A ROCK, A TREE, A FIRE

(for Jack Westcott, 1919-2008) 

 I knew you over the last forty years,

At first a distant work acquaintance –

then placed closer as we grew a friendship

Which I valued, as did you.

We found in you the constancy of granite – you were

A kind of anchor round which we could

Always return, always secure in the comfort

Of being accepted, with an open heart and mind.

You became the trunk of a mighty tree,

Spreading its branches in shelter, strength, and shade

Growing first through the years

For your loved and loving family:

A patriarch to its three generations, yet always

Able to offer space, a meal, and conversation

For a stray outsider like me - links leavened

With your empathy, wit, and great heart.

But one quality unique in my experience

Was the bond built with your dear Georgina.

This partnership showed strength and love,

Which example I found too late from which to learn.

Underlying it always was your sensitivity – awareness of each other

Undiluted by the years. But above all the struggle, the hard work

Needed to succeed – never to become complacent; never take for granted.

This fire radiating from you both, which in love and some envy we salute.

..…

Geoff D Bolton, July 2008