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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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Lament, 2008


An_Illusive_Freedom_2007, originally uploaded by johnwalford.

Memorial Day Lament, 2008

Four thousand US troops, plus some,
Each died in his or her own way.
For each, it was just another day,
Waking up to heat and sand.
It was Iraq, could be Iran;
Then again, Afghanistan.

For each, it was just one more day,
The way they knew to get their pay.
Some driven by desire to serve;
Some, indifferent, needing a meal,
And rescue from the city street,
Not knowing they, their end would meet.

Four thousand with a mom somewhere;
Some never knew their deadbeat dad,
And now, will never know their children.
All once kicked the dirt somewhere,
On dusty playgrounds, in US schools,
And wound up one day on boot camp rules.

Why did they enlist? Each their own tale,
Some dreams of glory, some needing ale.
But mostly, mom said, “look boy,
You got’ya get your self a job,
For I ain’t feedin’ ya no more.”
Now sobs that sonny boy’s no more.

--John Walford, Memorial Day, 2008

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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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