Monday 31 May 2021

The Thing Inside

by Nick Gisburne

The coven of her sisters casts her out
For crimes that even they will not forgive
And from the dark abyss of fear and doubt
A parasite unlocks a place to live
It twists and grows and feeds inside her chest
A creature, bound by malice to the heart
With every strangled breath, her soul, possessed
Is poisoned as the mind is pulled apart
Too sick to move, to speak, to comprehend
She knows that none who listened would believe
The thing inside, this torment without end
Is more than any mortal could conceive
    Relentless, it consumes her, day by day
    And only death can pull the pain away

Scarlet Flowers

by Nick Gisburne

The kingdom, and its king, must fall tonight
She spins the subtle secrets of the scheme
Betrayal, born of bitterness and spite
She blends her magic, deep inside a dream
A whisper for an audience, alone
His finger bids the servants disappear
She sighs and sits astride him on the throne
The nature of her appetite seems clear
But finding scarlet flowers in his hand
Each perfect rose a dark, delicious bloom
He looks, and sees, but does not understand
Until she summons evil to the room
    The flowers twist their tendrils through the heart
    The flesh, the king, the kingdom, torn apart

Rocket to the Moon

by Nick Gisburne

A simple twist to tighten up the screw
Now all the parts and pieces are in place
I try to comprehend what must be true
That finally my ship is set for space
I touch the only photograph I own
The woman who adores me most of all
I know that I must make this trip alone
I wonder: will I fly, or will I fall?
I call upon the courage that I lack
My gaze is firmly focused on the sky
I know I must believe I’m coming back
But, leaving Earth, is this my last goodbye?
    Today I launch my rocket to the Moon
    From ground control, my mother, “Bed time, soon.”

Sunday 30 May 2021

Government Guidelines: Your Trip to Mars

by Nick Gisburne

Your quarantine review has been delayed
This means you cannot safely come aboard
Although your sterile cubicle was sprayed
The travel guidelines must not be ignored
Prepare for your annihilation burst
Please wave the other passengers goodbye
And after all your atoms are dispersed
This cruiser will be certified to fly
We hope you have enjoyed your trip to Mars
The forecast for today is cold, and red
Hit ‘like’ to give your captain seven stars
Complaints will be deleted when you’re dead
    Your test results acknowledge you were clean
    Official termination: 10:18

Saturday 29 May 2021

A Twisted Evil

by Nick Gisburne

The chosen one is staked before the sea
A roar, elation, spills across the crowd
A nameless god, a beast that should not be
Is hurled by angels from its tainted cloud
The creature, draped in darkness, dirt, and death
Descends upon a chariot of dust
Appalling foams of filth-infected breath
Are caked upon its body in a crust
The sacrificial servant dreams a spell
An exorcism, sanctified by sleep
Malignant flesh begins to split and swell
And sinister illusions stain the deep
    A twisted evil, dragged towards the trap
    Extinguished as its sinews stretch and snap

Kiss Your Fairy Ring Goodbye

by Nick Gisburne

It’s time to kiss your fairy ring goodbye
I’m here to build a barbecue, with bricks
I have a concrete mixer standing by
So don’t get pointy with your little sticks
Your toadstools are a mess, a real disgrace
You’re leaving, so you’d better start to run
Yes, all you fairies floating in my face
Are finished, cancelled, ended, over, done
Will someone tell me why I cannot move
And why I’m slowly sinking in a bog
Whatever else you think that this will prove
You didn’t have to curse me as a frog
    I’d like to pay the ransom for release
    I promise my construction work will cease

A One-Way Ticket

by Nick Gisburne

Her middle finger mocks his bleeding face
She buys a one-way ticket, anywhere
A passage to an unfamiliar place
No path, no plan, no appetite to care
With every dogged bootstep she is sure
The road will end and someday she will find
A moment of serenity, a cure
For all the shit and shame she leaves behind
The station drips with filthy autumn rain
Old buses stink of misery and piss
Her seat is ripped, and sticky with a stain
Another dismal day has led to this
    But while the wheels are turning she can rest
    Relief, the one emotion she knows best

Friday 28 May 2021

Shadow Magic

by Nick Gisburne

The shadows twist together, smooth and slick
They writhe and ripple, rivers of the mind
Forgotten dreams, too slippery, too quick
Are buried by the world he leaves behind
Unsettled by the weight of what he knows
His powerful potential rakes the skin
The mastery of magic will expose
A dark, disturbing wonderland within
The greys are gone, the colours bake and burn
And all before this moment falls to dust
He longs to fight, to sacrifice, to learn
The shadow magic given to his trust
    The spells are strong, yet these are but the first
    How long before his hands release the worst?

Thursday 27 May 2021

An Unexpected Diplomatic Hitch

by Nick Gisburne

The aliens were drunk and barely dressed
An unexpected diplomatic hitch
And soon they left the meeting, unimpressed
Declaring that our world was crude and kitsch
Disgusted, they prepared to go to war
If only we had understood their ways
An insult we could not have known before
Would haunt us till the end of all our days
The crack of warheads, bursting through the clouds
A shattering apocalypse from space
Delivered death upon the screaming crowds
As Armageddon smashed the human race
    A grave mistake condemned us all to die:
    The president had worn a purple tie

For Luck

by Nick Gisburne

She dug up something borrowed, something blue
Her sister’s boyfriend, from a shallow grave
And staring in those empty eyes, she knew
A rotting corpse will never misbehave
The quest was on for something very old
And grandpa’s severed testicle was it
He’d left it in the fridge to keep it cold
She made some soup to thaw it out a bit
Now something new was all she had to find
She couldn’t snatch a baby - time was short
Instead, she bashed a junkie from behind
And stole the stash of heroin he’d bought
    When all these gifts were given to the bride
    The wedding party vomited and cried

Click, Click

by Nick Gisburne

I sense the rhythmic clicking of a key
Discreetly winding, tightening the spring
The clock, a treasure, deep beneath the sea
Connects me to the world, to everything
I search the ocean, sailing with the tides
To look for what was lost there, long ago
The mechanism calls me, though it hides
And every night I hear it, far below
What magic turns the key? What charm or trick?
A mystery my mind must not deny
For should the timepiece ever fail to tick
In silence I am certain I will die
    The ocean keeps the clockwork of my soul
    And only time can give me what it stole

Wednesday 26 May 2021

The Deadliest of Females

by Nick Gisburne

The deadliest of females is my friend
She burrows through the blood with but a glance
A dream of darkness, evil without end
She fascinates the foolish as they dance
A silver serpent writhes around a wrist
Her fingers flash with knives of stone and steel
A kiss, a crush of burning midnight mist
Compels the strong, the weak, the lost, to kneel
She strips the spirit, severed at a stroke
The mortal meat destroyed, discarded, doomed
The smears of ash and cinders, laced with smoke
Are footprints of a feast, a soul consumed
    We meet at dawn, beyond the reach of night
    She’s quite a lovely lady in the light

Whispers of Corruption

by Nick Gisburne

The spectral city twists among the trees
It gleams with ghostly tributes to the king
But whispers of corruption, of disease
Defile the tongues of angels as they sing
The shadows bend and break before the sound
And hordes of restless phantoms are possessed
They drag the monarch, beaten, stripped and bound
And give him life, the thing they most detest
The queen ascends to power, to the throne
Her husband’s pleas are pitiful, ignored
And as he kneels, defeated and alone
She splits his mortal body with her sword
    The fight to rule this wicked place is won
    Until their children learn what she has done

Monday 24 May 2021


by Nick Gisburne

She strains to block the bedlam of the streets
Relentless shocks of thunder rip and pound
Her fingers crush her ears as she repeats
A sacred word to shield her from the sound
They lie, again, to claim there could be peace
Who listens? Not the bodies. Not the dead
Until this land is lost they will not cease
Till every inch of dirt has burned or bled
The war, a mask for murder, pure, obscene
Where every day the storms of hatred burst
Her years inside a cellar, seventeen
Have taught her she is infinitely cursed
    They say that they must liberate her land
    But this, her pain, they cannot understand

Auntie’s Body

by Nick Gisburne

With auntie’s body zipped inside a bag
The evidence is spirited away
The knife, the rope, the bloodstained piece of rag
The poisoned pills, all strangely go astray
Her two eccentric sisters kneel to mourn
Their tears are false, and few of us believe
We clutch our cups of tasteless tea with scorn
And hurry to the dining room to grieve
The meal is free of sympathy and chat
A race to reach the bottom of the plate
We mark her death, the odious old bat
A spiteful witch, deserving of her fate
    They come to question all of us at three
    But no one knows the murderer is me

Saturday 22 May 2021

Her Photograph

by Nick Gisburne

Her photograph is what she fears the most
A portrait of the moment, of the truth
While others smile in every pose and post
She mourns the stolen mysteries of youth
No comfort will convince her she is wrong
She threatens praise, with poison and a frown
In every other way her mind is strong
But, looking through the lens, her soul will drown
She hides behind the bitterness of age
Dismissing all her beauty, all her grace
Instead, she keeps her colours in a cage
Too terrified to take their rightful place
    Her photograph brings anguish to her eyes
    An image she is certain to despise

Friday 21 May 2021

Government Guidelines: Obey

by Nick Gisburne

Attention! With immediate effect
Your basic daily freedoms will be cut
For those who wish to query or object
Combustion crews will burn your housing hut
Hilarity, and all subversive joy
Now joins the public prohibition list
Unsanctioned smiles, while easy to deploy
Are subject to removal, with a fist
The gates to Sector Seven have been sealed
Ignore the smell of burning flesh, and smoke
Your legal right to justice is repealed
There are no bounds to what we may revoke
    Your absolute consent is pre-approved
    Obey, or we will have your mind removed

The Maker on the Moon

by Nick Gisburne

He shapes the stars, the Maker on the Moon
But few believe the truth of what it takes
He digs beneath the surface with a spoon
And taps the silky shell until it breaks
He lifts a crop of perfect crystal crumbs
And sifts them with a silver sorting pan
The tiny sparkles, sticking to his thumbs
Have waited for his touch since time began
He spins a seed of magic, burning, blue
And speckles it with swirling shards of light
For luck he taps it twice upon his shoe
And gives it to the never-ending night
    Remember, when you see the stars above
    He makes them shine with secrets, and with love

Buy Now

by Nick Gisburne

Announcing our experimental range
Vibrating quantum boosters for the brain
Investigate the science of the strange
With exothermic oil in every vein
Diverging from humanity is cool
Embrace the super-species you could be
With easy payments, buy this simple tool
Attach it to your eyes and turn the key
Remarkable results in seven days
An alien physique, or money back
Genetic transmutation bio-rays
Now free with every nerve replacement pack
    With custom clones you’ll never be alone
    Utopia, directly from your phone

Thursday 20 May 2021

Painted Fingers

by Nick Gisburne

I climb the crimson wall to claim a seat
To see the children driven through the town
The jagged causeway mutilates their feet
And those who beg for breath are beaten down
The magistrate initiates the farce
Her smile a grimace, cynical and brief
A cleric calls the charges, swift and sparse
Conscripted to the sham by blind belief
With painted fingers clutching at the book
Authority administers the law
Her eyes too black with hate to simply look
She grants no grace to those who stain her floor
    Their mothers dared to walk on hallowed ground
    The sons will all be whipped, the daughters drowned

Wednesday 19 May 2021

Exactly as I Planned

by Nick Gisburne

I see answers you have tried too hard to find
I see shadows of a self you never knew
I see worries that you thought were left behind
I see signs of their return, and what they’ll do
I have nothing that you really want to hear
I have taken from you all you ever had
I have stripped away the confident veneer
I have stolen what was good and left the bad
I will never be the comfort that you need
I will suffocate your soul and steal its air
I will starve you when your spirit longs to feed
I will fill your dreams with darkness, with despair
    I know something you will never understand
    You have lived your life exactly as I planned

Learn the Game

by Nick Gisburne

Efficient, ruthless, hungry for the job
The family would break a man for less
They took me from the gutter, just a slob
They gave me grit, and cunning, and finesse
The muscle, on its own, won’t get you far
You need to learn the game to make it pay
It doesn’t matter who the fuck you are
A single slip can throw it all away
The finest gold you’ll get is good advice
Don’t ever let me question what you do
For every piece of work there comes a price
The honour, and the trust, is all on you
    You’re cocky, and I know you think you’re it
    But I know cleaning toilets. You know shit

Tuesday 18 May 2021

Broadcast to Your Brain

by Nick Gisburne

We interrupt this broadcast to your brain
With warnings of a dangerous escape
A seventh level deviant, insane
Whose mind may shift to almost any shape
If you detect this defect, let us know
Unquestioning compliance is a must
With access to the cortex, she will grow
Your intellect could crumble or combust
Cognition probes will activate a trace
If compromised, your neurons may mutate
Do not explore the cracks in cyberspace
Transmission ends. Resume your passive state
    “Ignore them. Here I am, beneath your skin
    I want to play a game. Shall we begin?”


by Nick Gisburne

Imagine swimming through the seas of space
Imagine breath, beyond the furthest star
Imagine every smile, on every face
Imagine never knowing what you are
Imagine this existence is not you
Imagine something brighter, bolder, best
Imagine feelings no one ever knew
Imagine that your mind can truly rest
Imagine dreams and wishes, free to fly
Imagine all the wonders they would see
Imagine perfect pieces of the sky
Imagine every colour you could be
Imagine how to live before you die
Imagine finding love was just a lie

Monday 17 May 2021

The Creed of Greed

by Nick Gisburne

Never spare a penny for the meek
Sympathy will only give you grief
Any generosity is weak
See them as you’d look upon a thief
Flash the fist of fortune every day
Vilify the squalor of the slum
Poverty, the price they have to pay
Wealth, a wall they cannot overcome
Power is the pinnacle of greed
Privilege, a shackle on supply
Paralyse the pitiful to feed
Imitate the spider, not the fly
    Money is the muscle of the rich
    Bible of the bastard and the bitch

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