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A Shed for Wood / Daniel Thomas Moran

A Shed for Wood

By: Daniel Thomas Moran

Moran’s is a distinctive American voice which deserves an attentive hearing.   Elizabeth Heywood (Acumen Magazine) Moran’s poems seem so natural, uncontrived, like an afterthought that suddenly prevails.   Samuel Menashe Profound and intelligible poetry.  The cosmic grounded in the mundane. Pointedly unpretentious and extraordinarily rea...
ISBN 978-1-908836-61-8
Pub Date Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Page Count 108
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Moran’s is a distinctive American voice which deserves an attentive hearing.  
Elizabeth Heywood (Acumen Magazine)

Moran’s poems seem so natural, uncontrived, like an afterthought that suddenly prevails.  
Samuel Menashe

Profound and intelligible poetry.  The cosmic grounded in the mundane. Pointedly unpretentious and extraordinarily real.  
Peter Quinn

Daniel Thomas Moran is a poet whose American sinews were birthed by Irish forebears, and who arrives as a poet from an unlikely place. Trained as a scientist and ultimately as a Doctor of Dental Surgery he writes, not from pedagogy, but from his own nature; a sense of wonder at and worship for, the assorted reflections of existence. It is here, in his seventh collection, A Shed for Wood, that he comes home again, to Ireland, with all his accounts of life in the new world. His poems are a travelogue of oddly varied subjects and points of view; faces and places where he engages and acclaims the diverting particulars of living. He does it with poignancy and with wit, with tenderness and a peculiar perspective, and with a proud and well-earned American-Irish breed of wisdom.

Daniel Thomas Moran

Daniel Thomas Moran, born in New York City in 1957, earned a Baccalaureate in Biology from Stony Brook University in 1979 and a Doctorate in Dental Surgery from Howard University in 1983. He is the author of eleven previous collections of poems which include Here in the Afterlife (Integral Contemporary Literature Press/Romanian translation by Lidia Vianu (The University of Bucharest, 2017), A Shed for Wood  (2014, Salmon Poetry), Nieve de Agosto y otros poemas (Diaz Grey Editores/ Spanish translation by Mariela Dreyfus, New York University, 2014), Looking for the Uncertain Past (Poetry Salzburg, 2006), From HiLo to Willow Pond (Street Press, 2002), and In Praise of August (Canio’s Editions, 1998). 

His poems and essays have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, The Humanist, Columbia Journal, Confrontation, Commonweal, Contemporary Literature Review India, Exit 13, Hawaii Pacific Review, The Guardian, Hektoen International,  iManhattan, Instanbul Literature Review, The Journal of The American Medical Association, Levure Litteraire, Literary Matters, Medical Humanities Journal, Nonad’s Choir, Nassau Review, Opium, Poetry Salzbug Review, Prairie Poetry, Rattapallax, The Recorder, Sfera Eonica, The Journal of Dental Humanities, Street Magazine, The Seventh Quarry, Like Light: 25 Years of Poetry and Prose (Bright Hill Press), New Contrast: South Africa Literary Journal and VIA:Voices in Italian Americana (Bordighera Press).

He was appointed Poet Laureate by The Legislature of Suffolk County, NY in 2005, and was Vice-President of The Walt Whitman Birthplace Association. His collected papers are being archived in The Dept. of Special Collections of The Frank Melville, Jr. Library at Stony Brook. He is also Chairman of The Dean’s Advisory Board for The University Libraries at Stony Brook. He has collaborated with artists worldwide as part of the Austria based Password Project and also in collaboration in The Ekphrasis Project with artist Gerrit Joost de Jonge of The Netherlands. He has been an ordained Humanist Minister since 2005 and is presently Arts Editor for The Humanist magazine in Washington, D.C. 

     After being in the private practice of dentistry for twenty-six years, and five years teaching, in 2013 he retired as Clinical Assistant Professor from Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine, where he twice earned national awards for Excellence in Clinical Teaching. In 2011, he was honored by being selected to deliver the School of Dental Medicine’s Commencement Address. In 2019, he was honored by being asked to read a poem of his at the inauguration of New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu. In addition, Dr. Moran is a skilled maker of Windsor Chairs. He and his wife Karen live on The Warner River in Webster, New Hampshire.

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 it’s 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 life is so fleetly fleeting,
Might seem so surely worth repeating.

Life Now

It is not so different, really.
There are oaks and wildflowers,
and stones in our garden.
In the house where we sleep,
there is a case of books,
and they are our books.

The sunlight is most 
beautiful in the early morning 
just before the world gets busy.
There is work to be done
during each of our days, as well.
Work which makes us feel 
tired and contented.

There is also water. 
Not empty and still,
but thin and silken over 
and amidst the big rocks.
All the long day and night
It makes a sound like wind.
It travels while our travels
have ended, Here.

There is a stately heron, who
comes to fish in the noon.
Yesterday I saw the hummingbird,
only minutes after I had reached 
to hang his red feeder.

I was pleased at his arrival. 
I spent a small time wondering, 
how he knew where to find us, 
just as he had done in
all those green summers, 
far away.

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.

Copyright © Daniel T. Moran 2013

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