Humanist Voices in Verse: Daniel Thomas Moran

Humanist Network News poetry editor Daniel Thomas Moran recently released his latest collection of poems published by Salmon Poetry. A Shed for Wood has been lauded for its “profound and intelligible poetry” (author Peter Quinn) while Moran is described as “a distinctive American voice which deserves an attentive hearing” (Elizabeth Heywood, Acumen Literary Journal). Poems published in A Shed for Wood have been featured in past issues of Humanist Network News.

Daniel Thomas Moran is a retired dentist and Boston University Assistant Professor, former Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, New York and the author of seven collections of poetry. He lives in Webster, New Hampshire with his wife, Karen, where he has taken on the role of Unemployed Poet and Anecdotalist.

A book launch party and reading will be held on March 13, 2014 at 7:00pm at Gibson’s Book Store in Concord, New Hampshire. More details can be found at, and you can order a copy of the book here.

We are pleased to share excerpts from A Shed for Wood, which have been previously published in Humanist Network News. You can also listen to the poems as read by Daniel Thomas Moran here.


Some Kind of Sonnet for a Mayfly
             For Michael Arcieri

If it be true what learned people say,
The Mayfly lives for but a day.
I’ll not shed even the tiniest tear,
Or wish he’d make it one more year.
Instead I would concentrate on just how grand,
To live without next week’s demand.

And among the simple Mayfly facts is,
He never once has to file his taxes,
Or contemplate the waning moon,
Or anticipate any time but soon.
Never repay but only borrow,
Or check the weather for tomorrow.

It might be luxury, if I may be bold,
To be unconcerned about growing old.
No time for beddy-by, nor alarms to be set,
No time for longing or for regret.
Not to mention that on his day in May,
He might decide to alight or just fly away.

Another thing any Mayfly knows,
He won’t need to shop for Winter clothes.
Never wondering while watching the setting sun
Why living seems over before its begun.
The Mayfly is the only who can truly say
That the Mayfly has so truly had his day.

At eight in the morn his youth would flower,
Old age a twenty-fifth or twenty-sixth hour.
Never needing to strain his brain to remember,
Where he was on the twenty-fourth of September.
Oh Mayfly how strangely fortunate,
Is the lifetime brief and immediate.

Mayfly whose lifetime is so fleetly fleeting,
It would seem so surely worth repeating.



       15 Dec 12

The sounds we hear,
are the noises we make.

Of doors slamming shut,
Of lights put out,
Of the flesh being torn from us.

Tranquility has no place left to it.
We have lost the notes
of the song that starts the day.

We replace it all
with the expressions of the lost.
More sirens and church bells.

The beckoning to our angels.
The laments to the indifferent clouds.

Can we bear to
see ourselves yet again, in
all that’s been vanished?

Who among us has words
to explain the slaughter
of the babies of strangers?

Who are these people
we claim to not know,
But us?



Intelligent Design
    For Christopher Hitchens

I cannot give
much credence
to divine

Even at the
risk of  my
a redemption.

But I have faith
that it would
be wholly

To endorse any
god who’d make
a bone that
was breakable.