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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Monday, April 7, 2008

We Lie Awake and Wonder



Photo: "Raindrop Rhapsody," by John Walford, see large on black: http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/onblack.php?id=418509794&size=large&posted=1

"We Lie Awake And Wonder"

Each one, in his or her own bed,
Lies awake and wonders.
Staring into the silent darkness
Feeling abandoned, and alone.

This one, laid off from work,
Lacking immigration papers.
He wonders how to feed the family,
As the monthly bills keep coming.

Was it so bad, that long ago,
He, the wired border crossed,
In stealthy cover of darkness,
With hungry wife and child?

For all these years, for night shifts,
He ran the company presses.
But the new boss, he lets him go,
No papers, and the press stands still.

This one, stares down the darkness,
Wondering what went wrong.
Our lovely boy, once so strong,
So gentle, tender-hearted.

Why did depression seize
His vulnerable, adolescent mind,
And slowly tighten its cruel grip
Until bearable no more?

We lie awake and wonder,
Each with his or her misfortune.
Why are we so afflicted,
And why the silent darkness?

Was Christ really with his men,
In that storm-tossed ship?
Belief is hard to cling to,
In the darkness of the night.

We see nothing, hear nothing,
But the goods-train trundling on,
Making its long journey,
As we lie awake and wonder.
--John Walford, April 7, 2008

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

About Me

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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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