As I rise, so will I burn

“Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” Adolf Hitler, August 22, 1939

 

I cut the sky, and heaven cries,
I gallop yet can never escape.
Killers drove me off my land
Despatched me onto a death march
One thousand miles of desert.
Pillagers followed our route
Stealing our goats, our women
Our children.
Abused bodies thrown into ditches.
The Turkish infantry men made bets
On the next to fall. The lord commander,
Ordered us to leave the orphans behind
They would convert to Islam & be saved.
He promised. A hundred young souls
Left, crying, shivering with fright.
We begged for milk for the babies.
They laughed at us. Talaat Pasha, 
Told us. Over a million Armenians
Now on death marches into the desert.
The children’s feet bled, they would not stop.
Women gave birth, they would not stop.
Many, many died, they would not stop.
They poured acid over the feet of anybody
Who complained. The Turks treated their
Horses better than us. We could not sing
Hymns. We were infidels, dhimmi, 
Less than nothing. When our people raved
In the terrible heat, they were shot.
The only mercy allowed to us.
Soldiers hit us constantly, broke ribs
Raped our sisters, daughters, wives
On the desert floor. My soul dimmed
I rose to protest, I was stripped naked,
Whipped. They threatened to crucify me
And leave me to die. “The sun, burn you away”
“Maybe your saviour help?” They laughed.
In the name of my father, I will not spare you,
I promised. Where the pillar of iron is here
I shalt strike with a sword against your iron hearts.
I escaped into the future, most of our 35,000
Now dead. We had walked less than a hundred miles. 
No pain is alien to my Armenian soul. Photographs
Torture me where we both smile adventurously, 
Weeded out, we tear the virginity of the asphalt,
Tears flourish in Armenian eyes, mutilated
By what we’ve seen. Kindness flourishes, maybe, 
On an unknown planet. The Christian Armenian flock 
Of the earth is forever gone from Anatolia. 

◄ DAY OF THE DEAD - November 2, 2022

Al Andalusia ►

Comments

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John Marks

Thu 3rd Nov 2022 22:32

Thank you Stephen.

U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Ambassador Morgenthau, 1919

When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact. . . . I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915.

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Stephen Atkinson

Thu 3rd Nov 2022 22:14

A powerful write, John.

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