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A self taught writer/poet/author/artist and more. Not a Uni bird like many on here. Got my own style, like it or hate it, I share it with the world. I will not say how bad or good a writer I am. I'm not vain. Different yes. Judge for yourself. Nick Armbrister is, by his own admission and that of his gothic black poodle ghost dog 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 Manchester. The worst place to live in the UK? Yes. Voted so in 2016 in some survey. But we knew that fact for decades hehe. Nick moved to the Philippines in 2014. He's been writing and published since 1996. Nick has written with many other writers including Andy N, PJ Reed, Shy Lhen Esposo, Saurabh Pant and others. He released many books and projects under his own name and also his pen name Jimmy Boom Semtex. 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, tattooing by hand and by electric gun, reading, gigs, open mic slots, being outdoors, aviation archaeology, history, weapons, current affairs and living life. Links:


Tarac We busted our balls To get up there Over a kilometre high Where the warplanes live And die a violent death Meeting their end up high High on the lonely slopes As did Lt Stone and Sgt Kurosawa On the same day seventy six years ago To the day we went there As others before had For we had a job to do The missing answer to find To locate the remains of a lost pilot Named Stone from America Who flew a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk In mortal battle with his nemesis Kurosawa from Japan With his Nakajima Ki-27 Nate Both died that day February 9 1942 And both haunt those slopes One is angry and lost One found wants to go home One likes Hello Kitty But not the one you think For my drink tumbler fell And the guide missed it It stopped where Stone said And there we dug dug dug And found his airplane Or what was once his warplane In pieces that were scrap But had meaning to our group For it was this plane That brought us here Many hours of climbing Swearing and sweating To touch the clouds And be where both hit At what cost? Two planes smashed Two pilots dead The American protecting Villamoor The Philippines' best pilot Who flew his biplane A Boeing Stearman On a recon mission The same type that flies today With sexy English wing walkers upon From Clark in Bataan The same field Kurosawa flew from Yes synchronicity is here Eagle Has Landed style What does this mean now? In 2018 right now Is it the pilots' ghosts Or God or fate or karma That brought me here To Tarac Ridge to look To try to find Stone's bones? When so many have looked And failed to find him Did we really find Lt Stone? So he's no longer MIA And captive here This beautiful mountain side Where the sky and sea become one Where Bataan and Corregidor Are visible The old battlefields Where hell occured Where there are more MIAs From both sides Both pilots hunted here And both became the prey Paying the ultimate cost Bent metal and broken bones Telling a story Their story If you listen You will hear it... Chair Man He made a decision to clean the factory chimney out. Did he know it would be messy? I look out of my window and see so much smoke emanating from the chimney. It blanketed the fields in particulate sulphate alkali acid. I was so happy! I could be a zombie now. I ran down to the fields and danced naked in the grass. I was in a real pea souper of man made chemical arsenic fog. Right away it happened: zombification! My skin bubbled like acid and fell off in tatters. My lungs filled with liquid and I drowned in my own blood. Every orifice streamed liquid, a real cock burn. Won't be using it no more. The only gals for me will be ones I eat. The smoke thins and I see a watery sky. The pause between before and after. My life and my very body have changed for the better. I feel my teeth turning into steel shards that yearn for female zombie flesh. I go in search of my first victim. As I stroll thru the summer grass I see her. Mrs Peters from the farm. She looks disorientated. I close in. Chemical Fire Burn baby and give me some sulphuric hydrochloric acid smoke, your fire gives me toasted tiktox and crisps me up nicely. Boom goes the roof when 55 gallon drums go flying and it’s all ballistic. The money shot is when the boss’s office goes up like a frigging rocket. He was sat at his desk and went to the moon. Chemical Ali won’t be coming back anytime soon. Question is where is his ten million dollar profit? Was it hidden in an empty oil drum on a pallet of dangerous chemicals? All the factory is ablaze, three workers died and two were injured. They should have got blood money for working there, no risk to life was greater and no boss more meaner. As flames reach a hundred feet and smoke a mile in the sky, hindsight is way too late. 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. BLACK CRYSTAL It fell to earth a million years ago in a burning tail of fire to land on the barren glacier, undiscovered until now, its power can only be guessed at. The High Priestess Angelica was drawn towards it and it was She who found it. Now the black crystal is at the centre of her power and her life, it sits on her sacred altar doing her bidding. A white flame seems to burn at the crystals heart with a life all of its own. Now Angelica can start her quest for world domination, she has the sacred power to do so. 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. BLONDE GIRL Blonde-haired girl waiting for something, I don’t know what, standing there with a look of mischievous happiness on your face. I see the wind tussle your hair, delicate blowing strands, see the sunburst on your blonde hair – an explosion of gold, beauty eternal at this moment. Head slightly bowed, eyes ahead, mouth resting on your pink cardigan. You must be thinking of something funny, see you smile for an instant – sun through the clouds. For few precious minutes I watch you, you don’t see me, I see you and do this poem for you, blonde girl waiting for something – what? 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! Dog Loose Got fired from my call centre job for failing the exam. Took it while doing the night shift. First I've ever done graveyard. Can't say I like it. In fact, I bloody hate night work. Unless it's in a goth club, drinking beer or grinding. Gonna get a new job. Jimmy Boom Semtex needs beer and tattoo cash. Give him a job and let him learn. Short term memory aside, he'll do his best. Make you laugh and roll your eyes. Jimmy Boom Semtex is here! Gotta wait 3 months for my wages. That's ok. I'll buy 120 bottles of beer at Xmas and drink myself unconscious while reciting mad poetry. Red Horse or Colt 45? More beer is needed. Paid for by Jimmy's next job. Night shift? You bet! 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… VOLCANO This artistic and ancient civilisation settled on these fertile slopes a millennia ago, in peace with the land they live in complete harmony for they are not a war-faring race. They plant crops and grow grapes on the lower slopes of the huge towering volcano, everyone ignores the billowing clouds of steam issuing forth, they know they’re safe just as their parents knew. At midday the earth rocks and then the volcano explodes, sleeping mountain awakes with a massive roar. Fire and rocks fly forth in all directions and lava flows down the steep slopes. Villagers run away scared but many are caught in the fall of hot ash and rock, as the burning lava destroys their crops and town they know the end is near. Falling ash covers everything and everyone so that they’ll be hidden for three thousand years, entombed to their end. 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. She Defeated Death She should have left the city when the chance was there. Before the Nazis came, closing the noose. She has so many regrets, except on her actions. Now she's at the wall,... the reasons crystal clear to her. Some things are priceless, unique. Like you my dear, now against the wall. Your dark brown locks hang by your shoulders, your pretty eyes scan the heavens, still defiant. Your lovely beautiful face stern. With death bearing down upon you, victory is yours. Crack go the rifles. Your murder witnessed by the shot down RAF airman. You, the heroine, when the others were silent. Imagine your legacy and what you stand for fifty years from now. That matters. Though I don't know your name, I remember you and what you died for. (dedicated to an unnamed woman that a shot down RAF airman saw executed by the Nazis) out of our new book... Europa – in the dark valley between the world wars Out of the total darkness came a light brighter than infinite suns... Poetry on women (and men) in conflict Nick Armbrister And Andy N 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. Thai By This place gets under your skin. Slowly creeping in like black Texas gold. I said I'd never partake in the cat house girls. Seeing them each day for eighteen months was routine. Walking past the 'venues' to my shop. Usual hi's and hello's. Then one fine humid day, bang! I happened. I changed. Cabin fever? I walked into Suzi's Place. I put my cash on the counter and grinded the mamasan first. Then her two daughters followed by every other girl in there. It took thirteen hours. I totalled twenty eight girls. Most were nice. I can't tell my wife. My mate could, his wife's cool. Mine isn't. I'll say I was busy inking from dawn to dusk. I'm not sure what came over me. The Thai air got under my skin. That day tattooing could wait. Maybe I'll do it again. Invite my wife and her toy boy. Did I say that people are strange here? I fit in well... 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? Natalie. Roberto Oh my dear friend Roberto. I remember back to our time, when we made love. Not the last time but the time before. When you were doing your college film studies and were so happy on your future. It was you who said, “Nat, I’ll make the best film ever made.” And his dear eyes were so full of passion, life and innocence. And a love so powerful, I cried, right there. Love for life, film, his country and lastly, for me. I new then in that moment, Roberto loved me. Maybe more than all the other things. How was that possible? I replied to his film statement. “Tell me, what film will you make Roberto?” Those precious eyes clouded over. I heard him whisper: “Why Natalie, I’ll make the film about you. A small story about you, how you’re in a band and love to fly in your red stunt plane. My film is about you Natalie.” I was utterly speechless. Those close to me and anyone who cared to listen knew my voice was always in motion, just like the ocean. He looked at me. That moment is still with me, over thirty years later. I never did reply to him. I embraced him and cried tears of joy. For him and for a love I had but never dared admit to myself, till Roberto died in a British artillery barrage weeks later. I was in love with him. He has no known grave. Was his body found and marked ‘Unknown Argentine Soldier’ because he had no dog tags? Those beautiful innocent eyes are gone forever. I can’t remember what colour your eyes were! Oh my dear Roberto, I say it now. Every day since you were killed in battle, I say aloud my love for you. Even now I’m married to Nick and am with him, he understands. His words bring clarity to me when I weep for you, dear Roberto. A life stolen by war, unfulfilled. You never did make your film about me, never completed your film course or chased your dreams. All dreams shattered by Them, those who forced you to join our army to fight the English. I quietly say to myself, your end was fast and you never suffered. I don’t know exactly where you lost your young life, just the area. I’ve been there to see with my own eyes. I felt you were nearby to me. Are you still earth bound my love? Are you? I sense that you are. Please be happy for me and my new family. I wanted all this with you but war stole you from me, forever. I can’t remember what colour your eyes were! At least I have someone who should hate me for what I did to his countrymen and who listens to my incoherent words about you Roberto. It shouldn’t be Nick wiping away my tears, it should be you. Please stay close to me. I have to move on from those awful times. I dedicate my life to peace. Please understand my lost friend.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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Dave Carr

Wed 19th Feb 2014 18:02

Thanks for the interest in my poem about the air crash. It's the 70th anniversary this year. Look out for news items.
Had a look at your stuff. Such a lot and something for everyone.
Best wishes

C Byrne

Sun 15th Dec 2013 21:16

Pathway is beautiful

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George Stanworth

Mon 10th Jun 2013 15:42

Hi Nick
Just come across your poetry. I love the diversity of them. There's some great imagery in your poetry. I particularly like the start of 'Pathway' and 'Epiphany On The Edge.' 'Reed' is another great poem.

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nick armbrister

Thu 3rd May 2012 19:51

hi Shirley thanx for replying, yes i like your poems. glad you resolved your issue, things like that are important:)

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Shirley Smothers

Thu 3rd May 2012 17:00

Hi Nick. Thank you for your comments on my poem "Kids With Drugs-2". Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I have been distracted. I found one of my poems on another website but was not given credit for this poem. The situation has been resolved. I have even posted a haiku "Stolen Poem" about my experience. Also thanks for your comments on my poem. "The Sea".

Thank you again for your nice comments.

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nick armbrister

Wed 2nd May 2012 21:30

@Isobel, thanx on your views. im just me and do my best in my art. ive done a full NATALIE series poems. ill msg you them. my gothic lady friend in argentina likes, as do some of her friends. so that matters more than words to me. im quite anti war now but my new friend is a soldier (english) lol. rather mad, two opposites. xxx

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Wed 2nd May 2012 21:22

You have an unusual style Nick - I've enjoyed reading some of yours - you choose different subject matter to most poets :) We are all reeds, I think. x

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Wed 2nd May 2012 21:16

Thanks for your comment on my valentine poem. I'm glad you enjoyed - it was a bit of fun for me and a way of exorcising my demons :)

<Deleted User> (8286)

Thu 4th Aug 2011 14:56

I really enjoyed pathway, very deep and powerful, M

<Deleted User> (7796)

Wed 24th Mar 2010 16:06

hey thanks for the praise (and the fb add) I like epiphany on the edge, very evocative :)

<Deleted User> (4442)

Sat 16th Jan 2010 13:38

Hi Nick
Thank you for your lovely comment on my poem. So glad you liked it. Sorry so late replying I don't go on my site very much. Hope I get to hear you read.

Lynda x

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