Wednesday, April 23, 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

* * *
“I BELIEVE that in our good days a well-ordered mind has a new thought awaiting it every morning.  And hence, eminently thoughtful men, from the time of Pythagoras down, have insisted on an hour of solitude every day, to meet their own mind and learn what oracle it has to impart.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, from “Inspiration”



    This sonnet form’s a kind of song and dance
    Designed to celebrate the poet’s love,
    Some Beatrice or Laura to romance,
    What R & J’s passion was fashioned of.

    But, centuries on, this vehicle has moved
    Into new territories and explored
    Fresh subjects, moods and attitudes and proved
    Adaptable, which shouldn’t be deplored.

    As long as it still sings and keeps its beat
    Making a little argument that turns
    Before it moves to its conclusion, neat
    And tightly crafted, then it rightly earns

         The status of a sonnet to be sung
         Most joyfully, by many a lusty lung.


Monday, April 21, 2014


    We all depend upon people who care,
    Not only for themselves but for all others,
    With whom they’re generously disposed to share,
    Thinking of them as sisters and as brothers.
    Call this compassion, generosity,
    Or kindliness—all different names for love,
    That bond which binds us each to charity
    Imagined as the Law of Heaven above.
    Though that may be a fable from the past,
    Intended to inculcate and allure,
    Experience alone will prove at last
    That only love can help us to endure
         Those tribulations leading to despair—
         Except for those made comfortable by care.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

     What kind of genius had the Stratford Bard
     That guided him to write those poems and plays
     Which since have won preeminent regard
     Destined to last until the end of days?
     How did he gain such mastery of verse,
     Learning to turn his lines with graceful ease,
     Prompting imagination to disburse
     Both sense and melody designed to please?
     But more, whence came his lusty characters
     Who populated his supernal stage,
     To whom each envious playwright since defers
     As if, like Prospero, he’d been a mage?
          One must conclude Shakespeare’s infinity
          Of wit and art reveals divinity.


Friday, April 18, 2014


for Lewis Duncan

      Once we’ve deciphered our own programming
      And learned to replicate how we are made,
      We’ll know that we’ll survive most anything
      And may live confident and unafraid.

      Those old bugbears—death and oblivion—
      No longer threatening, now held at bay,
      Think how we’ll flourish—all that may be done
      Unshadowed by the menace of Doomsday.

      Yet with the loss of death what else is lost?
      For all its fear, death gives a piquancy
      To every day, since wasted time will cost
      Us anguish if there’s no eternity.

           The preciousness of life lies in our fear
           Of death: mortality makes life so dear.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014


   These April birds are scattering the dawn
   With tweets and chirps and chitters meant to raise
   More hastily the sun, make night be gone,
   By offering Aurora rightful praise.
        You say it’s territoriality?
        It sounds like joy and thankfulness to me.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014



Come, kiss me, Kate, and be my bonny lass:
Cast off your fuming, fretful temperament;
The world is better off without your sass,
And your exasperation is misspent.


Let go of me, you saucy, bossy knave!
I’d no more kiss you than I would a rat,
And who are you to teach me to behave?
Unhand me or I’ll prove a killer cat!


But Kate, I find you mild as any kitten—
Here, take my hand, and join with me in joy!


Let go of me, or see your fingers bitten—
I’ll be no mincing mistress, meek and coy.


Well, be you as you will—you shall be mine.


Let me but rule, and all will be divine.