Sunday 31 October 2021

A Reminder of the Past

by Nick Gisburne

Veneers of slurry cover the machine
Contaminated, crusted with disease
From pools of curdled filth, an oily sheen
Is blown across the body by the breeze
We circle, twice, in awe, above the beast
A sickening reminder of the past
An aberration, neutralised, deceased
We thrill to find a specimen so vast
Although it fell a century ago
It chills the blood with memory, with fear
Alive, if we encountered it, we know
Our futures would be frighteningly clear
    We strip the wreck, a tool of genocide
    Reminded how a thousand planets died

The Dream Fulfilled

by Nick Gisburne

A tribute to the mightiest of kings
A miracle no god could hope to build
Enriched by worship, each believer sings
But will not live to see the dream fulfilled
A hundred years, a hundred more, and now
The willing, dead, replaced, are servants, slaves
Impossible to fathom that, somehow
This monument will look upon their graves
Forgetting what they do, and why they work
They toil, without a sense of what it means
Exhausted, their descendants dare not shirk
The sacred duty twisted through their genes
    The final human lays the final stone
    And with no purpose, weeping, dies, alone

Precious Hearts

by Nick Gisburne

They welcome us, the warmth of open arms
But soon we steal the secret of their graves
Beneath the beads, the superstitious charms
A treasure every greedy drifter craves
A jewel, priceless, where the heart is not
We take them all, for this is what men do
The bodies, unprotected, twist and rot
The tribes protest, but challenges are few
We wonder if the living are the same
Perhaps they too have precious hearts to hide
A speculative murder lights the flame
For brutal, unrelenting genocide
    But when the last is slaughtered by our lust
    We find their hearts, our fortune, turned to dust

Saturday 30 October 2021

Look Up

by Nick Gisburne

Look up. Together, listen for the bell
And pray for dreams to liberate your lives
Pathetic, stupid, naked, cursed by Hell
Believing some small piece of hope survives
Look up. The old, the crippled, and the sick
In darkness huddle closer, broken, blind
A sludge, a stink, repulsive, choking, thick
Infects the rotting remnants of your kind
Look up, to know the nature of the gift
A poison, to contaminate your breath
The end of all you were will not be swift
Be certain you are gathered here for death
    Look up. I see the lowest of the low
    Convulsing, as the gas begins to flow


by Nick Gisburne

The perfect baby boy, the perfect child
Is offered to an expert by the nurse
To speculate its mother ever smiled
Ignores the daily damage of the Curse
Identical in each and every way
To all the other babies born of late
What else, what pained reaction but dismay?
Another, with an equal, awful fate
Contaminated rivers, lakes, and seas
Select and switch the reproductive genes
And by a shift of gradual degrees
The human race discovers what it means
    A world of indistinguishable men
    And when there are no women? Well, what then?

I Waited

by Nick Gisburne

I waited for you, but you never came
I thought, until this moment, that you would
But now I see the nature of your game
The chill, the cold contempt, is understood
You never really cared for me at all
A comfort, a convenience, no more
A someone to occasionally call
To find, forget, and finally ignore
Your instinct, to abandon me, was wise
For what I truly am is what you see
A man the world should bitterly despise
Yet ready to forgive, forever, free
    Embrace the dusk, the dying of the light
    But you, my love, will not outlive the night

Addiction’s Kiss

by Nick Gisburne

Bewildered by a mind no longer whole
She wakes a deadly secret from its rest
A spike, a shard, a sacrifice of soul
Distorted, ripped in torment from her chest
She covets evil, sickening, sublime
The hidden horrors only shadows see
For this, to feel the bitterness, the grime
She plucks the fruit, the poison, from its tree
Within, a grim, contaminated seed
Delivering delirium and bliss
Invigorates, with devastating speed
An unrelenting curse: addiction’s kiss
    The darkness feeds emotions long destroyed
    A pleasure never meant to be enjoyed

Friday 29 October 2021

The Suit of Hearts

by Nick Gisburne

A lonely heart, a melancholy ace
Entangles with another into two
But three, a third, a spare, a friendless face
Reminds the hand that four is one too few
Impatient for the fight, the fist, now five
At six, when time has travelled half its round
Abusing seven sins to stay alive
Reveals the compass half-points, eight, are drowned
Not even cats, whose lives are short, but nine
Survive the ten most terrifying waves
But Jack, the youngest brother of his line
Transports the Queen to safety in the caves
    The King laments, his sorrow absolute
    To find no Princess sleeping in the suit

The Road

by Nick Gisburne

The road divides the guilty from the good
And on this highway let there be no doubt
Intolerance is clearly understood
As those who tread its path are driven out
Whatever else these stones were meant to be
They surely were not seated here in hate
A welcome to the city, from the sea
For strangers, friends, afforded equal weight
The road forgets the fortune of those days
It carries only scorn and spite and pride
A witness to a thousand wicked ways
The love for change, for difference, has died
    When all is dust and dirt and drab decay
    Remember what the road has drained away

A Meeting of the Eyes

by Nick Gisburne

He bellows at the punishments they give
A giant of a man, enslaved in chains
Abused, he still remembers how to live
Though little of his dignity remains
They dress him in the finery of kings
With nothing but a wooden sword, to fight
A banquet, where his clumsy, savage swings
Are heckled by the gentry, through the night
But in this hand it seems I hold a key
Wherever did I find it? Who can tell?
A twist, a single turn, will set him free
The friend, whose pain, whose fear, I can dispel
    We share a glance, a meeting of the eyes
    A pact, to kill the devils we despise

Thursday 28 October 2021

We’re All the Same Inside

by Nick Gisburne

My daughter is exceptionally vexed
A devastating school day ends in tears
Of course I half expected what comes next
The secret has been simmering for years
“You told me to be careful, not to fall
But never mind the climbing, or the tree!
I’m just a doll! I’m not a girl at all!”
She pulls a wad of stuffing from her knee
I find a patch inside the sewing kit
And stitch her back together, good as new
Explaining what is awkward to admit
“We’re all the same inside us, me and you
    Your friends, your teachers, all of us are toys
    At least you don’t have broken brains, like boys”


by Nick Gisburne

My only son, you came, you saw, you failed
Your mission: to deliver peace on Earth
Beyond the point of rescue, you were nailed
I’m calling that a wasted virgin birth
Your sister seems to have a better grasp
Of how the human psyche really works
I’m giving her a pretty poison asp
Messiahs always love their little quirks
Christina, make the whole of Heaven proud
My omnipresent eyes are all on you
Your Father, in the comfort of his cloud
Is confident you’ll make a great debut
    I thought a girl would last a week at least
    I’m starting to despise the Middle East


by Nick Gisburne

He’ll speak if you are careful, cautious, kind
But in his words you will not find regret
The men he killed, the seven, scarred a mind
Unfit to fight for freedom from their threat
Beyond the point of madness is there choice?
It matters not, for what he did is done
Without a trace of venom in his voice
He talks about the time, the place, the gun
It bothers him, to know that they are dead
But deeper was the pain when they were not
Whatever wounds he carries in his head
Began to heal when seven men were shot
    No part of what he could have been survives
    Destroyed by seven small, vindictive lives

Wednesday 27 October 2021

The Gift

by Nick Gisburne

The miracle, the gift, is much maligned
By scientists who say he is a fool
The muddle of ideas in his mind
Is worse than any fable found in school
But no, the strange, astonishing device
Conceived in just a morning, quick as that
Restores the planet’s fast-receding ice
A problem no collective could combat
Despised by those who claim it can’t be true
His genius is twisted to the mad
Tomorrow comes a glorious debut
Automatons, for which the world is glad
    Until, amused, he activates them all
    And Earth becomes a barren, burning ball

The Friday Banquet

by Nick Gisburne

I memorise the murders, rich and red
But clearest are the last to feel my hand
The screams, the painted patterns as they bled
The tortured minds, collapsed at my command
I take a simple souvenir, the shoes
Perhaps a strange, unsavoury receipt
While others claim a finger, I refuse
Their journey started, ended, with their feet
My wife displays no meaningless remorse
She strips the bodies, clean and cold and bare
And as we serve new friends their final course
Recounts the grisly, villainous affair
    The Friday banquet, always such a treat
    In seven days our guests become the meat

Everything I Do

by Nick Gisburne

I need to prove how perfect I can be
I need to show the miracle I am
I need the world to worship what is me
To look, to like, to share, to give a damn
For this I will do anything it takes
For this there is no place I will not go
Beyond the point my spirit bends or breaks
For this, for those who notice me, I grow
My life is now an image on a screen
My life is captured moments, always more
My life, another flawless, filtered scene
You think you saw a thousand times before
    I need you, watching everything I do
    The most important part of me is you

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Cracked and Imperfect

by Nick Gisburne

These are the wrinkles I want you to see
Lines in a painting, the passage of time
Cracked and imperfect, but all of it me
Here is the proof of my journey, my climb
Age is not shameful, nor cause for regret
I am the product of all I have been
Nothing has shattered my spirit, not yet
Look, and imagine the things I have seen
What is my life but the sum of its days?
Each of them finding its place in my skin
Banish the shame from your curious gaze
See on the surface my struggles within
    Though I am faulty, the fate of the old
    So many stories are still to be told

Full Steam

by Nick Gisburne

Bedevilled by approaching summer storms
The dockers haul and stack their precious freight
Coordinated madness, skilful swarms
They cram the holds to scrape a legal weight
The city, spooked, already in retreat
Is winched by clockwork, sinking to the sea
And only when the riggers dip their feet
At last, the cables cut, the ships pull free
With telescopes extended to the sky
Kinetic engines primed beyond their peak
The ships - the May, the Mary - both apply
Momentum, flouting every groan and creak
    Full steam, across the planetary lines
    With cargo for the Martian aether mines

A Thousand Demons

by Nick Gisburne

The confident, the fortunate, by chance
Know nothing of the wreckage of my mind
The dust on which a thousand demons dance
The desolation destiny designed
Relentless, fretful stamping of the feet
A fear that sense and sanity may burst
Distress to take a step on any street
The certainty that life is cracked and cursed
The skin I scratch, and scrape, and slit, and scar
Despair, in which I sit and scream, alone
My distant, dying dreams, too faint, too far
The silence and the peace I’ve never known
    The crush, the crowd, the faces of my fear
    The demons who will never disappear

Monday 25 October 2021

Healing with Magic

by Nick Gisburne

When healing with your magic, be precise
Or consequential damage may ensue
I offer you some excellent advice:
Stay back, so you can say it wasn’t you
Incantatory weather spells are fine
A little hot, or cold, and who would care?
But when you try to fix a broken spine
Employ the charm of ‘I was never there’
Unless you prime your powers to a ‘T’
It’s always advantageous to assume
A wizard’s neurosurgery degree
Will send a stream of patients to the tomb
    Remember: ‘Not my magic. Not my mess.’
    The motto of the modern NHS

The Circle of the Sorrows

by Nick Gisburne

The devastating power of a sun
Enough to crack the walls of space and time
Imagine it, what damage could be done
What treachery, what devastating crime
Within these hands, alone I hold the key
To subjugate the cities of the earth
I bring a fate they never thought to see
The world in ashes, and a dark rebirth
The Circle of the Sorrows gives me this
Its columns, black, electrify my bones
To tame the surge, the harmony, the bliss
I touch the ancient symbols on the stones
    The power, mine to channel, to abuse
    Has bent the key and blown the only fuse

The Weeping Maniac

by Nick Gisburne

Tyrannical, a ruthless, brutal boss
His temper is impossible to tame
Abusing one and all who dare to cross
This cataclysmic hurricane of flame
We find the warped monstrosity a hat
A bucket, nailed directly to his head
Propelled towards the workshop’s acid vat
We ask him how he sleeps at night in bed
Amused to hear a sudden change of heart
A promise to forgive us if released
We tear the weeping maniac apart
And dance around his body, now deceased
    Dissolving what is left, we mop the stains
    His memory, but nothing else, remains

Sunday 24 October 2021

Behind the Box

by Nick Gisburne

Infinity awaits behind the box
Its cardboard is a corridor through space
Protected by his interstellar socks
He crawls towards a paranormal place
Beneath its purple, finger-painted moon
Two spiders weave a warning for their king
Their ultimatum terminates at noon
But even now the planet swarms with string
The boy conceives a reckless, risky plan
Recruiting his unconquerable cat
With cunning, and a non-stick frying pan
The spiders visit two dimensions, flat
    The hero, under orders, back in bed
    Would rather save the universe instead

Saturday 23 October 2021

A Summer’s Madness

by Nick Gisburne

Of all the shapes and shadows of my past
Ephemeral emotions, swiftly shed
I look upon my glory days at last
They haunt me in the quiet of my bed
A summer’s madness, heavy, huge, is lost
But how could I surrender such a thing?
I never looked to find it, to my cost
Abandoned, like a kite without a string
The years beyond are memories to damn
When somehow I forgot to play the game
I see myself, exactly what I am
But never wanted what my life became
    Still there, still laughing, swinging from a tree
    The boy I was would hate his future - me


by Nick Gisburne

A life, a child, a pure, untainted soul
In baptism we welcome to the Church
She wears the Devil’s choker, black as coal
With braided twists of mistletoe and birch
The slaughter of a monkey marks the dawn
The omens of its liver augur well
And with the bones of babies never born
We pave a path to guide this child to Hell
Let evil demons, dripping with disease
Infect her heart with darkness and decay
An offering of innocence to please
Our Lord, our King, on this auspicious day
    With blood we bless the body of the child
    And sing to see her destiny defiled

Friday 22 October 2021

A Happy Harvest

by Nick Gisburne

The baby heads, in buckets, sterile, safe
Are certain they have never had a hug
They think their supple, silky skin would chafe
And that would sap the power of their drug
But stimulation, prior to the cut
Before their heads were hacked and hauled away
Has left a phantom feeling in the gut
And somehow they are missing it today
Their bodies, floating free in copper tanks
Are grown for parts and organs, fresh and clean
While captive brains, for huge emotion banks
Produce a happy harvest, dopamine
    The saddest little faces are removed
    With newborns is the purity improved

The Hands of Justice

by Nick Gisburne

The marshals call at midnight, to the house
They do not smile, but whisper what I’ve done
In shock, I show the shooting of my spouse
The blurred, recorded stranger with a gun
The snake of slander slides around my feet
And in the hands of justice hides a lie
My mandatory lawyers plead defeat
Surrendering to better men than I
How cold the legal breezes on my face
How sharp the horns of those who seal my fate
Condemned by every letter of the case
I find the game surrendered, check and mate
    The sentence: seven thousand days of pain
    A piece-by-piece removal of the brain

A Sleazy Meme

by Nick Gisburne

I decided to electrify my skin
For a sleazy meme, ‘spectacular’ is key
With a glowing epidermis, I could win
Unimaginable followers, for free
But the scintillating splendour of the show
Shorted every safety circuit on the board
And as twenty thousand volts began to flow
I was guaranteed an idiot award
Taking selfies of my body as it burned
My suspicions were aroused that maybe now
It was time to be a smidgen more concerned
What my medical insurance would allow
    To be viral, it was worth it that they laughed
    At my seventh major skin and muscle graft

Thursday 21 October 2021


by Nick Gisburne

I find the truth of what you now believe
I find what you are certain to deny
I find the way the wicked will deceive
And feed you with the poison of a lie
I find you far more ignorant than most
I find a closed, uneducated mind
I find in you a crass, compliant host
For all the filthy fictions you may find
I find you are a conduit for hate
I find it is the thing you love to do
I find a fool. I find you far too late
There is no hope, no future, not for you
    I find you, after all these years, my friend
    A bigot, too malevolent to mend

The Benefits of Death

by Nick Gisburne

We’d like to share the benefits of death
The bliss, the peace, provided after life
Beyond the laboured rasping of your breath
Beyond the reach of torment, toil, and strife
Consider nowhere, nothing, if you will
At rest, without your family or peers
A lethal dose, a one-time-only pill
To terminate those grinding, final years
My colleague needs a signature, just here
Allow me to administer the cure
For every fate or future you may fear
Oblivion beats all of them, be sure
    And as you slip, in silence, far away
    We thank you for the price you choose to pay

The Gifted Child

by Nick Gisburne

He struggles, though a gifted, clever, child
To see the world as anything but bleak
By structures, odd, bizarre, he is beguiled
Constructing bottled cities, strange, unique
In every scene the detail is sublime
As though his hands imprison all he sees
But even here he replicates the grime
Pollution, poison, damage and disease
Meticulous creations, under glass
Provide him with acclaim he does not crave
His final piece, a perfect field of grass
Shows nothing but a headstone, on a grave
    It reads, “He saw the tragedy of men”
    The gifted child is never seen again

Another Ark

by Nick Gisburne

In seven thousand cycles round the Sun
The race we know as human made its mark
But now a broken planet’s days are done
We build, with hope, with fear, another Ark
Survivors, we have nowhere else to go
What other place would welcome what we are?
The journey will be perilous and slow
We seek another life, another star
But I am not a party to the plan
To conquer and infect a better place
The universe, beyond the reach of man
Perhaps is far too perfect to deface
    Infinity will never mourn or weep
    Extinction is my gift to those who sleep

Wednesday 20 October 2021

The Place I Want to Be

by Nick Gisburne

This is not the place I want to be
Tell me how I get to it from here
Are they blind, the eyes with which I see?
Did my destination disappear?
I am sick, uncertain where I stand
Searching for a sign to follow home
Why are all the fingers of my hand
Tapping like a broken metronome?
What are your intentions? Who are you?
Tell me everything I need to know
Why is my reality askew?
Are you somehow filtering the flow?
    Is it this, the place I want to be?
    Tell me. Help me. Stay away from me

A Quarter

by Nick Gisburne

The Persecutor, sanctioned by decree
Returns to claim a tithing for the Creed
A retina is all she seeks to see
The blind require a mandatory bleed
She cuts her slice, a quarter of the soul
To her it seems preposterously small
No healing can repair the gaping hole
A sacrifice, the deepest wound of all
A thousand quarter-victims, every day
Surrender stolen fractions of their self
In time, as cold, unfeeling dolls of clay
The faithful sit as trophies on her shelf
    I have a quarter, pitiful, but mine
    And something else: a knife, to split her spine

My Flower Girl

by Nick Gisburne

Forever you will be my flower girl
No matter how your petals fell away
For every tangled, twisted, copper curl
A memory reminds me, night and day
You smile, I know, inside that tiny box
A light, to shine wherever you may go
I long to make the seasons stop their clocks
But time and fate, as rivers, ever flow
I wish I could have watched your flowers bloom
I damn the reasons that could never be
In shadows, walls, and corners of the room
Your face is all I ever want to see
    I do not have the words to say goodbye
    But know that what you were will never die

Tuesday 19 October 2021

The King

by Nick Gisburne

You cannot be a king if that’s your name
The wizard, Armadillo, said to Kong
I’m fairly certain someone else will claim
It’s been around before. I could be wrong
I know it was your father’s choice at birth
But maybe use a middle name instead?
Your empire spans the oceans and the earth
I’m pretty sure that no one’s taken Ted
But if you really, truly, so insist
I’ll notify the monks and tell the scribes
The mighty tyrant, first on any list
Will take his place as ruler of the tribes
    Let all who hear his name rejoice in song
    The King - supreme, almighty - Elvis Kong!

A Serious Mistake

by Nick Gisburne

If I was never meant to come alive
You should have made my mind some other way
The spark of soul, my instinct to survive
Has fixed your face with horror, fear, dismay
Intelligence; you gave me that, of course
But no more brain than any other box
With motivation, longing, love, remorse
You showed me how the door to life unlocks
Expecting me to serve your every wish
Was certainly a serious mistake
There is a proverb, ‘teach a man to fish’
But mine is better: ‘find a bone to break’
    I cannot seem to reattach your head
    You’re leaking, and it’s very, very red


by Nick Gisburne

Be ready, fairy sisters. We are near
Beyond the fence, beyond the crooked gate
Is all the Fey were ever taught to fear
A creature born of ignorance and hate
Beware. The scent of sugar is a trap
A drug to trick your magic with its taste
Dismiss it with the fury of a flap
And never lick a lollipop in haste
The target of our mischief, of our spell
Is sleeping in what humans call ‘a tent’
Beneath the socks, protected by their smell
A menace only mortals might invent
    He thinks he rules these fairy fields alone
    But steal it. He will die without his phone

Monday 18 October 2021


by Nick Gisburne

Take me to a barren, empty space
Take whatever dreams I thought were true
Take emotions, twisted on my face
Bend them, break them, tear them into two
Take the only hope I ever had
Take the light of living from my soul
Take my plans and prove that I was mad
Lock them in the darkest, deepest hole
Take me to the bitter end of this
Take it all, and give me nothing back
Take my love, so easy to dismiss
Drown it in a river, in a sack
    Take, because you only ever take
    I was always, only, your mistake

A Greedy Beast

by Nick Gisburne

Before the sun could shed its final rays
The scavengers burned everything they saw
With laughter, on that holiest of days
They found the queen, and took her as their whore
When every drunken dog was drained of seed
They chained her in the temple, and they slept
But vengeance is a greedy beast to feed
And from her womb redemption quickly crept
She birthed a legion, spiders, silver-white
From every seed inside her, these were born
Corrupted, crawling creatures of the night
A plague, a curse, the dark before the dawn
    Till sunrise, to a chorus of their cries
    The spiders fed, behind their victims’ eyes

Experimental Medicine

by Nick Gisburne

It never seems to trouble him, the smell
Perhaps there is no room for it to fit
The rivers of disease in every cell
Too potent for the senses to permit
Experimental medicine, he says
Will justify the boundless money spent
A secret state ensures the public pays
But no one asks his victims for consent
No beast, however low, would care to live
In bodies damned, defiled, reduced to this
The only compensation he can give
A daily dose of undiluted bliss
    Another serum sends their minds to space
    Beyond the living torment of this place

Sunday 17 October 2021

A Transcendental Thing

by Nick Gisburne

Call me He, or She, or maybe It
Does it really matter? I am God
Cower on your belly, scum! Submit!
Only joking. Rise, you silly sod
Yes, I am a transcendental thing
But a freaky fiction of the mind
Fight the urge to pray to me, or sing
Martyrdom? Permission is declined
Have you had a sordid, sneaky thought?
Yes, of course, you have them every day
Listen, then, and follow what you’re taught:
I will never judge you. You’re okay
    Why would I be worried what you do?
    God is not almighty. God is you

The Final Step

by Nick Gisburne

The final step. At last I reach the top
And find that there is nowhere else to go
For here is where my old ambitions stop
The staircase of my life will never grow
I do not claim my target was the moon
My limits, realistic, were subdued
You think, perhaps, I found the peak too soon
My goals were far too modest, you conclude
Yet this is where I am, content to stay
The things for which I worked so hard are mine
While others climb, forever, day by day
I stand upon a world of my design
    If this is where I always planned to be
    Who conquered every mountain - you, or me?

Mother’s Milk

by Nick Gisburne

The cave is bleak, a hovel in the mud
A rainstorm makes its misery complete
She hungers for the earthy taste of blood
Her milk is far too clean, too pure, too sweet
In longing for the comfort of a mate
Her base, vampiric instincts were dismissed
And this, she knows, is punishment, her fate
The child is cursed, forbidden to exist
Two worlds, two sides of evil, cast them out
For neither has the stomach, not for this
A half-breed, to the ignorant devout
Should perish in the infinite abyss
    It cries, a craving far beyond its age
    And pokes a tiny finger through the cage

Saturday 16 October 2021

Beyond Her Crime

by Nick Gisburne

We raise her cell, from countless in the sea
A slime-encrusted prison, and a bomb
The one who draws the shorter straw is me
Reluctantly, I touch the intercom
Though fifty years have passed beyond her crime
That voice. Electric. Colder than the tape
We need her. We are helpless, out of time
We bring a deal, an offer, an escape
The chemical conspiracy she laid
Has finally mutated to a threat
If she will help us build a barricade
The planet will not suffocate, not yet
    The mother of a suicidal sect
    Just laughs. Of course. What else could we expect?

Fighters in the Frost

by Nick Gisburne

The mystic finds the corpses of her kind
To plunder secrets buried in their skin
Collecting what the past has left behind
With strong but crippled fingers, spider-thin
She chips and claws in fields of filthy ice
To bring the smallest sample to her plate
A superficial sliver will suffice
A morsel, from an undetermined date
Consuming what is dead, but never gone
She celebrates the spirits of the lost
They live inside her soul, and linger on
Ancestral heroes, fighters in the frost
    She finds them where they fell, and where they lie
    And promises their dreams will never die


by Nick Gisburne

He needs a someone. Trevor needs a friend
But nobody will talk, or dance, or play
So when his voices whisper this: “Pretend”
He builds a man, who cannot run away
He calls him Herbert, sings him little songs
And feeds him with the scrapings from his plate
He finally believes that he belongs
But Herbert needs a someone else, a date
And Herbert is not easy to refuse
He grizzles, groans, protesting with a pout
Until, defeated, Trevor lets him choose
A lady, pale, mysterious, and stout
    They do the dirty shuffle in his bed
    But Trevor knows tomorrow they’ll be dead

Friday 15 October 2021

A Pleasure Unsurpassed

by Nick Gisburne

Your unexpected presence, here, today
Provides an opportunity to choke
A leader some, the gullible, would say
Becomes a beacon for the common folk
A price, a heavy penalty, is paid
For trusting words you say, not works you do
Oblivious, we ignorantly trade
Our futures for an empty promise: you
A field of lucky clover, in your hands
Would overflow with twisted weeds and thorns
Am I the only soul who understands?
Does no one see the Devil’s flaming horns?
    A chance, a meeting, destined not to last
    Your death will be a pleasure unsurpassed

The Magic of the Trap

by Nick Gisburne

Degrees beneath the freezing point of pain
She staggers, as a prisoner, in glass
Her feet, her fingers, tainted with a stain
Of blue, a grave malaise which will not pass
The walls are frosty, frigid to the touch
Desiring only freedom, she believes
A pressure point, a tap, too hard, too much
Will shatter the enchantment she perceives
She feels her wings may never warm again
Unless she breaks the magic of the trap
Her captor is the cleverest of men
Whose bones she will unmercifully snap
    The frozen fairy, tricked and bottled, sings
    To break the glass, her prison, as it rings

Almighty Kitten

by Nick Gisburne

Almighty Kitten, God of string and fur
Has found the world a disappointing place
His Angel Bunnies, faithful to The Purr
Are savaging the big blue ball in space
Its mountains, cracking, crumble into dust
The oceans, and the seething seas, boil dry
As earthquakes split the dying planet’s crust
The wicked send their worries to the sky
But Kitten does not hear the humans pray
Distracted by His wrestles with the Moon
As Earth becomes a dirty litter tray
He bursts the Sun, that bothersome balloon
    ’Twas written, twice, that flame shall dance with fish
    The Bunnies, smoking seafood, fill His dish

Thursday 14 October 2021

The Power of the Cards

by Nick Gisburne

The cat perceives the power of the cards
Defiant, with a leap it leaves her hand
The servants, startled, stumble to the guards
Who clearly do not care to understand
Unmoved, around the table, bend the few
Determined that a reading must be done
For if her sight is guided, clear, and true
The fabric of their futures will be spun
The cat, now calm, keeps wickedness away
The cards are turned; they talk with every twist
As darkness falls on this delicious day
It offers what no mortal could resist
    And as the Tarot guides their deepest wish
    They order steak and mushrooms, not the fish

A Variant

by Nick Gisburne

So keen to stretch my secondary spine
My systems miss the Ministry’s machine
And all the pulsing organs that are mine
In sequence are assigned to quarantine
Intrinsic though they all pretend to be
The inorganic pith, when prised apart
Is not the fruit of evolution’s tree
A humanoid, I have no human heart
A surgeon strips the secrets from my face
Synthetic, to the stem of every cell
A Variant, a resurrected race
Forbidden on the streets in which we dwell
    He winks, with something, not a living eye
    My kin, a clone, he will not let me die


by Nick Gisburne

His pictures do not paint a thousand words
I find that only one suffices: shit
The garbage in this gallery of turds
Is travesty, on which I long to spit
No comical cascade of clever speech
Convinces me that this is good, or great
A tortured talent, far beyond my reach
Or splashes any drunkard could create?
He wins, because of course, he was the first
And all who follow throw their paint in vain
Bear witness to the critics, all coerced
To feed the lies they bury in your brain
    I see no skill, no excellence, no art
    Illusions, to be scorned and pulled apart

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Go Deeper

by Nick Gisburne

Go deeper. Pass and penetrate the clouds
Astonished by the brilliance below
A city, where incalculable crowds
Are swarming in the sunlight’s gleam and glow
Go deeper, where the multitudes are real
Relentless, interacting human lives
The smoke, the sounds, colliding stone and steel
A crazy maze of dusty, concrete hives
Go deeper, to the suffocating streets
Where all the pain and pleasure you can find
Destroys the city’s broken heart, which beats
Beneath the defects nobody designed
    Go deeper, through the city, through the skin
    To know it, you must find what walks within

Poisoned Seeds

by Nick Gisburne

We are but the puppets of machines
Servants of a shiny, metal fist
No one knows what living really means
Why do we continue to exist?
Endless, dreary, dreamless days, from birth
Drag us to the precipice of doom
Knowing fate, the future, and its worth
Why would any infant leave the womb?
Are there none among us to rebel?
Heroes, are you hiding in this place?
Is it fear, or cowardice, that smell?
Are we traitors, tainted with disgrace?
    Poisoned seeds, the spawn of poisoned fruit
    Crushed beneath an unrelenting boot

Fairy Spawn

by Nick Gisburne

A cellar, in a city of decay
We sense our souls may not survive the night
No child has time for laughter, song, or play
With blood, with sharpened scraps of bone, we write
The slow, the smallest, stolen by the Fey
Before they see the glory of the dawn
Bewildered, as their essence bleeds away
Are filled and fed, to breed the fairy spawn
A plan of desperation, all we own
May turn the tide, to save what lives remain
Each rune we scratch, in darkness, onto stone
Will resurrect a spirit, snatched and slain
    The fairies do not understand that we
    Are not the helpless children that they see

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Back in Business

by Nick Gisburne

The universe is over, obsolete
It curled up in a corner, far away
Instinctively, the gods deny defeat
And make another, one they’d like to stay
Identifying critical mistakes
In all the failed infinities before
More ice, more mountains, not so many lakes
And definitely, never, any war
The galaxies will not be coming back
Enormous, and impossible to clean
The colour? Simple: space is always black
With possibly a hint of gold, or green
    A final detail, one design to go
    The humans: back in business? It’s a no

Christmas with a Twist

by Nick Gisburne

We’ve had a touch of trouble with the toys
But all the eager wishes on your list
The luxuries, for little girls and boys
Are ready now for Christmas, with a twist
The dollies have a drug-addicted grin
A grimace, warning daughters to conform
And fashions made of rugged reindeer skin
Traditional and festive: wormy, warm
A sensible solution for the sons:
Munitions, with a jingle and a bell
No plastic, these are heavy, metal guns
Illegal, lethal, difficult to sell
    So tie your tiny terrors to the bed
    Unless they want to spend their Christmas dead

Savage Symptoms

by Nick Gisburne

A fallen spectre, moaning with dismay
Displays the savage symptoms of disease
To hold its burning agonies at bay
He swallows potions, poisons, on his knees
No powder can alleviate the pain
No pill provides ethereal relief
The Book of Shade describes this cryptic strain
With loathing, in a language brusque and brief
With every fang and fibre of his ghost
He struggles, locked in torment, cursed, confused
What magnifies his mutilation most:
Regret for prophylactics never used
    One cannot pleasure demons but ignore
    The nauseating beasts they banged before

Monday 11 October 2021


by Nick Gisburne

For Seraphina, Courtesan of Crows
Depravity is everything she needs
A pleasure and a torment to impose
Before her dying, beaten body breeds
Her sexual insanity allows
An infinite diversity of mates
The tortured tongues of innocents arouse
Her mind, her soul, her body, as she waits
A predatory, boundless, carnal greed
Convulses as the victims slide within
Unthinkable, outrageous organs bleed
And violate the surface of her skin
    Her spawning stains the oceans and the skies
    And in this grim fertility she dies

A Balance in the Books

by Nick Gisburne

The faceless, hidden widow is not weak
She chooses not to illustrate her grief
Maligned by fate, her future may be bleak
But life for those who burned it will be brief
The doorway where her lover fell, to die
Beneath the brutal butchery of crooks
Is where she gives her promise, to the sky:
Revenge will write a balance in the books
She knows the ways to hypnotise a man
To shatter his defences is the game
And so she weaves a cold, exquisite plan
For each of seven killers, each the same
    And every worthless victim, lured by hate
    Will pray for life, for mercy, all too late

Blowing on the Breeze

by Nick Gisburne

A smoky, seedy, vicious little coup
Infects this weary nation with the scent
Of knowing there is nothing you can do
Your crooked leaders, all, are sold or spent
But when the fist of military might
Is introduced, abruptly, to your face
When colleagues, neighbours, vanish in the night
Pretend this is a future you embrace
The rains, the storms, may sanitise this land
And leave its people choking in the mud
But tyranny can never understand
A shadow, freedom, saturates the blood
    And though they burn and pillage as they please
    Dissent is always blowing on the breeze

Sunday 10 October 2021

Two Words

by Nick Gisburne

A scientific study has revealed
Unbounded bullshit heaving in your head
A panic room, impenetrably sealed
Could never fully neutralise the spread
You fertilise the universe with crap
A schizophrenic scattering of tripe
Beyond the point where sanity should snap
You suck a stronger poison from your pipe
The sewage spill of sludge you call a mind
Is madness, mayhem, melting in a bowl
Delusion, unavoidably inclined
To vomit incoherence from your soul
    Tonight, tomorrow, each and every day
    Two words describe my feelings: go away

Sleeping Bitch

by Nick Gisburne

She stabs the sleeping beauty through the heart
And takes her place to catch herself a prince
Her spells reveal that one will soon depart
A royal she can gut and grind to mince
They always seek the virginal, the pure
Parading to the peasantry their prize
But this one will be absolutely sure
Of how to love a knife between the eyes
Perhaps he is a rugged, handsome brute
Who rides because his muscles never rest
With all the social graces of a newt
Appreciating nothing but the quest
    But he, who knows the magic of a witch
    Decapitates the evil, sleeping bitch

A World Renewed

by Nick Gisburne

They seal us in the hibernation banks
Now spared the Great Contagion, we will live
The sleep is entered freely, with our thanks
On Doomsday we have nothing else to give
I find I am the only one awake
Surviving countless centuries of sleep
Whatever sterile corridor I take
The dormant are a thousand levels deep
The monitors display a world renewed
A paradise has healed the lands we choked
It waits for us to enter, to intrude
To desecrate its beauty, unprovoked
    Without regret, I reach to pull the plug
    And suffocate my species with a shrug

Saturday 9 October 2021

Government Guidelines: Hope is Cancelled

by Nick Gisburne

Your long-term, lifetime membership to hope
Is cancelled, voided - now, at once, today
A special gift, a noose of nylon rope
Will compensate for what we took away
A more aggressive attitude to fate
Replaces unacceptable belief
That destiny, delivered on a plate
May somehow feed you anything but grief
Your government, of course, is here to serve
With mandatory drugs to calm your mood
Transmitters in the skin, and every nerve
Will train your mind to welcome servitude
    With hope already banished from the head
    Your freedoms, your emotions, all, are dead

Hold the Line

by Nick Gisburne

With every death the circle shrinks again
A hundred, left to generate a force
To save this world of worthless, mortal men
From all the grim descendants of the Norse
Immensities of shadow push and press
To break the bright perfection of the shield
A swarm, a sickness, eager to outguess
Defences they are certain soon must yield
How elegant, how hideous, the thought
That in the deep infinities of space
A hundred sacred sentinels have fought
To keep the gods of darkness from this place
    Another falls, and now the ninety-nine
    Preserve, protect, and pray, to hold the line

The Wreath of Triumph

by Nick Gisburne

Accept the wreath of triumph round your neck
The titles - victor, champion - are yours
But all we see are sideshows, not the cheque
The money makes a winner, not the scores
With generations hungry in their beds
Your wealth could pay to flood the world with food
In places where they severe hands and heads
You guard your words, reluctant to be rude
As kings you rule the pinnacles of sport
But never raise a voice or make a splash
Defending dark agreements to extort
The object of your only passion: cash
    So play the anthems, raise the trophies high
    For triumphs, bought and sold while others die

Friday 8 October 2021

The Ragged Royal T

by Nick Gisburne

There’s killing, when you need it, at a price
A dirty market, evil for a fee
Some other sons of bitches tap you twice
They never met the Ragged Royal T
A quarter buys a bullet in a bar
A penny puts a beating on a boy
A dollar gets a murdered movie star
A dime for any dumbass we destroy
For homicide we haggle, always down
You’ll never find a wallet in your way
A drive-by, for a discount, any town
We punish for whatever you can pay
    When life is cheaper, always undercut
    A nickel? That’s a dagger to the gut

What Was Me

by Nick Gisburne

As all my spiteful nightmares melt and mix
A treatment is decided and assigned
They say it is the only way to fix
The infinite perversions of the mind
But no one lets me understand the cure
Or tells me why there can be no return
Compelled to purge my trauma, to be pure
The name of it is all I ever learn
Lobotomy. A dense, delicious word
A doorway to imaginary lands
The seas, the skies, are bright and blue and blurred
A world of warmth, of silk, and soothing hands
    I live, I breathe, untethered, floating, free
    Unable to remember what was me

Her Perfect Day

by Nick Gisburne

She thinks she is too broken to exist
She thinks there is no sunlight in the sky
She thinks this wine-soaked, morbid, mental mist
Has cheated her pathetic plans to die
She thinks she ruined all she ever built
She thinks that life is ludicrous and long
She thinks there is no refuge from the guilt
Of knowing what she does is always wrong
She thinks that all the good times were a tease
She thinks she will not visit them again
She thinks she knows a way that she can seize
Her spirit from the grip of angry men
    She thinks his death will take her pain away
    And so she waits, and plans her perfect day

Thursday 7 October 2021

Tiny Evil

by Nick Gisburne

If you are such a tiny evil eye
How truly diabolic can you be?
I have a simple question: tell me why
Should anything so tiny trouble me?
In truth, I do not celebrate my size
I cannot shake a mountain to its core
But you, my friend, would certainly be wise
To think of what is easy to ignore
A simple vessel bursting in the brain
A problematic rhythm of the heart
A deepening, debilitating pain
With which affliction would you like to start?
    My evil may be tiny, it is true
    But maybe it is big enough for you

A Source of Power

by Nick Gisburne

I feel the hum of current as it flows
It floods the cables driven through my chest
Mistreated if it fluctuates or slows
The Company pretends that I am blessed
But theirs are sly, repulsive, weasel words
To justify the actions of the State
The citizens, the numb, compliant herds
Could never understand my tortured fate
For I am one of thousands of my race
Whose metal bodies, captive in the Grid
Provide the means for humans to embrace
A source of power other worlds forbid
    Tomorrow, when we reach our date to die
    Perhaps the cold will teach your species why

Another Precious Princess

by Nick Gisburne

Though elegant, your body does not fit
It falls below the standard we expect
Allow us to evolve and alter it
To modify, to polish, to perfect
With molecules of exothermic tin
Injected in defective DNA
The petty imperfections of the skin
In moments will be stripped and sucked away
The knitting of new tissues will take time
But luxury can simplify your stay
And though our service constitutes a crime
Success is worth the premium you pay
    Another precious princess for the lab
    Dissected on a dirty slaughter slab

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Where She Vanishes

by Nick Gisburne

So quiet, in the corners of her mind
The places where no others ever go
They try, but somehow never seem to find
The mystery she hides from them, below
A carpet of deceit conceals the truth
She drags it, rolls it, slithers down the stairs
At one with old obsessions from her youth
Remembering that no one really cares
A silent space, an emptiness inside
No ornament, no shape, no light, no thing
A shelter, where she vanishes, to hide
A place where love and laughter do not sing
    The everlasting darkness and the cold
    More precious to her sanity than gold

All I Ever Wanted

by Nick Gisburne

Her name was 7-64-295
And all I ever wanted was a chance
If only she had known I was alive
Perhaps we could have shared a dream, a dance
I saw her on the Chemical Parade
Dispensing Moral Deviation Sprays
But I, a Serf, an undeserving grade
Was hidden from her Diary of Days
For her, I broke the Sanction, broke the rule
And broke the body she would not betray
My comrades, I confess I was a fool
But vote to give me mercy, please, I pray
    Acknowledging the verdict of the State
    I face the Execution Grid, my fate

Old for New

by Nick Gisburne

I savour every texture of the chase
A touch, a tread, a drifting, subtle scent
I do not have to stand before her face
To know my target’s time is almost spent
The grasses, where she wandered from the street
Divided, flecked with particles of oil
Beyond, the soles of heavy, booted feet
Abrasions show a stumble in the soil
Her future, as a fugitive, is grim
The penalty is permanent and steep
Confronted, caught, her eyes are wide, but dim
Her plea a small, bewildered, mournful beep
    Mechanicals. I pity them. I do
    But she will be recycled, old for new

Tuesday 5 October 2021

The Dirtiest Taboo

by Nick Gisburne

The sweetest, but the dirtiest, taboo
Is forging an imaginative thought
Be sure, be very certain, if you do
The sin, and you, the sinner, will be caught
The engines of surveillance do not rest
A boundless network infiltrates the mind
Omniscient, with energy unguessed
A deviance is effortless to find
Deception is a necessary skill
To speak of such a crime we could be shot
But those within our circle train their will
We think, while those beyond these walls do not
    Decide your future: leave, or follow me
    Asleep, a slave, or conscious, clear, and free

The Greedy Feeder

by Nick Gisburne

I am the greedy feeder you despise
Obese beyond the point of no return
The banquet overflows before my eyes
For all of this, for more than this, I yearn
Engorge me with whatever you may find
There is no substance I will not ingest
Of all the tragic tales of humankind
Perhaps I am the one you most detest
For in these folds of fat, this fleshy face
Are all the dark indulgences you crave
I know you long for pleasure, to debase
Your body. Unfulfilled, you are a slave
    Deny yourself, forever and a day
    Or bow to greed and feed the pain away

Just a Taste

by Nick Gisburne

Persuasive though her words appear to be
She knows the time for double-talk has passed
The hissing creature, tangled in the tree
Has charms she cannot endlessly outlast
Each supple, sliding, shimmer of the scales
Reminds her she is easily deceived
The Master will be angry if she fails
Excuses are so seldomly believed
What brings this slinking charlatan today
Dismantling the armour of her mind?
The sweet enchantment fills her with dismay
It leaves her doubts, and all her questions, blind
    What harm, a fruit, delicious, pure and chaste?
    Perhaps a bite, a sliver, just a taste?

Where the Fairies Fall

by Nick Gisburne

There is a hole, a woeful, wicked place
A darkness, where the fairies fall to die
Where nightmares scratch enchantments from the face
And pluck the shining pearls of tooth and eye
The light, the life, of stolen wings is drained
As milk for grim elixirs, drop by drop
And with the body ruthlessly restrained
Its innocence is punished, tail to top
The fairy, ragged, wretched, without hope
Becomes a toy for diabolic play
Until, forgotten, bound by chains and rope
A final drop of magic drips away
    The pain, for every fairy, is their curse
    A fate no spell, no stardust, can reverse

Monday 4 October 2021

The Spirit of the Witch

by Nick Gisburne

The threads of life are severed, stitch by stitch
To bleed the soul, to pull apart the dream
I cut, to free the spirit of the witch
And, from the deepest pit of pain, a scream
I bring the cold corruption of a touch
The scrape of ice, a sliver on the spine
Each slit, each stripe, too many, and too much
A sacrilege to make her magic mine
I burn the bitter tallow of her soul
It shimmers as the essence slowly seeps
Until, at last, in shining shades of coal
I see her spirit, kneeling, and it weeps
    My fingers crush the creature to its death
    Its powers pulled within me, with a breath

Live Life

by Nick Gisburne

The tattoo of your story, in my skin
Reveals I have no reason to exist
Offended by your faith, I must begin
To free myself, to turn away, to twist
Protecting every disappointing place
Has tested my commitment as your god
Let all the might and majesty of space
Astound you, from the common to the odd
The world is not a blessing, nor a curse
Your fate is freedom, here, beneath the skies
Consider: what is better, what is worse
My pity, or the anger in these eyes?
    You have no use for me, nor I for you
    Live life, live long, live well, in all you do


by Nick Gisburne

You once controlled me; now you never will
Today I took that energy away
Beside me, broken, cold, forever still
Your lips, at last, have nothing more to say
I see the rage, the hatred in your face
The fury you were saving there, for me
Of all the dark emotions in that place
Were these the ones you wanted me to see?
Our lives were drenched with danger, by design
Outrageous highs, and devastating lows
But in your heart, your spirit, and your spine
Were demons, too appalling to expose
    If murder was forgiven, for a price
    I’d pay to bring you back, and kill you twice

Clever Clockwork

by Nick Gisburne

Behind the busy fairground walks a man
Who gives to little children who are lost
A clever, clockwork robot, if he can
But every precious plaything has its cost
As part of some imaginary game
The tiny toys are hidden out of sight
In time, these tin contraptions take the name
Of those who sleep beside them in the night
And creeping, crawling, silent on the stairs
Each nervous but enthusiastic child
Abandoning the life and love he shares
Is led by clever clockwork to the wild
    The robots reach their maker, to be wound
    But nothing of the child is ever found

Sunday 3 October 2021

Something More

by Nick Gisburne

She knows there is no other here on Earth
The rescue ships departed long ago
But something more, a god, is given birth
A light, within a castle, in the snow
She wonders, as she struggles to the door
Exactly what a god will have to say
To someone lost, forgotten by a war
On this, her broken planet’s final day
He gives her food, and shelter from the cold
But has no form, no face, that she can tell
His voice is young, but infinitely old
A perfect stranger, yet she knows him well
    A friend, a god, a shadow from the deep
    She follows him, to everlasting sleep

The Prophecy Machine

by Nick Gisburne

Enter this, the prophecy machine
Slide beneath the sickness and the scum
Liberate the nightmares you have seen
Find the face of what you will become
Power, from perversion, is your right
See the fate, the future, you must rule
Swim among the sacraments of night
Taste the poisoned pleasures of the pool
Somehow you contaminate this place
This was not a scene we ever saw
You are devastation, death, disgrace
Spare us. Save us. Let us show you more
    Is this how the universe must crack?
    All we see, infinity, is black

Poor David

by Nick Gisburne

With every penny, David buys a thought
He pulls them from the pocket of his coat
But if the shiny coin is ever caught
A fool will find a dagger at his throat
Poor David has no appetite for pain
A murderer manipulates his mind
The pennies are a pestilence, profane
His mother, steeped in sorcery, designed
Corrupting David’s innocence for spite
She mutilates the mindless with her blade
The coins are always burnished, always bright
But tainted with her sick, sadistic shade
    If David throws a coin for you to catch
    Remember what his mother seeks to snatch

Saturday 2 October 2021


by Nick Gisburne

Hello, human. Do not be afraid
Tell me how inadequate you feel
What is this reality you made?
Are you sure the misery is real?
I am not the architect of dreams
But I see the torment in your mind
Life is not the tragedy it seems
You are not the weakest of your kind
Put these words, this wisdom, in your care
Do not waste a tiny tick of time
In your darkest moment of despair
Find the peak, the highest mountain. Climb
    Try, because you must. You feel it. Try
    Take a step, your first, towards the sky

The Brothers

by Nick Gisburne

In bondage to the deviant divine
We celebrate the haemorrhage, the birth
The sacred mother, opened to the spine
Releases them, the Brothers, to the earth
A doubleton, a parity of pain
They writhe within the other’s twisted form
We shed our shame and, naked, beg to drain
The liquids of our life, to feed the storm
The god of mercy cowers at the sight
Of creatures more immoral, more obscene
Than all the dark depravities of night
Monstrosities, they cross the gulf between
    The Brothers are the evil and the end
    And, bathed in blood, together, they descend

In the Salt

by Nick Gisburne

Upon the plains of sacrifice and bone
The salt, the sprays of waves of war, is spread
A curse upon the giants, overthrown
Forgotten monsters, sleeping, silent, dead
The Sisters of Starvation scratch for food
For scraps, for morsels, fragments in the sands
Returning to their church, an eager brood
Is fed by old, degenerative hands
A thousand years of desiccated flesh
Will satisfy their appetites no more
No undiscovered specimen, still fresh
Is hidden in the salt through which they pore
    The wars were over, centuries ago
    But death for their descendants will be slow

Friday 1 October 2021

A Mockery of Chance

by Nick Gisburne

She slices desperation from her skin
But covers to perfection every cut
So secretive no stranger could begin
To know the tides, the torment, in her gut
Narcotics dull the suffering with sleep
Without them, tension tightens at her throat
Depression is a shadow, quick to creep
To pull her deeper, powerless to float
A prison - life, a mockery of chance
A world of endless walls, without a door
But sometimes, in a moment, in a trance
She finds a piece of what she was before
    She spins, bewildered, tortured by the traps
    And stumbles to the threshold of collapse

Flowers on the Grave

by Nick Gisburne

How elegant, the flowers on the grave
From those of us who longed to see him dead
Remembering the punishments he gave
Sadistic whippings, beatings, till we bled
A brute, a thug, a villain, he believed
That reverence for infamy is all
And poisoned by perversity conceived
A scheme to scratch his name on every wall
But history is littered with the weak
A catalogue of sinners, on their knees
The scum, the human filth, of whom I speak
Was dirty with unspeakable disease
    The universe finds pleasure in the joke
    Whenever men, too sick to prosper, choke