Sunday, 16 May 2021

A Fascinating Man

by Nick Gisburne

You really are a fascinating man
I wonder what my torment is to be
So many lovely weapons fill the van
You must be far more fortunate than me
I see you’ve practised torturing before
Although I should expect it, I’m dismayed
Is that your work, the body on the floor?
Good heavens! What an awful mess you’ve made
I’m glistening with sweat, as you can tell
Perhaps we two can make a little deal?
There’s anger, but... a little love as well?
I wish you’d try to tell me how you feel
    Alas, I rather hoped we could be friends
    But now I know exactly how this ends

A Night of Hunger

by Nick Gisburne

Remember how the demon used to feed
Before she found a spell to make him sleep
For every bribe of blood she strains to bleed
She buys a night of silence from the deep
The ignorance of others for her work
Is tempered by the fear that she may stop
Beneath, the darkest shades of evil lurk
And every day demands another drop
She bears a burden none of us can know
A secret every soul will die to learn
She mourns the night her blood refused to flow
The night the demon’s eyes began to burn
    A night of hunger, blood and flesh defiled
    Condemns the world to meet the demon’s child

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Aboard the Elf Express

by Nick Gisburne

I peep beneath the benches of the bus
And poke my special dagger, just in case
With tiny, squeaky squeals of fear and fuss
Ferocious little fairies punch my face
A pretty pair of pixies tries to hide
Their wings betray them, fluttering with fright
A foul-mouthed, filthy goblin, squat and wide
Proclaims a clumsy curse, to start a fight
Too terrified to hazard an escape
A silver sprite, surrendered, sits and sighs
I bind them all, with strips of tartan tape
They know the game is up - I’m twice their size
    The Elf Express is free, or so they thought
    But those without a pass are always caught

Friday, 14 May 2021

Stolen Eyes

by Nick Gisburne

At dusk, the raven strikes to steal her eyes
He pulls and plucks and carries them away
From all the earth, the seven seas and skies
What ransom does he order her to pay?
If she will simply teach him how to sing
For this, the curse of blindness he will end
He offers her a tiny golden ring
A sign, to seal a contract, crudely penned
She teaches him a slow, exquisite song
A deep and rolling ballad, filled with woe
A year has passed. His voice is rich and strong
He tiptoes to the door, as if to go
    With shocking speed she breaks the raven’s head
    He lied, of course. Her eyes, like him, are dead


by Nick Gisburne

She wears the darkness like a skin of smoke
A sultry, shifting swarm of silk and mist
With every flexing finger, every stroke
She sends a thrill, a threat, a tease, a twist
Her shadow, black, a wicked wall of night
Invades the shameful centre of the soul
She feeds upon the fever of the fight
Resist her, but forever lose control
She burns for blood, a hunger of the heart
A scourge, a storm of lechery and lust
Her kiss, a curse, the deepest, darkest art
She feeds upon the weak, because she must
    Surrender, as she opens every vein
    Surrender, to the poison and the pain

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

The Serpent

by Nick Gisburne

Her tongue too tied to twist to any speech
She wonders if the day will see her dead
Her dreams are old and over, out of reach
In wisps of gold, her hair is quick to shed
Unsullied skin, enchanting, priceless, pure
Reveals a wretched hide of swarthy scales
Her grace, her charm, that essence of allure
Is lowered to the rank of slugs and snails
Despised, the serpent slithers through the slime
Oblivious of those who scold and sneer
They know the shameful story of her crime
And none will ease her pain, or interfere
    Condemned, expelled from Eden, evermore
    For sins that even God could not ignore

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

A Swarm of Scars

by Nick Gisburne

They roar to see me rise above the dead
Addicted to the slaughter, they are lost
Still shouldering an ugly, severed head
I taste its blood and count the final cost
A flare, a flash, a frame of what was real
I see them, daggers, inches from my heart
This mind, a swarm of scars, will never heal
Tormented echoes pull its peace apart
The sky burns bright with searing shades of pain
But every pile of murdered meat is cold
The toxic taint of triumph fills my brain
It cannot free my soul, already sold
    The crowds will see me die, but not today
    I leave them to their lust, and walk away

Monday, 10 May 2021

Seven Savage Ways

by Nick Gisburne

The sacred rites of punishment begin
Pneumatic pistons penetrate the face
Corrosive venom pumps beneath the skin
Dissolving flesh as metal takes its place
The Priests of Pain consume his bile and blood
They pump a toxic mucus through the heart
The viscera are melted into mud
As every muscle’s meat is ripped apart
The body dies, in seven savage ways
And yet the breath of life returns again
The final crime: a mirror meets his gaze
His features far from those of mortal men
    Astonished by the torture that he took
    His followers adore his latest look

The Honourable Man

by Nick Gisburne

Cadavers, ripped and ragged, foul the road
We slither down its treacherous decline
The shaman spits a spell of sacred code
Enchanted to invoke the dark divine
Unspeakable obsessions plague my soul
The stench of death, depravity, and fear
The eyes of he who guides me, black as coal
Reflect a shock of lightning, sharp and clear
As thunder turns the acid clouds to pitch
We find, at last, the honourable man
His weary outline kneels beside a ditch
The key, the core, the focus of my plan
    The only heart untainted by the curse
    Will die as I recite the final verse

Sunday, 9 May 2021

The Quota

by Nick Gisburne

The final ships make ready to depart
We share, with those we love, a grim goodbye
Divided by the Quota, pulled apart
We know it is their destiny to die
Our freedoms, fragile, never last for long
The world has turned and we must break and bleed
Invaders claim the best, the brave, the strong
They come to take our lives. They come to feed
Two hundred thousand souls are stolen, lost
Yet all who meet the Quota make a choice
Survival, life, comes only at a cost
For those who die to save us, we rejoice
    The Quota falls upon us every year
    But somehow, still, we rise to face our fear

Friday, 7 May 2021

Creation Cracks

by Nick Gisburne

Pulsating strings of shadow fuse and fade
A fragile fog, seductive, silver, grey
Its coalescing cores of jet and jade
Absorb the spectral strands as they decay
A thunderstorm, a fury, laced with light
Dissolves the poisoned pillars into flame
Awake, aware, the blazing phantoms fight
They crown their queen, a witch without a name
She smothers fate with fear to spin a spell
Her dragons, Blood and Magic, split the sky
Between them turns a crooked carousel
The universe, imperfect, lives to die
    Creation cracks, a broken, twisted toy
    A plaything she is destined to destroy

Thursday, 6 May 2021

A Perfect Paradise

by Nick Gisburne

A child of steel, a powerful device
Created for the many, by the few
Designed to bring a perfect paradise
To purify the planet, through and through
He cleans the air and oceans, heals the earth
For moments, precious, few, the dream is done
But soon he sees the stains of life and birth
They cannot hide from him, their selfish son
As every infestation is destroyed
His perfect world becomes a perfect hell
Alive, alone, unable to avoid
The darkness of this cold and sterile shell
    Afraid, with no one left to share the dream
    In death he cries a final, silent scream

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Under Glass

by Nick Gisburne

How strange it seems to see you, under glass
The finest and the fiercest of the Fey
A simple trick, with sweetly-scented grass
And here I have you, safely sealed away
Remarkable how delicate you are
Of all the fabled creatures I have chased
Exquisite, and defiant. Yes, bizarre
I wonder, might your murder be a waste?
My copper-coiled contraption hums and glows
A simple switch, and life will meet its end
Your eyes, so bright, but understanding shows
They recognise that death will soon descend
    It does. I feel the venom of a bite
    They said you had a sister. They were right

The Deep

by Nick Gisburne

Shatter the shadows, the darkest of dreams
Bathe in the blood of the waters within
Run to the river of sorrow and screams
Sever the spirit, abandon your skin
Feel it, the torment, the weight of the soul
Twisted malevolence, dragging you down
Primitive, poisonous, blacker than coal
Festering evil, drawn under to drown
Dive to your destiny, dive to the deep
Stripped of your senses, eternally blind
Infinite emptiness, death without sleep
Shackled forever, alone with your mind
    Silence, the sentence to pay for your crime
    Time without end, till the end of all time

Saturday, 1 May 2021

The Sickness

by Nick Gisburne

They see the rising menace of the plague
And fear for what mutations may emerge
But pledges made to face the fight are vague
Too late, too few, to counter such a surge
The sickness plays its final, fatal hand
It stains the sky, infecting every cloud
Relentless in its hunger to expand
It weaves a cloak of death, a swirling shroud
The sunlight, smothered, strangled, shines no more
And swarming spores of sickness fall as rain
They ravage every creature to its core
Each nerve a naked thread of blazing pain
    The sickness fades and only death remains
    And on this empty planet silence reigns

Friday, 30 April 2021

The Necromancer’s Knife

by Nick Gisburne

The doorway into darkness strains and cracks
It splinters, buckles, bends, as though to burst
Each woman holds an effigy in wax
They speak a spell and call upon the cursed
Their creatures, crushed together, merge as one
A miserable mockery of life
And, stepping through the portal, it is gone
It seeks the blade, the necromancer’s knife
For seven nights the witches watch and wait
The doorway, empty, offers nothing more
Their faith, their focus, does not deviate
And now, at last, it opens, as before
    The knife, that stolen dagger of the dead
    Returns, to slice the necromancer’s bread

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Perfect Worlds

by Nick Gisburne

Beyond the rings of Saturn, there we meet
The mighty vessel signals from afar
They understand our customs, how we greet
And quickly show us who and what they are
They tell of perfect worlds, beyond belief
Where poverty and war have disappeared
Of life without the misery of grief
A paradise, where death is never feared
Their mastery of space, learned long ago
Allows their kind to flourish and expand
Of Earth, we tell them all they wish to know
In partnership, we offer them our hand
    They vanish, with a single, brief dispatch
    “Your profile pains us. Sorry. Not a match.”


by Nick Gisburne

The stench of death is putrid, rotten, rank
An ancient cargo, scavenged from the sand
Each primitive, disease-infected tank
Is hauled aboard the zeppelin by hand
The man in white is wary of the find
He taps his cane to dampen his distaste
The ship, this expedition, all designed
To seize a lasting legacy, long chased
A shackled wretch is hurled into the hold
The hatch behind him closes, quickly sealed
Exposed, the deadly vapours, slick and cold
Dissolve his mind, their wickedness revealed
    A poison, snatched from time, a savage blight
    Will fall upon a helpless world tonight

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Pandora’s Other Box

by Nick Gisburne

What lurks inside Pandora’s other box?
The one she didn’t open (she forgot)
Releasing every punishment and pox
She had some things to think about. A lot
The second box just can’t be any worse
I’m sure that all the evil must be gone
Perhaps I’ll find the cure to every curse
I have to take the chance and carry on
Excited is an all-too-timid word
I’m buzzing like the biggest-ever bee
But now the sound of silence can be heard
At last, with bated breath, I turn the key
    Pandora’s greatest torment fills the box
    A plague of dirty underpants and socks

A Wonder in the Ice

by Nick Gisburne

It crashed beyond the western city wall
The silver capsule, spinning, lost control
And she, the stationed sentry, saw it fall
It struck the snow dunes, punched a perfect hole
Dispatched to drag the pilot from the wreck
She finds a broken, alien device
Impossible to comprehend its tech
A mystery, a wonder in the ice
A sticky flow escapes the cold machine
It falls upon the fingers of her hand
She marvels at its oily, scarlet sheen
A clue she does not clearly understand
    A puzzle, how the gears of life could spin
    Without a clockwork core, like hers, within