Humanist Voices in Verse: Rockets

This week’s poem is by Daniel Thomas Moran, poetry editor, 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. His recently published collection of poems, 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). His website is


I am in my seat,
looking through the
reaching arms of giants,
that stand down along
the river’s bank.
The sky is even
more blue, when set
behind the green
canopies of late July.

The news is insistent,
against a distant echo
of rumbling sound.
The breeze has animated.
The rushing waters have
gathered yesterday’s rain.
The clouds seem alive.

But the news is insistent.
The suffering echoes
off of these hillsides.
The images are of
screams and mourning,
rubble and lifeless bodies.

Why must we give in
to killing?
Why must all the heroes
be armed?
Why must all our beliefs
be carried on the
backs of rockets?

—Daniel Thomas Moran