Two Poems by Daniel Edward Moore

Small Obsessions

Moved as I am,
          to love little things,
like a mote in the eye
             of a blinking god
or the spider whose life
          depends on my foot,
marrying a ballerina
                    or soldier.
What is it about
          the intensity of small,
beating my chest like
       a handsome paramedic,
breaking my ribs as
    the hummingbird’s beak
pokes me with the meaning
          of pierce and release?

The older I get the
                    more torn I am
by how tenderness
      looks like a tiny house
built by the starfish
            of rugged hands,
big and wide as the
         ocean that made them,
my heart, a million pieces
    of shells, happy
to hold those rays
   of light from which
I am bound to burn.


I am Not the Face

If you’re living in a
warehouse of secret rooms

find a face you can trust,
to tell you what is real.

You forgot your address years ago.
Make sure they know that.

Make sure your ghostly breath
stumbling through lips

on a Sunday morning
reminds you of the way a

soldier kissed after laying
his gun before God.

Then ponder the
question of trust.

How its absence
has a seductive power

to harm tender things,
forcing wrinkles to open

so words may die
peacefully under the skin.

All it takes is a face.
I am not the face.


Daniel Edward Moore lives in Washington on Whidbey Island. His work is forthcoming in I-70 Review, Passengers Journal, Watershed Review, Flint Hills Review, Sugar House Review, The Main Street Rag Magazine and Impossible Archetype. His book “Waxing the Dents,” is from Brick Road Poetry Press.

Not Alone, but Swimming — by Daniel Edward Moore

Not Alone, but Swimming

Does giving up mean being over,
                                                    the way a dumbbell leaves
the hand, saying this arm is done?

I listened to the sound the ocean makes
                                      where like a bridge I found myself
arched above your rippling yes,

feeling you curl under me as if
                                                   the arm that once was tired
found a way to bend again and

stroke the perfect blue. Wet
                                                     with wonder, we returned,
not alone, but swimming.
                                                    You made the sea believable.


Daniel Edward Moore lives in Washington on Whidbey Island. His poems are forthcoming in Lullwater Review, Emrys Journal, The Meadow, West Trade Review, Toho Journal, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Lindenwood Review, Sheila-Na-Gig Pandemic Anthology and the Chaffin Journal. He is the author of ‘Boys’ (Duck Lake Books) and “Waxing the Dents” (Brick Road Poetry Press).