Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Gentle Reader,

What you’ll find below is an upside-down anthology of sorts: a journal of my frequent morning musings from January 2008 till now, in reverse order.

Much of what I write here is verse in traditional rhymed iambic pentameters, old fashioned in form but contemporary in topics and idiom. It asks to be read aloud so that the effects of rhyme and meter may be felt.

Sometimes I write brief prose essays, but even my verses are essays, or attempts, pursuing a line of thought to some conclusion, though more sonorously than those in prose: discursive verses, I call them.

In either case, you’re the reader over my shoulder as I write, which makes my writing different than when I have no audience in mind but only a vague urge to express. So I thank you for whatever attention you give my words and thoughts and feelings because you might so easily attend to something else, and you soon will.

To beguile you to linger longer, though, I’ve coupled most of my compositions with a photo or image I’ve taken or borrowed, which often corresponds with my words of that day.

Thank you for visiting here.  I hope you enjoy your stay and are moved to come back soon.

—Alan Nordstrom

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               A walk with Gyp and Tiggy on their leads
               Is always an adventure for their noses,
               The landscape like a news report each reads:
               Reports of poops and pees more than of roses,

               But best of all is sniffing out a bone
               Chucked from the window of a worker’s truck
               Snatched on the sly and savored as her own—
               A putrid, gross, delicious slimy snack.

               Good luck on wresting such great treats away
               From the clenched jaws of either of these girls
               Growling protectively if you should try:
               You’d think these bones were precious gems and pearls.

                    One way is to negotiate a trade,
                    So bring a treat: that’s how a deal is made.


Monday, June 29, 2015


“Realizing that our consciousness is immortal would give us the assurance we need to experience joy in living and tranquility in dying.”
—Ervin Laszlo

               How is it that mere matter grows to mind,
               Or are things quite the other way designed:
               Mind being perennial and giving rise
               To all above and all beneath the skies?

               Then when we die, our minds re-elevate
               To their primordial, perennial state
               Awaiting possibly another round,
               Another destiny toward which they’re bound.

                    And so mind cycles through eternity
                    Then manifests just now as you and me.


Sunday, June 28, 2015


               Odd thoughts are milling round inside my head
               As I seek something needing to be said
               Because I’m in my morning writing mode
               And searching for some scene or episode:

               Perhaps some recent happening to relate
               Or some conundrum I might contemplate
               Or an old theme I should revisit now
               Unfurrowing at last my wrinkled brow.

               Turn where I may, no subject suitable
               Appears that might have grown beautiful
               If rendered carefully in well-wrought verse,
               But this my Muse refuses to disburse.

                    No help for it, no easing of my sorrow,
                    But count on this: I shall be back tomorrow.


Friday, June 26, 2015


               Dismantling an oak that’s been your friend
               And home to families of squirrels and birds
               In your backyard is hard to apprehend
               And will not be relieved by soothing words.
               The best I hope to do in writing this
               Is to commemorate the fond rapport
               We’ve long enjoyed and now shall always miss,
               As will its former tenants even more.
               Its massive branches shorn and broad trunk sliced,
               It seems the victim of an ancient rite
               Demanding something grand be sacrificed
               To spare us from some dark impending blight.
                    It’s true this tree had power to crush our home,
                    But that’s a subject for another poem.


Thursday, June 25, 2015


               The laurel oaks are ageing all around
               Our neighborhood, and several in our yard
               Are shedding limbs and showing they’re unsound,
               But yet the thought of losing them is hard.

               On top of that, it costs a cool six thou
               Dismembering and dismantling only one,
               The yard-wide trunk and every arching bough,
               Then hauling off what weighs over a ton.

               As if to urge us further comes the news
               The season’s drawing near for hurricanes,
               Another way for nature to abuse
               All creatures great and small with lingering pains.

                    The squirrels, though, cavorting round the trunk
                    Enjoy the day and say my fears are bunk.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015


               I’ve lived my life where civil peace prevails
               And never known war but in the news
               Or movies where such violence boosts sales
               And ultimately all the bad guys lose.

               Is it conceivable that someday hence
               Our race will have evolved beyond resort
               To force, aggressive action and defense,
               All differences being settled in a court?

               First, we must think much better of our race
               And honor what we’re named for: sapience,
               Repenting our long history of disgrace
               While cultivating love as recompense.

                    Our heroes must be models who inspire
                    All souls to do what history will admire.