Three In Grief, But Only Two Cried


An event I attended as a London police officer.


The brown bark of an oak tree hid the intent,

Of gunman, gun, and their shared contempt.

A soldier home on leave had heard the gossip,

Of his wife now living as an immoral trollop.

Stinging, words of betrayal and love flown elsewhere.

No need for any secret document on which to swear.

Two barrels, two shells crashed through her head.

He just stood there, blaming the dead.

The forgotten child screamed in pain,

At his mother’s death and his father’s shame!

Tears fell on an unkind ground,

Silently running away without a caring sound.

No angels sang that day

Nor any amounts of “sorry!” made the memory vanish away.

Father in hell,

Son as well.

© 2015, Danny Kemp. All rights reserved.



About Danny Kemp

I was at work one sunny November day in 2006, stopped at a red traffic light when a van, driven incompetently, smashed into me. I was taken to St Thomas' Hospital and kept in for a while, but it was not only the physical injuries that I suffered from; it was also mental ones. I had lost confidence in myself let alone those around me. The experts said that I had post-traumatic stress disorder, which I thought only the military or emergency personnel suffered from. On good days, I attempted to go to work, sometimes I even made it through Blackwell Tunnel only to hear, or see, something that made me jump out of my skin and that's when the anxiety attacks would start. I told my wife that I was okay and going regularly, but I wasn't. I could not cope with life and thought about ending it. Somehow or other with the help of my wife and medical professionals, I managed to survive and ever so slowly rebuild my self-esteem. It took almost four years to fully recover, but it was during those dark depressive days that I began to write. My very first story, Look Both Ways, Then Look Behind, found a literary agent but not a publisher. He told me that I had a talent, raw, but nevertheless, it was there. His advice was to write another story and that I'm delighted to say, I did. The success of that debut novel, The Desolate Garden, was down to sheer hard work, luck, and of course, meeting a film producer.
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