I dreamed last night of Bruegel and Icarus falling into the sea.  Perhaps I was thinking of life or  the suffering of others and ‘how it takes place while someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along,’ as Auden (and Carlos Williams) noted too.

We had ambled past a minor media frenzy and armed police standing guard outside the law courts in New York.  We realised later that it was the trial of Abu Hamza, recently convicted of being Abu Hamza.


W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.


Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

William Carlos Williams

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings’ wax

off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning

Book Launch

Held in the upstairs room of Palas Print, the independent bookshop in Bangor, the  drinksthe chats, the signing, the culmination of staunch support and faith.    Thank you good family and  friends.


There have been sleepless nights and hard work to arrive at this point and also much rejoicing.  So it  must have been for countless writers.IMG_0981

Just in front of the book case is a hint of Jan Fortune of Cinnamon Press, tireless champion of new writers.

Two photos to sum up being in print: the sky seen from the car on the way home


and the book on the shelves.