Humanist Voices in Verse

This week, we are featuring the poems of Daniel Thomas Moran, poetry editor for Humanist Network News.

Daniel Thomas Moran served as Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, New York from 2005 to 2007. His work has appeared in The New York Times, National Forum, and the Poetry Salzburg Review. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine. His website is

If you’d like to contribute original poetry to Humanist Voices in Verse, write to with “Poetry” in the subject line. Please send no more than three poems for consideration per week.


A Question for their Gods

You made them lithe.

Vertical with sinew.

Cunning and swift.

Given to tenderness.


They fell in love

with the night sky,

then filled it with gods

of very many names.


They made lives from

rocks and raindrops.

Walked their way through

dust and through mud.


They carried their things

across savannah and sea.

Ascended, wondering, to the

far sides of the mountains.


Under the midday sun.

From shade to shade.

Their purpose, the horizon.

Their backs to the night.


But why create so many,

with so little to sustain them?

And like you, capable of

such ruin and cruelties?



To The Generals

You must take.

It is your nature.


You must

take down,

take away,

take leave.


You must

empty and spend,

even waste.


We have  come to see

You will not be denied.

But please is all I can say.


Do Not Take My Son.


Not his legs or arms,

not an eye or thumb,

not his heart or his mind.


He is not yours to spend.


Should you insist,

you should know,


I could not face

one day more, knowing

that I had let you do it.


—-Daniel Thomas Moran