Cuando veo pasar a la tórtola en vuelo, lo pienso y me digo: quién tuviera alas para sentir la sensación del aire en mi cuerpo revestido de plumas y volar los espacios desdoblando en las alas el sentido del tiempo. Reconozco que prefiero el aire al agua, percibir esa libertad transitoria de la gravitación remontando las nubes. Sentir esa fuerza sobrenatural de mantenerse flotando en el aire, guardar el equilibrio sin caerse y avanzar y controlar la exhalación del movimiento. Trascender es conocer lo que está oculto y la tórtola conoce su objetivo y sabe que más allá hay un árbol o un castillo en ruinas, o un monte donde podrá descansar de su vuelo. Imagino el trayecto y me veo mirando hacia abajo para ver cómo crecen los trigos, cómo se dinamiza el paisaje con sus transformaciones y cambios de colores y no, no tiene que ser lo mismo…

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I Was

In Memory Of A Close Friend

I was frightened by people.
I was fearful when a child.
I was afraid of relationships.
When I was young I was defiled.

I was afraid of reality.
I was lost inside with fear.
I was afraid of being lonely.
I was afraid when anyone was near.

I walked with memories too grotesque for you to imagine.
I was a shadow in the light.
I had feelings, but I could never explain them.
I spent my life hidden in the night.

I lived with sorrow as my companion.
I lived a life I never chose.
I was without structure within a structure.
I have prayed for my life to close.

© 2019, Daniel Kemp All rights reserved

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Free Kindle

This is a review of Once I Was A Soldier— FREE until midnight PST February 5th

The Book–


The Review–


Once I was a Soldier by Daniel Kemp is the second in a trilogy that opened with What Happened in Vienna Jack? Once I was a Soldier picks up the narrative some 20 years later. It’s not obvious, at first, because the characters seem new, but if you have read the first book, you will realise, slowly, slowly that you have met these characters before.

This is a thriller of the highest quality. I’ve made the comparison between John le Carre and Daniel Kemp before. Both of these writers have agile, creative minds and both are experts in their chosen fields of espionage and the politics of the era.

The theme of Once I was a Soldier is power. People crave power, even if they already have it, they are greedy and want more. Those in power are afraid of losing it and guard it jealously.

The novel opens with an abuse of power. Melissa Iverson has inherited a vast fortune. Her lawyer reads her the contents of her Father’s Will. Her Father has made provisions for his two elderly, much loved servants, leaving them a house in which to live out their days. But the clause isn’t water tight and Melissa demands that the elderly couple are thrown out of their home immediately. This abuse of power drives the narrative.

This is some of the finest erotica I’ve read. The writer lulls the reader into believing that sex and wealth are so high on the agenda that we are reading a narrative that lures us into the sexually determined world of Jackie Collins, or Shirley Conran.

And neither is this Agatha Christie, there’s no room for Miss Marple here. There is a change of mood and pace that is shocking. We stumble into a gritty, dark world…the characters with whom we thought were safe and dependable are not what they have seemed. Who are their masters? Who truly, ultimately has power? We don’t know and for the most part we never find out, we can only guess. but the final pages bring us back to the narrative…it is shocking, leaving us in no doubt that evil really does exist.

If you like your reading to be challenging, if you like the mystery of where Daniel Kemp is taking you..be warned, Once I was a Soldier is disturbing, but you will enjoy the journey.


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Developing empathy – what fiction does for us: Laila Lalami QUOTES FOR WRITERS

Is fiction the reality we would wish to drown in?


Looking through someone's glasses at a street scene
Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash

Stories help us see the world through the eyes of others: We see what they see; we’re provoked or inspired or amused; we take sides or withhold judgment—but in the end, we find order in disorder. We make sense of the world around us through the language of stories. When we follow a narrative thread, we experience, at least for a while, a feeling of control. Reading fiction also allows us to expand the limits of our imagination and helps us develop empathy—qualities that seem to be in short supply at the moment.

Laila Lalami, novelist, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, writing in The Nation

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There is no morality to be found in evil.
But to recognise that which is truly evil
One must forget the rules of morality.

Book Number Two In The Lies And Consequences Series




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The Hope Of Hope

A Story Of Life In Rhyme

Hope got lost when he was very young
Faith was waiting but he just wouldn’t come.
Will came instead and with Faith made a team
They don’t say very much but what they do say they mean!

Belief joined the club so off the three did go
Searching for Hope but the search was very slow.
Trust sat and watched from his view on the wall.
Choice was sitting next to him but Choice was very small

Trust never saw Choice so he never took a chance.
As the Three passed below him without a second glance.
Next came a cemetery with a billion holes in the ground
From where the screams of Hope echoed all around.

The three stood perplexed as they looked up to the sky
Waiting for the wrath of God to strike them down to die.
A single bolt of lightning struck the ground at their feet
As a voice declared — Hope doesn’t die! It’s in everyone you meet!

Story Number Two

Now Hope had joined the others and forward they did stride
But their mission seemed impossible as access was denied.
Minds had been infected by the forces of evil and dark.
The Devil had come a calling and had left his haunting mark!

Despair and Depression were his main weapons of control.
When they struck they pushed their victims deep down a slippery hole.
That hole was stacked with bodies waiting for their death,
Whilst walking through their life breathing suffering as their breath!

Hope aspired for more and offered dreams as a cure
The Devil cried out in a mocking voice – “Are you really sure?
Dreams are illusionary they can lead one to believe
That the nightmare of life can somehow be relieved.”

“No!” he had not finished, adding in contempt
“There is no forgiveness it’s only something that is dreamt!”
Hope and Will had the centre, Belief and Faith on the flanks
And there they stood bravely against the demonic ranks.

Despair drove into battle his weapons armed and primed
Hope was behind the barricades; weakened and begrimed.
Will hid in the shadows not daring to show his face,
As Depression hovered above looking down on the place.

Depression led the next wave and Belief took a heavy blow.
The end was not fast coming, death would be slow.
Faith fought on until he thought he could do no more
Then just as Despair aimed his gun Hope gave a mighty roar.

“I’ve seen the will in others die before its time.
They then hide in shadows as if they’ve committed a crime.
I have no desire to hide, nor wish to conceal my face,
I am the sun that warms all heartstrings. I cast light on every shadowy place.”

Depression laughed loudly which in itself caused Depression’s demise!
Despair search his soul wondering why he’d told so many lies.
“I am defeated. I cannot kill you Hope when you are so strong.
I have lived a life of disenchantment. I now know I have been wrong.”

Hope dug a grave and filled it with Despair.
He then sucked the blood from Depression and stripped his bones bare.
From the bones, he made Despair’s headstone and on it he engraved:
Cemeteries Are Full Of Bodies That Despair Has Enslaved

Story Number Three

Pain sat in the room waiting for his friends to arrive
He carried no antibodies as he knew how to survive.
Despair was an ally but he hadn’t been seen for a while.
When Pain thought of Despair he fashioned a wide sinister smile.

Grief arrived in splendour dressed as a mannequin queen.
With name-tags of those she had visited and places of where she had been.
Their tears hung like earrings, their sorrow hung around her throat.
Her smile was not as Pain’s, hers was a one of smugness, a wide sickening gloat!

Misery called from behind the closed door – “I haven’t fetched my key.
Please let me in. You know you will have need of me.”
Pain’s smile did widen and as Grief took hold of his hand
The stain of mental anguish began to spread over the desolated land.

The Three affected millions sending them tumbling to their knees
The infectious strain blew strongly as a gale amongst the leaves.
Pain was in his element as his anguish he bestowed
Adding his torment to the rivers and watching as it flowed.

Grief clung to Misery and wandering they did go
Scything down the people who simply moved away too slow.
The torture of the innocent was the cry of the Three,
As the death bell of the apocalypse sounded noisily above life’s trembling tree!

Story Number Four

Suddenly Belief recovered and dragged Faith to his feet.
“Come” he shouted, “we must go find Hope and Will. But we must be discreet!
“But aren’t they both dead?” Faith uttered in surprise
“No,” came the reply. “Hope is eternal. Hope never dies!”
The four were reunited and slowly spread the word
Hearts were rekindled as inside passion was stirred.
Despair was cast aside and Depression faded away.
But the Devil is still out there and will be there every day.

Belief and Faith are now together. The two one cannot divide.
And Hope can conquer the Devil with Will at his side.
Love is their strongest ally, it can stand at your side too,
But only if you remember never allow the Devil to undervalue you!


© 2019, Daniel Kemp All rights reserved

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The black misshapen branches
Bent forward to touch my head,
Then with their sharpened fingers
They carried me off towards the dead.

“You must pay me for your nightmares
Before I can take away your pain.
The payment is all that stands between you
And eternal shame.

The bodies are still bleeding
Their stories as yet cannot be told,
But I promised only to keep them
Until you were too old.

I have come to collect my payment.
I have been waiting since that first day
I’ll accept nothing but your soul
Or I’ll let the nightmares carry you away.”

The eerie branches closed around me
To form a prison cell.
Then I heard my nightmares calling
Amidst the echoing screams of hell.


© 2019, Daniel Kemp All rights reserved

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If in the arms of love do poems lie,
Then the hearts of lovers will never die.

© 2018, Danny Kemp All rights reserved

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Libraries are the soul of a nation and books are the hearts that beat within.

© 2018, Danny Kemp All rights reserved

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The Thief

He knew no road of righteousness,
Nor any path to noble salvation.
On his way, he was aware of only loyalty
Walking a street labelled desolation.

Any goodness was tinged by duty
Allowing the only trust in lies for belief.
Friendship was a conspired existence
As through life, he strolled as a thief.

Money or wealth was never his target.
He followed what other’s desired.
Obligations were heavy and demanding,
But he achieved all that was required.

When the thief was no longer effective
And the young took over his role
He found no strength inside his conscience,
Nor vigour inside his soul.

Silent and lonely the thief passed over.
His body to a grave deserted and bare.
Four strangers lowered his casket
To the arms of the dead who waited down there.

© 2018, Danny Kemp All rights reserved

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