Friday, July 1, 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



                    To see the most important things, I need
                    To close my eyes, for then what I can heed
                    Is what imagination might reveal
                    That by my artistry I may make real.

                    This poem is just such an artifact
                    That’s latent in my brain until unpacked
                    By my attending to what comes to mind
                    And seeing how my notions are inclined.

                     Without the vital impetus of rhyme,
                     I’d never find the novelties that I’m
                     Bestowed with by the Muse, who gives me clues
                     And resonant alternatives to choose.

                         While free verse may be easier to write,
                         Bound verse creates more resonant delight.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016


                     On good authority I will accept   

                     We’ve each a soul that after death endures
                     And in another realm is safely kept,
                     An essence that eternally is yours.

                     Presumably, life after life occurs,
                     Each bringing opportunities to grow
                     Beyond being hateful or perverse
                     And learn to love and ever live in flow—

                    All which instructs and prompts us to proceed
                    On paths of hope, kindness and charity,
                    According to each great religion’s creed,
                    Knowing that hate and greed are heresy.

                         To do this takes inspired discipline
                         And firm determination to begin.


Monday, June 27, 2016


                    I write a poem not to speak my mind,
                    Informing others what I have to say,
                    But rather, it’s a way for me to find
                    Elusive thoughts that otherwise would stay
                    Inchoate and aloof without this mode
                    Of rattling my brain to shake things loose
                    During my early morning episode
                    When, pen in hand, I call upon the Muse—
                    And rarely am I left without reply
                    Because, I think, implicit in this form
                    Of metrical and rhyming verse there lie
                    Latent ideas that will awake and swarm:
                        The paradox is that by what I’m bound
                        I’m freed to see what I’d have never found.


Sunday, June 26, 2016


                      How could the universe have come to be
                      And, more amazingly, have brought forth me

                      And yes, you too—what can we make of this:
                      That everything arose from an abyss
                      And has expanded everlastingly
                      Extending toward infinity?
                      It cannot be but this is all designed
                      By some transcendent cosmologic mind,
                      Some part of which each creature manifests,
                      All following the mandates in their breasts
                      To realize potentialities
                      That make their viability increase
                      And, in our case, at best we’ll realize
                      Our human sapience by growing wise.


Saturday, June 25, 2016


                    There’s never been a time more wondrous
                    To live than now, nor also perilous:
                     With our astonishing technologies,
                     We’ve flown beyond our planet’s boundaries
                     And altered every habitat below:
                     Sometimes to our elation, sometimes woe.
                     We can be brilliant, but we’re clearly flawed
                     Especially when we’re negligent of God,
                     Good Orderly Direction in our souls,
                     To help determine our important goals,
                     Implicit guidance to decide what’s best,
                      What saints and sages wisely have professed.
                           We’re overdue to come into our own,
                           Our Homo sapience at last full grown.


Friday, June 24, 2016


                  Now here we go, to find out what’s to say,
                  A practice that I follow every day,
                  A kind of dialogue between the form
                  And matter, making new ideas swarm.
                  The fun is in my wit’s discovery
                  Of something that would never come to be
                  Without, ironically, the form’s constraints,
                  Enough to try the patience of wise saints.
                  And yet the form compels me to dig deep
                  To where appropriate notions lie asleep
                   In the repository of my mind
                   From which emerging sense can be designed.
                        Though this may seem an odd and tedious ploy,
                         Well played, this process leads at last to joy.