Welsh? Well, as
you know, the Patron Saint of Wales is
St.David. Can't say I'm a
great believer in saints (though I'd certainly love
a patron - you can
donate here). At least he was
vegetarian. One of his
emblems is the delightful daffodil, a ubiquitous
spring flower that inspires me no end. Look: (1)
a few daffodils (2)
dwarf daffodil (3)
don't die daffodil.
Hence Davy, which
mouth-sounds & written form have long been used to point to this
mind-body, localised quantum foam, I tend to identify with when I forget I
am not "really" a separate entity but one with all, the Whole, seamless
existence, awareness, transcendent & immanent, that sort of thing or,
more accurately, no-thing, fully interconnected.
Relevant background information:
Islwyn was the nom de plume (feather, as in Shakespearean
Nowadays, nom de clavier or computer keyboard might be more appropriate!)
or bardic name of a writer, who lived near Blackwood, the then little
town in South Wales (recently notable for the wonderfully-named Manic Street Preachers),
father was born & grew up.
Incidentally, Islwyn is now the name of a UK
Parliamentary constituency, which is rather degrading, so, in some
ways, I had a narrow escape.
far as I can gather, welsh for stone. Not sure of spelling or correct
pronunciation, I was a small kid when I heard this family anecdote.
Might have been Main, meaning fine or slender. I was told
our great, great grandfather or one of my progenitors (forget exactly
how many "greats", a fair few, so long ago) was a press-ganged sailor in Queen
Victoria's navy. He deserted & the penalty for so doing in those
benighted days was capital punishment. To escape such a grim,
undeserved, premature termination, hung by the neck till
dead, he went into hiding, discarding his
good old Welsh surname & adopting an assumed name which was common &
sounded harmlessly patriotic. Henceforth, our family was known
collectively as the Kings. Sporting that nom de guerre, we have
been in disguise & on the run for generations.
opportunity to reiterate, despite my surname, am no supporter of
monarchy. An undemocratic, outmoded
institution that should have been phased out long ago, or not allowed in
the first place. Am against -archies, pro-an-archy.
Hope no-one called Archie takes offence!
Prince of Wales, not that he's Welsh by birth, is
constitutionally (not that we have a constitution)
scheduled to become our next King. I paid homage to
him on his investiture in 1969:
Investiture Verses (A
Laureate Lay), for which I could be done for
lèse majesté. I was somewhat satirical, downright
rude in fact, about him here too:
Click pic? Year
of the Dragon & other animals.
decades ago, for fun, I flirted with the idea of reverting to my
"genuine," ancestral surname (on the sword or spear - what macho
aggro - as opposed to distaff side of my biological family, that is.)
Went as far as going to a free (legal aid) solicitor, who carried out the necessary
legal, bureaucratic paperwork, so I could formally change my name to Islwyn David Maen by deed poll. He told me that, in this country, anyone can
legally call themselves anything they like, simply by asserting such. A
D.I.Y. deed poll is easy: "I [old name] of [address]
have given up my name [old name] & have adopted for
all purposes the name [new name]." Then it just
has to be signed in the presence of 2 witnesses, who
also have to sign.
that time, having existed as David King for over four decades, I would
have had to print & send the necessary deed poll info to my bank,
GP, the DWP etc etc & to be frank (another alias), &
it bluntly, I just
couldn't be bothered.
Davy King, I am, though by true
nature nameless & without form.
Definitely not Dave! During my childhood, back in
the 1950s, there was a comedian & singer called Dave
King. For some reason I couldn’t discern, he was
considered popular. Used to see him on
TV a lot. There were only two
channels in those days, so less choice.
I disliked, nay detested, his act. Every-time anyone
addressed me as Dave King, I’d involuntarily squirm
with shame & embarrassment. I have never & will
never refer to myself as a Dave. By contrast, Davy
is an hypocorism of David. It shows closeness &
affection. Davy Crockett was also popular on TV
during the 50s. I liked him. I’d sing along to
“Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier.”
Indeed, I still have a rather fetching fake fur Davy
Crockett hat that I used to perform in.
wild frontier is the place to be, unless it's "biotechnology's
wild frontier" & you are a non-human
experimented on in a Lab.
For a short while, the
name I.D.Maen amused me with it's satirical suggestion
that my I.D. or identity was mine & that's what it was, none of anyone
else's business. I used it to sign the cover of a small publication I
produced, called Beginning Origami, in loose leaf format,
a folder containing many sheets of paper on which I had photocopied
different creative texts. Here's
a tongue-in-cheek review of it. I still have
some analogue copies left, mouldering among my neglected, dusty archive
of copious papers.
Islwyn Maen is, of course, only IM,
an I'm (for I am) or 'im (an abbreviated him)!
confession: was actually born a Man of Kent (near
sea's gate, see certificate below), but Wales is
literally the Land of my Fathers. My dear departed
Welsh father was, in his own right (or write as
Lennon punningly put
it) an accomplished poet. Here are two samples of
his output: Aberfan,
Remembrance. When I
was a toddler, he won a local Eisteddfod.