Michael Dennis Browne

(photo by Mary McLean-Browne) 

Featured Poem 

The Voices

            for Dale Warland and the singers 
on the occasion of their farewell concert, 
            May 30, 2004

I don’t know if we have ever deserved 
     the voices, but they are ours,
I don’t know if we ever have known 
     what it means to be able to speak 
in those tongues, and only 
     in my worst, most useless moments 
have I tried to imagine 
     our lives without them.
Where might we go in the world
     where they would not reach us?

I would never go into the dark
     without the voices,
I have come to rely on how they mend us
     among the ruins 
of what we have hoped for.
     If there were only one branch in the world,
the voices would find it.

Doubt was never the root of us,
     doubt winds itself, again and again,
around our doing, 
     but it was never the source,
joy is the source, 
     foliage of joy in which the singers are hidden, but heard;
     always the gate, always the garden,
always the light, the shadows,
     always the leaves.

From where I stand now,
     I cannot see every singer,
but looking out across the years,
     listening in ways learned 
only from them,
     I can hear all the song.


News & Events:

The Voices

The newest book from Michael Dennis Browne is available now from Carnegie Mellon Press
> More information
Upcoming Events:
June 22 - 28, 2016

Believing in Writing: Poetry , Prose and Prayer: a writing workshop at the Collegeville Institute, St John's University. 

August 6, 2016

To Be Certain of the Dawn, conducted by Kathy Salzman Romey

Berkshire Choral Festival, Sheffied, Massachusetts 

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