Monday, May 2, 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


                  Mead Gardens, Saturdays, the girls and I
                  Will trek around the stream-side nature trail
                  And watch bird-watchers, aiming toward the sky
                  Their long-lensed cameras, spot a yellow tail
                  Or speckled back or other telling trait
                  Of novel fowls on their migration routes
                  And over-hear their spirited debate
                  Trying to note the varied tweets and hoots.
                  Meanwhile my dogs are sniffing at the ground
                  For evidence of rabbits or raccoons,
                  Which for their searching they have never found,
                  Though they’ve been tracking now for many moons,­
                       And I’m the watcher watching everyone—­
                       Seeing their kinds of finding is my fun.


Sunday, May 1, 2016


                             Now Donald Trump is on the stump
                             And sounding like a horse’s rump
                             But may be heading for a slump—
                             I’d rather vote for Forrest Gump.


Saturday, April 30, 2016


                   Although it’s good to see the school year end
                   And summer’s leisure beckoning ahead
                   Where my creative ventures may extend
                   Bending to where the Muse would have me led,

                   It’s also good to get back in my traces
                   When in September a new term begins,
                   Confronting three new classes of fresh faces,
                   Some with anxiety and some with grins.

                   For every term a new adventure starts,
                   Each course exploring blossoming new fields
                   Appealing to not only heads but hearts
                   And at the best, enlightening wisdom yields.

                       But for the nonce, my aim is to enjoy
                       Composing verse—and this is my envoy.


Friday, April 29, 2016


for Nicholas Maxwell

                    Knowing what's most valuable to do
                    And doing it is how you prove you’re wise;
                    It’s not some arcane knowledge you accrue,
                    But deeds you contemplate and realize
                    That bring to needy ones some benefit:
                     A truth our great philosophers have writ.


Thursday, April 28, 2016


                    What would ambition do?  What would it not,
                    Going so far as even kill a king,
                    Conniving in a treacherous, fatal plot
                    To execute this most appalling thing.

                    Just such a question Shakespeare would explore,
                    Contriving a dramatic spectacle
                    Confronting us with scenes we must deplore
                    Ensuring that his plays be never dull.

                    Thus Hamlet and Macbeth are dramas that
                    Arouse the pity and the terror which
                    Is kin to what a high-wire acrobat
                    Evokes who seems from there about to pitch.

                         For all the anguish that such drama stirs,
                         Catharsis, though, is what at last occurs.



Wednesday, April 27, 2016


                    The marvel and the mystery we are,
                    Compounded from the dust of a dead star,
                    We all too sadly fail to recognize
                    When doing so would help to make us wise:

                    To see and feel how precious all life is
                    Would change our consternation into bliss
                    By teaching us the arts of stewardship
                    Lest into some catastrophe we slip.

                    “The glory, jest and riddle of the world,”
                    We still have virtues left to be unfurled-
                    Once we out-grow our adolescent phase
                    And show the sapience our name displays.