Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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 are 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 


                    This entity, this ego that is I

                     Did it exist before my body’s birth,
                     And will it then continue when I die
                     In Heaven above, or back here on this Earth?
                     While ancient tales and scriptures proclaim Yes,
                     There is no scientific certainty,
                      And we are left to speculate and guess,
                      Perplexed forever by this quandary.
                      So, for my comfort, I’ll proceed as though
                      Once this life’s over, there’s another round
                      And then another, so my soul may grow
                      Eventually discovering where it’s bound.
                           My mission now is to explore and find
                           The furthest reaches of my fervid mind.


Monday, May 22, 2017


                    We’d been implicit in the universe

                    And now, some eons on, are manifest
                    Once it, at last, was ready to disburse
                    A creature with intelligence possessed
                   To represent in little its vast Mind,
                   The cosmic intellect that is our Source,
                   By which our world and species were designed,
                   Whose grand benevolence we should endorse.
                    Supposing otherwise, that randomness
                    Might fumble such a cosmos into being
                    Is absurd, for only Yahweh could possess
                    Intelligence so potent and far-seeing.
                         Good Orderly Direction is the cause
                         Of this unending Cosmos and its laws.


Sunday, May 21, 2017


                    “No evidence for God,” reports the news,
                     As if all This has come without a Source,
                     A wellspring whence the Universe ensues
                     To follow its prescribed implicit course.
                     “Ex nihilo” defies all common sense:
                     There surely can’t be something without cause;
                     Though we may lack the power to fathom whence,
                      We shall persist, though now it gives us pause.
                      Perhaps it is that God’s self-evident:
                      Good Orderly Direction is the way
                      The universe proceeds, the evidence
                      Of which is us, and we are here to say:
                            “Behold that something out of nothing rises
                             Just as the mind of God now realizes.”


Saturday, May 20, 2017


                    “Abate, abash, abet, abstemious”
                     Began my word list from the seventh grade:
                     Ten words from which each week our syllabus
                     Required us to learn, and we obeyed.
                     Our teacher, Mr. Harlow, seemed so stern
                     And we all thought the task so burdensome,
                     Being quizzed each week on all we’d had to learn,
                     Oblivious to whom we could become
                     By virtue of such virtuosity—
                     In my case now, a poet and professor,
                     Endowed well with a rich vocabulary,
                     Useful as a scholar and a jester.
                          For even in light verse, to turn a phrase
                          With nimbleness and grace may earn one praise.


Saturday, May 13, 2017


                    I take another sip of morning tea
                    While waiting for the Muse to visit me
                   As I sort through my memories and dreams
                   Until within my mind a notion gleams,
                   Which now I see: the Miracle of Being,
                   A glimpse of which is spiritually freeing. 


Thursday, May 11, 2017


                    Those potencies I’ve yet to realize,
                    Still deeply lodged within my mind and soul,
                    I aim, before I go, to exercise,
                    For being an artful maker is my goal.
                    Since I’ve been gifted with a verbal knack,
                    Then poetry’s a natural enterprise
                    Which I shall work at daily, never slack,
                    Discovering what lines I might devise,
                    For only when I sit to contemplate,
                    My writing pad poised ready on my lap,
                    May I expect my Muse to compensate
                    My pains to pen a poem for which you’ll clap.
                         If this one that you just now gaze upon
                          Is not that kind, I’ve more—so please read on.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017


What are the foremost goals for the  advancement, for the maturation of the human species?

Preeminent, I would say, is attaining sanity, health and wholesomeness: physically, mentally, and spiritually, according to our clearest understanding, and then exhibiting the best exemplars of each to emulate.

Instead of designating ourselves as flawed and fallen by nature (as in the Biblical tradition), we need to conceive of ourselves as works in progress, evolving toward fuller realizations of capacities and virtues inherent in our natures, exemplified by the likes of Moses, Jesus, Aristotle, Plato, Sappho, and others up to the present day.


Saturday, May 6, 2017


                     The miracle, marvel and wonder of Being
                     Is something about which there's no disagreeing.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017


                     I thank you, Lord, our Father in the sky,
                     That Mind we’ve chosen to personify,
                     Who brought all earthly creatures into being,
                     But whom we have no faculty for seeing.
                     Despite that misery and death abound,
                     Our cosmic consciousness can grow profound,
                     And at our best we happily may transcend
                     The fear of our anticipated end
                     By reckoning that mind shall never die
                     But is the Source on which we all rely,
                     Mysterious, but apprehensible,
                     The That of which the universe is full,
                     The omnipresent ground on which we stand
                     That some unfathomable force has planned.


Saturday, April 29, 2017


                         The visionary ecstasy of bliss
                          Seems like Good Orderly Direction’s kiss
                          Upon my brow, enlightening my mind
                          On how the holy Cosmos is designed
                          To manifest in physicality
                          The subtle aspects of reality.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017


for Ervin Laszlo

                    I am assured, by those who’ve grown wise,
                    That all that is will never cease to be
                     (Despite what custom leads us to surmise)
                     But in a Field resides eternally.
                     What now seems disparate and out of touch
                     Remains always in this Akashic realm,
                     And such awareness rescues us from much
                     Torment that otherwise would overwhelm
                      Our equanimity and cause despair,
                      Since now we know what is will ever stay
                      Available for humankind’s welfare,
                      And Heaven’s where our souls forever play.
                           Akashic consciousness reveals how we
                           Can live with God in blissful ecstasy.


Saturday, April 15, 2017


                    The birds of morning greet the glints of dawn
                     By piping orisons into the skies,
                     As squirrels begin to scamper on the lawn,
                    And soon the frolicking of butterflies
                    Will signal that the blooms of early spring
                    Are blossoming, exultant, bright and gay,
                    Up-lifted by the orisons they sing,
                    A balm to winter’s torpor and dismay—
                    Likewise, my heart is light and I must sing
                    A sonnet that shall celebrate all this
                    Uplifting of our spirits to new heights,
                    Even to the pinnacle of bliss,
                        Exultant in this grand, ecstatic trance
                        That blithely stirs my rising soul to dance.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017


                    My highest calling now is to create,
                   To exercise my art in poetry,  

                   By sitting as I do to contemplate
                   How meter, matter, sound and sense agree
                   While I depict the subjects on my mind
                   Discovering, as way leads on to way,
                   How novel artifacts may be designed
                   That sense and sensibility display.
                   Without the challenge of this daunting form,
                   I’d not be prompted to discoveries;
                   Such provocations set ideas a-swarm,
                   Which is one of life’s happy mysteries.
                        A couplet here will make this poem complete,
                        This tumbling gymnast landing on his feet.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017


                               With little insight or capacity
                               For thought, much less sagacity,
                               He stumbled on in his audacity,
                                Clueless still of his opacity,


Tuesday, April 4, 2017



Monday, April 3, 2017


3 APRIL 2017

                    This day, each year, recalls the happiest time
                    That ever I have known in all my life,
                    A day when chapel bells began to chime
                    Proclaiming we were joined as man and wife—
                    Now thirty-five years since, and we’ve come far
                    And traveled happily along our course,
                    While led always by heaven’s brightest star.
                     The Love we learned from our immortal Source,
                     And even though my health is not the best,
                     My hopes are high we’ll be together long
                     And always celebrate how we’ve been blessed,
                     Which is the purpose of this annual song:
                         You are my dearest Dear, and may I be

                         The same to you throughout eternity.


Saturday, April 1, 2017


                 What will we in a hundred years have done
                 Advancing still our human enterprise
                 As, spider-like, from sapience we’ve spun
                 A web that proves we have at last grown wise,
                 Transcending those inanities that now
                 Portend our imminent catastrophe
                 But then a better prospect shall allow,
                 Fulfilling our potentiality?
                 Contention then shall yield to compromise,
                 All parties striving for each other’s good
                 For only then may our race realize
                 The transcendental benefits it should
                      When humankind is properly aligned
                      With that intent for which we’ve been designed.   


Friday, March 31, 2017



                    ·       (US) IPA(key): /ˌkætəˈwɑmpəs/, /ˈkætəˌwɑmpəs/


                     catawampus (comparative more catawampus, superlative most catawampus)

                       1.     Out of alignment, crooked, cater-corner.
                       2.     Fierce, destructive.


·                      (out of alignment): askew, awry, crooked, off-kilter
·                       fierce, destructive): destructive, fierce

 * * *

                    I rather doubt that anybody has
                    Included cattywampus in a verse:
                    So now, without ado or razzmatazz,
                    Let me, then, be the first one to disburse
                    This word into the world of sonnetry
                    To find out how it fares where Shakespeare walked,
                    And if it proves a bumptious refugee
                    Soon doomed to be ridiculously mocked,
                    Or chances to inveigle some support
                    From connoisseurs of this exalted art,
                    Appealing to the whims of that cohort
                    As something to be savored, quite apart
                         From diction that’s traditionally enjoyed,
                          But now is cattawampically deployed.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017


                    What are we here to do but realize
                    The essence of our homo sapience,
                    Which means our human mission’s to grow wise,
                    And that potentiality’s immense;
                    Yet, even long ago, in ancient Greece
                    And with the sages of the Orient,
                    Wisdom arose to bring our forebears peace
                    By straightening out their woeful, wayward bent
                    Reported in old scriptures as our Fall,
                    For which we’ve henceforth suffered to this day,
                    Failing to acknowledge Wisdom’s call
                    But living forlorn, cast off and astray,
                        Until new revelation leads us well
                        Toward heavenly bliss, beyond this ghastly hell.


Friday, March 24, 2017




                    What tale is there, from this our time, that could
                    Compare with one of yours, O Bard of yore,
                    That, were it dramatized, as surely would
                    Arouse a captive audience to adore?
                    What Hamlet or Othello, Lear, Macbeth
                    Have we to mount our stage and captivate
                    Our ears with passionate and glorious breath
                    That we’ll hereafter praise and contemplate?
                    No longer now does poetry prevail
                    To lift our spirits to enraptured heights,
                    But rather now prosodic scripts assail
                    Our weary ears, revealing no insights
                        Compared to yours into the heart and soul
                        Of our humanity—true drama’s goal.


Thursday, March 23, 2017


                    How can I best employ my intellect
                    To amplify the cosmic logosphere
                    And cause the most significant effect
                    That through my ardent efforts might appear?

                    Is it by versecraft that I’ll demonstrate
                    A wit and wisdom worthy to sustain
                   The hearts and souls of hearers and create
                    A visionary world, a higher plane?

                   If this may be, I’ll try to tune my mind
                   To visualize keen insights from above
                   Of how an elevated humankind
                   Would always live in wisdom and in love.

                        This verse, contrived in slumberous ecstasy,
                        May prove, I hope, a true epiphany.


Sunday, March 19, 2017


                    Before the beginning, when only nothing was
                    (Or wasn’t, to try to say it properly),
                    Because, of course, there was then no because,
                    Because there was no cause and couldn’t be—
                    But then there was, as even now it does:
                    May it continue to infinity!


Friday, March 17, 2017


                     I woke up early morning to pure bliss—
                     It’s fading now, but I remember this:
                     That it is what is called “beatitude,”
                     The most exultant human attitude,
                     What mystics claim is Cosmic Consciousness,
                     Attaining which is ultimate success,
                     The highest state there is of human being,
                     Equipping one for supernatural seeing
                     And access to a transcendental world
                     Where universal secrets are unfurled.
                     Once, in my youth, I found this cryptic place,
                     Discovering, for the first time, perfect grace,
                     The memory of which has lingered on,
                      A priceless pearl, a soulful paragon.


Thursday, March 16, 2017


                    A Shakespeare sonnet always starts with               A
                    Delightful sense that very soon you’ll                      B
                    Enraptured with a witty mind at pl                            A
                    And that there’s nowhere else you’d rather              B
                    Yet though you’re now intrigued, you’re still at         C
                    As to its purpose, though the melo                           D
                    You find beguiling, so you’ll wait and                        C
                    If it’s for real or slapstick come-                                D
                    Provoking laughter or monoton                                E

                    Composed by someone sharp-eared or tone dea    F
                   A masterpiece or a monstrosit                                   E      

                   By  a meat grinder or a master che                            F
                        The craft-work of a skillful prodi                            G

                         Or something needing an apolo                           G


Thursday, March 9, 2017


                      The birds of morning greet the glints of dawn
                      By piping orisons into the skies,
                      As squirrels begin to scamper on the lawn,
                      And soon the frolicking of butterflies
                      Will signal that the blooms of early spring
                     Are blossoming, exultant, bright and gay,
                     Up-lifted by the orisons they sing,
                     A balm to winter’s torpor and dismay—
                     Likewise, my heart is light and I must sing
                     A sonnet that shall celebrate all this
                     Uplifting of our spirits to new heights,
                     Even to the pinnacle of bliss,
                          Exultant in this grand, ecstatic trance
                          That blithely stirs my rising soul to dance.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017


                   “ZOO-kia, ZOO-kia, ZOO-kia, ZOO!”
                    Shouts a bird in our backyard as I settle down
                    To write my day’s poem, by the dawn’s early light,
                     Unaware of its species, unable to see
                     This mysterious singer who’s haunting our yard
                     But has planted the beat of this rollicking verse
                     That I’m now endeavoring to rightly rehearse.