Poems by Tom Daley

Are We Merely Beetles Drawn to Fire?

Are we merely
beetles drawn to fire?

Pale as cheap magenta.
Torn as a hole

in the forest canopy.
Threatened by long time

and the overlooking.
Seed banking and seed

orchard and drowned
river beds. Pelagic

seabirds and coldwater
coral in the canyon.

Haiku After Swimming in Humphrey’s Pond

Frog squawk under deck—
now it’s cornering the pond
heralding July.

Treading pond water,
the spring’s vent cools the bottom
of the summer sun.

Mineral softness.
The water buoyant and black.
Moon dries the moist air.

Bats that dip and spark
the fire dome of the pond—
swooping June’s finish.

Recipient of the Dana Award in Poetry, Tom Daley’s poetry has appeared in North American Review, Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, Fence, Denver Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Witness, and elsewhere. FutureCycle Press published his first full-length collection of poetry, House You Cannot Reach—Poems in the Voice of My Mother and Other Poems. His chapbook, Far Cry, was published in 2022 by Ethel Zine & Micro Press.

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