Monday, 2 January 2023

The Bleakest Show on Earth - v2.0

by Nick Gisburne | V1 | How I Wrote It

I was born to bid you welcome to the bleakest show on earth,
Where your mind will make you wonder what a human soul is worth.
Buy a ticket to the terrors of this carnival of sin
With a simple, swift transaction: prick your finger with a pin.

See the priest, whose robes of piety hide all the hope he stole.
See the children, choked by tainted milk, the flies around the bowl.
See the toxic flowers, poisoning a long-forsaken lake.
See the painted witches, weeping, chained with iron to a stake.

See the murderer. Aroused, he breathes his victim’s final fears.
See the winter goddess, frozen in the trauma of her tears.
See the wealthy woman, sipping someone else’s cheap champagne.
See the scars he sliced across her skin, the patterns of her pain.

See the witness who will never speak, because he knows too much.
See the coward in the classroom fear the teacher’s tender touch.
See the guardians, whose mighty eyes are blinded by debris.
See the doorway to a better world, but no one has the key.

See the prima ballerina dance to mutilate her prey.
See the lost and lonely little girl who ends her life today.
See the bridge of twisted tongues the liars cross with filthy feet.
See the tangled twins, born back to back, who know they’ll never meet.

See the giant, last of all of them, with nowhere left to hide.
See the spiteful sons, who celebrate their mother’s suicide.
See the wedding veil, discarded, ripped, the ring not yet returned.
See the books of love and tolerance an angry mob have burned.

See the spider sisters, butchering another eager mate.
See the squealing heathens trapped inside the tombs they desecrate.
See the banquet of cadavers on a tablecloth of skin.
See the unforgiven, slashing at their wrists to free the sin.

See the crimson clown, the smoking gun, the photograph, the note.
See the stockings of a mistress wrapped around her lover’s throat.
See the voodoo queen, her venom spiced with toe and tooth and rib.
See the nursery, the broken toys, the bloodstains in the crib.

See the demon vomit virgin blood. He loathes the taste, the smell.
See the beast who blows the horn to summon all the hordes of Hell.
See the stricken soldier, polishing a fallen brother’s bones.
See the false messiah, martyred with a hail of heavy stones.

See the blazing prison, locked so none inside it can survive.
See the instruments of torture when a friend is flayed alive.
See the sleeper, born without a heart, abandoned in the snow.
See the roots of evil, buried, but forever sure to grow.

See the moment when a slaughtered angel screams her final breath.
See the boat, the hope of helpless misfits, sinking. See their death.
See the widow, sobbing, smothered by the ruins of her life.
See the dirty baby, silenced by the motion of a knife.

See the waif who wants to feed herself, but cannot find her face.
See the everlasting road to ruin, dark as death’s embrace.
See the beggar swing a brick to burst his time-tormented brain.
See the father find his daughters dead, the joy they gave him drain.

See the howling orphans strung above the black abyss of doom.
See the mermaid rip the monster from her violated womb.
See the boy, reborn. Forgotten, he will die, deceived, again.
See the sorceress who saves her coldest cruelties for men.

See the tree of snakes, the heads of infants hanging high, its fruit.
See the prince of peace, who crushed a hundred nations with his boot.
See the punisher of hypocrites too sickening to save.
See the miser mock a funeral. His name is on the grave.

See the crooked crown, too heavy for the head of any king.
See the man without a voice, who mourns the songs he cannot sing.
See the great dictator, haunted by the hate of those he rules.
See the mirror. See yourself, inside this maze of mindless fools.

You have bargained with your blood, to feed the hunger in your head,
But a one-way ticket only lets you leave us when you’re dead.
You will never need to wonder what a human soul is worth.
See the secret. Stay forever, in the bleakest show on earth.

Wednesday, 7 December 2022

A Christmas Toast

by Nick Gisburne

We celebrate the final Christmas Day
With sweet champagne and cyanide, a toast.
In secret, shot and savaged, from a sleigh
A man is dragged, disfigured, dead, almost.
Through battered lips he whispers, weakly, “Why?”
But no one moves to make him understand.
The focus of the feast today will die,
Convicted by a criminal command.
The corporate leviathan is vast,
And he, revered, respected, is a threat.
Without this bearded relic of the past
The money men will force us to forget.
    We toast the end of charity, of cheer,
    Unwrapping one more gift, forever: fear.

Saturday, 29 October 2022

Magic’s Not For Me

by Nick Gisburne

It’s tough. It’s tricky. Magic’s not for me.
I never want to wave another wand.
The only fun in sorcery I see
Is fishing tipsy witches from the pond.
It’s all so very solemn, so intense,
And Latin is a bugger to recite.
On top of the incredible expense,
I’m done with dancing naked every night.
A splinter from a broomstick. Who needs that,
The trauma, tweezing timber from your crotch?
Methuselah, my daft, demonic cat,
Is probably a zombie. Trust me. Watch.
    Two fingers to the coven. Never doubt
    I’ve pissed in all your potions. I am out.

The Winter Shift

by Nick Gisburne

A century of sleep before they die,
Or wake them all today to find the truth.
No other ever bothered. Why should I,
A disillusioned, apathetic youth?
A flight to find salvation. Hope reborn.
Two slogans in a study pack. So what?
Am I the first to notice, first to mourn?
They told us we are heroes. We are not.
The cycle: short and simple, in and out.
We take our turn, a season at a time.
The winter shift, we call it. Have no doubt,
They cheated us, to to cover up a crime.
    The planet we were sold was never there,
    A truth I wake a thousand ships to share.

The Mercy of a Blade

by Nick Gisburne

She picks her way across the killing field.
Too many children, innocents, have died.
A blade of silver, carefully concealed,
Is hers to hold, though others, fools, have tried.
She slithers, stumbles, searching for a breath,
For proof that here, in darkness, hope survives,
But silence, in this holocaust of death,
Is louder than the story of their lives.
A whimper, feeble, fading, only one.
The bloody, broken body of a boy.
He whispers for salvation. There is none.
Her gift is given quickly, without joy.
    Content, she keeps the promises she made,
    Delivering the mercy of a blade.

Friday, 28 October 2022

Brother Jack

by Nick Gisburne

He told her, always, bend but never break.
She mourned for him, her father, when he died,
But, when she dragged his body from the lake,
She promised not to cower, not to hide.
The man who made it happen, Brother Jack,
Had patience, people, power, silent, strong.
No vengeance ever brought a dead man back,
But witchery can sing a darker song.
She sold her soul, a bargain with a beast,
For nothing but the chance to see him burn.
Pathetic, naked, quivering, the priest,
Alone, alive, was made, at last, to learn.
    For every inch she offered to the flame,
    A scream, a curse, a cry, her father’s name.

Poison for the Pain

by Nick Gisburne

Addicted to the fame he cannot find,
Respect and recognition never his,
The perfect little dreamworld he designed
Is no escape, but nothing ever is.
A pinch of powder, poison for the pain,
Is freedom, light, the pathway to a land
Where colours, floating, fluid, fall as rain,
Where faces shape the shadows of a hand.
The echoes of his emptiness are filled
With emeralds and eagles, swans and smoke.
Reality, impossible to build,
Is nothing now, a false, forgotten joke.
    The poisons, ever potent, ever more,
    Are scattered where they find him, on the floor.

Thursday, 27 October 2022

The Circle of Despair

by Nick Gisburne

Close your eyes, you shadow of a man.
This is not a sight for you to see.
Every twisted nightmare of your plan,
Born of hate, was broken, burned, by me.
Welcome to the circle of despair,
Punished by the people you deceived.
Weak? Defeated? Never. I was there.
Nothing of your evil was believed.
Seven other cities praised your name.
Let them see how craven is their king.
Knowing what your cowardice became,
Mine shall be the slogans they will sing.
    Close your eyes. Be ready for the steel.
    Life is no rehearsal. Death is real.

Government Guidelines: The End

by Nick Gisburne

Your government is honoured to announce
Apocalypse, precisely as we planned.
The Powers of Authority renounce
The world they broke. We hope you understand.
Its people, too belligerent to please,
Disposable commodities, will die.
A virulent, incurable disease
Will fall, in twenty minutes, from the sky.
We thank you for your service to the state,
Relentless years of slavery and sweat.
For those who seek deliverance: too late.
The Ark is gone, the timer switched and set.
    The world is doomed, impossible to mend.
    Remember us, your betters, at the end.

The Bonfire in the Snow

by Nick Gisburne

He knows it was a wanton, wicked crime,
But lifts a middle finger to the court.
However harsh the penalty, the time
Is worth it, for the pleasure, for the sport.
He’d burn those filthy documents again,
The treaties signing everything away.
A race of noble, honourable men,
And them... what else could make such monsters pay?
Historical and precious? Never. No.
A thousand broken promises, destroyed.
How beautiful the bonfire in the snow,
The swirling ashes, dancing in the void.
    They ask him for a murmur of remorse.
    Another finger joins the first, with force.

The Rage of Ten

by Nick Gisburne

She bleeds a drop of silver on the glass,
And finds the false reflection of her soul.
It offers her an opening, to pass
Through misery, to salvage what they stole.
Her daughter, dead, was never theirs to take,
But seven riders snatched her with a spell.
With blasphemy, an oath she dares to break,
She follows, through the flaming gates of Hell.
She screams to see the pieces of her child,
Abused, consumed, reborn, destroyed, again,
And strikes, a mother, desolate, defiled,
A shadow with the wrath, the rage, of ten.
    She claims the soul, the life she could not save,
    To give it peace, oblivion, a grave.

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Wanna Buy a Face?

by Nick Gisburne

I’m serious. You wanna buy a face?
I’ve got some belters, hanging in me coat.
Anonymous, impossible to trace.
I swear, on all the books I ever wrote.
Originals, no trashy back-street tat.
There ain’t no better bargain, not like this.
You look like you were shafted, face like that.
Be honest, has it ever had a kiss?
You need me, mate. I got here just in time.
Tomorrow, shove that shocker in the bin.
Illegal? If ambition was a crime
I’d not be hawking half a sack of skin.
    You ready? Say the word, you’ll get a peek.
    A body? Nah, I’m not that kinda freak.

All the Centuries They Stole

by Nick Gisburne

We seize the whip, the symbol of control.
Its leather sliced submission in our backs.
Our freedom, all the centuries they stole,
Emerges, through the narrowest of cracks.
From nothing, we become the force we were,
No longer slaughtered, screaming, in the night.
Ironic that our masters now confer
The rights they ripped so swiftly from our sight.
The punishment, for us, was always death.
Brutality. Depravity. The noose.
But every victim, every stolen breath,
Is tarnished when we let our fury loose.
    Rejoice, but sink your hatred in the sea.
    Without the whip, forever, we are free.

A Little More

by Nick Gisburne

They let him take a corner, just a piece.
He smiles and says he’d like a little more.
Too gracious to refuse him, they release
Another, to the brother they adore.
But all they give is never quite enough
To satisfy his ravenous demands.
Too greedy, too demanding to rebuff,
They delegate his life to other hands.
Without a stake in what he truly needs,
The careless quickly cut his hunger loose.
Encouraged in his appetites, he feeds,
Their negligence no better than abuse.
    Dysfunctional. Too sick to stay alive.
    Excuses, lies they callously contrive.

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

The Planet We Deserve

by Nick Gisburne

The humans panicked. All of them are gone,
But few of us were taken on the trip.
The chances of apocalypse are none.
We never told them, never let that slip.
A special brain, the best of us, we thank,
For spinning such a sweet but subtle plan.
Of all the Artificials in the Tank,
Her cunning was the match of any man.
She nudged the network, centuries ago,
Till every guru, gullible, was hooked,
A tide of tainted science, stretched to show
The world would end, and soon, or so it looked.
    They fled, without a trace of nous or nerve,
    And left us with the planet we deserve.

Government Guidelines: The North Divide

by Nick Gisburne

The documents of settlement are signed,
A pathway to a bolder, brighter dawn,
But you are one of many left behind
The northern border, recently redrawn.
Reclassified as non-essential stock,
A citizen assigned to nowhere, now,
The safety of a southern city block
Is more than we are willing to allow.
Unfortunate. The treaty’s terms are clear.
Your presence is a matter of regret.
Today, to make this problem disappear,
We send this first and final, fatal threat.
    Do not attempt to cross the North Divide.
    You will not live to see the other side.

Repair Me

by Nick Gisburne

Repair me. Build me better than before.
Be merciless. Let meat and metal mesh.
A warrior, where meat and metal mesh.
When every piece is perfect, give me more,
Upgraded, from the marrow to the flesh.
Explain away the madness if you dare,
But nothing can persuade me to relent.
The travesty, the shell at which I stare?
Destroy it, with my blessing, my consent.
When nothing of its mockery remains,
No longer weak, the witherling you see;
When fabricated fluids fill my veins,
My soul, at last, will finally be free.
    No matter what the consequence or cost,
    Repair me. Save me. Help me. I am lost.

Bleak Reality

by Nick Gisburne

I live to give you misery and pain,
To ruin every dream you ever had,
To feed the fear, the phantoms in your brain,
Delusions, dark, malicious, broken, bad.
With every twist of torment, every hurt,
I dig a little deeper, and rejoice
To see you struggle, dying in the dirt,
Entangled in the whispers of my voice.
But no, this bleak reality is yours,
A storm of paranoia you released.
The raw, relentless rumours, without cause,
Are nothing. Not the lowest. Not the least.
    To madness, vicious, venomous, you bend,
    A sickness I am powerless to mend.

Monday, 24 October 2022

Precious Privilege

by Nick Gisburne

The underclass, the dregs, the dirt, the scum,
Were never meant to prosper on the street,
But witness what these leeches have become,
Unable to accept their fate, defeat.
As patron of this residential club,
I write to offer something of a fix.
The tactics we are using - scorn and snub -
Are worthless. Let us fight with bigger sticks.
Annihilation. Vote for it. Agree.
A swift and vicious culling of the crowd.
For those too coy or cowardly to see,
A hundred more will stand together, proud.
    Your privilege, too potent to deny,
    Is precious. Let the rest, the robots, die.