In loving memory of Jayne Cortez (1936–2012)

Est. read time: 2 min

 

J ayne Cortez celebrated her 80th birthday on 10 May in the realm of her ascended ancestors. To mark the occasion, Gus John reproduces the poem he delivered at the end of his tribute to Jane at the celebration of her life on 6 February 2013.

The celebration took place in a most fitting venue, the Great Hall of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859.   The building—today a New York City landmark—quickly became a common meeting place of intellectuals, inventors, tinkerers, and people from across the social strata. Perhaps its greatest feature was the Great Hall.

 

WORDS for JAYNE

She glided across our sky like a beacon

Illuminating

Peeling the scales from our eyes

Clarifying and inspiring

Prodding with word sticks that stung like bullets

Wake up calls

Signalling the need for vigilance and for healing

For urgent action less we bleed to death

From self-inflicted wounds and

Lie wasted and in time forgotten

 

She glided across our sky like a beacon

And vanished in the body

To emerge in fullness of spirit

Indestructible, indivisible, eternal

And immortal as the words and memories she left us

Razor sharp, bursting with energy

Pregnant with meaning

And abundant in the Hope

That keeps us keeping on

 

Until the Universe makes beacons of us all

To glide across the sky and ground in our struggles

Like lightning rods of change

Of renewal

Of reconstruction

In the primordial image and likeness of

Africa

The Mitochondrial Eve

 

And Yes, in your very own words …..

 

          ‘You are out there in

          The political activity of yourself

          Doing what you do best

          And we will never stop loving your creative imagination

          And your willingness to consolidate and

          Be that mother in the area of direct confrontations

 

          We will never get over

          The awesome vibration of air-waves

          In the windpipe of your great spirit

          You are out there’

 

Gus John,  New York,  6 February 2013

 

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