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, June 21, 2010

John Walford, Nocturne - Geisha in her Garden, 2010

"At the Sign of the Pineapple"

There, in the shadows of the peach blossom,
We had agreed to meet. Our secret garden,
So well hid, none shall find us there. But here
We find each other, can ourselves unburden.

There is this scented bower, still and quiet,
But for the soft humming of the bees, gathering
Nectar from the sweet blooms. Oft a bird will visit,
Sing for us, among the branches, above our heads.

Water trickles from pool to pool, its path meandering,
Like our evenings, slowly slinking round the rocks.
There some water lilies, a leaping frog, willows
Drooping low over the waters, whence they drink.

With anticipation, feasting my senses, I wait for her.
She, tender as a nightingale, porcelain skin, eyes
Like two moons, framed by dark, flowing tresses.
Then, onto the bridge she steps, lantern in hand.

- For my Maria, more loving than any woman known to me,
whose company is warm, and tender, like a secret garden,
scented with cherry blossoms, June 21st, 2010.

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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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