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The leaf

On a cold, cold autumn morning

My frosty breath

Partially obscured

The wide scattered

Brown leaves

Lying over an icy

Green lawn

Where lay a single



Maple leaf

Blown from a distant tree


To me

An Haiku for the day.


Why am I alone

When such

A glorious thief of time

Places before me

The death of you


I automatically turn

To Say:



To the empty space

Were your place might be


Passer’s by

Might see

A single tear

Frozen on my


After a

Trick of fate

Brought me

So close To you

Once again.




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Requiem For The Morning


Where does the morning lie,

Buried deep

Under heavy ocean fog,

Dimming light soft and gray

Rolls over the hills

Filling the shallows,

Swallowing the dog in mist,

Swallowing my sighs


Sad whys of mystery,

Swallowing a grieving kiss

In a melting dream


Cold air


You lie beneath the old new roses,

Their barren hips remembering bloom,

Planted to remember you?


It’s crunch time again

Dear heart

When those seasonal rhythms start,

When crispy leaves, red and gold,

Folded in brittle end

Cover the garden floor


When those that remain high above

Tenuously hover for the fall.


All in all

It begins again,

The ending of another lush summer

With the hush of bird song

In a cold embrace

Of the morning requiem,



A sliver of light drives through the gloom

Making those raking shadows on the window

Hopeful again.

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Let’s build a fire

Against the chill,

Against the cold.

You and I.

As we stare into

The eternal sky,

Tossing from the dusky hill

Music from the angel lyre.

We are the—- ‘you people’

Luminescent and old

As the mountains—-

Everlasting as the sea.

It is we that sing

Against the tides

Of demon’s curse,

The preacher’s damning verse.

Sacrificed, torn asunder

On Cabeso de Lobo

Put under by lupus thunder

With tin, and edge and gory wonder.

Hung on a lonely fence

Thick and dense

with barbed wire.

The ebbing Shepherd’s life of living fire.

We are ‘those people’


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Wobbly-Sabi A Review

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


You could do no better, in these troubling times, than to lay your hands on a copy of Wobbly-Sabi, a new book of poems by Michael Browne. I read it–though I know I ought not to have done this–at a single sitting. “Ought not to,” because each of Browne’s poems invites its own generous space of silence, the kind of “resting in attention” that guides my meditation practice. But I was so enchanted by the profound simplicity and directness of the poet’s voice and by the serenity of his poems that I could not prevent myself from turning the page. And I found needed solace there, and surcease from the noise that currently engulfs us.

The book’s title, of course, is a gentle play on the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, which Browne, in his Preface, describes as comprising “a taste for earthy, every day, unpretentious objects, preferably made out of natural materials.” It’s about a kind of Zen simplicity, an absence of decorative intent and–for me–includes the notion of imperfection, the crack (as Leonard Cohen put it) “where the light comes in.” “Wobbly” is what happens to us as we age, and these are the poems of a man of… let’s say respectable age.

They are also the poems of a man who has suffered the loss of a deep and abiding love–well, two actually, and probably more, as you will discover, but one of them a true life’s love–and who is contemplating the eventuality of his own death with… let’s not call is resignation, let’s describe it rather with the word I used before: serenity. That I was so deeply moved may have to do with the reality that I have arrived at the same place in my life, and share with this poet the aspiration to experience the approach of age and death with Buddhist-inspired realism and equanimity. Which is simple, yes, but not always so easy as one would wish!

So these are love-poems, age-poems, death-poems. They explore every corner of the mind and heart. They are thought-ful, in that they ask the reader to investigate ideas about the ultimate meaning of life that disguise their depth and complexity in the teasing simplicity of the Zen koan–ideas that defy analysis and for which there is no answer and no explication. They are heart-ful in inviting us to experience the profundity of feeling, principally grief, which is pervasive, but made bearable by sudden flashes of humor and self-deprecation; but also pain, and fear, and the occasional burst of anger; and above all, subtly, joy: the joy of love experienced, of boyhood days remembered, of companionship and contact.

And–this is key in my experience of Browne’s poems–the exquisite joy that is to be found in the potential beauty of each present moment, no matter how dire the circumstances that surround it. Browne’s love of natural beauty, the beauty of being human, of the universe, of our fellow-creatures breathes the subtle joy of life itself into every poem. His luminous evocations of a flower or bird, a simple garden, a sea- or landscape immerse us in the extraordinary privilege of being alive. His words–as words in good poems should–engage, delight, and focus our attention. They dance–a favorite word of his–with understated rhymes and rhythms, surprise us with the memory of a sudden familiar quotation or reference from a hazy literary past, bring us to a halt with the odd colloquialism or with–OMG!–a humorous jab at Internet jargon.

And–just in case I have failed to make this clear–the essence of this book is expressed in the one word: love. It’s a love that is all-embracing and unequivocal in the generosity of its spirit. The book is a celebration of the most distinctively human of all values, an ode–albeit an elegiac ode–to life well lived, and a timely reminder that the important things are always close to hand, if only we can learn to stop for long enough (carpe diem!) to pay attention. In view of which, it behooves me now go back and read with greater attention to these poems myself.

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My NEW BOOK is out!  WOBBLY-SABI by Michael Browne



Wobbly-Sabi by Michael Browne

The fourth and final book in a series is of poetry. In these verses the author poet Michael Browne reveals how an old man living in a small village with his two dogs Bodhi and Andie faces the future on a day to day bases; finding joy in the simple events of daily life in spite of aging, disabilites, struggles with pain and the certain knowledge that the event horzon is closely observed and embraced with a spiritual grace that transforms grief into and act of love.

Available on:  AMAZON : https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_29?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=michael+browne+wobbly-sabi&sprefix=Wobbly-Sabi+by+Michael+Browne%2Caps%2C234&crid=15NDAJQD059R3&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Amichael+browne+wobbly-sabi


Barns & Noble : https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wobbly-sabi-michael-browne/1129595260?ean=9780692194898

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