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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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Two Simple Elements That Bind

They all come forward in a steady stream
- Or nearly all. Some sit it out, unsure,
Reluctant, quizzical observers, their doubt
Stronger than their faith, still trapped by guilt,
Unable to believe in such a gift - yet watching.
Watching the steady stream flow forward.

I too am watching, waiting my turn. My eyes
Follow the trail of familiar faces. Each body
A complex bundle of confusion and clarity.
Some come forward, bearing old burdens;
One knowing a new tumor has erupted inside,
Another, long lame, walking without a stick!

The widower, looking frailer than a year ago;
The young boy, blooming with freshness,
Not yet tarnished by a wider awareness.
Two sisters, tenderly steadying grandma.
One little boy, delightfully mischievous,
Until steadied down by his adoring dad.

One, home sold after how many years,
Dependent now on community living.
This other, so bright, always enchanting
The children, who sit as she tells stories.
There a man from out of town - someone's
Brother - still tethered to his surgeon's beeper.

And so it goes, each first Sunday of the month:
We all file forward - or nearly all --
Fat and thin, rich and poor, young and old,
One bounding, one limping, all expecting
That somehow, sharing from one sufficient loaf,
Together, we are all nourished, in communion.


  1. What a wonderful image and meditation!

  2. Thanks, Matt. Hope you are flourishing. I often think of you, peruse your Flickr page and blog. It always fills me with delight and mental stimulation. Take care.


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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, 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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