Wednesday, May 25, 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



     “Cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer”
               One bird called out against the raucous caws
               Of backyard crows, who seemed moved more by fear—
               And then there was a momentary pause.

               My speculation about this is that
               These birds were neither celebrating morn,
                Nor sharing songs, but saying they’d seen a cat
                In tones not of exuberance but scorn.

                Well, that has passed  and after a short lull
                Their songs resume, a medley of chits
                And cheeps and chirrs, and then an interval
                Of silence till again more tweets and twits.

                     But now it all subsides as traffic noise
                     And airplanes overhead drown out their joys.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016





                    A sonnet comes through serendipity:
                    There’s no way to foretell where it may go
                    With rhyme and meter’s strict exigency

                    As it reveals new matter row by row.
                    At best you have a notion as your guide
                    That sets you off into a Wandering Wood:
                    From there on it’s a wild and whirling ride
                    Finding a course that may be understood
                    And, better yet, seems destined to be found,
                    As if it were intended all along,
                    Its sense being aptly wedded to its sound,
                    A sonnet being in fact a “little song.”
                        How it comes into being is Provident:
                        The best of which are surely Heaven sent.


Monday, May 23, 2016


                       When climbing virtue’s ladder, your first rung
                       Is learning to attend to others’ needs;
                       The second is to care for those among
                       Them by performing charitable deeds
                       Which you do out of sympathy,
                       A fellow-feeling vibrant in your heart
                       That graduates in time to empathy,
                       Which signifies you are no more apart
                       But one, now sharing an identity.


Thursday, May 19, 2016


                    In time I’ll go to the Akashic Zone,
                    Returning to that plenum whence I came,
                    Where I can reckon how my mind has grown,
                    Which is the holy goal toward which we aim
                    When we shall ultimately realize
                   The purpose of a planet like this Earth:
                   Creating beings who at last grow wise
                   And recognize the cosmic plenum’s worth,
                   Self-conscious then in an exalted way,
                   Aware of our supreme identity,
                   The grandeur of the cosmic role we play,
                    And sated in our curiosity,
                         For then we’ll know the purpose of it all
                         Uplifted from our sad primordial Fall.