Saturday, November 22, 2014


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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     Doc Martin now seems resolute to leave
     Portwenn, shut down his practice and begin
     A surgical career and never grieve,
     Exchanging rural peace for London’s din.

     That his Louisa soon will birth their child
     Does not deter him from this enterprise,
     Since his ambition can’t be reconciled
     With motives he has yet to recognize.

     The truth is that he loves her and Portwenn
     And that he’s needed more in this small town
     Than any other place he’s ever been—
     Despite his curtness and perpetual frown.

          It’s time the Doc is finally reconciled
          And settles down with his new wife and child.


Friday, November 21, 2014


for Copthorne Macdonald’s

   If you’d be wise, then you would realize
   Those virtues that a prudent person owns:
   Compassion that secures our human ties,
   Humility that modulates our tones,

   The peacefulness of equanimity,
   Wonder, joy, humility, insight,
   Sound judgment, vision, self-sufficiency,
   That generosity which breeds delight,

   A positive and up-beat attitude,
   Discernment to distinguish what is sound,
   A disposition to show gratitude,
   An oriented sense of where you’re bound.

        There are yet further virtues to attain,
        But these should do to keep you safe and sane.


Thursday, November 20, 2014


   Smart we are, and clever to extremes,
   Capable of hatching many schemes
  That benefit our ill-considered aims—
  Until our machinations end in flames.

  There’s something we have yet to cultivate
  To lead our species to a happier fate
  Than that catastrophe we now foresee:
  The wisdom to ensure our liberty.

  For all our science is not sapience:
  Mere know-how should not dictate our intents,
  But well-considered values set a course
  That leads to happiness and not remorse.

       We’ll know at last that end for which we’re meant
       When Homo sapiens grows sapient.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014


      Nineteen degrees it is in Buffalo,
      A city that’s notorious for snow,
      But yesterday’s was such a super-doosie
      It made a roof-top shoveller feel woosie—
      Imagining a place like Florida
      Or somewhere South that’s even torrider,
      Resolving that if he had a vacation,
      He’d join the other Northerners’ invasion
      Of the ever-beckoning Sunshine State,
      Imagining a rowboat, line and bait,
      And basking in the lazy afternoon
      While whistling a happy little tune,
          “You are my sunshine,” and feeling grand—
          So glad to trade in snow for palms and sand.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014


    What was it many years ago I said
    By way of sorrow, love and gratitude
    To my mother who lay dying in her bed
    To thank her for the life she had pursued?

    Whatever words they were, I know she knew
    That we, her children, loved her for her care
    And kindliness and dedication to
    Our thriving, generous in equal share.

    Too soon our father died, some years before,
    Leaving her with two children still in school,
    A doleful situation to deplore,
    And yet solicitude was her first rule.

         If there’s a heaven where loved ones re-meet,
         She’ll be the first we children mean to greet.


Monday, November 17, 2014


  The greatest mystery of all is mind,
  By which, some say, reality’s designed,
  As great philosophers have long opined,
  And holy souls ecstatically divined.

  How might we surely know if we’re aligned
  With that by which our essence is defined,
  Or gone the way of much of humankind
  Who have our sacred purposes maligned?

  When from all waywardness we have resigned
  Leaving our wicked tendencies behind,
  Having our souls absolved and minds refined,
  We shall to righteousness no more be blind.

       Once faithfulness and love are intertwined,
       We know our hearts and souls will be enshrined.