Monday, August 29, 2016


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




                          Knowing now I may be near to death,
                          I feel exhorted to live well my life,
                          Not wasting any of my precious breath,
                          Intending ever to be wisely blythe.


Thursday, August 25, 2016


                    There’s little that’s haphazard in my day:
                    It’s patterned tightly, like this sonnet’s form,
                    Proceeding in a regimented way,

                    All things accommodating to a norm.

                    And yet in this, a paradox is found
                    That by this seeming onerous constraint
                    I am more liberated than I’m bound
                    Can I but show the patience of a saint.

                   For form inspires versatility
                   And leads me where I wouldn’t think to go,
                   Discovering what waits in latency,
                   Making as yet un-thought ideas flow,

                      Which now this sonnet newly demonstrates
                      While this phenomenon it contemplates.


Monday, August 15, 2016


                      You’ll never see Doc Martin flash a smile:
                      The best his visage registers is grim.
                      He might tell you it’s an excess of bile
                      Or just his disposition to be prim.

                     So how Louisa fell for him is hard
                     To fathom, though his rectitude appeals;
                     He’s quite the opposite of Abelard
                     And of the sort who rather thinks than feels.

                    And yet, his diligence and rectitude,
                    Apparent in each weekly episode,
                    Are recompense enough for his being rude
                    And for the bristly brusqueness of his mode.

                        Though he’s a hero who is clearly flawed,
                        After each episode you’ll still applaud.


Sunday, August 14, 2016


                    Our two dogs have their special traits and ways,
                    Quite different, and yet compatible:
                    Tiggy is the one who frisks and plays,
                    While Gyp, the elder girl, prefers to mull,
                    Her chin on her front paws, lounged in a chair;
                    And yet they’re best of buddies—except when
                    I’m tossing them some treats for both to share,
                    Which I soon found I shouldn’t do again—
                    “Food before friends,” I quickly learned, is true,
                    An ancient jungle rule that still applies.
                    But otherwise, there isn’t much ado,
                    Not games as, say, two kittens might devise.
                    We think of them as children, much adored,
                    While they of us: M’lady and M’lord.


Saturday, August 13, 2016


             First off, it’s running to the yard to pee,
             And then begins the hunt for errant squirrels
             Who wait for nuts I toss abundantly,
             To the delight of our two frisky girls.

             And Tiggy, though she knows that I have treats
             Appropriate for her, prefers the nuts
             And rather’d keep the squirrels from their own eats
             By scampering after their fleet fuzzy butts.

            Then they come in and eagerly await
            The Greenies and the Jumbones I hand out,
            Which usually aren't quite enough to sate
            Their appetites, so I’ll soon hear a shout.

                 “All right, all right, you girls—just one more each.”
                 They’re glad to know I’ve learned what they’ve to teach.



                             The evanescence and fragility
                              Of life makes every day a precious gift,
                              An opportunity for ecstasy,

                              Showing the folly of a life adrift.