Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Pretending to Be Kings

by Nick Gisburne



We used to play, pretending to be kings,
Enchanted by the magic of the moon,
But simple, sweet, imaginary things
Were stolen from our fingertips, too soon.
Remember how we thundered into war,
The battles on the beaches, in the trees.
In breathless wonder, eager to explore,
We swam and sang and marched for miles, with ease.
Adventures, stories, legends. We were there,
In storms of stardust, glittering with gold,
But no one ever warned us to prepare
For days when all our dreams would crumble, cold.
    When kingdoms fly and flourish, fall and fade,
    We see them, in the memories we made.

A Shimmering Immortal

by Nick Gisburne



Triumphant to be first to hold the head,
I falter, faint, afraid to make the move,
The power of her presence, even dead,
A mystery my work is primed to prove.
Reports, relayed by telegram, to me,
Rejected by the faculty, of course,
Were always too profound for some to see,
But here I stand, as witness, at the source.
A goddess, fallen, locked in limbo, lost,
A shimmering immortal, Mother Earth,
Will wake beyond the barrier she crossed,
To bring this world new light, new life, new birth.
    With stolen spices, smuggled from the south,
    I drip a charm of mischief in her mouth.

Flawless

by Nick Gisburne



All of us saw it. Susanna was sick,
Something inside her so terribly wrong.
Radical surgery, savage but slick,
Twisted revisions, too many, too strong.
Flawless was all that she wanted to be,
Fixing her failings, correcting their crimes.
Nothing convinced her to listen to me,
Even the pain, in the darkest of times.
Others abandoned her, walking away,
Every rejection a stab in the back.
I was the last of them, pleading to stay,
Cancelled and cut in a vicious attack.
    Nothing could save her from death at the end.
    Flawless, to me, to her father, her friend.

Monday, 26 September 2022

Another Poisoned Politician

by Nick Gisburne



Oh please. You’re nothing special, nothing new.
Your message is a mix of muddled lies,
Another poisoned politician who,
In common with his comrades, we despise.
Percentage points, minorities, the young,
Are perfect propaganda, but the polls
Determine you are destined to be hung,
With all your party’s superficial souls.
The public will not countenance your kind.
Beware, before such folly bets the farm.
Your manifesto, shamelessly designed,
Has one objective, one intent: do harm.
    Perhaps, without resistance, you could win,
    But we are waiting. We are strong. Begin.

Midday Meetings

by Nick Gisburne



You’re skinny, but I like that in a boy,
The hunger, tawdry, tasteless, in your eyes.
Degenerate, unusual, a toy,
My little indiscreet and painful prize.
Enchanted by intelligence, by you,
I fear for what my morals have become.
Directed by the deviance I do,
I realise before you I was numb.
I know these midday meetings cannot last.
Allow me, please, to beg you, while they do.
Be kind, until our dalliance has passed.
I want, I need, I must, remember you.
    I flourish with the tenderness I see,
    Becoming what you make me want to be.

A Willing Worker

by Nick Gisburne



Be quick, efficient. Hurry! Don’t delay.
No time, no chance to educate your brain.
Ambition? Fold that foolishness away.
Become a willing worker we can train.
The dull and dreary grind of daily work
Will pay you, just, the minimum to live.
Your supervisor, smiling, with a smirk,
Has little golden stars he loves to give.
Congratulations, worker of the week,
You drained yourself more deeply than the rest.
The future, sadly, bitterly, is bleak;
Your betters are not easily impressed.
    Expendable, disposable, you sweat,
    Deserving all the praise you never get.

Inhuman

by Nick Gisburne



Inhuman undesirables move in.
They breathe the black pollution we do not,
Absorbing toxins, taken through the skin,
Productive in the sun, however hot.
In this, the world we broke, they are the glue.
Without them we would crack and fall apart.
For every dirty job we cannot do,
A sentient inhuman has the heart.
We scorn them as the slaves they truly are,
Mechanicals, expendable and cheap,
But safe inside our cities, from afar,
Oblivious, we do not see them weep.
    In ignorance, in bliss, we are too numb
    To notice how inhuman we become.

Sunday, 25 September 2022

The Seeds

by Nick Gisburne



Always an afterthought, always ignored,
Always the negative nobody needs,
Worthless, the wicked will find their reward,
Poisonous agents of evil, the seeds.
Armies of misery, legions of rage,
Servants who scream with the hunger of hate,
Spectres, the dead of a dangerous age,
Fallen from grace, in the shadowlands, wait.
I am their maker, their master, their king,
Sword of my soldiers, the sacred who serve.
Angels of Mercy, to Heaven I bring
Sorrow and suffering, all you deserve.
    Kneel to the nightmare, to darkness, divine.
    Weep as I make your infinity mine.

Embracing Apocalypse

by Nick Gisburne



Trapped in the tunnels, the furious crush,
Helplessly caught in the core of the crowd,
Beggars and bankers, the low to the lush,
Stumble to plead for their place in the Cloud.
Audio flash from the Primary Port:
Damage, a shuttle unable to fly.
Staggered by news of the quota, cut short,
Even the closest, the quickest, may die.
Out in the open, the skin of the sun
Shimmers with radiance, ready to burst.
Earth, in its final rotation, now spun,
Shudders, embracing apocalypse, cursed.
    Dawning reality. Screaming, they know.
    Death is for all of them. Nowhere to go.

Saturday, 24 September 2022

Perfection

by Nick Gisburne



We build our great utopia at last,
Perfection, in a spotless city state,
A glittering metropolis, so vast
We cannot see the cancer we create.
Away from want, from envy, grudge or greed,
A splendid summer, flawless, brings the fall.
Without the pain of struggle, we are freed
From any sense of service to the sprawl.
The harvest moon releases hate and rage,
Emotions we no longer understand.
What might have been a glowing, gilded age
Is paralysed, a plague we never planned.
    Perfection without purpose. We are lost,
    And find our fate in winter’s final frost.

Tomorrow’s Messiah

by Nick Gisburne



Stealing the breath of a crucified son,
Spinning its essence for shimmering thread,
Weaving the cloth of a god, it is done,
All for the shroud of the martyr who fled.
Here was no hero, no virtuous man,
Only a criminal, always a thief.
Cornered, confronted, convicted, he ran.
Silent, we swim in our meaningless grief.
How did the mystery’s madness begin?
Why should we ever remember his name?
Blinded, we bury this body of skin,
Gullible pawns in a devious game.
    Maybe too twisted, the story, for some.
    Wait for tomorrow’s messiah to come.

Friday, 23 September 2022

Without the Cult

by Nick Gisburne



With fury, for the feeble, for the weak,
She cuts her Cult’s connection to the Cube.
In seconds, in a storm of preacher-speak,
A true believer slithers through her tube.
The novice, Brother Benjamin, a boy,
Can no more fix her sabotage than she,
But, as he chokes, she chooses to enjoy
The disappointing whimper of his plea.
Without the pulse to modify the mind,
A thousand of her sisters, servants, wake,
And she, with fearless frenzy, helps them find
The circuit in the system, theirs, to break.
    The god, the ghost, the master of their minds,
    Without the Cube, without the Cult, unwinds.

Artimangas Day

by Nick Gisburne



When Carcufrey Geniatass the First
Deodifies his Lusinary Clan,
The Yanders of Kalasdian, dispersed,
Begin to shuck this shammer of a man.
Receptilating, hungled at their Hax,
A trum, truckanish yanga starls the soom.
With captifolded cant, awained in wax,
As muccalings they bind a glanding boom.
At curum fall, on Artimangas Day,
A legiate of Tarroshantic Turgs
Apprangs the great beniator with bey,
Before the Unciada burst their burghs.
    As mooga fills the Sallans of her Seek,
    The Calitrix, Kavana, drinks the Deek.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

The Nobody You Were

by Nick Gisburne



You worthless man. You sorry sack of shit.
What foul misfortune made you marry me?
We took the road together, but the split?
Don’t blame it on your bitch. I saw. I see.
Deceit, a cancer swimming in your spine,
Corrupted every bone I long to break,
The subtle signs I struggled to define,
Oblivious, with all my dreams at stake.
Voracious for the novelty, the prize,
The life you took from me, then found in her,
At least you gave me something to despise,
Remembering the nobody you were.
    The two of you, so peaceful in our bed.
    I’m ready to forgive you, now you’re dead.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

The Grand Manipulator

by Nick Gisburne



She knows she is the first to fight his rage.
The others inconveniently ran.
Today she turns a vicious, crimson page
To tell a shameful story of the man.
Each brutal inclination, each excess,
Too dangerous, too cold to be condoned,
Lies buried by his glittering success,
By all the passive prey he ever owned.
Repeating what his hunger brought before,
On every eager innocent, he feeds.
But she, at last, refused to be his whore.
For her the grand manipulator bleeds.
    Impervious to threats, or slurs, or steel,
    To him, to power, she will never kneel.

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Fed by Fear

by Nick Gisburne



Euphoric as I suckle at the soul,
Corrupted by the struggle, fed by fear,
I strive to save some semblance of control
Before the body’s breath can disappear.
While others lure the living to their fate,
My appetites are not so quickly quenched.
A spirit, stolen early, or too late,
Will shatter if inelegantly wrenched.
The boy, so passive, eager to submit,
Too late awakens flavours of regret.
By seven of his brothers I am split,
But I will not be butchered by them, yet.
    They understand their lunacy, too late.
    Tonight I find a feast to fill my plate.

On the List

by Nick Gisburne



She slips a sly corruption through the scan,
Too subtle to be spotted in the code,
A secret shift her tapped-in middleman
Disperses through the network, every node.
To those who know, her signal spits a name,
A target, one more lowlife on the list,
A bureaucratic snake who bears the blame
For crimes too confidential to exist.
By morning, by coincidence, by chance,
An accident befalls the hapless man.
The bulletins, supportive in their stance,
Retreat behind a lie, because they can.
    She works to prime the pieces of a text,
    The trigger for another, for the next.

Monday, 19 September 2022

Defective

by Nick Gisburne



Perfection? No. Defective, broken, bent.
Your maker, I am sure, would be ashamed.
From what appalling nightmare were you sent?
What stutter in the system should be blamed?
An acid bomb. The vicious hand of hate.
No factory can remedy such rot.
But I, with my mechanics, can create
A stable state their clumsiness could not.
Your cyborg skin is burned, beyond repair,
But luck preserved the data of the brain.
We have a body, fit and fresh, a spare,
A medical anomaly, insane.
    Illegal, but without it you will die.
    The standard terms of slavery apply.

Sunday, 18 September 2022

A Lunatic Utopia

by Nick Gisburne



A meaningless melange of mindless rules.
A government without the sense to care.
A lunatic utopia for fools.
How ludicrous to learn that we are there.
At every turn the sensible is cracked,
Revealing what was fiction once, a fear.
The freedom to reject the rot attacked,
When those who see or say it disappear.
We shiver, ineffectual, repressed,
While grifters, shysters, villains, preach and pray.
Perhaps we should have wondered why, or guessed
That only power makes the system pay.
    We break beneath the brutal boot of might,
    And none of us, not one of us, will fight.

A Heavy Head

by Nick Gisburne



His greatest gift, a huge and heavy head,
The space to store a legendary brain,
Confines him to a gloomy garden shed,
In which he feeds a vulnerable vein.
The grisly cocktail keeps him, just, alive,
But every day the skull, insistent, grows.
With loathing, and a potent, private drive,
He poisons what he senses, what he knows.
A conduit, connected to the earth,
Completed with a potpourri of parts,
Engages an electrical rebirth
For those who think to hate him in their hearts.
    With mad, malicious glee, the monster hops,
    While every head, on every human, pops.

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Who Dares to Drink?

by Nick Gisburne



At daybreak you will feel the venom’s worst,
Distorted, drained through secret seams of space.
To see your mind evaporate and burst
Is payment for the paradise you chase.
The psychedelic sunlight of the spell
Will scatter broken shadows through your soul,
A spiralling obscenity, a swell,
Impossible to capture or control.
A multicoloured madness will remain,
A message, etched forever in your mind,
A ruinous corruption of the brain,
Designed to twist the spirit bad or blind.
    The potion is more potent than you think.
    Who dares to take a taste? Who dares to drink?

The Shadow You Become

by Nick Gisburne



When evil burns, reflected in the glass,
Command the waves of witchery you see.
The arrogance, the dreams of man, must pass.
To you alone the light will bend its knee.
Embrace the curse, the shadow you become,
Avenger of antiquity’s demise.
Before this world was placid, peaceful, numb,
The screams of burning angels split the skies.
The ecstasy of innocence, destroyed,
Of purity and pleasure, ground to dust,
Will echo in the darkness of the void.
To suffering, to sorrow, pledge your lust.
    The wise and worthy beg behind their doors.
    Extinguish them. The universe is yours.

Friday, 16 September 2022

The Sight

by Nick Gisburne



He draws our secrets, everything we are,
The mysteries his mind was never told,
Insanely detailed sketches of our star,
The worlds we left behind us, cursed and cold.
He threatens us, to shame our lives, our lies,
To bring us to the justice we deserve.
Exhibiting no panic, no surprise,
From none of his convictions do we swerve.
Bewildered by the wonders of The Sight,
He looks upon what all of us can see.
The gift we share is his by birth, by right,
A glimpse at what we were, and want to be.
    He understands. His journey has begun.
    The Sight gives pride and purpose to our son.

Thursday, 15 September 2022

A Grievance

by Nick Gisburne



You left me, lost, alone, afraid, to die,
Abandoned on a filthy, frozen moon,
But something found me, fed me. What, or why,
You’ll know when I return to see you, soon.
It asked me, once, what brought me to this place,
Digesting every detail, all I knew,
Then snarled to see the photograph, the face,
For now we share a bond, a grievance. You.
I shouldn’t be alive. Perhaps I’m not.
The memory, still hazy, never clears.
My sanity, susceptible to rot,
Is damaged by the sum of all my fears.
    Your treason gave me purpose, and a friend,
    But more, I found the means to make your end.

Wake Up

by Nick Gisburne



You’re dreaming. This is progress, this is good,
But this is not the life you thought you had.
The pieces of the past you understood
Were put there to protect you from the bad.
We dragged you from a dangerous disease,
Extinguished its intolerable pain,
But always you were difficult to please,
Denying what we painted in your brain.
We tried to hide what is and isn’t real,
But saw you, somehow, sabotage the lie.
We never wanted hope to break the deal.
Remember us. Remember this. Goodbye.
    Wake up, to find the world you always knew:
    Reality, where dreams are never true.

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

A Shadow in the Ruins

by Nick Gisburne



A shadow in the ruins, wet, she waits,
Disgusted as the nomads gnaw their meat.
Concealed behind the broken border gates,
She prays her scent will not reveal her seat.
No veterans, no bounty hunting scum,
But handy with a weapon nonetheless,
These traders, hauling junk from slum to slum,
Would kill her cold, in seconds, with finesse.
The foulest of the foursome, fat and fed,
Declares his wish to desecrate her land.
He squats behind a fallen statue’s head,
But feels her cold, her claws, and cannot stand.
    She drags him to the marshes, through the weeds,
    To flay his flesh, euphoric as she feeds.

A Monster’s Manifesto

by Nick Gisburne



The bondage of bureaucracy begins,
With subtleties of delicate design,
To hammer at the souls beneath our skins.
The skies will break before they shatter mine.
Submissive, pawns of power, we are fools,
The sheep who see their slaughter as a gift.
Distorted by unfathomable rules,
Our freedoms wither, daily, as we drift.
For thunderous rebellion, for war,
A monster’s manifesto I create.
My words, my whispers, warned them once before.
Today they will be listening, too late.
    The world will know what I, in death, have done,
    And witness what my malice has begun.

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

An Empty Triumph

by Nick Gisburne



The seven of us barely clear the cut,
And two are dropped by trackers in the trees.
Intruder traps secure the seams. They shut
Another brother’s body in their squeeze.
A problem blows a bullet through the plan:
Our scanners flash, but fail to make a match.
No time, no choice. We sacrifice a man.
His body bomb annihilates the latch.
The tunnels boil with black, genetic smoke,
But nothing we were not expecting, yet.
Man down, another. Visor cracked. His choke
So hideous I struggle to forget.
    An empty triumph; nothing here to kill.
    How many more beyond this filthy hill?

Primrose Punks

by Nick Gisburne



The Punks prepare an ambush for the snatch,
Psychotic Fey, no kinsmen of the Queen.
Before her precious eggs, her dragons, hatch,
They steal them, in a storm of gold and green.
Two legions of the fearsome Flower Guard
Are slaughtered in the Elemental Wood.
The Queen, her wings in tatters, twisted, charred,
Retreats, the threat of murder understood.
Unruffled, knowing something they do not,
Returning to the wilderness, she waits.
The eggs, beyond her care, begin to rot,
And those who took them curse their twisted fates.
    As dragon maggots strip their silver skins,
    The Primrose Punks are punished for their sins.

The Grave of God

by Nick Gisburne



We gather at the grave of God to pray,
But recognise how futile is our fear.
The terror of the moment drains away.
We know, at last, our Lord was never near.
He died before belief was ever born.
How weak he was, how impotent, how small.
We try to find the reverence to mourn,
But only shame is summoned by the call.
The paradise he promised was a lie,
Eternity impossible to give.
Millennia were wasted on him. Why?
The fraud we find did not deserve to live.
    For something more, to comfort us, we yearn,
    But from this trick, this travesty, we turn.

Monday, 12 September 2022

Selected for the Feast

by Nick Gisburne



The teacher carves her sigil in the meat,
A carcass she selected for the feast.
The fullness of its flesh, sublimely sweet,
Is treasured in this rare, exotic beast.
Excited, as their appetites are stirred,
Attentive students fortify their notes.
By all the whispered rumours each has heard,
Their best may find its flavour in their throats.
The Forward Fleet, the navy’s brave and bold,
Will celebrate new victories tonight,
And those who seek to serve the meat are told
How courage killed these creatures in the fight.
    With delicate finesse she bags the bones,
    And starts to simmer, slowly, Trooper Jones.

A Quiet Kind of Life

by Nick Gisburne



My temper is too volatile, too hot,
To waste my words with nauseating fools.
The sober voice of reason I am not,
Contemptuous of etiquette, of rules.
I long to face them, truly, freak by freak,
But surgery would certainly ensue,
Ignited by the twisted shit they speak,
By every crooked con or crime they do.
A short and simple statement I recite
When one of them strays close enough to kill:
“I’m taking medication, and I bite.”
They never dare to gamble that I will.
    I live a careful, quiet kind of life,
    But those who think to fight me need a knife.

In the Cracks

by Nick Gisburne



The people’s park, a verdant city space,
Is destined for destruction by the state.
Confused, chaotic, nature has no place.
The future, flawless, faceless, will not wait.
Our elders walked here, paused to find their peace,
But we, their grey descendants, are the last.
Tomorrow, every sight and sound will cease,
A footnote for the archives, for the past.
Ashamed to be complicit in the crime,
We find a way to fight, behind their backs.
With stolen seeds, with secrecy, with time,
We colonise the concrete, in the cracks.
    With every shoot a hint of growth, of green,
    Reminds a sterile world what might have been.

Sunday, 11 September 2022

Rage Returns

by Nick Gisburne



Unwise we were, to trust your brother’s blood.
The poison of its passion boils and burns.
We look too late, too slow to fight the flood,
The darkness as his vicious rage returns.
The people are his puppets, playthings, toys,
Destroyed, disfigured, twisted on a whim.
Their suffering, the greatest of his joys,
Is breathless bliss, a miracle, to him.
New nightmares are the scripture of his crimes.
The screams of troubled slumber paint his plan.
You warned us this would be, a thousand times,
And still we offered mercy to the man.
    Sadistic shades of evil stain his face.
    Destroy him, daughter. Take your brother’s place.

Saturday, 10 September 2022

The Broken King

by Nick Gisburne



I take the shortest straw, by chance, by choice,
Selected by the fickleness of fate.
Untroubled by its meaning, I rejoice,
My focus on the figurehead of hate.
The monarch, mad, malicious, crazed, confused,
Dishonours every jewel of the crown.
The empire, warped by wickedness, abused,
Will breathe, reborn, when justice drags him down.
Unchallenged by the soldiers of the guard,
By those who knew this day would surely come,
I deal the broken king his final card.
They find me, still and silent, kneeling, numb.
    A servant of the greater good, a pawn,
    My sentence will be swift. I die at dawn.

Stolen Spirits

by Nick Gisburne



The bottle is a timeless prison, mine.
A psychedelic sweetness pulled me in.
Hypnotic songs, addictive by design,
Concealed a deadly secret in their spin.
Her laughter, fevered, frequent, fills the space,
The torment of a thousand captive years.
I strive to split the smoke, to find her face,
But soon her swirling spectre disappears.
Another, more, for she was not the last.
How many, snatched and shackled by the spell?
A legion, without name or number, vast,
Surrounds me in this vessel forged in Hell.
    My flesh unravels, pain with every twist,
    A stolen spirit, screaming in the mist.

A Family of Hearts

by Nick Gisburne



A crate of strange materials is lost,
Diverted by deception, murder, lies.
We chip and scrape through thick, metallic frost,
And scrutinise the hoard with eager eyes.
The Duchess studies every precious piece,
And scrupulously scribbles cryptic notes.
Among the damned Dystopian Police
She rules a list of hated, hunted throats.
For her this was no ordinary heist,
No random snatch of scientific parts.
Each piece of pure perfection, packed and iced,
A relic from a family of hearts.
    To each the pulse of treason will return,
    United, as the human cities burn.

Friday, 9 September 2022

A Portrait of Despair

by Nick Gisburne



She scratches at the mask to find her face,
But sorrow, shame and worry drag her back.
Her memories are tainted with disgrace,
Distorted, dark illusions, broken, black.
The world beyond the prison of her mind
Is one she fears to touch, to taste, to try.
Emotions maim her. Better to be blind
Than see the pity in another’s eye.
Frustrated, frozen, failing to perform,
She hides behind excuses, reasons, lies.
Seclusion brings her comfort, keeps her warm,
But, safe inside its sterile walls, she cries.
    She longs to be a someone, something rare,
    But paints a painful portrait of despair.

Thursday, 8 September 2022

Cheer Up

by Nick Gisburne



Your pity soaks the sinews of my soul,
A misery too bleak for me to bear.
An infinite abyss. A gaping hole.
A poisoned pit of pain-polluted air.
I’m dying, and you’ve known it for a while,
Yet somehow made it personal to you.
You sit, without the flicker of a smile,
And simmer in a self-indulgent stew.
Traumatic? You’re the one who thinks me dead,
And wishes you were punished in my place.
Believe me, I would offer you this bed,
But would not splash my sorrow in your face.
    A middle finger, fragile, will suffice.
    Cheer up, you cunt. Don’t make me tell you twice.

Swarming to the Stars

by Nick Gisburne



I fail to fetch the nutrients I need
To satisfy the creatures in my jars,
A penalty to paralyse their greed,
A punishment for swarming to the stars.
Disgusted, I contaminate their drink.
They shiver as the heat is dialled down.
Encircled by insanity, they think
My shadow dances in a demon’s crown.
I wait. I watch, in quiet, placid peace,
My specimens, my starving, stricken pets,
And, when their woeful, cold convulsions cease,
I find no time for trivial regrets.
    They came to claim the universe, but no,
    I will not let this human cancer grow.

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

A Stubborn Man

by Nick Gisburne



He spells his name, a letter at a time,
And smiles to see the writing in her book.
A petty, unimaginative crime,
The fine should not deserve a second look.
For days like this he memorised the law,
A little knowledge, day by day, with lunch.
She quotes the code but he, of course, knows more.
The loopholes let him land a sucker punch.
In arguments to which a judge would yield,
He points to statutes, by-laws, by the ton,
Expecting her to bend, to leave the field,
Conceding he is right, the battle won.
    The officer knows something he does not,
    The silence when a stubborn man is shot.

Dirt

by Nick Gisburne



The light is brutal, banishing the gloom,
Revealing twisted blasphemies, grotesque.
Uncovered, in a corner of the room,
The sorcerer spills poison from his desk.
Bedazzled by the daggers of the sun,
Still pushing buttons, trafficking disease,
He peddles evil other spirits shun,
Relentless in his drive to play, to please.
No mercy, no repentance, stains his mind.
No servant of morality is he.
Whatever fiendish photo he can find
Becomes a prize for broken souls to see.
    He spreads a plague of misery and hurt,
    Perverted by depravity, by dirt.