"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)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SCAPEGOAT

Scapegoat.
Goat.
Like a beaten cage fighter
You can’t rise up
And you never will.

Here I stand and the good go by.
Some of them sneer
But none ever ask why?
Why am I here and no longer there?

Scapegoat.
Goat.
Like a punch-drunk boxer
You can’t rise up
And you never will.

Now I crawl, thrashed by whipped words
Of those who never erred -
The worthy horde never wrong,
And never duped by a fraudster.

Scapegoat.
Goat.
Like a spear tackled forward
You can’t rise up
And you never will.

Soon I’ll expire and punishment will end.
This life became another death
At the hands of perfect critics
Who can only condemn.

Scapegoat.
Goat.
Like a horse with broken legs
You can’t rise up
And they won’t let you.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

MIDSUMMER



The heat of midsummer brings you to mind,
Your brown skin warm and fiery to my touch.
I reach in quest for you but fail to find
Those silky supple curves I want so much.
Sun-filled skies spin me to your eyes of light,
Shining as if the stars were all stored there,
And then my thoughts turn to your smile so white
Before I see in visions your black hair.
In the talking wavelets on the sea’s shores
I hear your voice whisper love on a kiss,
And, as the day slows down, dusk’s darkness pours
The sounds of you breathing in sleep’s drenched bliss.
For now I’ve quenched the ceaseless seasonal heat
Recalling one who makes daydreams complete.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

OCHRE HILLS

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


The ascent from New Beihai’s airport was rapid and bumpy.  Thunderstorms were threatening the western expanses of the city where suburbs rose and fell away like anthills.  Unlike the stunning harbourside splendours of the inner city, the outer districts were tributes to the versatility of concrete and steel as construction materials.  Each group of suburbs had a high-rise centre surrounded by medium-density housing and then, beyond an arc of flats and townhouses, there were splashes of green signifying the manicured gardens of the lavish dwellings built by the rich and greedy.  Vehicles ran helter skelter on ribbons of roadways and abruptly disappeared into tunnels or parking areas buried deep below the multiple lanes of asphalt.
Sohrab’s stay in Nanbudan had been easier to endure than he had expected.  The city’s numerous delights scared him at first but Mai had managed him well.  She was almost always by his side and he seldom resented her attentions.  They dined on food that would have been unimaginable for Sohrab in his homeland and visited entertainment venues that would have generated mass executions in the new settlement (had the new settlement been able to support the technology that powered the spectacles).
After a while he began to notice the restrained order of all that he observed away from the entertainment venues.  Near-naked women were commonplace and yet the men ignored them.  Families enjoyed picnics without any apparent concern for security and young couples courted in open view.  Shops were always busy and stocked with wonders as well as versions of essential items that Sohrab regarded as bordering on miraculous.  All the people were remarkably clean, their skin almost shining with freshness.  Their clothes appeared either recently bought or resilient to washing.
Above all, as far as Sohrab could see, the harsh fist of government was somehow absent.  There were police – of both sexes – in their crisp uniforms but they were mostly invisible, as if they were in camouflage.  If there were prisons, Sohrab never saw them.  He once joked about the absence of crime and its accessories with Mai.  She failed to see any humour in his cynicism.
For Sohrab, of course, the inconspicuousness of authority meant also that there were no overt symbols of religion in evidence anywhere.  If people had spiritual leanings it was impossible to guess what they might be and how they might affect day-to-day lives.  Moreover, there was no word for ‘God’ in the local language.  Sohrab’s puzzlement about this aspect of existence in the opulence of New Beihai’s central districts amused Mai.  It was a matter she had never thought about.
Mai’s feelings for Sohrab were a source of comfort for her as she fulfilled the demands of her assignment.  Their sexual compatibility was helpful and, at one time, she began to imagine that she was falling in love with him.  However, there was a shambolic roughness in his affections that she soon started to resent.  Occasionally she would feign headaches for two or three days.  Nevertheless, she was a young woman and her desire for sex would soon reassert itself.
Sohrab was eager to satisfy Mai’s needs but he never contemplated deep feelings for her.  Her Asian features were alluring enough and her body was certainly a field of dreams come true, but he was confused by her placid nature and sometimes frustrated by her apparent reluctance to cast off her habitual self-consciousness.  He soon learned that alcohol helped Mai to be a better lover but beer and wine were new to Sohrab and on several occasions he drank so much himself that its effects on Mai were irrelevant.
Mai slept fitfully in the early stages of the airship’s flight.  Sohrab gazed past her face and watched the continent change below him.  New towns and small cities gleamed like recent creations and long straight stretches of highways crisscrossed patchwork farmlands.  Huge dams sparkled in the sunlight, although some were barely visible under the massive shade clothes and sliding roofs installed to protect the precious water.  Despite all the development and activity there were periodic expanses of red wasteland.  They reminded Sohrab of the prohibited areas of his homeland.  He wondered if the wildernesses of Nabudan shined green at night.  That thought sent him to sleep.
Sohrab awoke to the sound of wheels crunching on rock-hard ground.  The airship was landing.  Outside were low ochre hills, some with tufts of spindly grass bending in the direction of the almost non-existent breeze.  Coming towards the landing site was a convoy of old trucks accommodating armed men wearing battle fatigues of assorted colours.  If they were soldiers they were clearly ill-disciplined.  They seemed to have no leaders and their vehicles were even older than those Sohrab had seen in the new settlement.  As they got closer Sohrab noticed that several of the men wore hats made of animal fur and most of the drivers were women with long fair hair.
The airship doors were opened and the crew, seemingly in great fear, ushered the passengers on to the makeshift tarmac at the foot of a set of retractable stairs made for such events.  As he descended Sohrab could taste the bitter metallic dust.  It seemed to coat his teeth in a matter of seconds.  His throat was dry but it was not out of anxiety.  Mai, on the other hand, was so terrified that she was trembling and weeping.
The soldiers spoke a language that was completely strange to Sohrab.  Mai, however, seemed to understand what they were saying.  The hundred or so captives were being sorted - Asians on the right side of the airfield and others on the left.  The soldiers treated the others with reasonable restraint but brooked no slowness to respond.  However, they unleashed a needless degree of brutality on the Asian passengers and the crew.  Several men were pistol whipped by a truly beastly bare-chested individual with auburn hair and a flowing beard.
A single gunshot rang out.  One particularly argumentative Asian man fell dead.  The red dust almost buried him in an instant.  As it settled Sohrab saw the blood trickling and forming stagnant pools – such a different shade of red and so much more lustrous than the ground.
As if by instinct Sohrab began to analyse his plight and assess his chances of escape.  There were only a dozen or so non-Asians on the airship.  All of them were African except for Sohrab.  Had he been able to speak the language of his assailants, Sohrab would have learned that he was a subject of ethnic uncertainty for them.  Eventually they decided that he was probably an American of Hispanic origins.  He would also have known that they were discussing suitable arrangements for mass executions.  Sohrab guessed that from their body language anyway.



ALIEN


I am no longer an Australian.
How can I be a member of this tribe?
I face this nation as an alien,
My birthright slashed and burned and cast aside.

If I could suicide I'd catch the breeze

And vanish into distant fiery skies
That glow at sunset just above the trees,
Then I would rise to kiss death's ochre eyes.


Friday, November 21, 2014

IN THE DOCK

I live shackled and weeping in the dock
Of the courtroom of woeful omissions,
While those who hold keys to my chains and lock
Cast slurs by way of brisk expositions.
It seems the judgement of imprisoned fools
Is deemed always and evermore impaired.
Respect cannot be won under their rules,
Even esteem must nevermore be shared.
As I seek sleep but instead fight my chains
I work through each day of the nightmare time.
How could I have done more to force a change?
Why am I lower than the heirs of crime?
Now the baying crowd prowls around the dock
And calls my name to shame and then to mock.


Friday, November 7, 2014

DOG BEACH

I walk the beaches of a skin-cancered country,
A land where a nihilistic refrain reigns,
Where the youth are iced and insolent,
Parents have pock-marked arms and collapsed veins.

I wander the streets of cities soiled by sleaze,
Paying high prices set by the casino’s hogs.
Rip-off merchants outnumber honest vendors
And old age pensioners have fewer rights than dogs.

I watch to see if our rulers respect our history
And observe only snouts seeking the richest trough.
It’s seems Orwell was right about trusting pigs;
We’ve not had a real leader since the days of Gough.

I would wish for death but I can’t afford it
And I don’t want to be a burden when I expire.
So I’ll find another country that will tolerate me;
I’ll go there to die and donate my sins to its fire.