Friday, December 28, 2012


David Morisset's novel of nostalgic realism, "Butchers Parade", is now available as an ebook in all popular formats through Smashwords (at

Set in the third quarter of the twentieth century, the stories of 'Butchers Parade' feature the quintessentially Australian location of Redgate - a meatworks town on the western fringe of Sydney - as well as the blighted circumstances of wartime Indo-China. The narratives are united by the presence of the hulking figure of Horrie, a young meatworker who spends his spare time playing rugby league and drinking at the Railway Hotel. Horrie loves his home town and its people but he is conscripted and sent to fight in Vietnam. On his return to Redgate, Horrie is a troubled man, haunted by distorted recollections of brutal battles and caught up in a romance that seems hopeless.

The hard copy version is available through Amazon and its affiliated distributors (see or simply google "Butchers Parade").

Saturday, December 22, 2012


The wise men - or magi - presenting gifts to Jesus in this picture were, according to tradition, Persian scholars trained in the disciplines of astrology.

Whether there were three of them is a matter of conjecture because the Bible mentions only that "wise men from the east" brought three presents for the newborn king.

Nevertheless, the Bible tells us that they were instrumental in helping the baby Jesus escape death after Herod issued a decree to have all new born boys executed.  An educated reader of the gospels would be reminded not only of the story of Moses' avoidance of a similar decree by Egypt's Pharaoh but also of the accounts of the Old Testament that describe how Cyrus the Great of Persia secured safe passage back to Jerusalem for the exiled Jews in Babylon (five hundred years earlier than the birth of Christ).

Indeed, the prophet Isaiah refers to Cyrus as the anointed one - the same term applied to Jesus.  I gather the original Hebrew term is something like our modern word 'messiah' and in ancient Greek it would be rendered like our term 'christ'.

So this nativity scene in the style of Persian art is rich with meaning and reminds us that the history of Western civilisation owes so much to the Iranians of antiquity.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


From the elevated verandah
There was a view
Of the large back yard –
A well-grassed stretch
That did not quite go on forever.

A mass of pale purple pigface flowers
Clumped beside the fibro outside toilet.
A dull perfume rose
From the row
Of dwarf oleanders
That divided the yard
Into two unequal portions.
A slightly acrid smell
From the poison olive leaves
Occasional unpleasant odours
From the adjacent septic tank.
The backdrop tang
Of the universal eucalypts
Almost failed to register.

At times the yard was full
Of the noise of birds –
Black and white magpies
With their symphonies,
Dirty brown sparrows
With their monotonous chirps,
And, spasmodically,
Regal kookaburras
Looking for something
To laugh about
While the turquoise tips
Of their tucked-in wings
Flashed in the brilliant light.

This afternoon it was quiet –
So peaceful
That an energetic corgi
Settled down for nap,
His front legs
With their pure white feet
Cradling his fox-like face.

Out on the horizon,
Above the cerulean blurs
Of the Blue Mountains,
The sun seemed to strobe listlessly
As it slipped lower in the western sky,
Reddening the mean remnants
Of scattered cumulus clouds.

It was a good time to dream
For people who were so inclined.
But better just to gaze,
At the fiery performance in the sky
Until the powder blue canopy
Turned indigo
And the evening star
Pricked its way
Into the purple gloom.

Acknowledgement: the painting is by Joe Cartwright

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Collaroy was cold and wet today.
The surf spat like a spoiled toad
And the wind washed faces with spray,
While a dozen walkers to’d and fro’d.

Gritty grey clouds crowded
Looking stately, steely, stern and gruff;
Hulking behind the glass-eyed houses
Peering from the plateau above the bluff.

The sea took in the monochrome sky
And turned into that greeny grainy blue
That never pleases quite enough
To achieve the level of a lovely view.

Often when the slow churning sky turns dark
The cold water seems warmer than the bitter air.
But today those waves of creamy chop and froth
Were too ragged with rips and tows to try their fare.

Then the rain swept up from the south
Careening across, making bubbles like blisters on the swell.
Showered droplets drenched sand into patterned pockmarks
While walkers stretched their steps into runs of rude farewell.