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.

© 2020 John Anstie
 All rights reserved

At the time I wrote this in 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 characteristically showed her faith in the team she built up around her. She encouraged, nurtured and, above all, imbued us 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, as an experienced editor and writer, 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
All rights reserved


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

One thought on “Anti-dystopoem

  1. What a wonderful tribute piece, John. “These voices endure, like those refreshing waters
    of a spring that flows from deep inside humanity.” Jamie’s voice will always endure, and we’re all blessed by her encouragement and faith in all of us. 🙂


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