"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 25, 2015


So many distractions;
But can you stop awhile?
Stare at the ocean,
Imagine it lapping
On coasts far away
In other places
And, even, long ago.

On that narrow beach -
A fortress cove,
Across the channel -
Trenches in the mud,
Ballets by spandau.
Fickle waters
That fail to drench
The dreaded deserts
Of a once holy land.
And ports and harbours
Throughout old empires -
Now benighted lands of other gods.
Warm tropical streams
That wind around
The islands to our north
And the jungles
And cities
Beyond their beaches.

A hundred years?
Where have they gone?
All the men are gone -
Some then and some,
It seems, only yesterday.
Sentenced to death,
Or life in a prison
Of melancholy,
And late friends
Missing from the march -
Men sacrificed for us.
They can protest
No more
When we recast
Their history.

Best not to glorify
With postmodern words
That actually belittle
Their spirits
And fling false motives
Into the restless sea
Of history refined.

Best only to be
Thankful, humble, silent,
And stare at the ocean,
Imagine it lapping
On coasts far away
In other places
And, even, long ago.

The painting is one of Ben Quilty's depictions of veterans of the war in Afghanistan.

Friday, April 24, 2015


David Morisset's latest collection of poetry is available through Amazon and iBooks.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


The following paragraphs are taken from early drafts of one of David Morisset's current projects - a new dystopian fiction novella set in a familiar future.

Hushang first noticed a small cloud of ochre dust in the distance just after sunrise.  Except for its colour it was like a puff of smoke – not that a fire was likely to find fuel in this desert almost devoid of vegetation.  He watched it slowly become bigger, changing shape slightly, and obviously moving closer.  It seemed to devour the ground and draw the red dust inside itself.  After an hour it looked like an ancient anvil, its horn well ahead of its foot, which seemed anchored to the dissolving ground.  Two hours into its progress convection had pushed up huge swells of dust that ballooned above the ominous horn.  The foot had spread so far that there was no horizon.  After three hours the horn was above Hushang, cutting off the rays of the sun – a relief in the extreme heat of mid-morning – and bringing a pall of darkness almost as deep as night.
As the dust storm developed and made its way towards the edges of the grungy township its inhabitants made ready.  Loose canvas flaps were tethered, windows were closed – those without glass were boarded up – and doors were jammed tight with plastic tape applied as seals.  The edges of tents and caravan annexes were weighted down – often with old automobile parts – and children were gathered up and stowed away in the most stable structures.  Automobiles and motor cycles were covered with tarpaulins or heavy plastic sheets.  Sun shades made of various fabrics were taken down, rolled up, and slid under trailers.  Few people spoke to each other and even fewer bothered to check on the progress of the storm.
It was obvious to Hushang that this looming disaster must have been a regular occurrence.  The rag-tag band of ruffians in this desecration of civilization had suddenly transformed itself into teams of emergency workers with defined objectives and well-rehearsed techniques for survival.  He watched it all from his cage.  Kelly had placed him in an old cage trailer with a makeshift roof of corrugated iron welded to the top bars.  Hushang’s prison was a little over two metres long and a little under two metres wide.  Its height of a little over a metre meant that Hushang could not stand.  The wheels had been removed so the trailer floor rested on the red dust.  In the warmest part of the day most the metal felt like a heated grill on one of the old-fashioned barbecues favoured by Hushang’s host.  It was all Hushang could do to squeeze his body into a shady corner to avoid being cooked alive.
So, in a way, the storm promised Hushang relief.  Of course, it did not turn out quite that way.  The lower layers of gathered dust were still hundreds of metres away when the wind struck with a force that almost lifted his cage from the ground.  Hushang could hear nothing but the rush of the gritty air and within minutes he could not see past his hands.  The ochre particles struck him with such a force that he could only protect himself by rolling his body into an oddly shaped ball.  Any attempt at breathing resulted in a mouth full of dirt, which Hushang coughed out in panic.  But breathe he must, repeating the disgusting process over and over.  Meanwhile, the cage continued to rock and then it started to move, eventually tumbling over in a series of clumsy cartwheels.  When it had stopped, Hushang had passed out, concussed, and the ochre dust had started to bury him.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Stars streaked with bullion,
All gone now,
In bribes,
Telltale trinkets,
Cocaine and shards of ice.
All that glistens now are Japanese brides -
Passengers on cheap planes to paradise.
The streets are strained to the borders of trust,
While the highways wail
And whine with the weight
Of cars bent on a circuitous rush
And trucks stacked with scraps,
Chronically late.
The noise never ceases,
Heavy metal raging
Even at dawn,
Mocking the peace
Unknown by these natives of middle hell,
Boiling alive in molten gold’s caprice.
False promises ever entice the fall,
Above the din –
Gilt sand,
Glitter's waves call.
The artwork is by John Dahlsen, an environmental painter.
It is entitled 'Gold Coast' and made from plastic objects collected on Australian beaches.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


The following paragraphs are taken from early drafts of one of David Morisset's current projects - a dystopian fiction novella set in a familiar future.

“Zohreh.  Zohreh, I am sorry.  But you must wake up now.”
For Zohreh, emerging from the pit of her nightmare felt much like coming up from a tomb.  She had the sensation of rising from the depths of a trench of death.  All her senses seemed demented at first, as if she was truly unable to discover reality for a few fleeting seconds.  Instead the dreads of her dream retained an incontestable and veritable veracity.  Even the wounds of her fantasy somehow lingered like everlasting lacerations.  Then the world of flesh refreshed and warmed itself with soft light.  Zohreh experienced rushing streams of cognition that began to wash away her delusions.  Just as it had been for an apostle of another time, the scales upon her eyes had dissolved and she no longer saw the imagined terror as real.  In that moment of deferred recall such relief came to Zohreh that it might have appeared like a revelation from an angel of paradise.  But the physical facts her false-hearted sleep loitered even as her awakening unfolded.  She was aware of aching bones, and muscles stiff and sore, from the climb up the mountain paths and out of the unforgiving grave of her desperate life.
“I am sorry, Zohreh.  You reacted badly to the second dose of sleep inducement.  It happens to very few people but it happened to you.  It does not seem that your escort was heavy-handed with its administration.  And, anyway, he can only overdose you by giving you multiple injections.  Perhaps your tiredness and hunger were contributing factors.”  The female doctor spoke with assurance and a hint of goodwill in a half-formed smile.  She paused for a moment and then went on when she was sure Zohreh was fully conscious.
“We took the precaution of leaving you in a managed coma for 24 hours.  You have been provided with nutrition intravenously and given a range of vaccinations during that time.  Forgive me for not seeking your permission.  But the orders came from Keshvad.”  The doctor had begun to write on her clipboard, the pupils of her brown eyes expanding under the magnification of the tortoiseshell framed glasses perched high upon her perfect nose.
“Who?”  Zohreh had finally been able to persuade her mouth to expel an audible word.
But the doctor was already moving on to the next room and another patient.


Emerging from a nightmare’s pit
Feels like coming up from a tomb,
A rising from the depths of death.
All the senses are demented,
Unable to discover reality
For a few fleeting seconds,
While the dreads of a dream
Retain veritable veracity,
And the wounds of fantasy
Linger like everlasting lacerations.
Then the world of flesh refreshes -
Rushing streams of cognition
Washing away delusions,
Dissolving scales upon eyes
That nightly saw terror.
In that moment of deferred recall
Relief comes like a revelation
From an angel of paradise.
Only the physical facts
Of false-hearted sleep loiter
As an awakening unfolds –
Aching bones, and muscles
Stiff and sore, from the climb
Out of the unforgiving grave.