Friday, March 6, 2015



AFTERWORD


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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GOOD ORDERLY DIRECTION, II

          How comforting that underlying all
          Of space and time exists a cosmic mind
          And not a vacancy that would appall,
          But yet a cause by which all is designed.

          It does not call for faith to verify
          The truth of mind, since human science shows
          How evidential principles apply
          Beyond what metaphysics might disclose.

          Good Orderly Direction’s now revealed
          As an implicit universal force
          Although by faulty science long concealed,
          Yet now demonstrably our cosmic Source.

               Our mission’s then to comprehend this mind
               And live by principles that GOD’s defined.








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Thursday, March 5, 2015


THE RATIONALIST’S CREED

          I’d rather know in truth than trust in faith
          The declarations of some “Holy Wraith”:
          It’s science that will show the rightful way
          And dictate what commandments to obey
          If we’re to thrive in earthly enterprises
          Meeting whatever challenge here arises,
          And simply common sense reveals that love
          Is what our noblest goals are fashioned of.
          But superstition and idolatry
          Have over eons bred such misery
          That thoughtful people cannot but deplore
          The oxymoron of “religious war.”
               A blind belief in someone’s “holy word”
               Instead of truth is patently absurd.








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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

MIND MATTERS

for Ervin Laszlo


I

          Though other theories have prevailed till now,          
          With matter being assumed the building block          
          Of all there is, a thing and not a Thou,           
          The universe not spirit but a clock, 
          
          An older view has lately been revived:           
          That Mind’s the elemental guiding force
          By which the budding cosmos is contrived,          
          And Spirit is its fundamental Source.

   
            Mind matters more than we have long believed
  
             Being the womb in which the world’s conceived.


II

          That we are here is evidence enough 
          The universe is made of more than stuff,          
           But rather is invested with a mind 
           By which the blooming cosmos is designed.  
         
          Mere random rolls of dice could never build 
          The complex universe we’re here to see, 
          And such an enterprise was clearly willed
          Then surely through invention came to be. 
           
          The proof of this is that we’re here to show 
          By our own deeds the way a mind proceeds:
          This very poem demonstrates the flow
          Of thought that fills a certain pattern’s needs,

  
             And thus it is the universe is made
  
             From form and matter thoughtfully arrayed.


   III

          It’s Mind that finds or generates the stuff          
          From which materiality is made,          
          But matter in itself is not enough,          
          So Mind decides how it is best arrayed, 
         
          And thus it was the Cosmos came to be          
          And thence evolved to what it is today,          
          A function of expressed mentality           
          That may, through us, have more still to display. 
          
          For all we know, we’re evolution’s edge,           
          On whom the growing cosmos now depends,          
          For it’s our duty and our privilege           
          To realize where cosmic progress tends—

    
          Taking the greatest stride we’ve ever stridden,
   
           Revealing those deep secrets Mind has hidden.







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Tuesday, March 3, 2015


OPPOSITES

for Richard Wilbur

          High-minded and high-handed are opposed,
          As a good dictionary will have glosed:
          The one being elevated and profound;
          The other rife where scoundrels abound.








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Monday, March 2, 2015




I WANT IT NOW!

          The problem with emotion-backed demands
          Is how they bind your mind and tie your hands;
          Whereas if you’d let go and just be calm,
          You’d feel the healing of that heavenly balm
          Which patience and serenity supply
          And Providence will render by and by.









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Sunday, March 1, 2015


THE PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION

          The Prairie Home Companion’s on tonight
          For those of us who stay in Saturdays,
          A folksy and old-fashioned ear’s delight
          For us accustomed to the inward gaze,
          Trained by the radio in our childhood
          To see with just imagination’s eye
          What otherwise would not be understood,
          Except as fiction readers learn to spy.
          The two-hour’s traffic of this medley,
          Performed on stage in a Twin City’s hall,
          Consists of music, songs and repartee,
          Variety enough to please us all
               Capped off by Garrison’s weekly reviews
               Of his hometown, Lake Wobegon’s breaking news.









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