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PHALANX UPROAR: POEMS. Poems, including one word more one word less compositions, free verse works, and haiku, beginning with a cat that will be missed, and exploring the limits of poems in which each line contains one word more or one word less than the previous line. A vista not to be missed.

Inside this book...

three photographs



as a scholar works

around ghosts and pebbles



be lost

be on time

As cat Musk dies


16 years

Drinks water

uses litter box

but doesn't eat


Sits neatly on sofa

take three photographs



Eye to eye


I was working on a novella and a short story.

The book would come out soon,

but first a personal matter to attend to that I shall not relate,

and second, Musk the cat stopped eating


I moved into the dining room

I brought my cares in there

I sat on the floor

Looked Musk in the eye


How few times left to do so

Before no chances more so

She looks so tired as she rests

This crazy world

She ran from scared

And blessed


Never thought I'd write sad poems

of Musk the wonder cat



Starry night


As cat dies slowly in her way

I find solace in poetry

And such is what I read


One starry night, a beautiful black cat

arrived on the back of a zebra

She dazzled the moon, she recalled

herself a queen, and let you know


how gentle and how much a 'fraidy cat she was

Nonetheless, a good and easy going cat,

with two sisters and a brother of her clan


I read my poems, I try other poems

As Musk lies on the couch, quiet, not yet in pain

May she pass quietly and comfortably

But if she starts to cry, we'll euthanize

As with Sienna her sister


I walk down the long street at night, shapes dance in the shadows

Streetlights dangle and display the grays

What can be done?

Just read a poem when your heart's in a knot



For no one


In the clinic of sorrows

Long lines of parrots wait to sing

As if they knew the words

Of new things as well as they know the old


I only want to walk in the ocean,

then to swim out and bob on the waves

I look for you under every hat and umbrella

You dance for no one


I look for you in the sky

then swim to the edge of what is known

I'm reminded of starlight when it rains

You dance for no one


What if I come around to the left?

Would you answer the question then?

(I would be a customer then.)

It's okay to not understand the message

You dance for no one


I see you stand by the waters,

the waterfall tumbles over your shoulders

Your light lights up the sky

I wonder aloud in a whisper

Silence dances for no one



And what about the coffin?


And what about the coffin?

Is there something more to say?

What colour is the orchestra in the gay outdoors?

What myth awaits the sleeper?

How is it time to go?

I've gone only as far as the remedy requires

and still I fail to see?

Wait? Excuse me?


No, I say. I want to follow

your hand.

Or catch thee later

When the wilderness

is faery-driven

or brought on a lark's wing?


Wait! I see you.

It's not too late! Even when the words

are chopped into pieces too small to name,

we can still see each other in the storm


Copyright 2022 by Pete O'Brien. All Rights Reserved.

What I like most about Pete O'Brien's poetry is it addresses the imagination . . . 

--John Foley, FlashPoint,

Inventive and inspiring! . . . I heartily recommend Phalanx Uproar: Poems.

--John Clarke, Author of The Breeze at Dawn: Selected Poems


The cover of PHALANX UPROAR: POEMS shows a colorful surreal image that includes an abstract bird.

BUY: Only available in paperback. Amazon

Product Details






Paperback (Second Edition)


Feb. 8, 2022

122 Pages, 5.25x8

ISBN 9781951390211

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