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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Friday, December 30, 2011

Flickr's sovcsil / Csilla Sövenyhazy's Red Vine (10mpSövényházyCsillaIMG_9768.0.10.10.23Őszi levelek Budapesten) 2011

"The Red Vine"

Red against gray,
Drives me to say,
Gives joy to my day,
Makes me want to pray,
Thank God for vines,
Especially The Vine.

--JW, Dec 30, 2011, for sovcsil/Csilla Sövenyhazy, wishing you a peaceful and purposeful New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Advent - A Christmas Meditation



Advent

Advent comes around, predictably, each year,
Like sunrise, its certitude never, never fear!
In heralding Christmas, it brings children cheer,
For their parents, the elderly, memories dear.

But what is remembered, and why this year
As last year, year following year, why care?
For as long as remembered, will always be,
Advent, leading up to a Christmas tree.

For little ones, that tree, ‘tis all they see,
Twinkling lights, fond baubles, most of all,
Colored packages, all sizes and shapes,
Gathered around the Christmas tree drapes.

The sparkling spectacle, for parents a chore,
Made mostly for their little ones to adore.
Forget we one, unique, who came into the world,
Whose story, at Christmas does start to unfold?

Christmas, unchanging, will always return,
As long as human hearts for God do yearn.
Yet if we forget, the Great Adventure remains,
For God has his steady hands holding the reins.

As we prepare this Advent, ponder anew,
Who was this child, born to me, and to you?
Advent, its coming should give us all pause:
Where there’s an effect, there is always a cause.

--JW, a Christmas meditation, Dec. 23, 2011.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Flickr's Ingrid Hedbavny's Advent calendar 11. 12. 2011 - 5 Apples ofParadise

"Adventkalender, Abfall und Apfel"

I was first made to anticipate a day,
A day that comes round once a year,
A day that reminds us, not to fear,
For there are glad tidings that await.

But some do not care, cannot bear
The message, the medium, I fear,
And tossed me aside, as 'abfall.'
Found, wed with 'paradiesapfel.'

How belong we together? What
Trick of mind and eye, to bind
'Apfall' and 'apfel,' just where
An angel announces Advent.

--JW, for Ingrid Hedbavny, with appreciation
for your attentive viewing of my Flickr stream,
21st December, 2011.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Flickr's I'm Jac あき 's "Girl in Café"


Untitled, originally uploaded by i'm Jac.

Alone in the Café

I sit here alone, with my coffee in hand,
There’s an empty seat – waiting for you.
I could tell you my thoughts, glancing demur.
You gaze in my face, what do you see?
I am young, I reflect, I am glad I am free.
Yet I sit here alone, my coffee in hand.

I sit by the window, as others before,
Blinds shading the light, chair holding
My coat and my bag – gladly removed.
Others share together, while I am alone,
Rather be here, than sitting at home.
A painter in Delft, he saw this before.
- John Walford, Dec. 14, 2011.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Flickr's Bart van Damme's "I Forget," 2011 - disintegrating Hostas


I Forget, originally uploaded by Bart van Damme.

"We Once Were Hostas"

Once we did so healthy flourish,
Sap surging up our stems,
Leaves spread generously
Towards the light, the sky.
Yet taller stems boasting
Blooms, now long gone.
Autumn chills did soon
Make quick sport of us -
Robbing us of verdant life,
Of cover, strength, and joy!
Yet now we limply linger,
Our fiber crumpled, spotted;
Our once active veins,
Now stiff and sclerotic.
First frost finally, we fear,
Will quickly finish us off.
But - We surely will be
Back next year! - Stronger!
--JW, for Bart, 12/04/11.

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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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