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The Blog of John Walford, British-born, but long resident in The United States. I am an art historian, currently studying satire in Netherlandish art, an amateur photographer, and occasional writer, who writes here about art, photography, and the human condition--some of it ekphratic poetry, responding to works of art. This is to be a site for words and images, interacting on one another, as vehicles of human expression.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lost Sunlight, 2013

The clock turned counter
One fulsome, sunlit hour.
Sunday slumberers
Turned the other way.
Missing the radiance
Of this bright day.
Cursed the soul that
Skipped that blessed hour,
Plunged into Winter,
To nestle in his bower.

-- John Walford, November 3rd, 2013.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Flickr's Melisenda2010's "La chiesetta di S. Martino", 2013

La chiesetta di S. Martino, originally uploaded by Melisenda2010.

"San Martino - Nestled, Securely, under the Hills"
To stroll, to lean on a balcony, to look out,
And let one's eyes feast, where others have before.
Sunshine, warm after winter, caresses the soil,
Readies it for the first bloom of Spring!
And all a while, San Martino's has stood there,
Weathering each winter, stalwart, symbol of hope,
There through all the changing seasons,
Nestled under hillside shelter, its pink tower,
Standing steady, there for us to reassure!
--JW, for Melisenda2010, March 18, 2013.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Flickr's Steffen Tuck's "Untitled," of Dec 3, 2012.

Untitled, originally uploaded by SteffenTuck.

"Soft Serenity"

Something so soft and subtle,
The casual eye passes bye.
Wait, watch, and wonder,
At pastel patterns playing.

--JW, for Steffen Tuck, who, as always, slows my eye, to great reward, March 1st, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Flickr's Edinburgh Nette's "fall falls

fall falls, originally uploaded by Edinburgh Nette.
"Time Frozen"

Stilling the stream
Of rushing water,
Time frozen,
So Nature's glory,
As Autumn caught
On it's fatal way
Dead downstream,
All the better seen!
-- JW, for Janette, a deep bow, February 26, 2013.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Flickr's lia_'s "shadows"

shadows, originally uploaded by lia___.


Shadows speak, of what we seek,
Still out-of-reach, desired, not touched.
Thus shadows allure, now that is sure.

--JW, for lia_, February 20, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Flickr's hedbavny's "Auf da Simmeringer Had - Vienna, off the beatenpath - Simmeringer Haide", February 2013

"Life Passes on Bye"

Power pulses high above,
Unaware that bitter frost grips
All below in the vice of death.
Where once fresh flowers bloomed,
Now all lies abandoned, doomed.
Every living thing returns to dust.

--JW, for Hedbavny, February 19, 2013.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Flickr's Jacob Schere's Meiji Jingu (Shrine) Clear Spring Well, Self Portrait

"Well Gazing"

Three worlds I saw below,
One - made of pebbles, and stones -
Really was below, and would let me go
No further down. Sealed, definite, stop!
One - seen below, but not really so -
Threw a feathery expanse of delicate
Limbs, a protective shroud, over me.
Yet there was a third, beyond,
Grey, and powder blue, impenetrable;
But parting its veil, here and there,
I thought to glimpse, or did I imagine,
A force, a life, an ineffable energy.

--JW, for the well-gazer, Jacob Schere, February 5, 2013

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Flickr's Paulpod's "Shed pheasants"

Shed pheasants, originally uploaded by Paulpod.

On Being a Pheasant.

Once I flew, and crew,
Now I hang and ripen.
But, it gets yet worse,
For they will eat me too!
- JW, Dec 27, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Walford, (Ewan) John, & Maria Dellù, Wedding, Dec 16, 1972 (photo by Claudio Savignago)

Walford-Dellù - Forty Years On,
December 16, 2012

Separated by six years of war, sides, and more;
Separated by country, language, taste and culture;
Raised so differently, harsh town and country ease;
One faced so young into life’s severest challenges;
The other too long protected from its stormy blasts.
So separated, so different, so sure no chance to meet.

Who would have thought, could have guessed?
Who predicted that two such paths could cross?
Or in the crossing, either or anything be noticed?
Does even art, education, the thirst for knowledge
Usually bring two from so far, so close? Maybe!
But into a viable and lasting union – that’s rare!

Encounter! That’s a marvel! Attraction, a mystery!
In Amsterdam, famed ‘great arc of the refugees,’
There in Amsterdam, anything may seem possible!
In the sixties and seventies, there did pot abound,
And long-haired hippies by the shipload! – Us too!
But there was more to Amsterdam than hippies!

Young naval officer, in Nazi war-camp, finding faith,
Freed, returns home, studies, teaches theology and art.
Now there, in such miracle, a new story finds a start.
Drawn by whispers of ideas that set minds swimming,
Young disciples from odd places are thereto drawn,
And two young lives find fresh opening, just after dawn!

A chance encounter, after a long journey, breakfast
Bringing welcome renewal, warming body and soul.
Conversation that opens windows into seeking minds,
Finds concord, where concord unexpectedly resides.
God honors no divisions of class or culture! Truth shines
In radiant beauty, wherever it is received and cherished.

Forty years on! Yet two more countries later, together!
Children born, raised, loved and launched - released
To raise families of their own - From solitude, a tribe!
Many years of sharing stories, stories that give meaning
To the mystery of each couple’s path into deeper union,
Held together by some marvelous glue, the world calls love.
-- John Walford, for Maria Dellù, for forty December 16ths.

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

About Me

My photo
United States
I am a British-born, art historian, teaching in the USA; I studied law, in England,1964-68; worked part-time in the art world, 1968-69; then studied art history at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 1969-76; completed my Ph.D. diss. at the University of Cambridge, 1981; moved to the States in 1981, and have since written, or co-authored, other books. I am currently studying satire in Netherlandish art. My wife, Maria, was born in Milan, Italy, where she worked as an interpreter, in business; she spent seven years in Switzerland, at the University of Lausanne, 1963-70. She came to Amsterdam in 1971, and we soon married. She is a wife, mother, literary critic, of Italian (and French) literature, and completed her Ph. D. diss. in 2002, at the University of Chicago, on Cesare Pavese and His Critics. We have three married children, and eight grandchildren, all of whom we excessively adore! I welcome dialog about art, photography, human behavior, beliefs, and motivation from all comers, regardless of race, color, gender, orientation, values, or beliefs. This is to be a site for words and images, as vehicles of human expression, around topics of mutual interest.

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