Friday, October 31, 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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The greatest mystery of all must be
How Cosmos made up creatures such as we,
Or even simple atoms, for that matter,
And everything along the Great Chain’s ladder.

Whence comes this urge toward more complex design
That eons after eons still refine
Until we come along who can applaud
What seems to us the work of some great God?

Some intellect that we personify
In our own image, living in the sky,
Appears to be the cause of all we know,
Or so our ancient tales and fables show.

     Does any new cosmology explain
     The covert provenance of our own brain?


Thursday, October 30, 2014


       If you’d be wise, then you must cultivate
       Compassion for all creatures, great and small,
       For wisdom shows one over-arching trait,
       A God-like generosity toward all.

       Though sometimes you may face a paradox
       And find you must be cruel to be kind,
       Or act as subtly as a wily fox,
       Do so, but keep your purity of mind,

       For there are many ways one may betray
       A trust or compromise integrity,
       And lacking wary vigilance may stray
       Beyond the limits of due sympathy.

            It’s folly to forget all that we owe
            To others’ loving kindness as we grow.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014


    “The glory, jest and riddle of the world,”
    Whose traits for eons now have been unfurled,
    Both admirable and terrible by turns,
    The race that knows the most but never learns
    What is of greatest value to possess
    Though doubly named for what it should profess,
    We Homo sapiens sapiens still aren’t wise:
    That virtue we most need to realize.
    A culture that can cultivate this trait
    And raise us to that glorious estate
    We’re destined for is our most urgent need
    If this experiment is to succeed.
    We know full well, though fail to realize
    That love lies at the root of growing wise.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014


    That Ervin Laszlo claims our minds don’t die,
    Ingenious as he is in many ways,
    Makes me rethink what I took for a lie,
    A myth promoted in our childish days
    But then outgrown in maturity,
    That once gave us a false security,
    For in adulthood we should bear the truth
    That would be overwhelming in our youth.

    Yet since the case he makes seems credible,
    A glorious worldview is beckoning
    Allowing us at last to feel hopeful
    That though we may still face a reckoning
    To account for how we’ve used each precious life,
    The prospects of new venturings are rife.


Monday, October 27, 2014


      I’d like to know that consciousness persists
      Beyond our deaths, but common sense resists
      Such hope, seeking in vain for evidence
      Of any such arcane experience,
      Except for those of dubious report
      That would not pass the tests of science’ court.

      Yet now comes Ervin Laszlo, eminent
      In intellect, who claims it’s evident
      That consciousness transcends mortality,
      Building his air-tight case impeccably—
      So can I now find solace and relief,
      Substantiated so in this belief?

           As grand as being immortal may appear,
           I’d rather have my lost loved-ones still here.


Sunday, October 26, 2014


for Larry Dossey

        Cosmologists today may have divined
        The occult nature of the human mind,
        Finding it amazingly entwined
        With Mind at large, implying they’re designed
        To work in harmony when well aligned,
        While to ignore this way that we’re inclined
        Will leave us baffled, battered, blighted, blind.