CHINESE WHISPERS. (for David Kelly)




David Kelly was a weapons inspector during the Iraq war, He was hounded to suicide by a media frenzy,


Tendrils snake through unsuspecting airways,

casually stealing through fact and fiction,

gleefully grabbing information

and tearing it to shreds.


Morsels spread by repetition

coagulate to make a whole,

rearranged and subdivided

take on a meaning of their own  -


and the point is that it doesn't matter

as no one knows where it all began,

what started of as idle chatter

                           is now the epitaph

                                            of a broken man.




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Dorothy Webb

Fri 12th Apr 2019 20:19

Thank you MC for reading and for your comment.

I do take your point, there are journalists who pursue truth for more noble reasons, but I still feel that David Kelly was vulnerable and was hounded without mercy.


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M.C. Newberry

Fri 12th Apr 2019 16:31

Always worth returning to the loss of a life - especially one as
noteworthy as this - in contentious circumstances. Journalism
is no business for saints and may have its share of sinners, but
it can provide a brave barrier to overweening power and
arrogance. Remember Bernstein and Woodward of the Washington
Post whose dogged and certainly risky determination to dig into the
"burglary" into the Democratic Party's Watergate building eventually
brought down a president and his team? "Nicking Nixon", so to speak: with the assistance of the likes of "Deep Throat" to carry
it through to its historical conclusion. It can be understood in that
context why some believe that Dr Kelly's demise wasn't so readily
determined to be suicide.

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Dorothy Webb

Fri 12th Apr 2019 09:34

David Thank you for your comment.
I watched David Kelly's grilling by a Parlaimentary Select Committee on TV. at the time and was shocked at at his demeanour. Having seen a partial repeat I felt the same sense of shock.
After his death he was described as a thoroughly decent man - a bit late then after the media had 'killed' him.
I am not the most wordly of people but I had always assumed that the assassination idea was put forward by people (journalists perhaps) who were trying to deny the part that they had played.

He is now been 'swept under the carpet' and forgotten.
There are some things in life that cannot be forgiven and this is one of them.


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Wolfgar Miere

Fri 12th Apr 2019 08:54

Hello Dorothy,

The first verse is clever, particularly as it seems to describe the noxious nature of the media and the secret nature of enquiries/investigations at that time. Referencing and poking at Dr Kelly's expertise in Chemical warfare (noxious substances) I liked that.

Then the use of the words "coagulate" and "subdivided" reactions which can manifest in the blood and cellular structures of human anatomy due to the introduction of poisons, very clever.

Then the final verse where it is apparent that the source of the poison is hardly important to the victim ultimately.

I had great sympathy for Dr Kelly, although obviously a highly intelligent man he was somewhat naive in the conversations he had with certain journalists. Those who endangered him for the telling of a story and some front page coverage. That said we need only track back to Bliar and Straw to find the real reckless decisions which led to his death, indeed the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians. Even security service heads of department doubted the reliability of the source, Bliar wanted his war and after all spoke directly to God to get advice.

And there we have it, the destruction of a country, the further destabilisation of a geographic region...ISIS, Syria and the whole world falling apart.

Very thoughtful and worthwhile poem Dorothy.

PS, I do not believe Dr Kelly was literally assassinated as some do, but he was hung out in a fashion that basically concluded with the same result.


For those interested "An Inconvenient Death" is pretty informative.

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