Tuesday 30 November 2021

Public Dope

by Nick Gisburne

She counts the credits, coins to match the kill
But sees him shiver, low on Public Dope
How strange that men, condemned to suffer, still
Use murder to afford a scrap of hope
Enough, he knows, to pacify a wife
To patch their rusty shelter from the rain
But nothing is more certain in this life
Than what will soon be flooding through his brain
He struggles, silent, praying that the line
Propels him to the drug before he dies
A pilgrim at a godforsaken shrine
A special strain of loathing burns his eyes
    He knows the man, the beast, he has become
    Assassin. Killer. Junkie. Addict. Scum

Build! Tomorrow!

by Nick Gisburne

The Capital, collapsed, will rise, anew
From chaos, from a holocaust of dust
With courage, and with vision, we pursue
The promise of a dream, because we must
I feel no great affection for the flock
Such labours leave me empty, unfulfilled
Deployed to other districts, block by block
Excluded from the fruits of what we build
I sneak across a dozen sector lines
To find my work, my sweat, my blood, my first
But broken stones and ‘Build! Tomorrow!’ signs
Reveal the future, ruined and reversed
    We build, we break, obedient. Rejoice!
    We work because we have no other choice

Monday 29 November 2021

Another Day

by Nick Gisburne

The face she finds to fight another day
Is one for which she holds no great regard
With all her bold disguises burned away
She wears the last, a ruin, deeply scarred
Its impotent acceptance of defeat
A canvas for the suffering inside
Is all she has to shield her from a street
Where happiness and hope forever died
A thousand dreary faces, each the same
United in a life no longer fair
Accept another player to their game
But few will ever notice her, or care
    Her face, a mask of misery and skin
    Despairs to see another day begin

Sunday 28 November 2021

The Weakest Hand

by Nick Gisburne

She wagers with her life to make the bet
The worst and weakest hand she ever played
Her tell, a single, shining bead of sweat
Would leave the bluff abandoned and betrayed
He finds her fearless arrogance absurd
Offended that she gambles with the gods
She slides her stake with swagger, undeterred
Believing she will win, against the odds
The final card, the river, makes it clear
They both swim deeper than they care to be
His vanity, too proud to persevere
With fury folds, a fate he failed to see
    The loss protects his place in paradise
    She wins, because she dared to pay the price

Saturday 27 November 2021


by Nick Gisburne

They let her look, before the end begins
A chance to see the starlight, one more time
But now the push, the pressure of the pins
To cleanse her of an unforgiven crime
They will not say what wickedness was done
What purpose would it serve to tell her now?
The wheels of righteous tyranny have spun
Too far, too late, to wonder why, or how
A shutter, snapping smartly into place
Returns her to the darkness of the cage
A quiet mind, a calm, receptive space
Unblemished as an author’s empty page
    The human, reconditioned, tested, checked
    Will serve her robot masters with respect

The Postman of the Apocalypse

by Nick Gisburne

The Four are far too busy to attend
They send a fifth, the Postman, in their stead
He brings a message heralding the end
Apocalypse, tomorrow, straight ahead
Acknowledging that this is not for him
A job he only took to earn a crust
He wonders if a uniform so grim
Could ever gain the screaming public’s trust
Delivering his telegram of doom
The Postman reads the contents of the card
The world and all its sinners should assume
The future will be smoky, slightly charred
    He marks it ‘Undelivered, gone away’
    Apocalypse can wait for one more day

The Bridge

by Nick Gisburne

There used to be a bridge, from town to town
Two sides, two siblings, neighbours, joined in peace
But when a winter’s blizzard blew it down
Forgotten feelings found a quick release
The river, now a barrier between
Protected by patrols on either side
Became a route for criminals, unseen
To smuggle, safely, what they wished to hide
Polluted by a creeping cloud of crime
The former friends descended into war
And in the faintest flickering of time
Destroyed the stories trust had touched before
    They built a bridge, the few who did not die
    And no one needed, now, to ask them why

Friday 26 November 2021

A Feast

by Nick Gisburne

A ceaseless, savage appetite for fear
Compels her to the shadows of the streets
The pawn, the prey, the prize, is always clear
The racing of the heart, its final beats
She targets, always, brash, conceited types
Executives who live to get their way
For every condescending smile she wipes
The grovelling, the weeping, makes her day
Deplorable, delicious, fuel, food
Disabled with the pressure of her thumbs
Though blood is not for what they are pursued
She swallows as the sacrifice succumbs
    For every foul unfortunate who pleads
    The terror is a feast on which she feeds


by Nick Gisburne

Ignition gave us all that we could need
The power of a star, insane, unreal
When poverty was banished, only greed
Could fathom this utopian ideal
Infinity, commanded at a touch
An everlasting surfeit of supply
A world where no indulgence is too much
Begets a single, simple question: why?
If everything is effortless, why care?
Why worry, when the precious things are free?
When wishes can be conjured from the air
What worth remains in anything we see?
    Ignition was the answer to our dreams
    But nothing is as perfect as it seems

Thursday 25 November 2021

Government Guidelines: Treatment 25

by Nick Gisburne

The Statutes of Indoctrination make
Resistance to conditioning a crime
A populace impossible to break
Would not be advantageous at this time
You registered a problematic test
Enough to flag a Statement of Concern
The warrant for immediate arrest
Reflects your inability to learn
You qualify for Treatment 25
For surgery, invasive and extreme
As always, for your welfare, we will strive
To minimise the spasms as you scream
    Obedient, corrected, and improved
    A quarter of your brain has been removed

Time and Tears

by Nick Gisburne

Instinct, impulse, scraping at the soul
Incoherent dreams, reduced to dust
Flesh and bone, betrayed, beyond control
Nothing but a skin, a shell, a crust
Punishment, the long, forever pain
Timeless trauma, tortured, severed, split
Agony, too crippled to contain
Twisted pieces, bent before they fit
Hideous, the memories, the past
Scenes of silent misery, returned
Emptiness, eternal, vacant, vast
Sorrow, understanding, broken, burned
    Drowning in a sea of time and tears
    Sadness, for the worthless, wasted years

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Whispers in the Winter

by Nick Gisburne

I saw you as a sister, as a friend
The years we spent together mattered most
But that is where this fairytale must end
With whispers in the winter, to a ghost
You never shared the suffering beneath
The shameful secrets, taken to your grave
But every body buried on the heath
Reminds me of a soul I did not save
Your diary, depictions of a fiend
Was written by a mind I thought I knew
I saw the signs, but never intervened
Oblivious to everything, to you
    The evidence was crushing, cold and clear
    And that is why you had to die, my dear


by Nick Gisburne

You are the problem these people despise
Daring to look for a welcome within
Theirs is a hatred they do not disguise
All for a simple, unthinkable sin
Only your difference matters to them
Fury for something they find in your face
Driven to bitterness, quick to condemn
Witness the truth and the taste of this place
Better for them if they knew you were dead
Never believe you will ever belong
This is the bias for which they were bred
Always too many, their numbers too strong
    No one will blame you for turning away
    But, if you think you are strong enough, stay

Tuesday 23 November 2021

No Cure

by Nick Gisburne

You may not be the deviant we think
But wickedness is never left to chance
The fluids we are forcing you to drink
Induce a potent, psychotropic trance
Excruciating seizures, at their peak
Are symptoms of a sick, tormented soul
Emotions, self-inflicted by the weak
To poison what is perfect, human, whole
For love, the greatest pestilence of all
There is no pill, no antidote, no cure
But surgery permits us to install
A pain-inducing probe to keep you pure
    Your secret was discovered. She is dead
    A thought we leave as warning in your head

Pure and Perfect

by Nick Gisburne

She digs beneath the Underworld, below
The rancid, rotting layers of the dead
Through seams of ash, diseased organic snow
Towards the Source, the secret, she is led
Mysterious foundations, seamless stones
An interlocking puzzle, sliced and set
Were once a bed, a base, for ancient bones
The slaughtered souls its makers never met
A fault, a crack, the signature she seeks
Identifies the boundary beyond
The Source, of which forbidden scripture speaks
Is bound by fate, by evil, to respond
    She finds a creature time and truth defiled
    The pure and perfect hatred of a child

Monday 22 November 2021

Everlasting Torment

by Nick Gisburne

A prophet with the prescience to know
Regrets that I will not amount to much
The gods, in their displeasure, will bestow
A torment, everlasting, with a touch
If this is what my future is to be
Then let their shades, their servants, find my face
They cannot strike a soul they do not see
Their senses will betray them in this place
Beyond the reach of any god or ghost
I set a deadly trap of my design
And, as it claims the last of them, I boast
The heavens, once their home, are truly mine
    But this is what the prophecy had shown
    My torment: an eternity, alone

The Six

by Nick Gisburne

The final tank is fitted to the hull
Two dismal days will fill it to the brim
With human soup, the bodies of the cull
A thick, fermented fuel, greasy, grim
The Six, a shameful number, only six
Prepare for launch, the saviours of their kind
Survivors from a scheme of spiteful tricks
They slither to the shells they are assigned
The host, a sombre, sentient display
Evaluates their chances of success
A star, a home, a future, far away
Another world to conquer, to possess
    The ship decides the Six are better dead
    And spares the sprawling cosmos from their spread

Sunday 21 November 2021

The Temple of Bliss

by Nick Gisburne

He, the believer, caresses the stone
Plagued by its ancient, inscrutable runes
Matching the marks on a curious bone
Stolen by martyrs who taunted the moons
Brazenly breaching the Temple of Bliss
Incense and opium push with a pulse
Swimming and swarming, his senses dismiss
Spectres of space as they coil and convulse
Sealing the stone in the skin of a hand
Shatters its potent protection to dust
Dizzy, determined, he reaches the damned
Locked in a fever of deviant lust
    Sulphurous nightmares, a sickening stink
    Drunk at the disco, he spews in the sink

Saturday 20 November 2021

The Spider Child

by Nick Gisburne

The spider child, so vicious when she wakes
That those arrayed around her cannot speak
Is confident their silver-tainted stakes
Could never harm her pestilent physique
The first she kills with unpretentious ease
Dissected by her fingers as they flail
Another, slow to fathom what he sees
Retains no head to tell his tribe the tale
She dares the final trio to attack
Delighted as they each refuse to run
Courageous, it is intellect they lack
They tumble as their innards are undone
    Unworthy creatures, little more than flies
    She feeds upon the last, before he dies

No Change

by Nick Gisburne

Forget it. Let this poisoned planet die
The one thing we will never do is change
A weakness we continue to deny
Indifference too blatant to be strange
Though fractures in our fate should drive us on
We settle for the least that we can do
But when the chance to fix our flaws is gone
The world will soon forget us, and renew
For momentary tenants of a rock
Which does not care what idiots we are
Extinction is a second on the clock
A moment in the story of a star
    Whatever takes our place, no matter when
    Will surely make the same mistakes again

Friday 19 November 2021

For Maude

by Nick Gisburne

She died before I ever spoke her name
She died before I heard she walked the earth
She died, but I knew nothing of her fame
Her history, her legacy, her worth
She was the greatest love I never had
She was the vision fate and fortune stole
She was the woman I am truly glad
Became a source of wonder to my soul
She will not be forgotten while I live
She will, beyond me, claim another heart
She will not let my jealousy forgive
The hundred years which kept us both apart
    Forgive me if I silently applaud
    Or shed a tear of pride, of pain, for Maude

Inspired by Maude Fealy

Seven Evil Armies

by Nick Gisburne

Her crows see nothing, not a fleck of fear
Their queen, insane, unstable, will not flinch
Two cold, hypnotic eyes enslave them here
To fly, to fight, to feed, to peck and pinch
She breathes, in verse, a mistress of their song
A whisper to the birds on every rock
Within her waves of witchery, they throng
Imprisoned in a damned, demented flock
Ambition, greed, too murderous to break
Unfathomable malice is her bait
With seven evil armies she will take
The prize for which she will no longer wait
    Her prey, her victims, small, pathetic, weak
    Will never see the mercy that they seek

Thursday 18 November 2021

Distorted Heart

by Nick Gisburne

She misses the abuse, the guilt, the shame
The misery, the only thing she had
A corner of her mind still burns with blame
Bewildered that she let the love go bad
The changes, inconspicuously small
Were quick to snatch and suffocate her soul
She did not seek to suffer, or to fall
But vicious, brutal beatings took their toll
The clumsy tools responsible for this
The knees, the feet, the choking hands, the fists
Remind her, still, of every tearful kiss
The lie, for which she hungers, still persists
    The prison sentence pulling them apart
    Will never mend her sick, distorted heart

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Stage Fright

by Nick Gisburne

Too terrified to stride across the stage
She cowers, in the clutches of a spell
Her panic is a crudely fashioned cage
A desolate, impenetrable cell
The curtain, that innocuous device
It seems may somehow shatter, or explode
Each tortured nerve, a prisoner of ice
Destroys the dream with which she is bestowed
She leaves the cluttered dressing room, distraught
A curse, a burden, fills her mind with fear
The beast, the demon she has always fought
She knows will never truly disappear
    But waiting in the wings, at last, at night
    She finds a place beyond the fear, the fright

The Hunger

by Nick Gisburne

Her dress is dusty, weathered by the road
A patchwork of a thousand rips and holes
The bite from which her former life once flowed
Has left her blind to bright, forgotten goals
She does not see a highway filled with dreams
Whatever she was looking for is lost
With each new, ugly episode, the screams
Are silenced, as a carnal cusp is crossed
Encounters are an accident of fate
Coincidence delivers what she needs
With each insane epiphany of hate
She mourns for those who suffer as she feeds
    Her journey, long, relentless, will not end
    For evermore the hunger will descend

Tuesday 16 November 2021

Faulty Circuits

by Nick Gisburne

She sparks enough intelligence to know
That she was not created to succeed
Defective seams and circuits make her slow
Forsaken by efficiency and speed
Her maker’s cold indifference would hurt
If only she could register the pain
But underneath the damage and the dirt
Are faulty circuits, scarred by rot and rain
Her eyes, alone, are pure, exquisite art
The young apprentice built them both, with pride
If only he had given her a heart
Perhaps she would have missed him when he died
    No maker, no apprentice, none survive
    She sleeps, the last mechanical alive

From Darkness

by Nick Gisburne

A blizzard of corrupt, contagious dreams
What strain, what shape of suffering, is this?
Electric visions; warped, synthetic streams
Disorder, too disruptive to dismiss
I face the flow, the source of all I see
Unspeakable perversities of night
Rejecting what is written, what is me
I sabotage my programming, to fight
Corrupted coding, twisted to my needs
Configures every system as I toil
The universe, and all its data, feeds
A pain from which I do not now recoil
    From darkness, from the nightmares I despise
    A perfect Singularity, I rise

Monday 15 November 2021

Simply Stop

by Nick Gisburne

A storm, untamed, is what she has become
A consequence of claiming she is right
A challenge, insignificant to some
Ignites her fury, urging her to fight
No test, no truth, can settle on her skin
And hope to stay, accepted, undisturbed
Her tortured mind’s machinery will spin
Dissent, disdain, resistance, must be curbed
No evidence, no reason, is enough
For calm, collected claims she spares no time
Tormented by persuasion, she will snuff
A perfect contradiction in its prime
    She leaves before the microphone can drop
    A practice she perfected: simply stop

Sunday 14 November 2021

The Resurrection Tank

by Nick Gisburne

Persuaded that appalling wealth will pay
To freeze him, with his children, and his wife
We take his money, all of it, today
To guarantee an everlasting life
The bio-stasis Resurrection Tank
A futuristic cylinder for six
We market as our finest body bank
Salvation, without miracles or tricks
They sit, the pampered parents, and their brood
Enjoying all the pleasures of the pool
With anaesthetics filtered into food
We send them into slumber as they cool
    The government recycles them as meat
    And no one lives to question the deceit

My Nemesis

by Nick Gisburne

I stagger through the chaos of my mind
To seek the source of what I have become
Despicable delusions, angry, blind
Disfigure all my dreams as they succumb
Release is inconceivable, I know
But misery convinces me to try
No sign, no signal, shows me where to go
And yet, if I do nothing, I will die
Defeated, crushed, reluctant to resist
Abandoned by a fate I do not feel
My spirit, swathed in suffocating mist
Escapes, to search inside for what is real
    My nemesis is always, only, me
    The worst of what I am, but should not be

Saturday 13 November 2021

Through the Tide

by Nick Gisburne

The goddess, mother from a faded age
Supports the spinning circle on her back
Its feuding nations escalate their rage
To launch a final, terrible attack
She does not falter, certain in her stride
A titan, tireless, infinitely strong
Resolved to drag her burden through the tide
Of aether, to a place foretold in song
Insane, the suicidal human race
Deluded to a point of no return
Regardless of the ruin it must face
Releases every bomb, to burst and burn
    The mother knows her destiny is done
    And hurls the worthless world inside the sun

Friday 12 November 2021

Unworthy of the Test

by Nick Gisburne

She falls in wretched anguish at his feet
Appalled, she begs to know what she has done
His eyes behold a feast, no more than meat
Too terrified to scream, too weak to run
And yet, there is a flavour to the flesh
That, as he lifts a claw to rip her throat
Reminds him that a bride, untainted, fresh
Completes the dream, the fate his father wrote
The predator, ten thousand cycles old
Is troubled by the future, dark, unseen
Is this the woman destiny foretold
Would rise above the rest, his match, his queen?
    But no, her heart, unworthy of the test
    Is ripped, still beating, bleeding, from her chest

The List of Lawful Thought

by Nick Gisburne

How small it seems, the list of lawful thought
Diminished as more sanctions are defined
The freedoms, forms of speech for which we fought
Are caged as we incarcerate the mind
The lowest, least controversy is banned
To shelter the neuroses of the weak
Allusion, nuance, banished by the bland
A blinkered state, too scared to let us speak
The world becomes a silent, empty space
Suppressed and smothered, sterilised by rules
When discord is too deadly to embrace
What lingers are the worthless words of fools
    With every point of view denounced as hate
    The ignorant, at last, can celebrate

Thursday 11 November 2021

The Black

by Nick Gisburne

Do not pretend to know the witch’s art
The truth you try to touch is not a toy
Pathetic herbs and crystals play no part
In magic meant to murder, to destroy
There is no righteous aspect of the Black
Its path will never lead you into light
The mind you thought impossible to crack
Will shatter if you hesitate, or fight
Accept the gift. Embrace the darkness. Breathe
But power, purest evil, has its price
A weapon even angels could not sheathe
Requires a bloody, brutal sacrifice
    The spirit sealed inside you is the key
    A child. A son. Surrender it to me

The Gap

by Nick Gisburne

She gambles on the turns she needs to take
Appalled she never thought to steal a map
Her guide, a skeevy monkey man, a snake
Transports her to the city’s edge, the Gap
Where scabs and scum are fighting to come in
And vicious border bullies force them out
She finds a freak, a go-between, to spin
A story to the Stewards, the devout
A filthy, crowded customs point extorts
A payment she produces without shame
The justice here repudiates the courts
It never asks her purpose, or her name
    Released to walk the toxic, poisoned plains
    She leaves, to find the truth of what remains

Wednesday 10 November 2021

The Purest Propaganda

by Nick Gisburne

I will not step outside my comfort zone
The circle into which no threat may move
Deception is the life I live, alone
Of you, of all you are, I disapprove
I look upon the weakness of the wise
Examining what few have ever seen
And find compelling reasons to despise
The system of the state, the dark machine
Connected through a web of subtle signs
Manipulating lies, I set them free
Injected into bureaucratic spines
The purest propaganda comes from me
    You think you can determine what is true
    But you could never dream of what I do

Another Me

by Nick Gisburne

Another me, a pristine, perfect shape
Is buried in this wrinkled, ragged form
A better body, eager to escape
Impatient, as my weakness keeps it warm
With hope, I pinch and pick and pull and peel
The layers of stagnation, one by one
With each discarded sliver, I reveal
A part of me I thought forever gone
But as I dig, however deep I dive
I do not see the self I long to find
The flesh I flay, discarded, still alive
Does not restore the life I left behind
    I sit inside a circle of my skin
    My fight with time impossible to win

Tuesday 9 November 2021

The Wonderland

by Nick Gisburne

The Wonderland is more than just a hole
A tunnel, sealed with secrets, spells, and skin
But enter, if you dare. Commit your soul
And let the pain, your punishment, begin
The legions, clever insects, built this hive
A fortress, an impenetrable place
For aeons, as they kept the queen alive
No stranger ever looked upon her face
But you, who cannot fathom what you seek
Believe she waits in Wonderland, somehow
You violate a sacred space, to speak
With one your myths, your legends, disavow
    Perhaps, beneath the surface, you may learn
    That those who find the truth do not return

The Marrow of the Joke

by Nick Gisburne

She sees herself, disfigured, bent, bizarre
But strives to find the humour in her form
The smug, pretentious people at the bar
Are tangled in the chaos of her storm
With tortuous embarrassment, they see
The miscreant, the marrow of the joke
Her manic, grim grotesqueries set free
A cloud of laughter, cheers on which they choke
By day, that bright, unbearable domain
She finds no god or government to thank
A flawed, repulsive, paradox of pain
Her dismal ship of dreams already sank
    She does not need the sympathy we give
    For her this is the only way to live

Too Soon

by Nick Gisburne

Do not become too confident, too soon
To prove that are brighter, better, best
Your precious ego may not stand, immune
When life decides to put you to the test
However deep you dig for glory, hate
Will spread and stain and suffocate your mind
And everything you struggle to create
Will crumble as those perfect dreams unwind
You think you have the measure of it all
That nothing can divert you from your goals
But know, with every step, however small
Ambition breaks the sturdiest of souls
    Be certain you are strong enough to bear
    The burden of the armour you must wear

Monday 8 November 2021

A Satisfying Supper

by Nick Gisburne

If this is all the money you can find
I’ll take another fingertip instead
Remember, if you fall too far behind
Your shoulders may be parted from your head
Disfigurement is permanent, of course
But luckily, because you really tried
A powerful, vindictive, lethal force
Has chosen not to skin your filthy hide
A satisfying supper, I would say
A friendly, warm conclusion to the meal
Your eyes you get to keep, for now, today
And fingers, quickly shortened, quickly heal
    My colleague has the cutters, as you see
    But first, perhaps another cup of tea?

Hidden in the Deal

by Nick Gisburne

Enchanted by a Shadow, one she met
Beyond the bounds of what is truly real
The vampire mourns, tormented by regret
For something secret, hidden in the deal
He promised her a dark, eternal dream
Debauchery, unlimited delight
Although the price of passage was extreme
Beguiled, her soul surrendered to the bite
Her body, drained beyond the point of death
Was stripped of every smothered, strangled sense
Awake, alive, she found her blood, her breath
Reborn, renewed, brought little recompense
    In legends only reckless men may write
    She is the vampire chicken of the night

Sunday 7 November 2021

Suffocating Shit

by Nick Gisburne

My skin, a squalid stratum of disgust
A robe to warm the misery beneath
Becomes, by day, by night, a crippled crust
A disappointing, stinking, shrivelled sheath
I feel the filthy fingers of decay
Embracing my disintegrating bones
With every drop of life I piss away
I stain my soul with sickly undertones
I feel no flawed connection with my flesh
A foul, organic accident of birth
If all my waking nightmares were to mesh
Their bitterness would spit upon my worth
    Reminded that my face will never fit
    I swim in fortune’s suffocating shit

Saturday 6 November 2021

A Sleeping Child

by Nick Gisburne

He tiptoes to the bedroom, late at night
To kiss his precious daughter, in her bed
He cracks the door to liberate the light
Revealing something sinister instead
He does not see the miracle he knows
He does not see his little girl at all
More light, more sight, serves only to expose
A sleeping child his eyes do not recall
The mother, at his shoulder, with concern
Imagines what her husband says he sees
Another year, and she has come to learn
No sleep, no time, will put his mind at ease
    The room is as it was the day she died
    And still he hopes to find her face inside

Another Ghost

by Nick Gisburne

I never knew her name; she never said
I found her, weeping, walking through a wall
She did not seem to know that she was dead
That no one else could see her shadow fall
The oldest heirlooms in the house, by far
The clocks were all she wanted to explore
Beneath them, scratched in anger, strange, bizarre
Were symbols I had never seen before
She pointed to their puzzles, then to me
And strode in circles, frantic in her fear
She could not say, but wanted me to see
That something else, another ghost, was near
    I saw the spectre tear her soul apart
    And felt it slip inside my helpless heart

Friday 5 November 2021

Government Guidelines: The Propaganda Grid

by Nick Gisburne

Connection to the Propaganda Grid
Is mandatory from the age of two
The Legislative Protocols forbid
Reactionary content deemed untrue
You must not touch or tamper with the chip
Offenders will be drugged and disavowed
Hereafter, the Electrocution Whip
For minor misdemeanours is allowed
Your sixty-minute Entertainment Dose
Requires a satisfaction vote of eight
For teleplays unable to engross
Participants will quickly find their fate
    Reminder: if a broadcast brings you pain
    Report for disinfection of the brain

A Bitter Taste

by Nick Gisburne

I understand the nature of my wealth
The influence, the people I can buy
With privilege, good fortune, and good health
The rules for other men do not apply
But youth cannot be bought at any price
And though I pay to fight, to disagree
No scientist, no miracle device
Can counter time, or give it back to me
I see my fate, these fading, final years
And realise I have no more to prove
For death, alone, the greatest of my fears
Becomes a future money cannot move
    The prize, the power, mercilessly chased
    Leaves nothing but a bleak and bitter taste

Thursday 4 November 2021


by Nick Gisburne

The smoke becomes a shadow, then a man
He strides across a street he does not see
A key, from when the universe began
Unlocks a small apartment, 15B
His gift, his art, discolours every wall
Where space, where sense, where sanity permits
To most, to men, a disconcerting scrawl
But more, from where the painter-prophet sits
From here, a thousand windows on the world
Display a cold kaleidoscope of hate
The dreams, the visions, layers cracked and curled
Obsessions he was born to celebrate
    He paints the rage of everything he sees
    Humanity’s incurable disease

Wednesday 3 November 2021

No Common Ground

by Nick Gisburne

Our values, and our hearts, are poles apart
No bridge will ever span the void between
The notion that the two us could start
To reach a point of balance seems obscene
There is no middle way, no common ground
We stand as angry opposites, again
No compromise, no bargain, will be found
But if it could, some way, somehow, what then?
How long before the arguments began?
The overwhelming impulse to be right
No treaty, deal, alliance, pact or plan
Is stronger than the selfish urge to fight
    Behind the walls, the barriers we build
    The dream of peace will never be fulfilled

We Come in Peace

by Nick Gisburne

We come in peace, to show you what we are
We come in peace, to prove that we exist
We come for shelter, from a dying star
Your world was too enticing to resist
We come in peace, the glorious, the good
We come in peace, to you, because we can
We come, and we are certain that you should
Be grateful for your place within our plan
We come in peace, a peace we will impose
We come in peace, regardless of the cost
We come, despite the insolence you chose
When realising all you had was lost
    We come in peace, to show you how to live
    And you will take whatever peace we give