Wednesday, May 27, 2015


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

This blog was produced on a Firefox browser   
 and looks best on one.




* * *


               At first there’s little that I have to say,
               But soon a line arises in my mind
               That starts me galloping along my way
               As it grows clearer how my thought’s inclined,

               For poetry’s about discovery,
               And at the start there’s no way I can know
               Where after fourteen metered lines I’ll be:
               I boldly write and watch the poem grow

               Until the ninth line, where I’ll take a turn
               More certain now, but not entirely sure
               Of where I’m headed, for I’ve still to learn
               What point I’m making as my lines grow fewer:

                    Verse is a vehicle that takes you where
                    You never know you’ll go until you’re there.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015


               “What kind of dog is that—the little one?”
               Folks ask me as I walk with Gyp and Tig—
               A prompt for me to have a bit of fun—
               They mean our Tegan, who’s just six pounds big.

               “It’s only on the outside that she’s small,”
               I say.  “Inside, her ego is immense.
               What kind of dog?  One who’s ten inches tall,
               Who’s lovingly laid back, but then intense.

               “Her breed’s a Mi-Ki, which must be a mix.
               What dogs,” I ask, “do you think she looks like?”
               “A Yorkie?  Papillon?—those ears transfix!
               A Pomeranian?  She’s such a tyke.”

                    “Those are good guesses, but as for myself
                    I think, besides the others, she’s part elf.”


Monday, May 25, 2015


“Knowing what we know now, did President George W. Bush make 
a huge mistake in invading Iraq?”  (The Week, May 29, 2015)

               Informed historians say a war we fought
               Is now adjudged to have been waged for naught
               Since all that death, destruction, misery
               Derived from an aberrant fantasy,

               And I allowed myself to go along
               With what I might have figured out was wrong
               If only I’d been conscious and attentive
               And urged a policy that was preventive.

               I wonder if there’ll ever come a time
               When anything like war will be a crime,
               A childish motivation then outgrown,
               The seeds of which no longer will be sown.

                    The greatest leap humanity may take
                    Will be toward wisdom—humane and awake.


Sunday, May 24, 2015


                        Bound verse, ironically, is quite unbound,
                        For writing it you have nothing to say,
                        Since sense comes after you have sought a sound
                        As line by line you pace your measured way.

                        Perhaps a general notion of a theme
                        Sets off your march across the empty page
                        As your mind slides into a state like dream
                        Or like a spooky spell cast by a mage.

                        The form itself provokes this impetus,
                        While something in your brain seeks cogency
                        As each line finds its sonic terminus
                        Where sound and sense seem destined to agree.

                            The paradox is that by being bound
                            Your verse allows new vistas to be found.


Saturday, May 23, 2015


               “He’s an enthusiastic atheist,”
               I heard someone described on radio,
               Which I’ll add to my oxymoron list
               Since “God within” is what that means, you know.


Friday, May 22, 2015

            Our little dog’s nudged in beside my hip
            As I sit in my easy chair and sip
            A steaming cup of cafĂ© latte brew

            While hoping for the Muse news to come through.

            Lapboard and pad await my pen’s first stroke
            While I consider rhyming words to stoke
            Imagination’s fires till I divine
            The right route to proceed in every line.

            Now she’s hopped down, and I’m left on my own
            To fathom what’s still in the twilight zone,
            Imagination’s stuff, and ponder on it
            Until at last I’ve polished off this sonnet.

                 I’ve nearly reached the bottom of my cup,
                 And now my morning musing time is up.