4/3/4 (#4)

yet another
collection
of these poems

that aren’t really
poems at
all, now, are they

***

#79: spite, obduracy

the whole point of
this is that
it annoys you

***

#80: a failure of words

there is not a
clear way to
say this at all

***

#81: on pens #1

i don’t like this
pen but its
all i have left

***

#82: on pens #2

ink doesn’t flow
correctly
across the page

***

#83: on pens #3

scratching away
the paper
each word a scar

***

#84: on pens #4

left the lid off
ink’s gone dry
pen thrown in bin

***

#85: sufficiently advanced self-awareness is indistinguishable from self-pity

i do not like
who i am
even slightly

***

#86: on waking #3

my brain has shrunk
like a voles
in midwinter

***

#87: lost in a dream (variation #1)

lost in a dream
of a life
hazy, drifting

***

#88: lost in a dream (variation #2)

lost in a dream
of my own
constant failings

***

#89: lost in a dream (variation #3)

lost in a dream
of a world
unrecognised

***

#90: bird poem #1

seven egrets
in a row
still as statues

***

#91: bird poem #2

a thousand ducks
braced against
the winter wind

***

#92: bird poem #3

crow flying off
holding an
egg in its beak

***

#93: bird poem #4

the cormorant
dives below
gulls hover above

***

#94: bird poem #5

a swan’s feather
floating past
caught in the wind

***

#95: the coming end of the bird poem cycle

cat sauntering
across road
over the fence

***

#96: happiness

road black with rain
heavy boots
joy of puddles

***

#97:

the puddle fits
perfectly
in its own hole

***

#98: despair #1

made the mistake
of reading
twitter today

***

#99: despair #2

some people seem
to really
want civil war

***

#100: waiting for the doors #1

phone-lit faces
punctuate
the snaking queue

***

#101: waiting for the doors #2

cigarette smoke
matching breath
bring your own fog

***

#102: the end of the process

this little box
is full now
of written words

***

#103: a lifetime of regrets

so many words
i shouldn’t
ever have said

***

#104:

a perfect world
as silent
and still as snow

___________

Notes:

1. Written in September and October 2019
2. The three previous collections of 4/3/4 poems can be found here, here and here
3. Bird poem #3 was actually based on a misidentification
4. And it was a walnut in the crow’s beak
5. rather than an egg
6. I disocvered this yesterday, when a crow dropped a walnut on the road in front of me
7. from it’s perch on the roof of the house
8. trying to crack it
9. but failing.
10. But then I noticed that the whole road was littered with walnut shell shrapnel
11. pleasing proof of their eventual success

__________

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4/3/4 (#3)

following on
from the first
and the second

here are some
4/3/4s
they will not stop

***

#53: sunset, full moon

towards the sun
then turn, turn,
towards the moon

***

#54: dead animals by the side of the road (in order)

squirrel, fox, fox
(couldn’t tell)
crow, pheasant, fox

***

#55: half glimpsed scene from car window #1

cows in long grass
motionless
below the bridge

***

#56: half glimpsed scene from car window #2

smell of burnt leaves
canal boat
scene out of time

***

#57: autumn poem #1

the foliage
yellowing
browning, falling

***

#58: autumn poem #2

the trees have gone
all yellow
conkers fallen

***

#59: autumn poem #3

the noise of rain
without end
on plastic roofs

***

#60: autumn poem #4

i like the word
autumnal
it’s nice to say

***

#61: autumn poem #5

park in autumn
much nicer
than in summer

***

#62: winter poem #1

park in winter
best of all
ice underfoot

***

#63: note from niece (pushed under toilet door)

“david which film
snowhite or
littel mermade”

***

#64: trip planning, with smart phone

everyone checks
the weather
and then stays home

***

#65: slight phobia admission #1

i get so scared
(who knows why)
by centipedes

***

#66: slight phobia admission #2

scaffolding makes
me feel a
bit uneasy

***

#67: slight phobia admission #3

just thinking of
space in its
infinity

***

#68: on waking #1

an aching back
short of breath
unfocused eyes

***

#69: on waking #2

happiness gone
yet bad dreams
lingering on

***

#70: day out in suffolk #1

a museum
of radar
in concrete hut

***

#71: day out in suffolk #2

birdsong and waves
where the woods
reach the sea wall

***

#72: looking up (perspective trick)

helicopter
and a drone
both the same size

***

#73: dogs #1

a pug snuffling
and sneezing
wheezing, whining

***

#74: dogs #2

this dog looks like
a huge toy
fluffed up, alive

***

#75: dogs #3

“she won’t hurt you,”
he says while
his dog bites me

***

#76: daily routine (breakfast)

don’t eat breakfast
feel quite ill
when i wake up

***

#77: daily routine (lunch)

eat a sandwich
follow that
with cake and coke

***

#78: daily routine (dinner)

cook too much food
feel quite ill
for rest of day

__________

Notes:

1. Written in August and September 2019

__________

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4/3/4 (#2)

some more poems
all written
in 4/3/4

***

#27: night sky #1

beneath the stars
on my back
I lay weeping

***

#28: night sky #2

A near full moon
surrounded
by wisps of cloud

***

#29: memory loss

I have learned much
forgotten
many times more

***

#30: discomfort

pigeon orgy
on the roof
I look away

***

#31: ruin

they closed the pub
years ago
left it to rot

***

#32: approaching dusk #1

the contrails sweep
in curved arcs
across the sky

***

#33: approaching dusk #2

storm clouds approach
thunder heard
no lightning seen

***

#34: a sunday afternoon

suddenly now
I feel sick
faint, my eyes weep

***

#35: afterwards

I sleep soundly
through the night
and through the day

***

#36: british summer time

went to the shops
it rained and
rained and rained and

***

#37: living room

there’s a spider
hanging there
waiting, waiting

***

#38: bank holiday weekend #1

sat beneath a
parasol
and did not move

***

#39: bank holiday weekend #2

hair wet with sweat
head throbbing
i cannot sleep

***

#40: an autobiography of my life until now

I was lonely
then I was
lonelier still

***

#41: september

the sun went in
the wind blew
early autumn

***

#42: in the park #1

a sausage dog
prancing by
grinning, grinning

***

#43: in the park #2

a pound a bag
by the pond
to buy duck food

***

#44: in the park #3

i put away
the rubbish
others had left

***

#45:

a small forest
of dead trees
all turned to bone

***

#46: beyond intransigence

if I can change
my own mind
you can change yours

***

#47: the catcher in the rye

I’d never read
this before
but now I have

***

#48: i

I feel so tired
all the time
old bones aching

***

#49: corrections

rewriting this
poem took
several hours

***

#50: in my pocket

a tiny scrap
of paper
containing this

***

#51: autumnal river scene #1

on the river
an egret
amongst the gulls

***

#52: autumnal river scene #2

fisherman’s boat
fisherman
fisherman’s dog

__________

Notes:

1. Written between August 10th and September 6th

__________

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4/3/4

i keep writing
these poems
in 4/3/4

i don’t know why
but my brain
just will not stop

configuring
all my thoughts
into this form

tiny little
faux haiku
drifting away

a cloud of thought
barely formed
a ghost of words

miniaturised
groups of sounds
shorn of meaning

so anyway
here they are
you have been warned

***

#1:

no one loves me
even though
i think they should

***

#2:

i cannot breathe
with your hand
upon my heart

***

#3: (a dream)

the octopus
grips my arm
like a lost child

***

#4: echo

a delicate
dust shadow
revelation

***

#5: autobiography #1

i spent a pound
on some sweets
and ate them all

***

#6: unanswered question

what difference
would it make
if i smiled

***

#7: remembrance of shaves gone by

i keep looking
at the blood
trickling away

***

#8: self realisation

what is the point
of all this
with no-one here

***

#9: autobiography #2

watched the football
it was shit
yet i’ll watch more

***

#10: lunch

this glass of milk
has a fly
dying in it

***

#11:

i don’t feel well
anymore
and nor do you

***

12: yes

i am having
a breakdown
in poetry

***

#13: autobiography #3

it was busy
in the park
i ate some chips

***

#14: it is happening again

its so windy
all the bins
blew down the road

***

#15:

his twitter posts
came and went
and went and went

***

#16: email

it’s possible
i missed it
not ignored it

***

#17: book #1

the book was good
i liked it
i read some more

***

#18: book #2

Thus Were Their Faces
was the book
i was reading

***

#19: book #3

its title
did not quite fit
breaking all the rules

***

#20: autobiography #4

covered in ink
from leaking
cheap broken pens

***

#21:

I was offered
kind advice
Frightened, I ran

***

#22:

sometimes i try
to escape
the bounds of space

***

#23: autobiography #5

my headphones fell
on the floor
they were alright

***

#24:

wasting my time
as if it
means anything

***

#25: autobiography #6

the plastic bags
jellyfished
across the park

***

#26: FIN

if i could die
it would be
quite the relief

___________

Notes:

1. Written between 6th and 8th August, 2019
2. It’s okay I’ve stopped now

__________

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