Friday, April 18, 2014


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

* * *
“I BELIEVE that in our good days a well-ordered mind has a new thought awaiting it every morning.  And hence, eminently thoughtful men, from the time of Pythagoras down, have insisted on an hour of solitude every day, to meet their own mind and learn what oracle it has to impart.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, from “Inspiration”



for Lewis Duncan

      Once we’ve deciphered our own programming
      And learned to replicate how we are made,
      We’ll know that we’ll survive most anything
      And may live confident and unafraid.

      Those old bugbears—death and oblivion—
      No longer threatening, now held at bay,
      Think how we’ll flourish—all that may be done
      Unshadowed by the menace of Doomsday.

      Yet with the loss of death what else is lost?
      For all its fear, death gives a piquancy
      To every day, since wasted time will cost
      Us anguish if there’s no eternity.

           The preciousness of life lies in our fear
           Of death: mortality makes life so dear.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014


   These April birds are scattering the dawn
   With tweets and chirps and chitters meant to raise
   More hastily the sun, make night be gone,
   By offering Aurora rightful praise.
        You say it’s territoriality?
        It sounds like joy and thankfulness to me.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014



Come, kiss me, Kate, and be my bonny lass:
Cast off your fuming, fretful temperament;
The world is better off without your sass,
And your exasperation is misspent.


Let go of me, you saucy, bossy knave!
I’d no more kiss you than I would a rat,
And who are you to teach me to behave?
Unhand me or I’ll prove a killer cat!


But Kate, I find you mild as any kitten—
Here, take my hand, and join with me in joy!


Let go of me, or see your fingers bitten—
I’ll be no mincing mistress, meek and coy.


Well, be you as you will—you shall be mine.


Let me but rule, and all will be divine.


Monday, April 14, 2014


for Bill Moyers

      That government is best which aims for all
      To thrive and flourish, for all humankind
      To reach their full potentials and stand tall,
      As wholly realized as they’re inclined.

      Good government does not serve just the rich
      With subsidies and loopholes for the few,
      Ignoring multitudes left in a ditch,
      But helps the hopeless to start life anew.

      For government exists to regulate
      What otherwise is reckless, wild and wrong,
      And in its place works to perpetuate
      What helps all parties love and get along.

           Though this ideal has yet to be achieved,
           We know it is by wisdom well conceived.


Sunday, April 13, 2014


    Think first of poetry like this as game.
    It’s not that you have something set to say;
    When you begin, you have no certain aim:
    It’s simply that you’ve set some sounds in play
    While you explore emerging lines of thought,
    Which grow in clarity as you proceed,
    Revealing what you did not know you sought,
    Turning mere supposition into deed.
    How this should be remains a mystery,
    That meaning should emerge from a mere frame,
    An empty crossword box implicitly
    Designed to realize a covert aim,
         Yet in this case with no prescribed intent,
         Just meaning you, as you proceed, invent.


Saturday, April 12, 2014


           Hey, you!  Yes, you—who just now threw
                    This can into the street—
           I’ve finally caught up with you:
                    For years, walking my beat
           I’ve daily seen the evidence
                   Of careless disregard
           And your continual offense
                    To sidewalk, bush and yard.
           At last I get to apprehend
                    The scofflaw who has spoiled
           This neighborhood, and I intend
                    Your habits will be foiled:
           For thirty days you’ll fill this sack
           And carry garbage on your back.