Four Poems from AVENUE
Michael OBrien


The sea still patiently

playing its cards, turning

them over, one by one,

breaking up the pattern,

laying them out again,

unhurried, nothing to

lose or gain, only the

course of the possible.


He dreams the sound

that ends the dream


walls swept with light.




Membrane of sleep

through which he sifts,

back and forth, no

longer knows on

which side he dreams.


Gull climbs, falling

backward into

the wind, away from

the ones who cry What?




Blade of the sea

that clouds withdraw


a glimpse, a flash

of the world without us


eye counting its rooms

in the imageless dark.




The tide

lays down its wrack-line,


rattles the stones

as it draws away.


Slow stream mirrors

a heron fishing,


cowlick of rock

across the bay.