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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Self-Immolation

Strange gesture from the young man. Out of context.
Like tugging on a ripcord. Then the pause
before the fireball swallows him.

Self-immolation, it is called - to make
it sound a tad respectable, no doubt.
We hear him through the flames.

Screams of pain? No, none of that, but calling
in his high tone voice: "Take me, take me now!"
It's The Buddha that he's calling.

He's never been a Buddhist - until now.
Looking for a shortcut, I suppose?
None of us can get in close.

The flames are threatening to last for ever.
People, trees and buildings: all are seared
and blackened by the fire.

Then they subside to night-lights. Flickering.
A charred corpse sits there with pale orbs for eyes,
his body glowing red,

but soon he stands and towers above us as
a man full-grown, of adult stature,
his beard luxurious.

And we all falling to our knees, beseeching
Allah, Buddha, Jesus, any deity
who might be listening.

*

Jingle Poetry suggested Cartoons, SciFi and Super Powers for this week's prompt. This is one of those last two, but I'm not sure which.

11 comments:

anthonynorth said...

Now that's a powerful, iconic image.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I have never understood self-immolation Dave but I think there is power in this poem.

Kass said...

Gifted description of the kind of faith-promoting rumors hundreds of thousands of followers live and die by.

flaubert said...

Dave, I have never understood
martyrdom. You have described it
quite well with your words.

Pamela

Olivia said...

Very powerful David!

I could almost visualize the scene though your words. Very Intense n Powerful..

Wishing you a very nice week ahead
Love xox

http://oliviasmindlymatters.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/virtuality/

AP said...

If I may, it seems to have a but of the first as well.

Kat Mortensen said...

Wow! All of it is good, but those two verses are just great!

Really tells a story - I want to know more about the man, but in a way you've allowed me to understand his motivation.

Kat

David Cranmer said...

"... to make
it sound a tad respectable." Superb.

Jingle said...

your words are flames,

keep burning...

love love your cute and witty spirits.
Thanks ...

A++

Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable and vivid indeed :-).

Dave King said...

Anthony North
And that is a very pleasing comment! Thank you for it.

Weaver of Grass
No, I can't say I have even an inkling of it, but thanks for the comment.

Kass
Mmmm, strange business, faith, when you begin to examine it.

flaubert
Deliberately setting out to sacrifice yourself is something beyond me, for sure.

Olivia
Hi and very welcome. Good to see you here and very many thanks for your generous comment. I return your good wishes.

AP
Really good to see you visiting. Thanks for commenting.

Kat
Much thanks for those kind words. You seem to be thinking a thought that occurred to me also: the subject deserves a deeper investigation.

David
I did worry that the phrase might sound a tad flippant, so your remark is much appreciated.

jingle
Wow! that's a great response. I thank you for it.

Windsmoke
Much thanks for that.