"Fallen Leaves and a Solo Broom"
How time can change the way we see,
Familiar things from another year.
This lone broom, waiting to sweep
Some scattered leaves from yesteryear.
Ivy drooping over a green-stained wall,
The sloping road, and red-paved path,
Waiting in innocence for a passer-by,
To take the broom, and sweep the leaves.
Who could have known, July last year,
It might not be a gentle hand that seized
The broom - nor that the earth would shake,
The sea would roar, sweep all away - but fear.
-- A lament for all lost and suffering in Japan,
and a prayer that time would witness the country
return to the graceful beauty of the single broom.
--JW, March 26, 2011, and in admiration of
Jacob Schere's poetic vision of Japan.
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.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
"Fallen Leaves and a Solo Broom"
Friday, March 25, 2011
What lends a street such allure?
A window here, there a door.
This recedes, and that projects,
An overhang in wood or stone.
The trace of time, stone reflects,
The stomp of boots, cobbles own
Resilient, softer now about the edge,
One lamp post, graceful, all demure.
Each day anew, the light a game
It plays, chasing shadow round again,
Tempting us out to broad street,
While lighting the path for our feet.
--JW, for Martin, on a Friday evening,
March 25, 2011.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Way back in time, those Vandals
Did their worst to wanton Rome.
Beaux-Arts Parisians, undeterred,
Saw fit to nurture their students
On the same, ancient fodder -
For what better to be found?
Vandals unleashed wanton censure
On the beauty of the human figure.
New barbarians, untamed by time,
Unfeeling, just could not give a dime.
--JW, a lament on the instinct to vandalism,
March 9th, 2011.
The Alchemists of Delphi"
Six fishermen in yellow "sou'westers"
Encrusted by time with golden algae,
Transforming them into alchemists,
Minute phalluses, loaded for Spring,
Gathered at Delphi's sacred stool
To entice Apollo out of his hiding,
And burnish the sky anew.
--JW, in praise of Nature's witticisms,
as captured by its watchman, Algo,
March 9, 2011.
Dog thinks: Wish I were out there.
Squirrel thinks: Hold your distance.
Dog thinks: I'd be after you.
Squirrel thinks: I have the upper hand.
I think: this detente entertains.
- With thanks to "vision revision",
March 9, 2011.
"Waiting for the Frost"
Limp leaves, long left by Autumn chill
Knowing frost provides a further thrill.
-- JW, for Algo, Nature's best watchman,
March 9th 2011.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Chantez Matines, Le Jour Reneit (Sing Mornings, Day is Reborn), executed 1922, published 1948, Plate # 29, The Miserere Series, By Georges Rouault
Chantez Matines, Le Jour Reneit (Sing Mornings, Day is Reborn), executed 1922, published 1948
Plate # 29, The Miserere Series, By Georges Rouault,
(Aquatint, drypoint, and etching).
"Our Days Reborn"
Folds of terrain, turned back in on one another -
Desolate, barren, life and vegetation swept away;
Purged of human predation, people-less, pained
By the heavy groaning of wayward beings, those
Who struggled against their maker, loveless, lone.
Was it inner strife, recent war, or time most remote?
Sky too, wild and thunderous, savagely threatening
In its heavy, dark tones. What foreboding hovers there,
Ready to drench the earth with relentless downpour.
And yet, without rainbow, light and life is not erased.
The sun, months hidden, relenting, shows itself again,
And a dove, released from the ark, heads for land.
--EJW, for Roger and Sue Lundin, as we share such
light as we have been given, on the occasion of your
Rouault acquisition, March 5th, 2011.
"Never Fully Forgotten"
Corfe Castle, long ago
By its owners abandoned.
But by land still nobly framed,
And sunset forgets you not.
- Nor the eye of a keen photographer!
JW, with thanks to DrAMJ for stirring in me
long-dormant memories of Corfe Castle.
- ► 2012 (33)
- Flickr's Jacob Schere's "Standing Solo" - in Japan...
- Flickr's Martin Beek's "St Mary's Lane, Oxford"
- Flickr's Ackteon's "Parisian Beaux-Arts copy of a ...
- Flickr's Algo's "the Wizards convene" 2006/2011
- Flickr's vision revision's "Wow an S," 2011
- Flickr's Renown Algo's "Cold enough for Frost," 20...
- Chantez Matines, Le Jour Reneit (Sing Mornings, Da...
- Flickr's DrAMJ's "Neath Abbey," 2011
- Flickr's DrAMJ's "Corfe Castle, Dorset," England, ...
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- John Walford
- 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.