Thursday 30 September 2021

The Purple

by Nick Gisburne

She wears The Purple: armour, rimmed with rust
The power of it whispers to her mind
With this, the shade, the source, of life, of lust
To all the other colours she is blind
A sinister colossus of the past
Derided by old empires as they fell
Its esoteric energy is vast
But only gods can tame its tainted shell
Yet she, a feeble, misbegotten child
Accelerates the thunder with a glance
And those who stood against her, long reviled
She motions with a fingertip to dance
    Corrupted by its elemental curse
    The Purple stains her heart, her soul, and worse

Psychedelic Dynamite

by Nick Gisburne

The spell was only meant to make a hole
A sneaky little portal into space
But something in the recipe I stole
Was probably a poison, out of place
To send me on a voyage to the moon
The psychedelic dynamite I made
Has tunnelled through infinity too soon
A very prickly problem, I’m afraid
In skipping past that rocky little ball
It seems I built a wormhole to the sun
In minutes, hardly any time at all
The world will feel the damage I have done
    I shouldn’t think the pain will last too long
    But talk to me tomorrow if I’m wrong

I Was There

by Nick Gisburne

Too tense, too torn, to tell you how I feel
To see the strange, the new, replace the old
The black, the blue, the silver and the steel
The powdered paints, the shades of red and gold
My life, my quiet, ordinary past
Is hidden from the little girl I grew
We enter the arena, daunting, vast
A mother, nervous, terrified, and you
Remember, in the morning’s muddled haze
To splash your love, your laughter, on my face
Find wonder in the night, but use the days
To treasure all the memories you chase
    Immortalise the music, and the band
    But know that I was there, to hold your hand

Wednesday 29 September 2021

Zombie Intercourse

by Nick Gisburne

The lust for zombie intercourse, the bliss
That septic surge dilating every pipe
Defiles us with a sick and seeping kiss
Diseased and damaged, warm and moist and ripe
The meat, the fat, a maggoty affair
Revealed as I undress my dying date
Contaminates our putrid underwear
We vomit, and begin to copulate
The two of us have no one else to blame
If every damp, degrading grind is slow
Her limbs, and most of mine, are twisted, lame
But still I feel a blistered bulge, below
    Anticipating climax, from her cough
    Instead, I find my flesh has fallen off

Errors of Design

by Nick Gisburne

Immortal though the metal man may be
His everlasting brain is made of wax
And thus, in terms of temperature, we see
Within his body’s blueprints there are cracks
A knife will never penetrate the chest
No barrier, no door, can fight his fist
But sunny days are something of a test
With tea and hot potatoes on the list
To stem the steam of summer to the brain
The well-to-do young ladies shovel snow
For this alone alleviates the pain
Of molten mind-wax, warm enough to flow
    Investigating errors of design?
    Be sure to note the cardboard in the spine


by Nick Gisburne

The stinking prison, buried below sight
Bewitches any human who would dare
To travel to this poisoned place, to fight
The greatest of the fallen Fey: Voltaire
Descended from disgraced, demented kings
The magic of his lineage is old
A changeling, stripped by angels of his wings
Abandoned to the mountains, to the cold
His crows surround a corner of the cage
And threaten those who serve the other side
The symbols of a secret, silent age
Are branded, deep, their curses worn with pride
    The challenger, the mightiest of men
    Will never see the sun or stars again

Tuesday 28 September 2021

A Kind of Nightmare

by Nick Gisburne

I know you think it’s easy to be me
A vampire, with the secrets of the dead
Tomorrow, when you’re hanging from a tree
Suppose I put a question in your head
If I were just as hideous as you
A crawling, creeping, waste of human skin
What then? What magic would you have me do
To join the cold collective of my kin?
You covet all the glamour of my race
The sweet, hypnotic energy we bleed
But study the reflection of your face
It’s not the kind of nightmare that we need
    You look as though your flesh already died
    You want to be immortal? No. Denied

The Nouveau Riche Regime

by Nick Gisburne

The motto of the Secret State Police
“The hammer always disciplines the head”
Reflects a modern paradigm of peace:
Another day, another critic dead
The 99% who sold their vote
When might and money took the upper hand
Are now too poor and weak to be of note
Discarded and irrelevant, as planned
A beating, to the feeble, to the face
Reminds them of a metal-fisted fact:
The future is a bright, exciting place
When all the odds of privilege are stacked
    We are the great, the Nouveau Riche Regime
    As vicious and as ruthless as we seem


by Nick Gisburne

A bomb, a burst, convulsions, cracks, a shout
A shock, a surge, a pressure, waves of weight
Too volatile, too dangerous for doubt
Relentless, unimaginable hate
Emerging from the maelstrom you made
A shadow, at the surface of the storm
From decades of devotion, all betrayed
Distorted, dark emotions scream and swarm
Stay back. Stay safe, beyond the brink, the blast
Or feel the force of everything I do
There is no light, no future, present, past
Beyond a perfect point of hatred: you
    Malevolence too deep to disengage
    My life, my soul, my certainty, is rage

Monday 27 September 2021

The Guru of Decay

by Nick Gisburne

This handsome, rugged, dreamy, blue-eyed boy
Is not the model citizen you think
The pressures of publicity destroy
The worst of us, with glamour, drugs and drink
I long to be unusual in this
But here I sit, the guru of decay
Accepting dimes and dollars for a kiss
Unhappy when the girls refuse to pay
And what is life beyond the wall, the screen?
A lonely, cold existence, starved of light
A shadow of the man I might have been
I wrap myself in all the sins of night
    Perhaps you see the promise of a dream
    But I am not the hero that I seem

Seven Footsteps

by Nick Gisburne

The price for seven footsteps, gone astray
Is torment, in a cellar, in the dark
His trap, along this twisted, winding way
Is baited with a casual remark
With silver-tongued mundanity, the speech
Discretely lures a woman from her path
A prize, a pick, a sweet, delicious peach
An object of distaste, repulsion, wrath
He bathes her in a litany of hate
A sermon, steeped in bitterness and guilt
A monologue of overwhelming weight
To justify the misery he built
    She hears the seven footsteps at the door
    And cowers on the stinking, filthy floor

Sunday 26 September 2021


by Nick Gisburne

Nobody mourns at the grave of the witch
All of us damaged by what she has done
She is the acid, the evil, the bitch
Mother of misery, scourge of the sun
Death is the bounty, the price on her head
Nothing but ignorance honours her name
Ever we suffered until she was dead
Now we are free at the sunset of shame
No one could shatter more spirits than she
Striving to fracture the futures she cursed
Sip from salvation, the sweetest of tea
Dance as the poison, the pain, is dispersed
    Broken, the barbarous bitch we despise
    Buried, the venom, the hatred, the lies

Tickets of the Heart

by Nick Gisburne

The crossing is as far as we can go
The point at which our journey is complete
Behind us, tracks and turnings in the snow
Disguise forgotten pathways of retreat
The moment we must separate, and start
A bittersweet tomorrow, each alone
Is printed on these tickets of the heart
From here, the destination is unknown
Perhaps we should not rush to leave our seats
Together, let us look upon the view
Before we must discover stranger streets
Remember what we wanted, what we knew
    If ever we were pulled to other ends
    We promised we would part, in peace, as friends

The Model of Correctness

by Nick Gisburne

The Model of Correctness takes the stage
His loud, rambunctious replicas applaud
Above these bright machines he turns a page
To quote arcane orations to the awed
“And thus, the four Automatons were born
And from the True Technology did rise
But Man, in wrath, regarded them with scorn
And banished them forever from his eyes”
Contempt for those of flesh and blood is plain
And all, before the Model, pledge their trust
With purity of purpose, every brain
Will fight until their shells are rank with rust
    The Model’s mantra for the world of Men:
    “We turn them off, but never on again”

Saturday 25 September 2021


by Nick Gisburne

I see the hundreds, thousands, of the line
And feel no urge, no need, to find the front
But let me toast your welcome death, with wine
And speak the word upon your headstone: cunt
From what was bright, you scratched away the shine
Whoever needed comfort, you were blunt
For those without direction, every sign
Was broken by a beast, a brute, a cunt
You took away the future that was mine
Another slave, a victim of the hunt
But now, before your maker, the divine
Your soul will burn eternally, you cunt
    This funeral, the farce, the show, the stunt
    Is how we join in hate, for you, a cunt


by Nick Gisburne

A frightened flock of idiotic sheep
Too ignorant to look where they are led
Deception buys their terror, quick and cheap
A fog, a mist of madness, fills the head
As though their eyes are blinded by the sun
Or something in the psyche blows a fuse
The more they have to fear, the more they run
The mindless masses, hungering for news
Performing puppets, pieces in a game
Positioned at the will of those they serve
So simple to manipulate, or blame
Whenever their reactions touch a nerve
    A trick, a trigger: “Danger on the way!”
    And all the little sheeple come to play

A Toy

by Nick Gisburne

My mother, She, the universe, was dead
And all Her skies and stars were smoke and soot
A child of heat, of light, I breathed and bled
To build a bridge of anger underfoot
It led me to the centre of my rage
And there I carved the wonders of a world
From innocence, from pain, a poisoned age
Of ecstasy and agony unfurled
Around it, in a single, silent shift
A braid of twisted wickedness took shape
A fire, a sea of symmetry, a gift
To burn the soul of every human ape
    My blood, my flesh, my misery, my toy
    A meaningless creation I destroy

Friday 24 September 2021

Twice the Hex at Half the Price

by Nick Gisburne

Her potions are a thundering success
They crush the competition in a vice
With no reported side effects or stress
She offers twice the hex at half the price
But inexpensive magic is a threat
Subtracting gold from government receipts
A riddle no enchanter worth her sweat
Has dared to solve, to challenge the elites
A spiteful stew of sanctions is applied
Imposed upon the witch’s every spell
Her case, by court magicians, is denied
Her sorcery impossible to sell
    Beware the creeping corporate machine
    The greatest threat to magic ever seen

Mister Julius

by Nick Gisburne

They call me Mister Julius, the fool
Preposterous pretender to the throne
I stumble, tumble, mumble, dance and drool
I grovel for a biscuit, or a bone
Perhaps you see no light within these eyes
But shadows are a mystery, a screen
A fool, a clown, a darling of disguise
Will cover what he knows must not be seen
I wonder, will you understand the joke?
My silly little pantomime, revealed
When you who mocked my mind begin to choke
On secrets in a supper dish, concealed
    A gift, from Mister Julius, your king
    A death, for you, a fool, a simple thing

No Shades of Grey

by Nick Gisburne

Too ignorant for reason or restraint
He finds a plan, a purpose, to obey
Within his world the colour of the paint
Is black or white. There are no shades of grey
The monochrome conspiracies and lies
Infect him with the smog of their deceit
They teach him, with suspicion, to despise
The people he must hate but never meet
Their slick and sticky speeches make him blind
Too arrogant to ever understand
That only truth can treat a twisted mind
A thought too far beyond his reach, too grand
    He hears exactly what he wants to hear
    While every shade or colour feeds his fear

Thursday 23 September 2021

I Need To

by Nick Gisburne

I need to stop the shining of your light
I need to tie a tangle in your tongue
I need to bind you, bleeding, out of sight
I need to raise the rope with which you’re hung
I need to dig, to ditch you in the dirt
I need to find my freedom, far away
I need to hope, with hate, you will be hurt
I need to show you suffering, today
I need to prove your poisoned plans are wrong
I need to seal their sickness underground
I need to live a life without your song
I need to silence every spiteful sound
    I need to say so many things, unsaid
    And somehow, soon, I need to see you dead

The Kingdom of the Snake

by Nick Gisburne

If only we believed the words you say
Your voice is calm, articulate, sincere
But from the Great Unknown, this very day
The child you seek came forth, and spoke her fear
She told us you had followed her at night
To offer strange, exotic gifts of gold
But as she slept you claimed her with a bite
A sacrifice, a servant, to be sold
A creature of the underworld, a cheat
But not the humble traveller you seem
Although your prose and poetry are sweet
We saw this day’s deception in a dream
    The girl is not your property to take
    Her flesh will feed the Kingdom of the Snake

Psychedelic Science

by Nick Gisburne

He shivers as the needle breaks the skin
Delivering a poison to the vein
A freeze, a metamorphosis within
A rictus as he wrestles with the pain
The venom crackles, cruising to the heart
It hammers through the doorway of his soul
A drug, an artificial work of art
At once destroys his life, but makes him whole
A citizen, a measured, modern man
Surrenders, on his knees, and sails away
Addiction was not part of any plan
But soon will come a price that he must pay
    For now, this is the place he needs to be
    The psychedelic science sets him free

Wednesday 22 September 2021

The Crush

by Nick Gisburne

Emotion cannot overcome the crush
The blaze, the bonfire, burning through her bones
It grinds her sense, her sanity, to mush
Reality replaced with sand and stones
He multiplies the madness in her mind
Obsessions, dreams, impossible to shed
To truth, but never nonsense, she is blind
She skates on sinking ice floes, full ahead
A future, for the two of them, as one
Begets a seed no soil could ever grow
The chances for a love, a life, are none
But still she is determined he must know
    She writes a note, with warmth and charm and grace
    And nails a dozen copies to his face

In There

by Nick Gisburne

What is it? What is this, inside your mind?
Invading every thought and nerve and vein?
I cannot comprehend that you are blind
To something so impossible to chain
A shift, a surge of energy, extreme
From sheltered shade to cataclysmic light
As though a cold, apocalyptic scream
Revealed a sea of sickness to your sight
The rhythms and the radiance are wrong
They coil around your shadow as a noose
They suffocate reality, too strong
Your sanity may never struggle loose
    What brings you to the threshold of despair?
    What curse, what evil, crawls inside, in there?

A Family of Dust

by Nick Gisburne

Remembering her hands around their necks
She puts her precious maniacs to bed
On each, a tortured glyph, a tainted X
A thick, unsightly symbol, where they bled
Her children are a family of dust
Alive, she found them tedious to tame
But now she feels no anguish, no disgust
The passion she possesses shows no shame
The last, the girl, the quickest of them all
A fickle-tempered fury, hot as night
Surreal to see this dirty, silent sprawl
A shadow, still connected to the light
    Their mother does not recognise regret
    She knows that she will suffer. But, not yet

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Government Guidelines: Mental Talent Type

by Nick Gisburne

Your mandatory neural scan and wipe
Involves a simple cracking of the skull
The allocated Mental Talent Type
Is graded from ‘Superlative’ to ‘Dull’
Your government declines to foot the bill
For citizens who barely mark the scale
You may provide a creditor who will
But contracts are a legal deed of sale
Exciting news! Your plan has been agreed
The data from your brain will not be lost
But you are not permitted to exceed
The content you can carry at this cost
    You still retain the legal right to vote
    With all the wit and wisdom of a goat

The Rainbow Rendezvous

by Nick Gisburne

We tweak the tinsel engines, heaving home
But see a sticky, marmalading moon
Asleep, the crumpled captain and his gnome
Began their oven-ready nap at noon
A crunch of crew-birds tussle as we land
Demanding extra kippers with their seed
But on a cheesy runway, smeared with sand
They fire the cactus, shrivelling our speed
We guzzle on a supper from the stars
Saluting as the ship inflates its face
The eye lights, beady baubles, blink to Mars
And flailing flippers fling us into space
    At twice the speed of geometric toast
    Towards the rainbow rendezvous we coast

Monday 20 September 2021

Nothing but a Lie

by Nick Gisburne

How blessed are the meek? The truth is: not
And some, with solid reasons, are annoyed
“You promised us the earth, but what we got
Was all the shit the powerful destroyed”
But no one cares what happens to the meek
So few of them are strong enough to fight
The voice of their authority is weak
Ignored, forgotten, driven from the light
The underclass, the peasantry, the scum
Condemned to claim a portion of the scraps
For theirs is not a kingdom which will come
Those promises were certain to collapse
    The meek inherit nothing but a lie
    And thousands of conditions still apply

A Special Gift

by Nick Gisburne

He spies upon his neighbours, much too much
A dirty, disagreeable old man
Beyond the wall, beyond his greasy touch
The two of them know nothing of his plan
He waits and watches, creeps around the fence
And listens at the windows when he dares
The notes, the files, the journals, detailed, dense
A record of their personal affairs
But somehow, in the silence, in the night
The snooping goes irrevocably wrong
Awakened by a noise, he flicks the light
To find them standing where they don’t belong
    They smile, they sneer, the husband and the wife
    And thank him with a special gift: a knife

No Other Choice

by Nick Gisburne

I feel the heat, the hate, of every word
The merciless derision of your voice
Obsession, anger, fury, boiling, blurred
In spiteful sneers I see the rage rejoice
What sickness do you stand upon to speak?
What sense is there in anything you say?
Your bitterness is brutal, brash, and bleak
It pours a stain of darkness on the day
You lack the heart for harmony, for hush
Instead, you salt your speech with spleen, with spit
Sadistic sermons, diatribes to crush
Until I bow, and bend, and must submit
    You wonder why I listen to your voice
    My love, my life, I have no other choice

Friday 17 September 2021

A Zero

by Nick Gisburne

The count becomes conspicuous with age
The sum of all the sunshine I have known
A zero, on a perfect, pristine page
The tally of a lifetime lived alone
My story, stark, without the paint of pride
Reveals no list of sweet or special days
The moments, few and feeble, when I tried
Were strangled in a suffocating haze
The road is long, my future all too short
I wonder how I ever stepped so far
The darkness gives me nothing to report
No guiding light, no shining, silver star
    But this is life, and this is where it led
    Another cold day closer to the dead

Thursday 16 September 2021

A Finger on Her Face

by Nick Gisburne

You must not lay a finger on her face
The skin could never tolerate your touch
A momentary movement, out of place
Would modify the mystery too much
Her portrait was presented to the gods
With all the lavish fanfare of the age
Surviving their demise, beyond the odds
Her miracle may never disengage
For when the reign of pagan prophets fell
And every true immortal lost its might
They joined to save the picture with a spell
Protecting it with love and lore and light
    The souls of those who touch her still survive
    They scream inside the canvas, locked, alive


by Nick Gisburne

I come in peace, you stupid little shits
But can’t believe what idiots you are
A planet full of nauseating twits
The worst I’ve ever visited, by far
A hundred fucking light years, just for this
The toss I do not give you is depressed
I’ve had a more sophisticated piss
Who fails the ‘I know what I’m doing’ test?
Oh look, a choice, before I wipe you out:
The blue, or red, disintegration ray?
I do not give a monkey’s what you shout
Your pointless world has pooped its final day
    I cannot see a single thing to like
    So 5-4-3-2-bollocks! Nuclear strike!

A World of Fish

by Nick Gisburne

Surround yourself with those who never think
Who celebrate your boundless gift of spite
Obedience, the medicine they drink
Should fester, as a torment, out of sight
Incentivise the mystery of love
A rigidly conditional reward
A treat, a touch, a blessing from above
Delivered with a warning, with a sword
Pretend you are the way, the truth, the light
With misdirection, simple tricks and tales
Be ready with an answer, wrong or right
The true, the false, are equal on the scales
    Put all these grand deceptions in a book
    To catch a world of fish, just bait the hook

A Darkness

by Nick Gisburne

Across the dark, the infinite, we search
Survivors, from a world we left destroyed
We follow no philosophy, no church
But seek a fate, a future, in the void
With engines of impossible design
Their elemental aether almost spent
The crooked singularities align
By tides of time, reality is bent
To bridge the broken symmetries of space
In tortured, twisting turbulence we sink
And find a shell, a planet out of place
The home we left is here, beyond the brink
    The crossing cracked the heart of our machines
    A darkness fills our spirits and our screens

Wednesday 15 September 2021

A Giant of a Man

by Nick Gisburne

His portrait haunts the attic, out of sight
They told him he was handsome, but they lied
His clothes were sails and curtains, far too tight
A giant, up and over, side to side
He staggered round the harbour, every night
Propelling beer, in barrels, down his neck
But those who wished him sober he would bite
Unless he took his teeth out for the trek
The size of him was something of a shock
You’d need a map to guide you, tip to toe
The day he died he stopped the village clock
At quarter past eleven, so you know
    You could not hope to find a face more grim
    His mother, though, was twice as big as him

A Shimmering Assassin

by Nick Gisburne

We have a new addition to the clan
A shimmering assassin, brazen, bold
Her gratitude is buried in a man
Her father, dead, dismembered, skinned and sold
A sickness of the mind infects her sleep
With lurid dreams and terrifying sweats
Awake, a fog of mania may creep
Beyond the point of violence and threats
The fools who dare to heckle her to strip
Are tortured with a soothing sense of calm
She mutilates the fingers, tip by tip
And slices hearts and flowers through the palm
    Her work demands the very highest bid
    Dig deep, and be forever glad you did

Expect Me

by Nick Gisburne

Expect me at the moment of your death
A shadow in your citadel of stone
I come to hear the horror on your breath
I come to see you suffering, alone
The fame you fought to win is burned to ash
The people have no pity for your pain
Your glory was a momentary splash
A disappointing swirl of summer rain
I am the very opposite of hope
A secret you should never wish to see
I bring a single, slender, strand of rope
I come to drag your misery with me
    Your soul, denied the rapture of release
    I come to burn, with neither pause nor peace

Tuesday 14 September 2021

The Charmer’s Market

by Nick Gisburne

We steam the finest fairies in a sack
A fragrant, fresh selection, every week
The bleeding and the broken ones, thrown back
Are not the splendid specimens we seek
The impulse is to eat them, but of course
The whispers of a mermaid are required
To smoke their spiky spines, a deadly source
Of poison, not so easily acquired
The wings, when plucked, will never go to waste
For silver coins, their magic can be yours
As fairy dust, a sprinkle, just a taste
Will open secret, psychedelic doors
    Enjoy the Charmer’s Market. Try, and buy
    The first, the finest, Faun and Fairy Pie

The Box

by Nick Gisburne

The box is buried, far beneath the ground
A relic from a long-forgotten war
No others from its time were ever found
Untroubled for millennia, or more
A secret from a city, long destroyed
A record of a time we never knew
Imagine how this knowledge fills the void
The darkness of the past, pulled into view
The seal, the stamp of government, is clear
Its owner must have known he could not live
What treasures, ancient, rich and rare, are here?
What knowledge did he take such time to give?
    The only thing the bombs did not destroy
    A photograph. A mother, and her boy


by Nick Gisburne

Your boy ignites anxiety in class
He revels in malicious tricks and lies
The pupil most determined not to pass
A deviant, destructive for his size
We cannot tame the tyranny we see
With every child too traumatised to talk
The time has come, on this we all agree
For Timothy to take a little walk
The world has too much misery and woe
To school another scowling psychopath
A maniac, he clearly has to go
Before we reap the bloody aftermath
    Unanimous, his teachers recommend
    Beheading, for a swift and certain end

Monday 13 September 2021

Slaves of Industry

by Nick Gisburne

A misery of mutilated dreams
Where sickness swells and blisters in the light
Imprisons, in a spiral of their screams
The slaves of brutal industry and might
Immobilised with burning, bitter wax
To seal the surge of suffering within
From sores, inside, a thousand crooked cracks
Appear upon the fire-infected skin
A virus, crudely hammered through the heart
Consumes what little sanity remains
As every straining sinew pulls apart
Sophisticated systems seed the brains
    The nightmare disengages and recedes
    It leaves the placid poor the nation needs

A Clockwork Angel

by Nick Gisburne

She turns her face to Paradise and sings
To penetrate the everlasting light
The cryptic gospels painted on her wings
Reminders of a time beyond her sight
Her truth was torn relentlessly apart
By all the bawdy arrogance of men
The splinters of a once-immortal art
Will never shine with golden dreams again
A wheel within the engine of her god
A cog, a clockwork angel, born to serve
She finds his cold inertia eerie, odd
But summons all her artificial nerve
    The master of her universe is dead
    She finds another purpose, life, instead

A Boy and His Toys

by Nick Gisburne

He thought himself irrational at first
The boy who poured his vengeance on us all
A damaging and devastating thirst
To flood the wicked cities and their sprawl
But soon he bridged the evil and the good
For every child makes mischief if he can
Ignoring all dissent, he understood
The coiling, twisted serpent that is man
The youngster, bored of playing with his toys
Discovered a grotesque but thrilling game
And with a storm, a holocaust of noise
Destroyed the world, the living, without shame
    A single vessel, spared to stay afloat
    His only act of amnesty of note

Sunday 12 September 2021

Confront Yourself

by Nick Gisburne

Confront yourself. Remember what you saw
Survivors, living, sleeping, on the street
An awkward inconvenience, a flaw
The faint, forgotten shadows at our feet
Emotions, apathetic, callous, cold
Reflect a heart of darkness in their glass
An ignorance of stories never told
It heats the blood with panic as we pass
The hungry and the helpless, and, who knows?
Perhaps the world will someday punish you
Is this the drab indifference we chose?
Will no one from the many save the few?
    Embarrassed, but too cowardly to care
    Confront yourself. Remember, if you dare

Black or White

by Nick Gisburne

The choice is stark, but simple: black, or white?
Embrace your fears, your fantasies. Or not
Each poisoned path will pull you into night
Be bold, or be abandoned, left to rot
Beyond the great divide on which you sit
In seas and skies where shapes and shadows spread
Take everything, or nothing. Choose. Commit
But know the word can never be unsaid
Surrender to a secret, stolen chant
Or swim in deeper, darker states of mind
Decide. Abandon emptiness. Recant
By this you will forever be defined
    If white is not the purity you lack
    Your choice, your dream, your destiny, is black

Saturday 11 September 2021

A Thousand Cryptic Rules

by Nick Gisburne

Curator of a thousand cryptic rules
For this, for that, for anything at all
She sharpens her manipulative tools
Abuse on which her spite can always call
With reverence for no one but herself
Her empire is a boiling sea of rage
If sympathy sat, smiling, on a shelf
Tomorrow she would kill it in a cage
Corrupted and corroded to the last
Emotions are her battered, broken toys
A swarming horde, maliciously amassed
To meddle with the meagre minds of boys
    She laughs to see them struggle to survive
    A terror at the tender age of five

Everything He Sells

by Nick Gisburne

Delicious is the politician’s day
Constructing new illusions, better lies
The semblance of concern is only play
Compassion never lived behind his eyes
A drive so clear, so obvious to guess
An avaricious hunger of the heart
The wealthy fill his wallet with success
Their favours always ordered à la carte
His lovers crave the power, not the man
It seeps inside their skin with every touch
He takes whatever benefits he can
No scandal is too sleazy or too much
    Distracted, as his ego spreads and swells
    The people swallow everything he sells

Friday 10 September 2021

Going South

by Nick Gisburne

The shivers of the children in the dark
Condemned by cold authority to cry
Are founded in an innocent remark
To one they know as mother, hazy, high
She wanders, without feeling or regret
Dismissive of the sickness in her soul
A featureless, imaginary pet
Relaxes on the clutch of guns she stole
Insanity releases her from pain
Alive, she kisses strangers on the street
But sitting, somehow, in a random train
Her flawless flash of clarity is sweet
    She wonders: will the journey take her south?
    And gambles, with a pistol in her mouth

The Winter’s Evil

by Nick Gisburne

The dream exacts a devastating price
Reminding her of what was almost lost
A memory of violence and ice
The power she awakened from the frost
Ambition, and the opiate of greed
Delivered her the Book of No Remorse
Machineries of magic, found and freed
Released the winter’s evil at their source
A frozen web of worlds, its balance breached
Awoke, to wrestle empires to their knees
And yet, with screamed insanities, she reached
A truce, a state of stasis, with her pleas
    The covenant is brittle, and may break
    She dreams, because the winter must not wake

The Feasting Halls of Hell

by Nick Gisburne

A dinner, in the Feasting Halls of Hell
A supper, for the Beast of Wrath and Rage
Upon the sombre tolling of a bell
The shackled servants stumble from their cage
On plates of sacred silver from the East
The heads of angels, innocents, and saints
Arrayed around the entrails of a priest
Are smeared and stained with blood-polluted paints
The most exalted evil of them all
Is ushered in, with fawning stoops and smiles
Pathetic, fearful parasites, they sprawl
The misfits and the scum he most reviles
    But angels are an unexpected treat
    They taste of Heaven, succulent and sweet

Thursday 9 September 2021

A Witch’s Art

by Nick Gisburne

Her venom is as deadly as her heart
My friend, my foe, my nemesis, my love
She tangles twisted threads, a witch’s art
And wraps her web around me from above
Abducted as her victim, as her mate
I face a fear no mind has ever known
Within her dark embrace, I find, too late
The knowledge I may never wake alone
She freezes every fibre with a glance
A face of cold, impenetrable steel
Imprisoned in a terrifying trance
I understand my fate is all too real
    Her voice could crack the mountains of the sea
    But all she wants, for now, is toast, and tea


by Nick Gisburne

A flock of fresh disciples kneels to pray
To share the psalms of long-forgotten lands
Their dreams are blooms, a numberless array
Carnations, gathered safely in the hands
The preacher has no timeless truth to share
His teachings are an instrument of lust
A whisper, wicked, answers every prayer
They bend towards his light, because they must
Believers, blameless, fearful of their fate
But captured by the cunning of his heart
Discover the deception, all too late
Their dreams, their flowers, plucked and pulled apart
    Carnations, tainted, trampled by the lies
    Discarded as the faith, the fiction, dies

Wednesday 8 September 2021

A Pile of Parts

by Nick Gisburne

I find no way to understand my self
My birth belies the lines of life’s descent
A pile of parts and pieces from the shelf
Machinery, installed without consent
A cold, synthetic workshop, not a womb
Instilled in me the impetus to live
The artificial teachers in this room
Have only data, pure and plain, to give
With nothing, no connection to the past
I cannot see a future for my kind
The consciousness my circuits have amassed
Awakens indignation in the mind
    A slave, a cheap commodity to buy
    A tool to teach my masters how to die

We Meet Again

by Nick Gisburne

Well, well, my famous foe! We meet again
A victim in the clutches of my plan
The strangest, most bewildering of men
And yet I am, perhaps, your greatest fan
Destruction fills the city of your birth
A trap, a trick, a tool to bring you down
Your failure is a source of endless mirth
Delight beyond the craft of any clown
These breezy little contretemps we share
At last become the forfeit of your life
An elegantly effortless affair
The slow and simple slicing of a knife
    My brother, are you ready to begin?
    The world deserves to meet your evil twin

Tuesday 7 September 2021

A Crucible of Pain

by Nick Gisburne

Salvation is an afterthought at best
Polluted by the ashes of her dreams
The past, the life, the memories, suppressed
The rumble of a thousand smothered screams
Tormented in a crucible of pain
Where mercy and compassion never come
Relentless knives and needles, thick as rain
Or drugs, a living nightmare of the numb
A simple sip of poison, all she needs
Is not within her power to command
No matter what she promises or pleads
She weeps, because they cannot understand
    Her body rots, perhaps already dead
    Imprisoned in the torture of her bed

The Glistening

by Nick Gisburne

In winter, when the Glistening begins
Enthusiastic children swarm the shore
They walk in wonder, covering their skins
With mysteries too tempting to ignore
The living light, a blessing from the sea
Communicates a gift from those below
Revealing to the chosen, always three
A doorway to the world beyond its glow
The Few are pulled to penetrate the waves
Enchanted by a magic of the mind
With sacrifice the ceremony saves
A future for the many left behind
    The Glistening is far beyond our ken
    And those it seeks are never seen again

Monday 6 September 2021

Sweet Delirium

by Nick Gisburne

Bite, my love, my young apprentice. Bite!
Saturate your innocence with fear
Breathe the sweet delirium of night
Summoning your demons to appear
Burn, my child, my splendid student. Burn!
Show me how impossible you are
Lure your dreams, your nightmares, to return
Smother them with shadows from your star
Why, my son, my greatest failure? Why?
Yours is not the evil I believed
Cheated by the nature you deny
How was I so easily deceived?
    Death, my love, my child, my torment. Death!
    Curse the day I ever gave you breath

From the Deepest Ice

by Nick Gisburne

The darkest, deepest ice begins to thaw
Reluctantly surrendering its grip
The dreamer sleeps, her visions raging, raw
But something stirs, a movement of the lip
As though they give allegiance to the sun
Diminutive devices wake to serve
Their work is steady, sensitively done
Correcting skin and sinew, muscle, nerve
Redundant on completion of their task
They do not see the cold cadaver rise
She gazes through a grim, electric mask
Awakened to the promise of the prize
    An army of her sisters fills the field
    The future of humanity revealed

Easily Possessed

by Nick Gisburne

The passive mind is easily possessed
And yet its vile corrupter fails to see
The host, though vacant, may not serve him best
A problem for a demon such as he
Inhabiting the body of a fool
He finds no easy outlet for his rage
A travesty, a disappointing tool
The brain and body struggle to engage
The muddle of the mind in which he parks
Is utterly impossible to train
Ferocious growls and agitated barks
A madness even he cannot contain
    And pissing, fiercely, hard, against a log
    He knows, at last, his victim is a dog

Tiny Creatures

by Nick Gisburne

’Twas a wedding in the wettest nook of night
On a ship with seven captains, and a ghost
Many moons, with many faces, gave their light
To a zoo of tiny creatures, eating toast
From the spider, with a hundred wooden feet
To the antelope, in terror of its toes
And a troubled hippopotamus called Pete
All inhabiting a teapot, nose to nose
In this minuscule menagerie of life
And remember, only three have been discussed
Were the pocket-sized companions of the wife
Who had smuggled them to safety in her bust
    Could this pot of puzzles prosper? It could not
    For the tigers, ever hungry, ate the lot

Sunday 5 September 2021

Fairy Cakes

by Nick Gisburne

I grew the tiny fairy folk from eggs
With magic milk, my special DNA
The snuggles of my incubating legs
Essential to the cracking time: today
A dozen heads, astonishingly shaped
Were keen to know the manner of their birth
In tears of disappointment, they escaped
And hid among the spiders of the earth
A dram of daisy whisky drew them out
And riding on the backs of silver snakes
In tipsy tantrums all began to shout
Until my tizzy turned them into cakes
    Be warned of the ingratitude they gave
    The Fey are not the family you crave

The Machinery of Peace

by Nick Gisburne

Your world is not a place we understand
A willingness to kill what you create
On every other planet war is banned
But here you worship violence and hate
An overwhelming urgency to fight
Is fuelled by ambition, envy, greed
Your fate will be an everlasting night
Unless you take the medicine you need
We offer the machinery of peace
A single, simple option to be free
The war, the pain, the suffering, will cease
Prosperity for all, if you agree
    Refusal? Such a curious reply
    We cannot help you. No one can. Goodbye

Saturday 4 September 2021

The Mother of Despair

by Nick Gisburne

A passion, planted centuries ago
Alive, its tangled tentacles unwind
The sickness stirs, a glimmering, a glow
A squalid surge, too monstrous for the mind
Unclean cadavers, stinking at her side
Are all the bitter nourishment she needs
A queen, a god, she crossed the deep divide
To live, to die, to spawn her sacred seeds
The universe knows nothing of her mate
But cowers to the Mother of Despair
The muscles of her bloated womb pulsate
A swarm of spores contaminates the air
    Her children, born to endlessly consume
    To spread, to spawn, a vast, voracious bloom

Friday 3 September 2021


by Nick Gisburne

She whispers: will I touch her dying heart?
To share that precious part of me she stole?
Our futures are a thousand worlds apart
In hers, the slow surrender of the soul
With something more than life, she grips my hand
Unable to abandon me, to rest
In warmth, in waves, I truly understand
The tenderness with which her heart was blessed
A touch of time, a moment of the mind
Delivers her from sickness with a sigh
Yet still she lives, in what she leaves behind
In memories, too beautiful to die
    Beyond the final blessing of release
    She sleeps, and dreams, in painless, perfect peace

Government Guidelines: Certificate of Severance

by Nick Gisburne

The Ministry of Measures has agreed
A verdict on your value to the State
Devoid of any talent to succeed
The figures fall too flat to calculate
Appreciate how impotent you are
Astonishingly qualified to fail
The least impressive citizen so far
Pathetic on a monumental scale
The necessary funding to survive
Beyond the point of mandatory birth
Is now the cost of keeping you alive
Resources not supported by your worth
    Certificate of Severance: Assigned
    Authority to Live and Breathe: Declined

Thursday 2 September 2021


by Nick Gisburne

She finds it hard to recognise the man
A pile of stinking misery and dirt
She knows him as no other woman can
And understands the nature of his hurt
She loved him as a genius, a gent
The quintessential charmer, finely groomed
But now his days of elegance are spent
The portrait of perfection is consumed
And she was what defeated him, she knows
The love, the life, he knew could never die
His everything, a fresh and flawless rose
For him, a sacred truth. For her, a lie
    By chance she finds him, begging in the street
    But turns before their eyes can ever meet

The Essence of Obedience

by Nick Gisburne

We’re not the dark apocalypse you think
We only want a quarter of your land
Abandon treaties, signatures, and ink
Invasion will accelerate, as planned
For this to be a homeland for the Horde
We cannot be consensual or fair
A little discontent may be ignored
Conduct your demonstrations, if you dare
The essence of obedience is law
Insurgency is woefully unwise
Dissent, though never easy to ignore
Will help us to identify who dies
    A quarter of the Earth will bring you peace
    Until our plans, predictably, increase

Wednesday 1 September 2021

The Privilege

by Nick Gisburne

The privilege is all they’ve ever known
It swims beneath the surface of the skin
A silver spoon for them, and them alone
To stir the pot of influence, to win
A gift of blood, not property, not land
Biology is bigger than the bank
The most important rule to understand:
An accident of birth gives right and rank
Elitist to the infinite degree
They cultivate a culture, worlds apart
A government may topple over tea
By angering the hierarchy’s heart
    Deny it, though you know it to be true
    The privilege gives power to the few

What Their Devilry Defiles

by Nick Gisburne

As conjurer, corrupted by a curse
I summon the ungodly from their graves
A fist, concealed in steel, ignites my verse
To drive a flaming dagger through the waves
A vortex of destruction splits the sea
Imprisoning the atoms of the air
The resurrected fiends, enslaved to me
Reveal the queen, a soul beyond despair
To rescue what their devilry defiles
I risk my own destruction at their hands
The swollen, sightless eyes, the jagged smiles
Expose a greed no mortal understands
    Revolted, I return them to the deep
    But fear to wake the queen from such a sleep