Wednesday, May 24, 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 



                      The marvel and the wonder that we’re here,
                      Alive on Earth within this cosmic realm
                      Is sure, although our purpose is not clear,
                       Nor whether we’ve a captain at our helm.
                       But, obviously, our prime task’s to protect
                       Our precious habitat that fosters life,
                       So much in danger now of being wrecked
                       Because of our antagonistic strife.
                       Our childhood’s past, thus now to grow mature
                       Is our clear quest, and must not be delayed
                       For, short of that, our species can’t endure
                       Since there’s no one to hasten to our aid.
                            A Global Wisdom Culture must be born
                            Or all posterity will be forlorn.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017


                    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.