The Blog of John Walford, British-born, but long resident in The United States. I am a retired art historian, an amateur photographer, and occasional writer, who writes here about art, photography, and the human condition--some of it attempted 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, October 25, 2009

"Jump, Boy, Jump"

Photo: David Wright, "Dive into the Light, Son, Dive!" (Facebook, Oct 25, 2009, photo by David Wright's mother)

Waiting in the light,
There is one there
To catch thee!
Jump, boy jump,
Life's waiting.
Shadows in the water,
To be sure,
But jump, boy, jump,
Dive into the light,
He's there to catch thee.

--JW, for David & son, Oct 25, 2009.

Flickr's Heniusia's "Weeping Stones"

Weeping stones ., originally uploaded by Heniusia.

Weeping Stones

Why weep, you walls?
What sorrow hides within?
What pain has pushed
Its way through your
Sturdy walls, staining
Once white plaster,
Sending some to the street?

--JW, for Heni, Oct 25, 2009.

Companions in Death, 2009

Companions in Death, 2009, originally uploaded by johnwalford.

Companions in Death

Chill sets in, the earth
Its nutrients withhold.
Each slowly strangled
On the branch, until -
It loses its last hold.
Wind cruelly plucks it,
Gravity tears it away,
Grass, yet green,
Gravely cradles it
For a tender farewell,
And soon it will be gone.
Taken back by the earth.

And us, can we hope
To fall, companions,
In death, as in life?
To be cradled
One last, tender time,
In the arms of our
Loved ones,
And then let go?
Too much to hope for,
Yet, though the earth
Will reclaim us too,
We hope for glory
--JW, an Autumn lament,
Oct 25, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Flickr's NYC.andre"s "Dinner or drama traces in the wood"

Drama traces in the wood, originally uploaded by NYC.andre.

"Left Overs"

Bleached bones,
From some long-limbed
Creature, fur remnants,
And dried blood,
Left upon a dinner table
Of insect-chewed,
perforated, and rotting leaves.
Life-cycles ended,
By violence or time.
So with us, caught
In the vicious chain
Of being, and non-being.

--JW, for NYC.andre, October 24, 2009.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dawn Tryst

Eduard Munch, "Death and the Maiden," 1893, Oil, Munch Museum, Oslo.

Meeting at first light of dawn,
Hour too innocent to be suspect,
He cast his mantle on the dewy ground.
No sooner moist on both its sides,
Anointed by nature and man alike.
Sweet bed of but one blissful hour,
When, stealing up, sunlight,
Exposed and burned their love.
--JW, October 16, 2009.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"bags of bread," by Flickr's Magneticart

bags of bread, originally uploaded by magneticart.

Rural Poverty

Where the tile ends,
The concrete begins;
Where the concrete ends,
The dirt road begins;
And where the dirt road ends,
You would not want to be.
But as for them -
No chance to escape.

--JW, for magneticart, Oct 8, 2009. I salute your documentary series on rural prostitution - may it bring people with resources who can offer a better way of life.

See also his photograph: #3:, as well as his book, "Fututina Mujeres Libres: The Freedom of Slavery, by Giovanni Savino / magneticart, to be found at this link:

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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, retired art historian, who taught 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. 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 twelve 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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