Tuesday, September 1, 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

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* * *

                    The humpbacked whales, patrolling as a pod,
                     Were feasting eagerly on a school of scrod
                    That they’d corralled by acting as a squad—
                     Each one, you’d think, a massive demigod.


Sunday, August 30, 2015


                    Gautama sat, and sat, and sat, and sat
                    Under the broad-leafed boddhi tree to see,
                    Eyes closed, a revelatory vision that
                    Could end the suffering of humanity.
                    Tranquil at last, transcending mortal pain,
                    He’d found the Way to reach the highest bliss
                    By learning how from grasping to refrain
                    Since coveting is how we go amiss.
                    There is a deeper joy that lies concealed
                    Within the hearts of human sufferers
                    That may by meditation be revealed
                     As something seeming mystical occurs
                          Far more than previously could be surmised
                          By which the Ultimate is realized.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015


                    My sabbatical is done and I’m now back
                    Into the traces of the college term,
                    Harnessed for a trot around the track
                    And hemmed in by a sturdy temporal berm.

                    No more the calm serenity to muse
                    And feel the open-endedness of time
                    That I could spend while idly seeking clues
                     Leading to my next impending rhyme.

                     Yet here I am: it seems I’ve found a niche
                     Two days a week when I don’t have to teach,
                     And I can do what always will enrich
                     My mind, and then extend my worldly reach,

                         As I go public on the Internet
                         And post my poem for the world to vet.


Sunday, August 23, 2015


                       A vagrant turtle shambled up our street
                       In quest presumably to meet a mate,
                       Despite the imminent danger of this feat,
                      Then do what turtles do to procreate.

                       As it approached a busy thoroughfare,
                       Kim spotted it and pulled her car aside
                       Then found a way to give the turtle care
                       For otherwise it surely would have died.

                      She took an empty carton from her trunk
                      And lifted in the endangered wanderer,
                      Returned it to our lake where it soon sunk,
                      Hoping the episode would not recur.

                          But mating time makes for a craziness
                          That often puts in peril one’s success.


Saturday, August 22, 2015


                    You might think my invoking of the Muse
                    Is just another way I have to snooze,
                    Reposing in my half-cocked easy chair,
                    Eyes lowered in a dull, half-lidded stare.

                    Before long, though, a line begins to form
                    Establishing this poem’s metric norm,
                    And shortly afterwards the rhyme scheme’s set,
                    A strict exigency that must be met.

                    A sonnet, by this time, must take a turn
                    As both the poet and the reader learn
                    The covert motive driving on this poem
                    That doesn’t know itself till it comes home,

                         For writing verse promotes discovery
                         As what remained implicit we now see.


Friday, August 21, 2015


                        The couplet is a verse form you’ll remember
                        From January right through to December.

                       The secret of this catchy kind of verse
                        Is that it’s rhythmic, sonorous and terse,

                       And thus it forms a mental kind of meme
                       That makes its memorability supreme.