Nick Armbrister is, by his own admission and that of his gothic black poodle called Becky Devil Snail, the finest writer/poet/author to come out of Oldham, a desolate northern ex mill town that resides on the dark side of the moon, under constant alien bombardment with different dimensional missiles. These missiles proportionally make the town either good or crap. Or both. Soon Oldham will be re-named Planet Zanussi. Judge his work for yourself as you read it and enter his left of centre mind. He's been published since 1996 in the fanzine The Pill a poem on Alanis Morrissette, Ode to Alanis. Followed by a poem in Poetry Today anthology Rivers and Bridges, Through my Eyes. followed by a poem in the pagan magazine Ace of Rods, The Dark Tower. Many more "small press" (poetry scene) publications in zines, mags and poetry collection books including Select Publications in Tilbury Essex, i had 8 or more poems in 4 or 5 books, a major break. More promotion and publishing opportunities came when another Essex publisher, DJ Tyrer, published some of my poems in around 2000/1 and he published dozens of my work in his huge range of writing mags(Monomyth, The Supplement, Bard, Gargage, etc) my poems were on many topics. He published them until 2008 when i was putting my own range of books out containing my own work. These books are - FADE INTO FOCUS, FOCUS INTO FADE (2006), SKEWARD IMAGES (2007) both poetry collections. Also A NATION IN FLAMES (2008) a short story collection of my stories. These books are self published on iuniverse,inc. Also HER NAME IS HOPE - LIFE FORCE (2008) poetry, my biggest book yet with poems not in my book1 and 2, this is on lulu.com. I've finished two more novels both are fiction and in my JUNIPER'S DAUGHTER series, these are on www.lulu.com. I did an antigun track called Mind Fright (look on youtube). Where the future leads me is anyones guess! More open mic and writing workshops are something i want to do now. In early 2012 i released JUNIPER'S DAUGHTER: FRAGMENTED WHOLE - BLACK LENSE, a poem/short story collection. This follows the 2010 JD collection WAR IS OBSOLETE. In summer 2012 my BERLIN TOKYO WARHEARTS poem book is out, followed by many live gigs promoting it. From mid 2012 Nick worked on a new book called THE RANTINGS OF A DAMAGED MIND with South African poet Mel Grobler. This book was released in early 2013. More 2013 projects are the alternative poetry book WOW! TATTOO MY BUTT - MORE MAD POEMS AND VERSE BY NICK and the stunning Martial Art book Shoki: The Story of Sensei Pete Ratcliff. In late 2013 and early 2014 Nick worked with poet Andy N on a joint project. This resulted in a book of anti war poetry. Nick is also putting a new collection together, under a secret pen name. Nick also loves alternative music like His Latest Flame, The Bangles, The Gathering, 80s goth, metal, Annie van Giersbergen, Tristania and Sirenia, to name a few. His other interests include art, museums, travel, people, paganism, collecting tattoos by world class tattooists, reading, gigs, open mic slots, being outdoors, history, weapons, current affairs and life. my links: http://nickarmbrister.blogspot.co.uk/ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/nick-armbrister/id469211520?mt=11 http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/nickarmbrister http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=nick+armbrister
BEER FESTIVAL It happens once a year and it’s all in the name of fun. You could call it a sacred event as people who attend are devoutly practising their religion. They come from far and round to this beer festival to drink their favourite ales from small obscure breweries. Some will like what they taste, you notice it as soon as you come through the door. Now ten pints later we are ready to leave… shaky but surely we head for the door and home. When I wake up in the morning with a bad head and look at my leaflets and cheap t-shirt, I’ll smile at the fun I had and wish next years here sooner. CRAZY WEATHER Last Friday was warm, just like summer. It was a time to get drunk as we enjoy the heat in our light t-shirts and jeans. Now the weather breaks, all blustery and cold. Bank holiday weekend was ruined before it began, three days of rain and miserable anxiety. Now on Wednesday the clouds come and snow begins to fall. It disappears as soon as it comes to be replaced by rain and hail. Things can’t get worse, only better, so I say a prayer that next week will be fine. CHAFF Tuesday is February, an unwanted day like the unwanted month, of no use whatsoever. Might as well call it the unwanted day and useless month. Can’t go and get pissed or dance in a glitzy club on a Tuesday. It wouldn’t feel right if you could, the working week not even half thru. What to do? Play darts at the pub? Okay for sad middle-aged fat men. And what to do in February? Go and get a tan in Spain, yea right. Or skiing in Norway, my spiritual home. For us all February and Tuesday are useless, no more but chaff against the wheat. Come on July and Friday! HUN 1 Deck of Glorious rising up and down, anymore and we can’t launch. See my mates fly off—now it’s me! Full throttle and my Gladiator is up and away, biplane wings biting the air, Norway bound to kill the Hun. What! No airfield with neat grass strip, petrol bowsers, NAAFI shop? Are you nuts? Where do we land? On a farm track or hidden beach, a road in a town? No! On a frozen lake. One metre of ice to be a concrete pad. See the snow white lake frozen solid over the mountains, past a forest? Coming down, I see my mates over there— no one bought it so I’ll land okay. Defend Norway from the evil Hun! KOREA’S TICKING TIME BOMB North and South Korea at arms race heaven, a massive number of weapons all waiting to be used – tanks, guns and bombs. One war was enough but nearly fifty years have passed and so it’s time for another. North uses Migs and howitzers, South uses F-16s and cluster bombs all stockpiled at warehouses and airbases. Have these people lost their minds? Making law with the barrel of a gun thinking that they are gangsters at an international level. This is Korea’s ticking bomb, with North being the explosive and the South the fuse. PATHWAY Reflections in wax indistinct and pliable images of you fading now to a mass, long path before me, long path behind me. One was the way to you, now it’s the way from you. Yet you’re there, always a presence of what we had for those three weeks, what we could have been, should have been. Your silence was your biggest crime, my silliness mine. Never to be reversed, our lost opportunity that torments me with questions. I know you were my fairy tale that fell between my fingers, then and forever. You are me, I am you. Now that I have another I won’t abandon you like you abandoned me. She knows of you, that I carry your memory, can overcome but never forget. I will be all right. JANUARY 1945, GERMANY Mankind has ran amuck, not even God is here to stop his madness. The sides of good and evil have both gone mad, so crazy it defies belief. Mottle coloured Focke-Wulfs fly in combat against Tempests and the Typhoons fly over the snowy new year landscape hunting German tanks. How long can anyone believe in God when so much goes on, so much that is wrong? Single seat fighters fly so low hunting and killing with nothing to stop them except flak cannons. This is the glory of war and now today, no one remembers or cares about the past, but me. BOX What’s in a box? Is there a chance that this small box I have here is the key to my future, that I will need nothing more in my life ever again? No job juggling numbers of paying bills and skimping for food. No dreams of holidays or getting a car. All I need is here in my box, 8 by 6inch of cardboard one inch deep. I open it and find this pad here with this pen. I do this poem, the poem that will change my future for ever. What’s in your box? Credit cards, God, jewellery or other riches? Open it and find out. I have the key to my future right here, out of my box—a book and a pen, nothing more. Prologue Well, how could it have come to this? How many times had that single question been asked? Not that it mattered now, the dice had been thrown and the result wasn't good. Why couldn't the people in charge just talk to each other? Instead of firing all those missiles. Now it was too late, all of those innocents had died. Hadn't the civil war brought enough bloodshed? Obviously not. Now our once great country was smashed and ruined, thrust back almost to the stone age but cavemen never had semi – automatic weapons did they? I suppose we'll pull through, one way or another. We have to help ourselves, no one else seems to want to. I wonder, are we the lucky ones sitting here in a bombed out country? It seems true that the meek shall inherit the earth, an earth scorched by the use of nuclear arms and a people living by the law of the gun. Maybe the dead were the lucky ones, may they rest in peace… CIRCLE TREE I see a small tree in the middle of a city sprawl. Concrete surround tries to hide delicate green leaves, rusty iron railings vie for rain to rust arm thick trunk. Support. A finger up to Man’s straight lines and dirty office blocks. New green leaves spring forth in Spring, trying to live in a seasonless place. I sit under thin sparse leaves wondering if any more trees will ever be here? To end this loneliness and make a pair, be almost human. Breed, family? You just need yourself, not more trees. An island of a single tree, here in the city. One symbol of my Pagan religion, of life. Not to your capitalist money grabbing ways, mobiles, filofax, fast car and more in your ineffective short life. Cut this tree down, it will live on in mine and people’s memories. “Look, that’s where that tree was all on its own, I remember it now.” EPIPHANY ON THE EDGE The weight of the world on a spider’s web. Everything is relative, life force flows in each blade of glass. In each house is a guy or a gal just like me. I see them from the Edge. This epiphany is mine. Soon to leave my northern lands, south bound. Writing to where? Autumn views from Oldham Edge. When will I return? TINNED AREA Menace in a supermarket coming to a store near you, all of it now in real surreal experience. Now I hide as my mind descends to that of a child like depths where only an innocent’s night terrors dwell. I build a hide of tins on the shelf to keep eyes of physical terror out of my view. Yet they see me behind my Heinz 57 beans, sense my presence as they rape my mind. Defenceless yet again this is my lot as I hide in the dark on a narrow shelf in a supermarket. Crazy spectres are the only customers, me the only purchase. IT’S IN THE SONG There is a song for everyone no matter what music you like, .... from balsy music like Shampoo to the heaviest rock like Pantera, .... it’s all there for you to like. .... Me, I like most of it except dance music .... which I think is music for criminals who drive .... Volkswagen Golfs with blacked out windows. .... From the Doors to Nirvana whose singers are dead, .... their music is still popular and liked. .... The bands of the 80’s are enjoyed now as much as then. .... I think the bangles and T’Pau are so cool .... with music to sing along and chill out to..... MOONBEAMS The moon shines through the glass .... casting a white splash of colour – .... it’s here for all to see. .... Meanwhile the naked bulb .... tries to compete and fails miserably, .... its feeble light scattering .... on the opposite pane..... MAGIC THINGS Do you see magic things like I see? .... The enchanting tooth fairy silently coming .... to take your tooth on a cool spring evening. .... A Goddess of summer dancing majestically .... over sunbaked land, her golden kiss bringing .... flowers to the trees. .... An eagle of the autumn equinox signalling .... the start of decline as leaves fall earthwards. .... And snowy angels of winter sowing white .... snow over the land in a crisp layer of coldness. .... These are some of the magical things I see .... as I watch our seasons pass.. REED I bow down to life as it crushes me completely, relentlessly and incomprehensively. The pressure is so much, is my breaking point near? Or will I last out forever while those around me fall? I don't know and I can only guess at the outcome as I take it day by day. I have so little that I can call my own, just my things that can be moved in a day. I had a car and a wife but I was never really happy, not in the way that love would last forever. I am like a reed, bending in the wind but will I break in the hurricane or sway in the breeze?
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
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