer fact that he has no means whatsoever of escape is the most horrifying element of all. The one feature of his death I did not factor in was the smell of the gasoline, but I do not want to return to the matter to add this in, nor do I think it is necessary. After all, I did not smell the man die, I only witnessed it, and I, and so I can only counsel action, not describe the scene any further.

This poem is dedicated to the pilot himself, his comrades in arms in the Jordanian and Syrian militaries, the king of Jordan, the wrongfully maligned and heroic Bashar al-Assad, and to the forces of Russia, Persia, and now France who are dedicated to annihilating these Sunni Moslem fiends from the planet. It is with a deep and abiding shame that I do not dedicate this to my country, America, and her efforts, for her efforts have only been to embolden ISIS more, to fund them through support for the phantasmal "moderate rebels", and for their alliance with the devious Sunni powers (such as Turkey) who are, through their anti-Assad efforts, aiding the spread of ISIS. Hopefully, America will soon realize that the enemy of our enemy is sometimes our friend, and act accordingly in dealing with this monstrous plague sooner rather than later. 

To the Immolated
James Frederick William Rowe

Breathe in
Take the pain inside
Embrace it all
Accept it
Shirking now is fruitless
You will only suffer more
The agony will be prolonged
If you do not breathe in
Accept the flames
There is nothing left to fight
This is your appointed end
Let the fires lick your flesh
Drink the burning tonic
And fill yourself with fire
You are caged
This is neither surrender
Nor suicide
This is not cowardice
Only acceptance
That you will die
Breathe in
Your end can be hastened
Burn the screams out your throat
And fall to suffocation
To be saved your scathing
To end your anguish

Editor’s Note:  What an heroic lament written for an heroic warrior by an heroic poet!  It is my honor to be able to publish this important and timely piece.  The death by fire of the subject of the poem may be viewed here (WARNING--EXTREMELY GRAPHIC):

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