Daniel Thomas Moran

Daniel Thomas Moran, born in New York City in 1957, is the author of nine collections of poetry. He has had more than 350 poems published has been published in some 20 different countries. His most recent collection, A Shed for Wood was published in Ireland by Salmon Poetry in 2014. His Looking for the Uncertain Past, was published in Austria by Poetry Salzburg in 2006. He was poet laureate of Suffolk County, NY from 2005-2007. He served as Vice President of The Walt Whitman Birthplace Association and currently serves on the Board of New Hampshire Humanities. He has collaborated with artists on a number of projects including the renowned, Password Project based in Austria. He retired in 2013 as Clinical Assistant Professor from Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine, where in 2011 he delivered the school’s Commencement Address. He twice was awarded the Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award by the graduating class. His collected papers are being archived by The Department of Special Collections at the Frank Melville, Jr. Library at his alma mater, Stony Brook University in New York. He is a Master Windsor Chair Maker, and plays harmonica, drums and piano and is an occasional vocalist with the Windham Swing Band. He lives with his wife, Karen, on the Warner River in New Hampshire. His work can be found on Facebook as well as at www.danielthomasmoran.net.

Accumulations

I surround myself
with familiar things.
Things collected for
no good reason.
Things which take up
the empty spaces in a life.
Things which reassure and
remind me of where
I have been, who I am.

One day in 1961,
when I was about four,
my Mother saved two
hands full of bits she
found in my pockets.
Things found during
a boyhood day which
seemed important,
even useful, too good
to leave languishing
among the overlooked.

A button, a toy soldier,
a small spring, and nine
things with no name.

Nothing has been
changed by time.
Everything has a meaning,
that I have assigned, and
a name I have given it.
My pockets are still
filled each day, emptied
into the pages of books.

Someday, soon after
my leaving, and
just as I had done,
my children will wander
among these walls and
over these floorboards,
and gaze at it all.

They will wonder what
it was I was thinking, and
realize just how much,
will remain as riddle.
Then they will hire a man,
who drives an old truck,
to come and take it all away.

2014 Daniel Thomas Moran

Amsterdam
April 2014

In Amsterdam,
we consult two maps.
Ambling the half-moons
of narrow lanes and
still water, we
step aside for the
trams and foot traffic, the
streaming of bicycles that
roll the city’s veins.

We stare deeply into
canvas stalls of tulips
and buckets of bulbs,
Shops of warm drink
and pretty sweets.
At Rembrandt’s house,
the colors are still ground
on a slab of stone,
linseed added by the drop.

In Amsterdam,
we are the elders, against
an old city decorated
with bloom and beauty.
Young girls talk, eating
sugar-dusted pancakes,
festooned with chocolate.
Black coffee clings to the
inclines of porcelain cups.

Two minutes after seven,
the darkness draws aside
the heavy drape of day.
The air becomes fragrant.
A canal’s water becomes onyx.
The candied ladies, framed
in their tall windows,
emanate a ruby light.

In Amsterdam, under
the tender sheets of evening,
love comes installed, a
quartered hour at a time.
Anyone’s dreams come true.

2014 Daniel Thomas Moran

The Man Across the River

The man across
the river collects
history, and sticks.
He assembles them
into stacks, and
into paragraphs.

We have
spoken about it,
now and again.

We have noticed
those things fallen,
those yet standing.
There are
those things
that defy the
long hurtle of time.
Those things crumbling
and decaying, and
crackling and snapping,
beneath our footsteps.

There are
the things that
we determine
to tell others, and
things we must
keep close.
The trees
keep reaching until
they can no longer.

Men like us,
men like the man
across the river,
men like me, are
just the same.

We can
be content, spending
lifetimes wondering
what is there, high
over the blue treetops,
what is just beneath
the heaped litter.

And when it has
all been uttered,
When all our stories
have fallen behind us,
We admire the
reticence of boulders,
and the endless,
dispassionate travels
of water.

2014 Daniel Thomas Moran

The Window

In my head
are many rooms.
A bed with the linens
tossed by sleep,
A table where
a meal will be waiting,
The chair which
holds me best.
The gentle scent of
coffee and new flowers.

In my rooms
are many walls,
papered with the photos
of long dead antecedents.
A wedding day
one hundred years gone.
My Great Grandmother,
a toddler on her father’s knee.
A poem written
in a prior life.

The air is damp with
the mist of the many lines
I have written, and
the ghosts of those
which yet evade me.
The air I breathe is
sweet and familiar.

And there is a window.
A pale curtain half-drawn,
where I can lean, and
call on the world.
I watch the flutter
of a luscious song in
a grand tree which
guards my roof.
The light is alive.

It is another season and
Time, a young lover.

2015 Daniel Thomas Moran

Visitations

I love the world.
When it does not
encroach.
When people
do not knock
at my door.

I want to know
what is happening.
Out there
between commercials.
I want to worship.
But I find
nothing sacred.

So I am contented
with bottomless thinking.
About the
blossom of daylight,
And the complexion
of the darkness.

I roll it around,
forcing it into
the deep corners
of my skull.

Here and there,
I feel inspired
to sing, and then I
retreat again to silence.

Come find me.
But don’t stay long.

There are things
I need to get back
to not doing.
There are passages
and the past
to contemplate.

Dedicating myself to
those places where
I can feel free,
To be lost, chanting
at the stillness.

2013 Daniel Thomas Moran

What Color is Blue?

There are
those strands
of our reality
which defy our
words.

Limply, they
render answers,
Which simply
refuse
to appease.

I thought that
I knew blue,
Until I chanced
to sail on the
Mediterranean.

Now the bluest
of skies only
disappoints.
It makes me blue
to think about it.

Trapped in
the cage
of our senses,
All is but
air and light,

In a sea of
things which
move inside us,
in colors we are
unfit to describe.

2016 Daniel Thomas Moran

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