"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time." (T S Eliot)
"A dark and chanted verse is what I am." (
Forough Farrokhzad)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

CENTURION

We hung three men on trees that day -
Two brutes who killed for murderous thrill
And one for some absurd offense
Priests begged Pilate kill.

The bankers too wanted him dead
And they financed the filthy bribe
That brought him to the governor’s court,
Lashed by cat and jibe.

I watched him die and heard his words
I swear he prayed his god forgive
Those who had nailed his body there
Where no man could live.

Then as the sky turned dark he cried
A cry from sheol that shook my soul.
I knew he truly was the one
Jewish scrolls extol.

This knowledge came to me by gift.
Somehow he chose a man of war
To see the truth and grasp its grace,
Freed and blamed no more.

That night I slept only in fits
His face shining in dreams of flight.
The night after was much, much worse;
I rose before light.

I walked a dark and winding mile
To gardens of the richest dead.
The servants of the priest stood guard
Where was laid his head.

I had to see him one more time -
They listened to my sombre plea.
So we rolled back the awkward stone -
Those servants and me.

Then brilliant lights were all around;
I heard voices from heaven above.
He rose and walked out of that pit,
Eyes abounding love.

He handed to the priest’s servant
Linen cloths that once bound him tight.
The guard took them and turned to run
Out into the night.

The man who was the son of god -
As I believed him sure to be -
Opened the gardener’s shed and dressed,
Masking his glory.

I watched him walk out of my sight
And stood in awe by that cold slab
Where he had spent two hellish nights
In that cave so drab.

Then in the first streams of day’s light
I saw a woman’s face so fair.
And she, shocked by the sight of me,
Backed into the air.

Where have you put my lord she asked,
Her gaze upon the gardener’s shed
Where stood a man ready for work.
Mary was all he said.

She ran in haste to his embrace
But he gently refused her kiss.
Go and gather them all he said,
Tell them about this.

He cast his eyes on me and smiled.
And I cannot forget that face;
And I cannot forget his words:
I’ll prepare your place.

I was young then in that strange land
And yet it still disturbs my rest
To know that god’s own son chose me -
Damned pagan so blessed.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

GOOD FRIDAY

I was a pious priest who wished you dead.
I tendered silver pieces for the coup.
I was a thug who thorny crowned your head.
I was the terrorist who taunted you.
I was the guard who speared your helpless flank.
I gambled drawing lots to steal your clothes.
I wrote the sign that ridiculed your rank.
I called out from the crowd in vulgar prose.
But there was one Simon who bore your cross
And thunderous young John who ran beside.
The contrite thief shared in the grief and loss
While countless faithful women moaned and cried.
Even Judas yielded to sin’s demands,
Yet I avert my eyes and wash my hands.


Note: The picture is a portion of Arthur Boyd's
painting of 'The Mockers'.

Monday, April 14, 2014

FILM NOIR BEACH

The sea was grey today, the sky was black,
Like backdrop stills on fifties film noir reels.
Dark clouds hovered ‘round sea gulls on attack,
Swollen waves rolled heavy like iron wheels.
No fishermen dared test the coarse wet sand
And downcast walkers trudged their way back home,
While watchers sat in cars parked on the strand,
Counting the sets and pointing at the foam.
As brine fizzed frothy on each curling crest
In failing light an eagle cut the air,
Swooping through every swirl to catch its quest,
Then soared up on the wings of wind with flare.
And then the freezing gusts cried out like prey
While rain pelted the shore around the bay.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

PRISON

The following is an excerpt from early drafts of David Morisset's current project - a novel set in the suburbs of twenty-first century Sydney.

From Darcy’s perspective it was a comfortable sort of place.  It was certainly much cleaner and more tidy that anywhere else he had ever lived.  The problem was that he was confined to smallish spaces and two of the three men around him were remote and aloof.  Even the prison officers said little and communicated even less.
The four cells in the secure unit housed Darcy and three other reputedly innocent casualties of the legal system.  One was a former lawyer who had embezzled money from a trust fund by mistake and spent it on a shiny Mercedes Benz.  Whether the expenditure on the vehicle was also an innocent error was not clarified by the court proceedings.  He was slightly built man with eyes like a weasel.  Whenever he thought he was being observed he would pace up and down the common area as if he was awaiting an unjust execution.  Darcy had no idea what the act was supposed to signify and he did not care.
Another was a securities trader who had, he claimed, been blamed by his venal superiors for losses arising from unapproved deals.  He was short but very muscular, as if he spent every waking hour in the gym.  Constant exercise was indeed the way he endeavoured to make his short sentence productive.  At times he monopolised the exercise equipment at the disposal of the unit.
The other man was different.  Hussein was of Middle Eastern origins but he had been born and raised in the Bankstown area.  Describing himself as Phoenician, he had a proud bearing and told Darcy wild tales of his people’s history and legends, sometimes confusing the two genres.  He was only a year or two older than Darcy and the two had become solid friends if that is the right term in the circumstances.  They even talked about helping each other fit back into society when their respective days of release came.
Like the other inmates Hussein was guilty of no crime.  Crooked police and a shonky lawyer affiliated with a bikie gang had stitched him up by fingering him for involvement in an incident that had left a rival gang leader dead.  Hussein was, he said, offered up as a scapegoat.
The isolation of four men such as these to a secure unit was a routine practice.  Darcy was thought to be too much of a temptation for some of the hard men with diverse sexual tastes.  Moreover, there was always a chance someone would try to dish out a range of state-of-the-art punishments in a misguided attempt to comfort the family of Darcy’s victim.  The lawyer and the trader were simply considered unlikely to be able to fend for themselves amongst the more general prison population.  Hussein had to be kept away from members of other bikie gangs who might be intent on upgrading his status as a scapegoat to the exalted level of a sacrifice.
Much of each inmate’s day was spent in a small cell measuring about three metres by two.  A bed of timber slats was covered by a thin mattress with no springs.  A large sideboard of polished pine doubled as a desk and a space for a computer, a television, and a radio CD player.  There were bookshelves and a plastic chair.  Hussein said the cells were like the room one of his friends stayed in on the campus of Macquarie University.
The cell doors were open for six hours each day so the prisoners could enjoy the space of the common area.  It was slightly bigger than a typical suburban triple garage.  As well as a table tennis table there were sundry weights and exercise machines.  Near a huge refrigerator there were benches and tables and basic appliances for the preparation of food – kettles, assorted electric frypans and a microwave.  Packets and cans and miscellaneous food containers were spread around as is they were deformed pieces in a perverted game of chess.  Near a full-size pool table there was a colour printer and photocopier.
An iron-mesh door led to a laundry with a large washing machine and dryer.  The room also contained brooms and mops, as well as cleaning fluids of various kinds.  As a consequence this area always smelled as if it had been disinfected only a few minutes ago.  On the other hand, the rest of the unit reeked of tobacco, perspiration and feculence.
Aside from work with weights and pointless games of table tennis, Darcy spent most of his time perusing Higher School Certificate text books.  He had started this practice in the early weeks of his imprisonment, urged by his legal team to develop habits that might point to strong prospects for rehabilitation.  Hussein had also encouraged him and Darcy had stuck with it.  He wondered, however, if and when he might begin to enjoy it.


CALL OF THE CARACAL

David Morisset's novella 'Call of the Caracal' is now available through Amazon and CreateSpace.

The central character in this work of dystopian fiction is Sohrab, whose ruined homeland is a benighted theocracy cut off from the rest of the world after an epic war. The ruthless rule of the sons of god has created a paradise for themselves and their descendants and servants. Ordinary people live in conditions of near slavery and long for the lost days of kings and queens. When Sohrab and his mother, Tahmineh, are arrested for unspecified crimes, Sohrab is drafted into an army patrol that guards the holy city. There he sees first-hand the hideous depravity of the religious elite. He has one chance to escape and rescue Tahmineh from prison - a dangerous plan devised by Hushang, an old friend with an ambiguous past.

The Amazon sales listing can be found here and the CreateSpace page can be found here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

NEEDS

The following is an excerpt from early drafts of David Morisset's current project - a novel set in the suburbs of twenty-first century Sydney.

It was a shock to her.  He was never the most gentle or attentive of lovers but on this occasion he had been brutal.  It was, she thought, more like rape than mutually enjoyable coupling.
Emma knew about rape.  As soon as she had reached puberty she had attracted the attention of an uncle and two of her father’s so-called friends.  It had been useless to object and she had kept it secret.  They had soon shifted their attentions to a younger girl.  At the time all Emma could feel was relief and yearning for a man who would love and protect her.  That was when she had met Travis.
Peter Liu began to dress.  Emma studied the clear skin of his back and found herself irritated by the slackness of his buttocks.  He was, she knew, no athlete.  Then he coughed and, as he did, his love handles shimmied up and down.  He bent forward and Emma turned away to avoid witnessing the exposure of his baggy scrotum.  She listened as he buckled his belt and buttoned his shirt.  The bed shuddered as he sat down to put on his socks.  It moved again when he stood to slip his feet into his tasseled loafers.
“I want to meet your husband.  What's his name?  Travis?”  Liu spoke quietly but with his irresistible cool authority.
Emma turned and raised herself up in the bed.  Her breasts were bare and she could feel his eyes assessing them.  It was not the gaze of a lover and it startled her.  She slowly covered herself with a portion of wrinkled sheet.  Emma felt old and haggard, as if Liu had judged her unfit for casual nudity.
“What?  You’re f***in’ crazy.”  Without thinking, she tried to lever her sagging breasts higher.
“When will you get him to visit you?”  Liu studied her cleavage, again in the manner of a man with no heart for the woman behind it.
“Never.”
“Then no more rent.  And no more attention to your needs.”  Liu pronounced the last word with a filthy snigger.  “You understand?  No more f***ing.  So I don’t need you in this unit.  You can move out tomorrow.”  Liu turned to leave.
“Wait.  I’ll see what I can do.”  She tore a hole in a frayed edge of the sheet she was holding around her chest.