"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, March 25, 2015

DOUBLE OR NUFFINK

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.

“I’m here on a mundane business matter, actually.”  Hushang tried to appear calm.  He had not fully understood what Kelly had said to him but the bully’s tone and ferocious presence was not enough to rattle him.
“Oh.  A business matter, actually.”  Kelly almost sang the last word.  “Ain’t we f***in’ posh, actually.”  This time Kelly added an effeminate hand gesture and fluttered his eyelids.
Hushang was silent for a while.  He wished he could use his martial arts skills on the pathetic overweight tyrant standing in front of him.  Tearing the chain from under Kelly’s flabby skin would be so satisfying.  For a while Hushang tried to justify in his mind the use of force but then he decided that it would be easier to take advantage of his antagonist’s evident stupidity by negotiating.
“So?”  Kelly pulled a face that mimicked exaggerated curiosity and cocked his head to the side like a puzzled dog.
“You’ve got two new people here.  Their governments want them back.  I’m here to arrange ransoms.  I can assure you that you will be well paid.
“Come with me.”  Kelly led Hushang towards a large marquee of discoloured canvas.  Several large motor cycles were propped up outside.  Most of them seemed to be missing parts.  Kelly looked inside the dingy space and smiled when he found it empty.  He invited Hushang to sit on the dirt floor and plonked himself down in an old leather lounge chair with a clear view of the entry to the shelter.
“I’ll stand.”  Hushang was ready to set some boundaries.
“You can please yourself, actually.”  Kelly made another lady-like hand gesture.
Hushang handed him two photographs.  Kelly recognised Mai immediately but he had no recollection of Sohrab.
“And the ransom?”  Kelly was grinning in anticipation.
Hushang took back the pictures and wrote two figures on each of the blank sides before he gave them back to Kelly.
“Didn’t come down in the last shower, c**t.  Add those two numbers together and you can 'ave the bloke.  And the same again for the shiela.”  Kelly was serious and his face showed it clearly.
“The woman’s price is not negotiable.  I can give you 50 per cent more for the man.”  Hushang knew this offer would not be acceptable but he still had some wriggle room.
“Yer must be deaf.  Double or nuffink.”  Kelly chuckled.  “And why am I not surprised that you only really want the bloke.”  He laughed again with a sound so false that it almost made Hushang cringe.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

GREY ALL WAYS

Rainy days on a beach seem grey all ways,
As wet squalls sweep the bays like liquid curtains,
But horizons once sapphire and certain
Blur into a misty purple maze.
And the amazing face of velvet hills remains
Painted deep green and shaded verdant olive,
While technicolour petals droop and drip
Like faded cascades or comely honeycombs.
Yellow sand is drenched into a pock-marked terracotta
As if it was a victim of a wild tsunami
Sent from fissures only seen by fishes,
Flattening the footprints of a vanquished army.
Last of all the sea takes on a motley hue
That blends liquorice with lolly blue,
And the surf still surges shoreward and crashes,
With white horses' briny manes and shiny sashes.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SHAMBLES

Parramatta Road is a shambles,
Proof that transport planners get it wrong.
Traffic lanes appear and disappear,
Most of them too narrow
For suburban buses,
Barely accommodating
A family car.
No right turn signs casually placed,
Possibly at the whim
Of local government tyrants.
Traffic lights seem to leap
Out of the ground
To stall the flow.
School zones speed limits
Are seldom threatened.
Petrol-heads move from lane to lane
As if they actually knew
What they were doing.
People movers full of kids
Pose as travelling slalom poles
For the enjoyment of hoons.
The air is not quite breathable.
Soon after Granville
The used car yards start to give way
To shopping centres for homewares
And fast food outlets.
The streetscape starts to look
As if was designed in a recent decade.
It is an illusion.
Modernity fades -
Derelict shopping strips of another age.
Boarded windows
And walls plastered with posters
Advertising concerts held long ago,
Telling tales of an earlier era
When people actually walked
On the footpaths of the western suburbs.
An old pub stands proud,
Fashionably remodelled
And typically empty of patrons,
Unless it sponsors a local football team
And the lads have won in a thriller.
Then more car yards -
European brands
And the most expensive Japanese models
Shine behind the plate-glass
Windows of dustless showrooms.
Then there are the first glimpses
Of elegant Annandale
And a landmark humble hotel –
A throwback to days
When working people lived here.
For the inner west is now a zone
Of dignified lifestyles
And supercilious good fortune.
Multiple university degrees paper the walls
Of faithful restorations
And post-modern follies.

Friday, March 13, 2015

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW


Outside my window,
Just beyond the open shutters,
A lofty palm tree’s frond flutters
Like a seabird’s ample wings
In the easy breeze that sings
A song of tender night and peace.

In the distance the ocean calls,
Waves advancing and receding
With a roar and then a growl,
Like a predator on the prowl
For senseless prey and fishermen
At careless play in the briny den.

The sky is defined by silver clouds,
That billow like the rising smoke
Of a furnace crammed with coke,
And rush northwards in upper airstreams,
Making it seem that the marvellous moon
Is flying south to polish the polar gloom.