My friend Jacqui Bertrand (Stather) died suddenly on January 29th

All who knew Jacqui will remember her in colour! She radiated enthusiasm, anger, joy, outrage, hope, passion and love in equally extravagant measure. She carried these qualities through life and they were undiminished at the time of her untimely death. She leaves behind husband Chris, daughter Molly and sons Robin and Piers and their families, to whom all condolences go at this most difficult of times.

She was my dear friend for 56 years and I shall miss her more than I can say.


Jonesy and Jacqui
Wennington School


What are we to do?
What are we to do
as we stand like grounded birds
shocked by rain,
staring into the veil
where once was clear light?

What are we to say
at this time of knives
where presence is
in a moment gone
and absence is all?

Count your heartbeats
one by one as you fold
into your grief. Not as if to say,
“I am still here inside my life”,
but to declare that for as long
as that old muffled bell still booms,
your crazy rainbow self will hear it
and you’ll be, as ever was,
just one heartbeat distant.



FIRST LIGHT by Brian Eno and Harold Budd

About Dick Jones

I'm a post-retirement Drama teacher, currently working part-time. I have a grown-up son and daughter, three grandchildren and three young children from my second marriage. I write - principally poetry but prose too, both fitfully published. My poetry collection Ancient Lights is published by Phoenicia Publishing (www.phoeniciapublishing.com) and my translation of Blaise Cendrars' 'Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France' (illustrated by my friend, the artist, writer and long-time blogger Natalie d'Arbeloff) is published by Old Stile Press (www.oldstilepress.com). I play bass guitar & bouzouki in the song-based acoustic/electric trio Moorby Jones, playing entirely original material. https://www.facebook.com/moorbyjones?ref=aymt_homepage_panel http://www.moorbyjones.net/) https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=MOORBY+JONES spotify:artist:07MDD5MK9MnRGSEZwbsas9 I have a dormant blog with posts going back to 2004 at Dick Jones' Patteran Pages - http://patteran.typepad.com - and I'm a radio ham. My callsign is G0EUV
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9 Responses to JACQUI

  1. doctoromed says:

    I don’t know what to say, Dick. The poem makes me want to work on poems of my own that I’ve never finished, poems of deep mourning. And, “just one heartbeat distant”, wow.

  2. Dick Jones says:

    Thank you, Doc. A much valued judgement, as ever.

    Deep mourning, yes – I’d known Jacqui since we were 15/16. We were at school together – two only-children from the Deep South, amongst assorted sibling peers in a weird progressive school in Yorkshire’s wild West Riding. Stangely, it’s only realy sunk in now that we must have become the sister/brother that neither of us had. So much history together from the ’60s up to days ago. I’ll miss her more than I can say.

    Re the poem, it came into being very quickly as I was driving on the day that I got the news. I parked up and wrote it into my notebook and then revised it slightly prior to postng it. Occasionally it happens that way.

  3. sackerson says:

    I too have a friend of many decades who is the sister I never had (and she’s something of a “crazy rainbow” too!). I can appreciate how big a blow the loss of such a friend might be.

  4. Dick Jones says:

    Keep her close, Dom!

  5. Dave Bonta says:

    Powerful and spare.

    • Dick Jones says:

      Thanks, Dave. ‘Spare’ is where I’m trying to head now. ‘Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness’. A tad strong maybe, but Beckett has it most of the time!

  6. Pingback: Poet Bloggers Revival Digest: Week 5 – Via Negativa

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