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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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Semimortal79's "Time To Say Goodbye"


time to say goodbye, originally uploaded by semimortal79.

My distant "niece," Semimortal79, writes below her poignant, melancholy self-portrait (see original post on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/79073990@N00/2183134300/ ): "time to say goodbye..........to the past pain....
it s always a hard process as we get used to the taste of our own tears and accustomed to the colors of our bruises."

In response, I wrote this for her:

"Time to Say Goodbye"

There is, for each, that last, sad goodbye,
And then, the long dwelling thereon.
It was once so sweet, such laughter,
So much fun, as we went around together.
So much laughter, together.....

What happened? What happened
To those days in the sunshine,
Running down the beach,
Calling to one another,
Over the sound of the seagulls?

Where did it start to go downhill?
Was is in the restaurant, that night,
When we started to talk about the future?
He spoke of Paris, and I of Athens,
And things started to implode.

Why did our mutual understanding
Veer apart? We both loved the city,
The glamor, and the night life.
True, I loved my books, more than he.
Then there was that talk about religion.

When did I first sense there was no love?
Was it the day his eyes strayed far?
Was it when I shared what I never shared?
Was that my mistake? The risk I took?
Could it have been otherwise?

How could it have been different?
I am who I am; not as he wished me.
He is what he is, but I thought I could cope.
What would it have taken, for us to learn,
Each for the other's needs to hope.

But now, as I sit and brood,
I've grown used to this mood.
It has become my companion,
Whom, lacking other, I cling to.
Whom, lacking other, I love.

To what am I clinging? If not
To the pain, licked over again,
Savored, in its melancholy sweetness,
My last hold on what I can't let go.
Yet I know, I must let go, or perish.

-- John Walford, January 10th, 2008.

1 comment:

  1. This is so wonderfully poignant john,and altho u dont know what pain i carry(ied),u managed to talk about a part of it ,am very touched,thank u very much,am honored :)

    ReplyDelete

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John Walford

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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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