Thursday 31 December 2020

Scarecrow Seamen

by Nick Gisburne

I swept the scowling scarecrow from my bed
And drove him up a drainpipe to the roof
He fell, a triple spin with twisting head
But lived and laughed, pristine and plummet-proof
“Invincible!” he crowed. “Let death concede!”
And summoned there one thousand of his kin
They commandeered a ship, to sail at speed
Demanding that the mermaids knit them skin
The scarecrow seamen whipped the whistling waves
But mastering the tides is almost art
Regretfully, they spiralled to their graves
Their soaking stalks washed wide, flung far apart
    Their captain could endure the shame no more
    The last to drown, his was the final straw

Wednesday 30 December 2020

Hunting Spirits

by Nick Gisburne

The spirit hunter prowls the halls at night
And with her strange devices scans the gloom
Reactions rare as these disturb her sight
The focus of the force: a single room
She shivers, knowing she will be the first
The one to prove the shadow realm is real
Domains of darkness, by the ancients cursed
Will show their secrets if she breaks the seal
The evidence is clear and does not lie
A seamless door, a simple, sacred sign
Beyond it dwell the demons all deny
Her instruments are certain: there are nine
    They strike, with tooth and claw, again, again
    And drag her ghost within - they now are ten

Tuesday 29 December 2020

A Touching Christmas Tale

by Nick Gisburne

The snow on Christmas Eve was deep and damp
And lo, there came a knocking at the door
’Twas there I saw a ragged, wretched tramp
Who sang sweet songs of Christmas cheer, and more
He touched my heart and gave my soul a shake
That one so poor as he could bring such joy
I bade him share a meal, a hearty steak
And learned of life when he was just a boy
He smiled and settled deep into the chair
His glass now drained, he drifted into sleep
I carried him outside to take the air
And sliced a knife across his neckline, deep
    He touched us all, as children, long ago
    And died at Christmas, bleeding in the snow

Welcome to the Dream

by Nick Gisburne

Good friends, we’d like to take you for a ride
A journey filled with fortune, paved with gold
The secrets of success are all inside
Step up, be quick, be confident, be bold
Believe us, every word is clear and true
This really is a chance to change your fate
The promise comes direct, from us to you
Don’t miss it - join us now, it’s not too late
Your cash is all secure, we guarantee
Invested in the safest place of all
The riches you will earn will set you free
The risk? Infinitesimally small
    You’ve signed the contract, welcome to the dream
    Now hold on to your fantasies... and scream

Monday 28 December 2020

Dinner at the Bistro

by Nick Gisburne

At first a little awkward, nervous, shy
A drink or two, to ease the nerves away
And soon the afternoon has passed us by
We share our hopes, our dreams, and vow to stay
The summer sunset bathes us in its glow
We shiver as the moon begins to rise
A thrill, an ache, a longing starts to grow
It fills our senses, burning black the eyes
They chain us to the tables as we turn
The urge to rip and render grips the soul
Between each screaming course our bodies yearn
To tear our dates apart, to eat them whole
    The fury fades, we know not why or when
    But when the moon is full we’ll dine again

Sunday 27 December 2020

The Silver Seed

by Nick Gisburne

It sailed upon the wind, a silver seed
To fall and flourish, many moons away
The wisest thought it wonderful indeed
It shimmered, shone, then faded, every day
But greedy men made copies, clean and new
They blazed as bright, yet did not lose their glow
And though these flawless flowers spread and grew
They brought no joy, no crowds to see the show
Believers found the fading flower’s bed
And witnessed there a staggering display
So bright, it seemed to burn, then withered, dead
And lifted by the wind it sailed away
    The silver seed grows hidden from mankind
    With magic we were never meant to find

Wednesday 23 December 2020

The King of Nowhere

by Nick Gisburne

He hurls the quartered torso to the hounds
And spits to curse the severed head, his prize
Upon his soul a storm of slaughter pounds
The winds of flaming fury blind his eyes
The last of them, his enemies, lie dead
But every ally fought and fell this day
From filthy fields of blood, stained black and red
A tide of hearts and hopes has drained away
He kneels, alone, one man to count the cost
And though the price is clear, the spoils are not
Who crowns this king when every life is lost?
Who rules a graveyard rank with rats and rot?
    The King of Nowhere, lord of death and war
    Remembers nothing he was fighting for