Tuesday, 28 June 2022

One True God

by Nick Gisburne

The angels of the afterlife agree
They want a bigger cut of Heaven’s bliss,
But Odin, in the shade of Asgard’s tree,
Reminds them of the blistering abyss.
He’s only middle management of course;
The angels try to take it to the top.
With all the frosty fury of the Norse,
He gives a one-eyed wink towards the drop.
Insisting only one true god will do,
They make their claim in triplicate, in blood,
But meet with Death, the big man’s number two,
Who started reaping long before the Flood.
    Angelic halos shatter in despair.
    The myth who made their wings was never there.

A Serpent in Your Spine

by Nick Gisburne

I slither from the body and rejoice
To leave the wreck of what was not to be.
A painfully pathetic shell, my voice
Could never thrive within it fully free.
But you, a sleeping, stolen host, are mine.
Together, we will damage and deceive.
A parasite, a serpent in your spine,
Will take you far beyond the lives we leave.
Despicable unfortunates, we both
Were born to build a partnership, a pact.
Deceit and murder, blood to give us growth,
Await us in a world already cracked.
    Tonight a serpent’s soul will feed you, friend,
    With madness, without mercy, without end.

Impossible to Wake

by Nick Gisburne

Impossible to wake, the sleeper dreams,
Enigma to the monitoring minds.
There can be no connection, but it seems
Whoever tries to trouble her she blinds.
A transient disturbance in the brain.
A fleeting incandescence of the eyes.
Across the brow a heavy, scarlet stain.
Retreat, the only remedy, is wise.
They fail to find with what she is possessed,
Or if, indeed, the power is her own.
Resistant to the probes of any test,
Her compass of control has quickly grown.
    Impossible to wake, or cure, or kill,
    The sleeper bears no malice. But she will.

Monday, 27 June 2022

Guaranteed Undead

by Nick Gisburne

Delivered drooling, guaranteed undead,
A zombie makes a fascinating pet.
Be careful not to shoot it in the head,
Or let it see your screaming as a threat.
We only stock selected beasts, the best,
To cater for a wealthy clientele.
Monstrosities who frequently infest
The sewers? These are not the scum we sell.
Attractive, placid, quick to clean or feed?
You may be in the market for a mouse.
Our predators will try to bite and bleed
And terrorise the children of your house.
    A zombie, for the seasoned connoisseur.
    More vicious than a dog, without the fur.

A Bargain Bag of Blasphemy

by Nick Gisburne

Before they salt their soup of steaming sins,
The witches wax their warts and poach a plot.
Excessively expensive wizard skins,
Essential to the spell, are quick to rot.
With scandalous, disgusting disregard
For treasured old traditions they were taught,
The skins are sidelined; conjured with a card,
A bargain bag of blasphemy is bought.
A hundred fairy fingers, filled with fish,
Are devilled in a dragon, overnight.
A dodgy, discombobulated wish
Combines them, light as leather, taut and tight.
    But sprinkled with a saucy splash of soup,
    Their wanton wizard’s wand displays a droop.


by Nick Gisburne

She knows that no one else will ever come.
In darkness she will slowly starve, alone,
A prisoner, her body broken, numb,
Inside the only room she’s ever known.
She cannot speak her sorrow, tell her truth.
He never taught her, never said a word.
She knows her name, not how, nor why, but Ruth
Will never see the sun, or watch a bird.
Her world: a bleak existence; this, no more.
The days (or were they nights?), and someone. Him.
He threw her, always, flinching, to the floor,
And, in his stink, his squalor, made her swim.
    She knew that when she killed him she would die,
    But in her dreams, at last, she sees the sky.

Sunday, 26 June 2022

In Oblivion

by Nick Gisburne

What makes you think you lived your life with me?
I may be just a mirage in your mind,
A helpless hope for what could never be,
The embers of a dream you fought to find.
We’re whispers, you and I. We don’t exist,
Destroyed before we knew we disappeared,
Illusions, magic, memories of mist,
Invisible, exactly as we feared.
The fabric of the world we thought was real
Has vanished in imaginary smoke,
The lie, the light we strove to see, to feel,
Deluded by the wishes we awoke.
    Tomorrow, in oblivion, by chance,
    If destiny is willing, let us dance.

He Waits

by Nick Gisburne

He waits, beyond your darkest dreams of pain,
To feed you, in his plague-polluted cave,
To nurture mould and maggots in your brain,
To fill your throat with gristle from his grave.
He wants you, every sliver, every slice.
In you, his plans, his progeny, will grow.
Your death will be particular, precise,
Your suffering a raw, relentless flow.
Voracious worms, a slimy, septic breed,
Will burst from every scab-encrusted sore.
He chose you for the innocence you bleed,
A purity too perfect to ignore.
    A sacrifice, to violate, to shame,
    He waits to watch you die, to call your name.


by Nick Gisburne

Hello? Hello? What’s happening in there?
Is everything alright? I need to know.
I’m calling the authorities, I swear,
Unless you tell me otherwise. Hello?
Hello? I heard the screaming, and the fight,
Then nothing, like you vanished, clean away.
Commotion in the middle of the night.
We’re not that kind of neighbourhood, okay?
Hello? Just give me anything, a sign,
A reason why I shouldn’t call the cops.
I have a key. I’m coming in. It’s fine,
But this is where the silent treatment stops.
    Hello? Police? How many bodies? Three.
    Another, if you count the killer: me.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

A Stranger From the Stars

by Nick Gisburne

Remember how you hid your spirit scars,
Embarrassed to be anything but pure,
An alien, a stranger from the stars,
Too paranoid for pride, too insecure.
Remember all the bullying, the names,
The friends who learned to hate you as they grew,
The callous, crude, humiliating claims
You never told me, fearing they were true.
Remember when you felt it first, the spark,
The change of life, the energy inside,
When each of us is ready for the Mark,
The radiance from which we cannot hide.
    A thousand times derided, damned, defiled,
    Remember, when they beg and burn, my child.

The Dirty World of Dreams

by Nick Gisburne

There’s money in the dirty world of dreams,
But nightmares are illegal, hard to find.
The government, with all its wisdom, deems
Their sleaze to be a menace to the mind.
A black, immoral market rears its head,
Perversities and traumas snatched and sold.
For gangs who tap a screaming donor’s dread,
The streets of sleep are paved with greed and gold.
Behind the fake facade of every bar,
Addicted dreamers, junkies, feed their vice.
Horrific visions, brutal and bizarre,
Contaminate the cortex, for a price.
    The system cannot cure them, never tries,
    Untroubled when another dreamer dies.

Only Business

by Nick Gisburne

The woman who imagined I was dead,
Impatient, should have finished off the job,
But no, in haste, my murderer, instead,
Reported to her benefactor, Bob.
A legendary figure in our field,
To failure he has never given time.
He asked me, over dinner, rested, healed,
What punishment would fit my killer’s crime?
Her days were done, of course, but I proposed
The bounty on her body should be this:
Release my life, the contract cancelled, closed.
To wipe the slate, my bullet would not miss.
    The bargain, only business, was agreed.
    Unhurried, to be sure, I watch her bleed.

Friday, 24 June 2022


by Nick Gisburne

I’m sick of the damage, the dangerous lies,
The way that you kiss me, contempt in your eyes.
I’m sick of the failure you find me to be,
The nobody, always imperfect, you see.
I’m sick of the future your fury designed,
Expected to follow you, broken and blind.
I’m sick of the second-rate savage you are,
The bully who pushes and pulls me, too far.
I’m sick of a prison I cannot escape,
A world without pleasure, or purpose, or shape.
I’m sick of the misery, day after day,
Of knowing you listen to nothing I say.
    I’m sick of it all, but I see what is true:
    The sickness was never inside me. It’s you.


by Nick Gisburne

He scribbles slogans, messages of hate,
Collecting them together in a jar.
His tiny scraps of bitterness are bait,
Enticing those he covets, from afar.
To catch himself a feckless, foolish mind,
He ties his tasty titbits to a hook.
The gullible are never hard to find.
Too feeble to resist, they always look.
He wades into the waters as they bite,
And finds another feisty fish to fry,
A muddled minnow, easy to excite.
He toys with it, with every barbed reply.
    He thinks himself the bravest of the brave,
    A troll, alone, in darkness, in a cave.

The Flavour of the Day

by Nick Gisburne

When food became illegal, we were glad,
Its messy inefficiencies replaced.
Injections, once a futuristic fad,
Were all we needed, all except the taste.
For that, a drug to stimulate the brain
Delivered every possible cuisine.
The benefits were easy to explain,
The dangers too deceptive to be seen.
The powerful, of course, controlled the flow,
And those who turned it on could turn it off.
Democracy deceived us, years ago.
Today, we grovel, pigs around a trough.
    Compliance, just a chemical away,
    Destroys the taste, the flavour, of the day.

Thursday, 23 June 2022

One More Try

by Nick Gisburne

When he killed me I was certainly upset,
But I figured there was nothing I could do,
Till an angel said, “You’re not quite finished yet.
Take a second chance. I made it, just for you.”
In a moment, resurrected, full of life,
I was standing on a busy city street.
In a bloody hand I held a bloody knife,
With a bloody body bleeding at my feet.
As I wondered how the victim stole my suit,
In a flash I saw the murdered man was me.
“Drop the weapon! Do it! Drop it, or I’ll shoot!”
But I didn’t, and I felt the bullets. Three.
    When he killed me I was certain I would die,
    But the angel said, “Unlucky. One more try.”

Something Very Wrong

by Nick Gisburne

She takes her opportunity, her chance,
To meet the ship of strangers passing through.
They swear to show her soul the vast expanse,
The universe, as one of them, the crew.
Their captain is a copy of a child.
He offers her a pale and perfect hand,
And she, by life’s relentless grind defiled,
Allows her thoughts to open, breathe, expand.
A pulse, a presence, something very wrong.
The touch of it electrifies her spine.
The promise she will join them, and belong,
Is broken by the boy she thought benign.
    As he, the clone, the avatar, the bait,
    Consumes her, she perceives his greed, too late.

The People of Perfection

by Nick Gisburne

You don’t belong here. This is not your place,
And these are not your people. They are mine.
We will not suffer strangers who debase
The purity of breeding in our line.
The People of Perfection, we are clean.
No heresies contaminate our thoughts.
Your trespass, your intrusion, is obscene,
A desecration sanctioned by the courts.
The children of my children are my wives,
And I, their priest, their prophet, must protest.
You seek to sully unpolluted lives,
And steal the light with which their souls are blessed.
    The lies, the laws, the evil you enforce,
    Will never taint my teachings with remorse.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Not Your Hero

by Nick Gisburne

I’m not your hero. No one is, not there.
You feel it when they’re forcing you to fight.
It hammers on your soul, until you swear
You’ve lost the will to wonder what is right.
The faces I will never see again,
The boys they butchered, soldiers from my squad,
Expected to be killers, barely men,
Were innocents, abandoned by their god.
A war without a purpose or a plan,
A crazy game, impossible to win.
There’s nothing you can do to any man
To take away the torment trapped within.
    Alive because the final bullet missed,
    I’m not your hero. Take me off your list.

A Year

by Nick Gisburne

Consider me the saviour of your kind.
I bring you gifts more beautiful than gold.
Release a key, a promise, from your mind,
For then my cryptic wonders will unfold.
I thank you, for your confidence, your trust.
Permit me now to show you what I can.
A traveller, a pilgrim, I am dust.
You see me as a mechanoid, a man.
I bring you knowledge, purity, and peace.
Or did. I am imperfect, broken, breached.
The virus I ingested will not cease
Until a state of nothingness is reached.
    Apologies. My motives were sincere,
    But nothing will survive. You have a year.