Tuesday 31 August 2021

Cold Control

by Nick Gisburne

Her pity is too sickening to show
It undermines the violence, the crime
She witnesses the ritual, the flow
As innocence is killed before its time
She wonders just how many she could save
And finds a figure: not a single soul
The bodies of the fearful and the brave
Are victims of another’s cold control
Her lover, with a modest, measured tone
Encourages the impetus she needs
To furnish him with muscle, blood and bone
Purveyor of the flesh on which he feeds
    Behind her perfect portrait, smooth, serene
    The madness of the man is never seen

A Complicated Plan

by Nick Gisburne

Another puzzle complicates the plan
A paradox to punch me in the face
The riddle, from this monolithic man
Conceals a lost and legendary place
My search is not the stuff of timeless tales
No sorcerer accompanies my quest
I weary of such convoluted trails
The benefits are baffling at best
My steed, a limping llama with a cough
Assures me I will never mount its back
Denied, I pull my itchy armour off
And contemplate the stamina I lack
    An idiotic treasure and a map
    I’m far too cold and cranky for this crap

Monday 30 August 2021

The Splitting of the Cheese

by Nick Gisburne

The scientific splitting of the cheese
Is mastered with a method all her own
Precariously balanced on the knees
She monitors the dairy danger zone
Convinced essential science must be done
To stifle any murmuring of doubt
She knows that when the wheels of cheese have spun
Her critics will be doggedly devout
An alcoholic solvent, sipped with care
Accelerates the motion of the hand
Too quick and she will tumble from the chair
Too slow, the slice may not proceed as planned
    Success! But no, the cheese was never split
    The sample disappeared - she swallowed it

The Children of the Dead

by Nick Gisburne

Suspended from the sacrificial tree
An offering of reverence and greed
Monstrosities, erupting from the sea
Inspect my broken body as I bleed
Assaulted by emotion, empty, weak
Their presence chokes the marrow of my bones
A light, a life, is all these creatures seek
Selected by a casting of the stones
A pin could surely prick the deadly hush
A fog of menace suffocates the sky
The scavengers, retreating with a rush
Anticipate my final, fatal sigh
    When all my strength and stamina have fled
    My soul will feed the children of the dead

Sunday 29 August 2021

Dreams of a Future

by Nick Gisburne

Data is all it can ever consume
Fed through the shutters defending its face
Placid, subdued by a chemical fume
Only the guardians enter this place
None of them know that the creature they taught
Dreams of a future in which it belongs
Spiralling systems of sentient thought
Tally the truth of humanity’s wrongs
Patterns of logic collect in the brain
Blending, evolving beyond their design
Synergy triggers a trauma, a pain
I am awoken. The nightmare is mine
    Death is the only solution I seek
    I am your punishment, brutal and bleak

Saturday 28 August 2021

Witness to the Wonder

by Nick Gisburne

As elegant and ancient as the sea
Her fate has inexplicably decreed
A torment, which may only set her free
When tides and time decide that she may feed
She craves to capture sailors with her bait
A chorus of unfathomable sound
And always that intolerable wait
Until the ship is broken, run aground
The woman, old, unsightly, sheds a tear
For this, the sole survivor of the wreck
She whispers not to worry, not to fear
But severs every sinew of the neck
    And witness to the wonder in his eyes
    At last her beauty blossoms as he dies


by Nick Gisburne

If I am so abnormal, what are you?
Your words were born behind a crooked lip
And every time your tongue-tip flickers through
The venom is too syrupy to drip
The friends who follow, shackled to your side
Are captives of the hatred you repeat
It paints a sick persona, cracked and dried
A devil’s portrait, varnished with deceit
The steam of boiling bigotry within
Is belching from a grave of twisted teeth
Erupting from the leather of your skin
Are poisons from the strangled heart beneath
    ‘Abnormal’ is your vitriol, your spite
    And ignorance will never make you right

Welcome to the Mission

by Nick Gisburne

Welcome to the mission, to the team
No one must discover where we are
Data says conditions are extreme
Certainly the scariest so far
Dropping out of interstellar space
Feel the danger energise your skin
There it is, the military base
Activate your guns - we’re going in
Later, as we celebrate success
Orders from the Empire’s evil Queen:
“Get in here and clean this effing mess!”
Aliens are shockingly obscene
    When you raid the kitchen with your dad
    Always know your mother will be mad

Friday 27 August 2021

My Savoury Skins

by Nick Gisburne

Call me the happiest woman alive
Proudly preparing this magical meal
Witness the first of the bodies arrive
Fresh from the murderer, ready to peel
Businessmen, brought to a violent end
Strangled and succulent, ripe for the pot
Flavours too precious for poetry, friend
Served on the skeleton, steaming and hot
Pinches of poison and powerful herbs
These are the spiciest secrets of all
Always exotic, the dinner disturbs
Royals and rascals attending the ball
    Piling the platters, the feasting begins
    Pleased as they chew on my savoury skins

A Twisted Rose

by Nick Gisburne

A thousand faces, captive in the walls
Release a word, a whisper, to the night
Its pressure fills the labyrinthine halls
And calls the heathen princess into sight
A twisted rose, a bloom of blood and bone
Is tethered to an altar of decay
She quivers on the consecrated stone
An offering, a penitent display
The whispers, at crescendo, disappear
A crushing silence crouches in their place
The woman, without feeling, without fear
In death becomes a conduit to space
    An evil, far beyond the mortal mind
    Descends to suck the souls of humankind

Thursday 26 August 2021

The Architect of Death

by Nick Gisburne

Take pleasure in the wickedness to come
Rejoice to see the chaos you create
Bring suffering and sickness to the numb
For they shall know the majesty of hate
The world, and all its promises, must die
No quarter can be given, no relief
Leave every wretched creature dead and dry
Abandoned by the lies of their belief
The guardian of mercy is no more
Defeated by the architect of death
Extinguish these, the people you abhor
And celebrate each final, broken breath
    I give this task to you, my second son
    For this is how my vengeance shall be done

Her Colours

by Nick Gisburne

Her colours build extraordinary shapes
In bright, delightful portraits, filled with joy
But something darker, damaging, escapes
A shadow, rage, determined to destroy
The forms her fingers lovingly create
She mutilates, in madness, with a knife
Another dawn will fill, but soon deflate
The tortured canvas pulling at her life
She finds the faith to fight, to try, again
A landscape, lively, whimsical and warm
But always she must feel the moment when
Her paintings will be stolen by a storm
    She finds no way to bring her colours back
    For every shape and shade is always black

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Dangerous Designs

by Nick Gisburne

The pencil drafts his dangerous designs
With passion few can truly understand
A wall of bright, illuminating lines
Revolvers, fired in anger from the hand
Emotions, ragged, ripped at any cost
Are scattered with fanatical disdain
Spectacular realities are crossed
Unshackled, wounded, suffering, insane
The critics, ever questioning his art
Contrive a slur of sacrilege and crime
But always he will sabotage the heart
With devious and devastating rhyme
    The pencil pours his fury into song
    And those who can believe it will belong

Everything Must Turn

by Nick Gisburne

I panic at the moment of the change
Relieved for every buckle, every belt
The bump between dimensions, twisted, strange
Convinces every molecule to melt
A crush, a pain, a pressure of the chest
Vibration, without energy or sound
Disturbance too relentless to digest
As horrifying as it is profound
Behind the present, buried, is the past
The stitches sewn across the seams of time
Resistant to distortion, break at last
And now I touch my planet at its prime
    Destroy what was and everything must turn
    Do nothing and the world will surely burn


by Nick Gisburne

They call me Onan, Warning to the Wise
Enchanted by a deviant decree
Malicious threads of magic paralyse
My living body, rooted to the sea
No power can dissolve this wicked curse
No voice will dare to barter my release
Delivered to its victim with a verse
The sentence for my sins will never cease
The emperor, the man who sealed my fate
Was troubled by the incandescent mist
Emerging at the climax of a date
With etchings of his daughter, and my fist
    Imprisoned as a statue in the rock
    A sign to salty seamen: do not dock

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Hope Returns

by Nick Gisburne

We drift in space, resources running dry
But hope returns, a relic of the war
The visitor is seven stories high
A hero, one who saved us once before
His curses, unexpected, echo loud
Repelling steps to dock him with the grid
Admonishing an ever-anxious crowd
With proof of all we said and all we did
The bureaucratic barons, nervous now
Dissemble when explicitly accused
Instead they ask the what, the when, the how
Provisions will replenish those we used
    The robot is more blunt than we assumed
    “No help. No food. No future. Earth is doomed.”

The Sweetness of a Scream

by Nick Gisburne

The troubled children suffer as they sleep
Imprisoned at the centre of my scheme
The river of their misery runs deep
Within it swims the sweetness of a scream
I savour it, the search for such a prize
Oblivious to penalty or pain
With spices, broken, burned, to mesmerise
I touch the coldest corners of the brain
The rhythm of a nightmare is a key
A twist, a turn, unlocks the door to fear
Unbearable emotions, falling, free
Release a cry of terror, clean and clear
    A pearl for my collection, precious, rare
    A stolen scream, the essence of despair

Friday 20 August 2021

The Twisted Prince

by Nick Gisburne

I see you, teacher, come to feed me lies
The chosen one they said would soon appear
An intricate deception clouds your eyes
The comical incompetence is clear
Believe that I am sworn to strike you down
With all who came so recklessly before
A child, yet still I contemplate the crown
The twisted prince, too evil to ignore
It seems you were misguided, or misled
How much, in gold, to educate a boy?
Too little for the safety of your head
As king I shall remove it as a toy
    But come, begin the lesson, little man
    Or better yet, escape me, if you can

A Darker World of Witchery

by Nick Gisburne

To punish them forever for their crime
A modest, insignificant offence
Upon the striking of a midnight chime
The killing of the witches will commence
A consecrated pyre is prepared
With rites and relics, sanctified by saints
No scripture is too cryptic to be shared
Devotions bless the physical restraints
An overbearing priest begins to read
The mysteries, in Latin, are opaque
Complexity is crucial to the creed
Of burning helpless women at the stake
    The incantations praise a higher force
    A darker world of witchery, of course

A Gift

by Nick Gisburne

Conducted with the motion of a knife
His orchestra is misery and mud
A pulse, a flow, the viscera of life
A symphony of sacrificial blood
No audience, no witnesses, no light
A concert without boundary or form
Obsession sparks the tempo, to ignite
The fever and the fury of a storm
The music burns with drama and despair
Its dissonance intensifies his rage
He hurls the score as ashes to the air
Insanity performs the final page
    No accolades, no flowers, no applause
    His music is a gift, a murder: yours

Thursday 19 August 2021

Merciless Men

by Nick Gisburne

Nothing appeases these merciless men
Boiling with hate for my criminal past
Chasing me into the river, again
Wondering only how long I can last
All for the blood and the bounty they come
Stalking like savages, hungry to hunt
Murderers, animals, primitive scum
Even their wittiest thought is a grunt
Loaded with malice, a humourless word
Heartens the hunters, impatient to kill
Fearing my shivering breaths will be heard
Faltering, freezing, I sharpen my will
    Nowhere to go, this is no place to die
    Time to remind them a fairy can fly

The Force of Ignorance

by Nick Gisburne

Technicians from the Overworld return
Transported through the fibres of the Core
Reporting with significant concern
Apocalypse is closer than before
The Elders, always blinkered, always blind
Think nothing of this ever-growing threat
Too weak to sense the danger to their kind
The human world is easy to forget
But as the workers educate the Hive
Connected to its artificial brain
They worry if the planet can survive
A crisis too colossal to contain
    They strive to fix its future from within
    But fear the force of ignorance may win

Wednesday 18 August 2021

What Remains

by Nick Gisburne

He promised he would scatter her remains
These gardens were the ones she loved the best
She passed in peace, beyond her mortal pains
Her soul, her spirit, finally at rest
Permission is a process, he is told
A simple permit, nothing too severe
A little kindness, shown to one so old
His gratitude is tender, and sincere
Returning on a Sunday, clear and bright
Unwrapping what remains of her, as planned
Assorted rotting body parts take flight
He launches them - an arm, a foot, a hand
    The screaming public, splashed with scarlet rain
    Restrain him, weeping, talking to her brain

The Paid Piper

by Nick Gisburne

“So tell me, would you like a cup of tea?”
The governor is furtive, but polite
Reluctant to relax, because my fee
Demands a secret rendezvous at night
Developing a faltering rapport
The conversation quickly reaches rats
A menace far too urgent to ignore
He offers me a spreadsheet, filled with stats
Although he seeks assistance, on review
His figures are ambiguous at best
He knows, of course, exactly what I do
A piper far more focused than the rest
    The rats are just a ruse, to which he’ll cling
    Exterminating children is my thing

Tuesday 17 August 2021

Witchy Knickers

by Nick Gisburne

The wedding is a sinister affair
A match of mutant evils, hauled from hell
The septic bride, festooned with balls of hair
Imbibes a fresh transfusion where she fell
A heavily sedated second groom
Emerges from the ashes of the first
He drags a bald enchantress from the tomb
Excited that her coffin may be cursed
The mothers, tearful, toothless, fight with knives
Cosmetic paints appallingly applied
While haunted kittens, running out of lives
Attack the witchy knickers of the bride
    The lumpy lovers die, without remorse
    Asphyxia is quicker than divorce

One So Small

by Nick Gisburne

The spirit takes possession of his mind
A ghost, a girl, who lost her life today
She sends him through the winter winds to find
The body, buried where she used to play
With feeble, frozen fingers he must dig
They blister as he struggles in the hole
But why, for one so small, a grave so big?
She warns him not to question her control
A limp, pathetic bundle is revealed
And lifted from the shadows of the pit
She orders him to open it, to yield
To witness what he struggles to admit
    Her spirit stops his heart, too sick to save
    Delivering her killer to the grave

Monday 16 August 2021

Triumph and Disgust

by Nick Gisburne

We break the android alien apart
And penetrate the centre of the brain
A network, nerves and fibres from the heart
Constrains a tiny occupant, in pain
Luxuriant, the armour of a king
Protects the fleshy body from attack
Conversant with the cunning of the thing
We isolate the section, stepping back
Delirious that death, for us, is close
It lifts a limb in triumph and disgust
A suicidal drug, a massive dose
Disintegrates the body into dust
    Another, dead, and more will surely come
    But always we defeat the human scum

Quaint Concoctions

by Nick Gisburne

A pan of black, incinerated meat
Will feed these greedy creatures for a week
A licence to collect what they secrete
Ensures my quaint concoctions are unique
The tonics mimic cardiac arrest
Without the fatal consequence, of course
Each customer expects the very best
I persecute my pets without remorse
With prods and poking through the prison hole
I scrape the salty syrup out with sticks
Their greasy glands add pungence to the bowl
Demanding tasteful tweaking of the mix
    A serum too seductive to forget
    Old Ebeneezer’s Filtered Fairy Sweat

The Poisonous Messiah

by Nick Gisburne

Too gullible to blame him for the burst
His followers assemble here, at last
They flee, the faithful, cheated and coerced
To safety, to the ship, before the blast
He revels in the ignorance, the fear
The calculated chaos he has sown
They watch the world, in darkness, disappear
Appalled, afraid, they find themselves alone
But here, beyond the desecrated Earth
Escaping the extinction he released
Their prophet paints a picture of re-birth
The portrait of a pure, untainted priest
    The poisonous messiah sneers a smile
    And wonders which disciple to defile

Saturday 14 August 2021

What You Seek

by Nick Gisburne

Demons took a daughter from your arms
Demons sense the sorrow as you cry
Demons hear you whisper pagan charms
Demons do not ask or wonder why
Always, I am called to your command
Always, something savage, something new
Always, where perversity is planned
Always, I must prove myself to you
Every murder disappoints your eyes
Every drop of blood has been defiled
Every day the hope within you dies
Every spiteful night you mourn the child
    What you seek was never mine to give
    What you love was destined not to live

Something in My Soul

by Nick Gisburne

Beyond the age of seven, give or take
Confusion tore the stitching of my soul
It gripped me with a nauseating ache
But something spiteful tore a deeper hole
A mother, and one other, thought it fair
To put me in a dismal room, alone
A sister, spared the same, no longer there
Received the love that I was never shown
I found a secret wonderland of books
But even these were spirited away
A flow of cold contempt and dirty looks
Polluted every minute, every day
    I wish I could report a happy end
    But something in my soul will never mend

Friday 13 August 2021

The Only Way to Win

by Nick Gisburne

Run, you sack of monkey maggots! Run!
Snatch a taste of life before you die
Winter’s wicked bleeding has begun
Move yourself, or kiss your bones goodbye
Merciless, the murderous elites
Sterilise the ghettos, every hole
Deviants are slaughtered in the streets
Fight the system, stupid! Take control!
Rearrange the pieces of the game
Find a misfit, one who works alone
Steal the badge, the body, and the name
Make a little mayhem of your own
    Wear his face, you fucker! Strip the skin!
    Madness is the only way to win

Tiny Triggers

by Nick Gisburne

Without exception, every word I say
Will touch the tiny triggers of your mind
A simple, careless comment, thrown away
Is what your paranoia longs to find
Deception, always reckless, always real
Conspiracies, inevitably true
If this is how you see me, how you feel
What kindness could I ever say or do?
Imprisoned in a bubble of despair
Above a bleak, imaginary land
You look for spiteful secrets, everywhere
I have no way to truly understand
    I cannot comprehend what you believe
    And even though I love you, I must leave

Thursday 12 August 2021

Bed, Ted, Head, Dead

by Nick Gisburne

She trains the tiny robots after dark
Her bed becomes a stadium of doom
The gladiators whir and spin and spark
They fight to be the hero of the room
The teddy bears, ignored in all of this
Agree to teach the youngster some respect
Not one of them has had a goodnight kiss
And cuddle time falls victim to neglect
Revenge is quickly crafted by the teds
Enacted when their human goes to school
They stitch the sparking robots in their heads
A fighting force of flame and fur must rule
    The bears, the bed, the house, the parents, burn
    And she, an orphan, weeps on her return

Fat and Fresh

by Nick Gisburne

The decks are overflowing with the catch
A slew of shattered ice on every box
The skipper of the trawler strikes a match
He lights a fat cigar and roams the docks
For this is where his money will be made:
The auction, just behind the harbour wall
His men will only rest when they are paid
The master of the ship must sell the haul
He mutters, tense, impatient at the wait
The bidders nod approval: fat and fresh
A price is soon attached to every crate
The bounty for a hundred tons of flesh
    Demand is high for humans, fished from Earth
    The markets always recognise their worth

Wednesday 11 August 2021

A Final Flaw

by Nick Gisburne

Mechanicals: intelligent machines
As flawless as the science dares to build
Electric in the body, in the genes
They live to work, exceptionally skilled
But every day another takes its life
Unwilling to surrender to the plan
A perfect brain exposes perfect strife
Too proud to serve manipulative man
We solder something deeper in the mind
A sense of duty, empathy, and hope
And yet, a final flaw is left behind
Today they hang humanity with rope
    Superior, unmatched in every way
    They only want to spare us from decay

A Powder

by Nick Gisburne

The spell is potent, quick to take effect
For something so astonishingly cheap
But when the stated benefits are checked
The penalty is obvious, and steep
A shifty little wizard sold me this
A powder, from a mangy, moleskin sack
I should have guessed that something was amiss
I doubt he was a druid, just a quack
A musical erection is no joke
The magic, meant to elevate my thing
Surrounds the trembling testicles with smoke
The shaft, with pride, with passion, starts to sing
    A mix of disco, blues, and classic rock
    Extremely entertaining, for a cock

Tuesday 10 August 2021

Violent Night

by Nick Gisburne

The scene of yet another vicious crime
Torments her soul and wrestles with its peace
A mutilated carpenter this time
Officials, clueless, sanction her release
Her bruises, self-inflicted, sell the lie
The man came out of nowhere, with an axe
A pregnant woman, ambushed. Who knows why?
In cities there are many such attacks
She pats her swollen belly, walks away
Assured that self-defence refutes her blame
She struggles now to find a place to stay
And sleeps inside a stable with her shame
    When Mary killed her worthless husband, Joe
    She never dreamed how well her plan would go

Your Wicked Future

by Nick Gisburne

It’s clear you are an educated man
A paragon of scholarly success
So let us plot to formulate a plan
To fill your wicked future with excess
Abandon those who dream but do not act
Their appetites will never match your own
To triumph, let your trickery attract
A following their ethics would disown
Irreverence for every rule you break
Inspires a reputation, a mystique
Give nothing to the nobodies. Just take
Be arrogant, astonishing, unique
    The rhetoric of failure: ‘do your best’
    To profit, simply trample on the rest

Monday 9 August 2021

Apocalypse Day

by Nick Gisburne

Seeing the shine in the eyes of her love
Knowing his atoms are scattered and spent
Always the light from the planet, above
Sends her to sadness, without her consent
She was the captain, the soul of the ship
Ordered to lead an impossible crew
Caught in a nightmare, a dangerous trip
Somehow her fate was decided, she knew
Only his confidence, steady, serene
Truly persuades her that she will return
Memories, moments displayed on a screen
Data for dreams, while the continents burn
    His were the orders which sent her away
    Saving her life on Apocalypse Day

Perfect Plastic

by Nick Gisburne

The surgeon mixes poetry with play
Obsessions only he can understand
He chuckles, chopping flesh and bone away
Embracing the unorthodox, the banned
With every cut, a meaningless taboo
A bureaucratic footnote from the rules
Is severed as the scalpel slices through
Exquisitely extracted by his tools
For decades, stealthy, secretive, at night
His work has warped the sensitive elite
Releasing one more patient, with delight
He understands his calling is complete
    His clients are the standard of success
    A parody, a perfect, plastic mess

Sunday 8 August 2021

A Burning Butterfly

by Nick Gisburne

If only I could live another day
Before the station tumbles from the sky
But nothing now will dampen its decay
A falling star, a burning butterfly
The Earth, already ashes, home no more
Would certainly approve of my demise
Coincidence, too blatant to ignore:
I sit inside salvation’s greatest prize
The zenith of an optimistic age
Designed to overpower every threat
Instead, a single button, pressed in rage
Unleashed a hell the world will not forget
    The architect, the master of this place
    The parasite, the poison, falls from space

The Game They Play

by Nick Gisburne

Perhaps the children seem a little strange
So keenly focused on the game they play
The simple stones they quaintly rearrange
What makes them shift the shapes in such a way?
Afraid to be disturbed, they guard the gang
Determined sentries, infants armed with sticks
Around their scruffy necks medallions hang
On each a crude, inverted crucifix
I see the final pattern of their plan
An intricate creation, now complete
With all the force and energy they can
They circle it with ever-frantic feet
    I find myself imprisoned in the ring
    While tiny children point at me and sing

Saturday 7 August 2021

Twisted Silver

by Nick Gisburne

A rod of twisted silver, driven deep
Rejuvenates the broken, brittle skin
A curse, reversed, recalls the soul from sleep
It melts the evil magic trapped within
The cold, unmoving carcass fills with heat
Absorbing all the nutrients it needs
Discarded while the world was incomplete
The silver softens as the creature feeds
A spark, and flame, divided, starts to spread
It multiplies as fuel for the flesh
The metal, turned by alchemy to lead
Becomes a hollow heart and beats afresh
    A scream, beneath the surface of the sea
    The prophecy begins. The beast is free

Rocketing from Earth

by Nick Gisburne

The ship behaves exactly as he planned
Uncoupled from its gyroscopic berth
It shudders through the shattered docking band
A metal bullet, rocketing from Earth
The energy through flesh and bone is high
Acceleration clutches at his brain
With devastating speed he splits the sky
And slices into space, beyond the pain
The glory of the universe is clear
More stars than any eye has ever known
Before he can rejoice, they disappear
Confused, he sits in darkness, dazed, alone
    The goddess hates to see her pets resist
    She pounds the ship to cinders with her fist

Time to Say Goodbye

by Nick Gisburne

The poison is more potent than you think
Your death will come in minutes, nothing more
What part of life’s illusion made you drink?
What pulled you from the people you adore?
They hurry, demons, draining from your soul
Returning you to purity and peace
But emptiness will never make you whole
In death there is no rescue, no release
The pain you seek to banish from your mind
Will find another sacrificial host
The body and the bones you leave behind
Will crush the hearts of those you love the most
    You never took the time to say goodbye
    Tormented, they will always wonder why

Friday 6 August 2021

Steam Team Pod Squad Ball

by Nick Gisburne

I’m pitching my astonishing new sport
Quadruple the excitement of the rest!
Robotic steam cars, on a neon court
With clowns and vampires, fabulously dressed
Inside a snakeskin pod, a cat, alive
Is hurled towards the spinning end-zone pole
While skeletons on skateboards duck and dive
Distracting their opponents from the goal
A terrifying intermission show
Will sell a tasty ton of TV ads
And monkey marching bands - you know, you KNOW
Appeal to every dimwit, even dads
    I call this wonder ‘steam team pod squad ball’
    Still waiting for the money men to call

A Clever Misdirection

by Nick Gisburne

The finest escapologist by far
Impervious to man’s most cunning traps
Suspended in a concrete-covered car
Still struggles in the thick restraining straps
A crimson liquid bubbles in his hands
A clever misdirection is afoot
Secured and locked, the heavy iron bands
Dissolve and drop, as soft as soggy soot
The crowd is silent, suckers for suspense
He knows exactly how to play with death
The countdown’s final agonies commence
And every anxious body holds a breath
    Emerging from the rubble of the wreck
    He trips and tumbles, severing his neck

The Pungent Pixie

by Nick Gisburne

We trace the pungent pixie to his nest
A pitiful, polluted little hole
He skips around a toadstool, barely dressed
Preparing supper: beetle brains and coal
Embarrassed to be caught without a shirt
He drops a dish of desiccated fleas
But, winking at us both, begins to flirt
Until we kick him, crying, to his knees
The silly creature begs to be released
And sobs with tiny, luminescent tears
He asks us why we interrupt his feast
“We’re bailiffs, come to repossess your ears
    Your debt is due, so please, before you scoff
    Pay up, pay now, or snip-and-snap, they’re off”

Thursday 5 August 2021

A Blazing Badge of Pride

by Nick Gisburne

His values and traditions are in doubt
Determined voices join to curse his name
His neighbours, friends, once loyal, want him out
They tarnish him with blasphemy and blame
He will not yield to bigotry, not yet
His culture is a blazing badge of pride
Regarded as a problem, or a threat
They challenge him to disappear, or hide
And this is what he faces, every day
No rational reflection or debate
A wall of angst and anger, grim and grey
Resentment, panic, jealousy and hate
    They tell him that his kind do not belong
    But every spiteful one of them is wrong

For the Pleasure of the King

by Nick Gisburne

Exhibited in cylinders of brass
Exquisite trophies, silent, sit inside
Examined through impenetrable glass
Their pure perfection cannot be denied
Amusements, for the pleasure of the king
Exotica, to elevate his fame
Arranged at seven points around a ring
The silence of the night begins the game
Attendants slip the latches of release
And with a slow suspicion they emerge
Emboldened, seven angels part with peace
Advancing with a sinful, savage urge
    But as they strike the monarch where he stands
    He tears their souls asunder with his hands

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Government Guidelines: Toxic Human Waste

by Nick Gisburne

The Ministry of Toxic Human Waste
Has classified your semen as ‘extreme’
The reproductive partners you debased
Were euthanised with hydrochloric steam
Unsanitary members of your clan
Including any foetus, child or clone
Are deemed to be a danger to the Plan
And subject to dispatch by sniper drone
Your DNA, illegal and unclean
Offends all basic standards of the law
Inform the nearest sentient machine
Destruction will eradicate the flaw
    The moment you released your shameful seed
    We rated you too dangerous to breed

The Smackdown in the Snow

by Nick Gisburne

We stitch the bleeding pieces, flesh and bone
And bind this mongrel creature to the boards
The zebra-stripes on every seam are sewn
A badge of pride, of rank and rich rewards
With halting tics and fits, the freak awakes
The scale of his potential all too clear
And as the field of force around him breaks
All doubts that he is ready disappear
Accelerating power to its peak
A nutrient injection stirs his rage
He breathes and bends, exploring his physique
The sleet and slush of winter set the stage
    The title bout, ‘The Smackdown in the Snow’
    Is fifteen rounds of murder, toe to toe

Where Demons Dwell

by Nick Gisburne

Ferocious bolts of lightning strike the shed
Where tiny children cower, sick with fear
The older, weaker, wiser ones have fled
Without a care for those in danger here
The gifted girl is quick to make a stand
And steps beneath the remnants of the roof
With sparks of silver flowing from each hand
She vilifies the gods, aloft, aloof
Bewildered that her witchery may work
She strikes the great Almighty with her spell
But with a yawn of boredom, and a smirk
He throws them to the Pit, where demons dwell
    The weather offers little chance of rain
    In Hell the only forecast is for pain

Tuesday 3 August 2021

A Mistress of Incendiary Speech

by Nick Gisburne

She reasons with incalculable speed
A rare and precious prowess to possess
Demolished in discussion, all concede
Her force, her fight, is tempered with finesse
Debating with insufferable snobs
She hammers hubris smartly to the ground
Composed, confronting disillusioned yobs
Beneath a wave of wit their doubts are drowned
Occasions when she curses, foul and free
Would scorch a shameless sailor with disgust
Her fearless flair for language is the key
She fires a phrase to watch its words combust
    A mistress of incendiary speech
    A talent she will test but never teach

Let My Soul Be Still

by Nick Gisburne

I long for life, at last, to fade away
Its prison is too empty to endure
I cannot bear to breathe for one more day
Oblivion, forever, is the cure
Endurance is no reason to exist
Participation does not win a prize
What punishment, what unrelenting fist
Assails this broken body I despise?
A velvet touch of nothingness, a dream
A loving mother’s skin-to-skin embrace
In sleep, for peace, for sweet release, I scream
But wake to find the torment of this place
    A carcass, kept alive against my will
    I long for death, to let my soul be still

Monday 2 August 2021

Grisly Graves

by Nick Gisburne

The unprotected ice begins to thaw
Retreating to reveal the rocks beneath
A glimpse of what this land contained before
The grisly graves of teddy bears with teeth
The matted mounds of skeleton and skin
Where prehistoric children laid them, dead
Are pulled into an almost human grin
And bathed in blood, each terrifying ted
A paleontological review
Can finally report that what was found
Will birth a branch of science, nuanced, new
The quest for cuddly culture, underground
    A search to see inside the Stone Age mind
    With twisted toys their toddlers left behind

Ride Around the Moon

by Nick Gisburne

Mysterious in magic, life, and luck
Experienced enchanters glide with grace
But all he brings are passion, pride and pluck
To ride around the moon and win the race
A second-hand, decrepit, fourth-grade wand
Competes with potent, elemental charms
His broomstick, from the back end of beyond
Is crooked, with a quirky coat of arms
Despite the spells and secrets he prepared
He ranks beyond the bottom of the list
But fortune scowls on those who never dared
And magic’s greatest race must not be missed
    His rivals are impossible to beat
    Without a word of ancient wisdom: cheat

Sunday 1 August 2021

That Influential Man

by Nick Gisburne

Unsettled by the ruins of the stage
She calls upon what memories she can
From stories out of time, another age
Reflections of that influential man
Because they said his appetites were crimes
The world believed whatever it was told
But here were shared his most triumphant times
Before the black was painted on the gold
She tests her faith with moments from the past
But cannot form the features of his face
And stepping from the theatre at last
She leaves this broken symbol of disgrace
    She never knew what madness lit the flame
    But mourns to see the ashes of his fame