Jan McKemmish, writer and academic 1950 - 2007
Only four weeks after becoming ill with cancer, my friend of thirty-one years and my co-writer of various performance texts,
Jan McKemmish, died at the Freemasons' Hospital in East Melbourne on the evening of Xmas Eve. My partner Jane and
I deeply mourn her death.
(poster by jan mackay)
A Community of the Spirit
There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street,
and being the noise.
Drink all your passion,
And be a disgrace.
Close both eyes
To see with the other eye.
Open your hands,
If you want to be held.
Sit down in this circle.
Quit acting like a wolf, and feel
the shepherd’s love filling you.
At night your beloved wanders.
Don’t accept consolations.
Close your mouth against food.
Taste the lover’s mouth in yours.
Be empty of worrying.
Think of who created thought!
Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.
Flow down and down in always
widening rings of being.
Michael Hurley read these selections from Rumi’s poems at Jan’s funeral
in Richmond, Melbourne on Saturday 29th December.
Jan McKemmish, Redfern, Sydney in the mid 1980s
(fotos by Margot Nash)