This originally ran in the September issue. We run it again, in memory of Jamie. —Ed.
United we stand, divided we fall. Together we rise. Alone, we hear only the call from sirens of an alternative kind of destiny, where attention seeking soldiers of fortune, their collegial architects and faceless shadows construct a new order, birthing the unfamiliar, wrapped in a matrix of the convincingly familiar. A weeping iconic mater outwardly gestures her loving hands with warnings from a handmaid and her tale of forced labour and social media generating artificial facts of incontestable statistical intelligence, promising to remove uncertainty from uncertain lives, to offer security in a profoundly insecure way. Yet, still small voices of independent thought, unafraid of consequence, reality, insecurity or pain, continue to echo the inspiration of she, who reasons encouragingly and compassionately against the harbingers of our future decline, against the pornography of privilege and wealth, against the deniers of equitable, sustainable life. These voices endure, like those refreshing waters of a spring that flows from deep inside humanity. Underneath the radar of the darker web of lies, they carve in stone the undeniable truth of history.
At the time I wrote this last August, Jamie Dedes, founder and editor in chief of The BeZine, formerly ‘Into The Bardo’, for over ten years, had already stepped down from the roll because of failing health and, in her words, feeling too exhausted from the effort required to maintain the project. Instead she has characteristically shown her faith in the team she has built up, encouraged, nurtured and, above all, imbued with her own enthusiasm for The BeZine‘s mission of promoting Peace, Sustainability and Social Justice, through the medium of the written word and all-coming art forms.
She invited me to get involved in 2013, it seems like an age ago! She said that she found the ‘About’ page in ‘My Poetry Library‘ was the most most impressive she’d ever seen! Come what may, I have never regretted a moment and further often wonder where my motivation would have come from, to write and achieve more than I would have given myself credit to achieve. This is my humble attempt to show my appreciation for her influence on me, alongside other stalwarts like Michael Dickel, who has agreed to take the tiller as Editor in Chief, and the other ten or so members of the core team, who have kept the faith. Not to mention countless guest contributors, all of whom have entered the spirit of a very, very worthy cause. This is as much a tribute to you as it is to Jamie. I salute you all.
I find it both encouraging and, in a strange way, heart warming to know that I actually ran this poem passed Jamie before publishing it in the September edition, because I didn’t want to embarrass her. She was never keen to promote herself in any way, but she did give it a nod of approval.
© 2020 John Anstie
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