Friday, October 24, 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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            Wisdom is the flower of sanity
            And sanity the highest realm of health,
            The implicit sapience of humanity,
            The holiest aspect of worldly wealth.


Thursday, October 23, 2014


       Why are we humans here if not to wonder
       If humans are a blessing or a blunder?
       For all we know, we are the best there is,
       God’s progeny and evidently His
       By virtue of our keen intelligence,
       Although at times we prove immensely dense:
       That sapience for which we’re doubly named
       Betrayed, and our high aspirations shamed.

       Is there some way we may at last redeem
       Our negligence and rectify the scheme
       By which we live and cultivate instead
       New habits and a culture that has shed
       Its waywardness and thus may realize
       The glorious benefits of growing wise?


Wednesday, October 22, 2014


            The living cosmos in informed by mind
            By which its evolution is designed.

            To think it’s but a random accident
            Is to ignore what seems self-evident—

            Yet if it culminates in making man,
            Let’s hope it has a better back-up plan.



   Although there’s very little that we know
   of the vast cosmological domain,
   our sciences at last begin to show
   some wonders that these mysteries contain,

   For now we can begin to calculate
   with the precision of our instruments
   what hitherto we’d merely speculate
   upon of far-off, long-ago events.

   And yet it’s hard to think, for all our thought,
   that though we learn the what, the where, the how
   by which this wondrous universe was wrought,
   the why of it no science can endow.

        That mystery remains unfathomed still,
        a wonderment that only faith may fill.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


for John D. Barrow

       That there’s a universe and we have minds
       To ponder it, intelligence that finds
       Its way into the mysteries of space
       And time and life—is an amazing grace;
       Yet how all came to be’s a mystery
       Beyond the scope of science and history.

       That does not mean we cannot speculate
       About this cosmological estate,
       Imagining the origin of all—
       A sudden burst from something very small,
       Like an idea igniting in your brain,
       Seeking a metaphor it can maintain:

            The seedling of a poem that will grow,
            Revealing what you never knew you know.


Monday, October 20, 2014


Perhaps there’s no Creator we can know,
No Person we can praise and glorify,
No God in our distress to whom we go,
From whom to seek salvation when we die.

Our modern sciences do not admit
These superstitions in their regimen,
Regarding such mentality unfit
In speculating far beyond our ken.

But still that there’s Creation is a fact:
The how and why of it we may not know,
And yet the awe of this primordial act
Imbues us with a supernatural glow.

     Though we don’t know what made it all appear,
     The wonder is: we’re here, we’re here, we’re here!