Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Pretending to Be Kings

by Nick Gisburne

We used to play, pretending to be kings,
Enchanted by the magic of the moon,
But simple, sweet, imaginary things
Were stolen from our fingertips, too soon.
Remember how we thundered into war,
The battles on the beaches, in the trees.
In breathless wonder, eager to explore,
We swam and sang and marched for miles, with ease.
Adventures, stories, legends. We were there,
In storms of stardust, glittering with gold,
But no one ever warned us to prepare
For days when all our dreams would crumble, cold.
    When kingdoms fly and flourish, fall and fade,
    We see them, in the memories we made.

A Shimmering Immortal

by Nick Gisburne

Triumphant to be first to hold the head,
I falter, faint, afraid to make the move,
The power of her presence, even dead,
A mystery my work is primed to prove.
Reports, relayed by telegram, to me,
Rejected by the faculty, of course,
Were always too profound for some to see,
But here I stand, as witness, at the source.
A goddess, fallen, locked in limbo, lost,
A shimmering immortal, Mother Earth,
Will wake beyond the barrier she crossed,
To bring this world new light, new life, new birth.
    With stolen spices, smuggled from the south,
    I drip a charm of mischief in her mouth.


by Nick Gisburne

All of us saw it. Susanna was sick,
Something inside her so terribly wrong.
Radical surgery, savage but slick,
Twisted revisions, too many, too strong.
Flawless was all that she wanted to be,
Fixing her failings, correcting their crimes.
Nothing convinced her to listen to me,
Even the pain, in the darkest of times.
Others abandoned her, walking away,
Every rejection a stab in the back.
I was the last of them, pleading to stay,
Cancelled and cut in a vicious attack.
    Nothing could save her from death at the end.
    Flawless, to me, to her father, her friend.

Monday, 26 September 2022

Another Poisoned Politician

by Nick Gisburne

Oh please. You’re nothing special, nothing new.
Your message is a mix of muddled lies,
Another poisoned politician who,
In common with his comrades, we despise.
Percentage points, minorities, the young,
Are perfect propaganda, but the polls
Determine you are destined to be hung,
With all your party’s superficial souls.
The public will not countenance your kind.
Beware, before such folly bets the farm.
Your manifesto, shamelessly designed,
Has one objective, one intent: do harm.
    Perhaps, without resistance, you could win,
    But we are waiting. We are strong. Begin.

Midday Meetings

by Nick Gisburne

You’re skinny, but I like that in a boy,
The hunger, tawdry, tasteless, in your eyes.
Degenerate, unusual, a toy,
My little indiscreet and painful prize.
Enchanted by intelligence, by you,
I fear for what my morals have become.
Directed by the deviance I do,
I realise before you I was numb.
I know these midday meetings cannot last.
Allow me, please, to beg you, while they do.
Be kind, until our dalliance has passed.
I want, I need, I must, remember you.
    I flourish with the tenderness I see,
    Becoming what you make me want to be.

A Willing Worker

by Nick Gisburne

Be quick, efficient. Hurry! Don’t delay.
No time, no chance to educate your brain.
Ambition? Fold that foolishness away.
Become a willing worker we can train.
The dull and dreary grind of daily work
Will pay you, just, the minimum to live.
Your supervisor, smiling, with a smirk,
Has little golden stars he loves to give.
Congratulations, worker of the week,
You drained yourself more deeply than the rest.
The future, sadly, bitterly, is bleak;
Your betters are not easily impressed.
    Expendable, disposable, you sweat,
    Deserving all the praise you never get.


by Nick Gisburne

Inhuman undesirables move in.
They breathe the black pollution we do not,
Absorbing toxins, taken through the skin,
Productive in the sun, however hot.
In this, the world we broke, they are the glue.
Without them we would crack and fall apart.
For every dirty job we cannot do,
A sentient inhuman has the heart.
We scorn them as the slaves they truly are,
Mechanicals, expendable and cheap,
But safe inside our cities, from afar,
Oblivious, we do not see them weep.
    In ignorance, in bliss, we are too numb
    To notice how inhuman we become.

Sunday, 25 September 2022

The Seeds

by Nick Gisburne

Always an afterthought, always ignored,
Always the negative nobody needs,
Worthless, the wicked will find their reward,
Poisonous agents of evil, the seeds.
Armies of misery, legions of rage,
Servants who scream with the hunger of hate,
Spectres, the dead of a dangerous age,
Fallen from grace, in the shadowlands, wait.
I am their maker, their master, their king,
Sword of my soldiers, the sacred who serve.
Angels of Mercy, to Heaven I bring
Sorrow and suffering, all you deserve.
    Kneel to the nightmare, to darkness, divine.
    Weep as I make your infinity mine.

Embracing Apocalypse

by Nick Gisburne

Trapped in the tunnels, the furious crush,
Helplessly caught in the core of the crowd,
Beggars and bankers, the low to the lush,
Stumble to plead for their place in the Cloud.
Audio flash from the Primary Port:
Damage, a shuttle unable to fly.
Staggered by news of the quota, cut short,
Even the closest, the quickest, may die.
Out in the open, the skin of the sun
Shimmers with radiance, ready to burst.
Earth, in its final rotation, now spun,
Shudders, embracing apocalypse, cursed.
    Dawning reality. Screaming, they know.
    Death is for all of them. Nowhere to go.

Saturday, 24 September 2022


by Nick Gisburne

We build our great utopia at last,
Perfection, in a spotless city state,
A glittering metropolis, so vast
We cannot see the cancer we create.
Away from want, from envy, grudge or greed,
A splendid summer, flawless, brings the fall.
Without the pain of struggle, we are freed
From any sense of service to the sprawl.
The harvest moon releases hate and rage,
Emotions we no longer understand.
What might have been a glowing, gilded age
Is paralysed, a plague we never planned.
    Perfection without purpose. We are lost,
    And find our fate in winter’s final frost.

Tomorrow’s Messiah

by Nick Gisburne

Stealing the breath of a crucified son,
Spinning its essence for shimmering thread,
Weaving the cloth of a god, it is done,
All for the shroud of the martyr who fled.
Here was no hero, no virtuous man,
Only a criminal, always a thief.
Cornered, confronted, convicted, he ran.
Silent, we swim in our meaningless grief.
How did the mystery’s madness begin?
Why should we ever remember his name?
Blinded, we bury this body of skin,
Gullible pawns in a devious game.
    Maybe too twisted, the story, for some.
    Wait for tomorrow’s messiah to come.

Friday, 23 September 2022

Without the Cult

by Nick Gisburne

With fury, for the feeble, for the weak,
She cuts her Cult’s connection to the Cube.
In seconds, in a storm of preacher-speak,
A true believer slithers through her tube.
The novice, Brother Benjamin, a boy,
Can no more fix her sabotage than she,
But, as he chokes, she chooses to enjoy
The disappointing whimper of his plea.
Without the pulse to modify the mind,
A thousand of her sisters, servants, wake,
And she, with fearless frenzy, helps them find
The circuit in the system, theirs, to break.
    The god, the ghost, the master of their minds,
    Without the Cube, without the Cult, unwinds.

Artimangas Day

by Nick Gisburne

When Carcufrey Geniatass the First
Deodifies his Lusinary Clan,
The Yanders of Kalasdian, dispersed,
Begin to shuck this shammer of a man.
Receptilating, hungled at their Hax,
A trum, truckanish yanga starls the soom.
With captifolded cant, awained in wax,
As muccalings they bind a glanding boom.
At curum fall, on Artimangas Day,
A legiate of Tarroshantic Turgs
Apprangs the great beniator with bey,
Before the Unciada burst their burghs.
    As mooga fills the Sallans of her Seek,
    The Calitrix, Kavana, drinks the Deek.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

The Nobody You Were

by Nick Gisburne

You worthless man. You sorry sack of shit.
What foul misfortune made you marry me?
We took the road together, but the split?
Don’t blame it on your bitch. I saw. I see.
Deceit, a cancer swimming in your spine,
Corrupted every bone I long to break,
The subtle signs I struggled to define,
Oblivious, with all my dreams at stake.
Voracious for the novelty, the prize,
The life you took from me, then found in her,
At least you gave me something to despise,
Remembering the nobody you were.
    The two of you, so peaceful in our bed.
    I’m ready to forgive you, now you’re dead.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

The Grand Manipulator

by Nick Gisburne

She knows she is the first to fight his rage.
The others inconveniently ran.
Today she turns a vicious, crimson page
To tell a shameful story of the man.
Each brutal inclination, each excess,
Too dangerous, too cold to be condoned,
Lies buried by his glittering success,
By all the passive prey he ever owned.
Repeating what his hunger brought before,
On every eager innocent, he feeds.
But she, at last, refused to be his whore.
For her the grand manipulator bleeds.
    Impervious to threats, or slurs, or steel,
    To him, to power, she will never kneel.

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Fed by Fear

by Nick Gisburne

Euphoric as I suckle at the soul,
Corrupted by the struggle, fed by fear,
I strive to save some semblance of control
Before the body’s breath can disappear.
While others lure the living to their fate,
My appetites are not so quickly quenched.
A spirit, stolen early, or too late,
Will shatter if inelegantly wrenched.
The boy, so passive, eager to submit,
Too late awakens flavours of regret.
By seven of his brothers I am split,
But I will not be butchered by them, yet.
    They understand their lunacy, too late.
    Tonight I find a feast to fill my plate.

On the List

by Nick Gisburne

She slips a sly corruption through the scan,
Too subtle to be spotted in the code,
A secret shift her tapped-in middleman
Disperses through the network, every node.
To those who know, her signal spits a name,
A target, one more lowlife on the list,
A bureaucratic snake who bears the blame
For crimes too confidential to exist.
By morning, by coincidence, by chance,
An accident befalls the hapless man.
The bulletins, supportive in their stance,
Retreat behind a lie, because they can.
    She works to prime the pieces of a text,
    The trigger for another, for the next.

Monday, 19 September 2022


by Nick Gisburne

Perfection? No. Defective, broken, bent.
Your maker, I am sure, would be ashamed.
From what appalling nightmare were you sent?
What stutter in the system should be blamed?
An acid bomb. The vicious hand of hate.
No factory can remedy such rot.
But I, with my mechanics, can create
A stable state their clumsiness could not.
Your cyborg skin is burned, beyond repair,
But luck preserved the data of the brain.
We have a body, fit and fresh, a spare,
A medical anomaly, insane.
    Illegal, but without it you will die.
    The standard terms of slavery apply.

Sunday, 18 September 2022

A Lunatic Utopia

by Nick Gisburne

A meaningless melange of mindless rules.
A government without the sense to care.
A lunatic utopia for fools.
How ludicrous to learn that we are there.
At every turn the sensible is cracked,
Revealing what was fiction once, a fear.
The freedom to reject the rot attacked,
When those who see or say it disappear.
We shiver, ineffectual, repressed,
While grifters, shysters, villains, preach and pray.
Perhaps we should have wondered why, or guessed
That only power makes the system pay.
    We break beneath the brutal boot of might,
    And none of us, not one of us, will fight.

A Heavy Head

by Nick Gisburne

His greatest gift, a huge and heavy head,
The space to store a legendary brain,
Confines him to a gloomy garden shed,
In which he feeds a vulnerable vein.
The grisly cocktail keeps him, just, alive,
But every day the skull, insistent, grows.
With loathing, and a potent, private drive,
He poisons what he senses, what he knows.
A conduit, connected to the earth,
Completed with a potpourri of parts,
Engages an electrical rebirth
For those who think to hate him in their hearts.
    With mad, malicious glee, the monster hops,
    While every head, on every human, pops.