Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Schuylkill Flow On

   Schuylkill Flow On 

Rain droplets drumming echo the beat
That lilting , white snowflakes repeat :
" Drink as you may , waters flow on ."
Wherever ripples heard -" Earth's Song ."

" Drink as you may , waters flow on ."

High upland grow hemlock and oak ,
Maple and pine grey clouds they stroke .
Rhododendron , fern , laurel , moss 
Drink they may , Nature's use no loss .

Pools and puddles , crevice and nook ,
Trickle to rivulet , stream from brook ,
Etched valleys cut through hill and farm .
" Drink as you may , waters flow on ."

Barons despoiled rivers for smoke ,
Vast green forests turned into coke .
Black hard coal silt mud washed on down ,
Schuylkill's high, clogged, floods river town .

Miller , tanner , iron tender's strong arm
Flushed acid wastes so terrible their harm .
Now corrected they're returned to the flow ,
The Schuylkill's cleaner , still hidden she'll go .

White birchbark canoes were clean in the past ,
Early American native life sad never to last .
Strong mules pulled barges , now motors push boat ,
Long past remembered through sojourns and floats .

" Drink as you may , waters flow on ."
Hear her , see her , do her no harm ,
Dream , redeem , unhide her each day ,
Schuylkill's a jewel at work or at play .

Flow on ,flow on , Schuylkill flow on ,
Flow on , flow on , forever flow on .

      Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Stone - The Stone

The Stone - The Stone

Hone yourself a sharp mental edge
Lest politicians ply their wares.
Silent with skill they drive a wedge
Dividing life into cares and fears.

"Care, yes care, I care for you."
Tongue cheeked message driven,
Script weak, thin, seen clear through.
Be self driven, fall not to speeches given.

"Fear, not me , fear the other guy."
"Believe me , I am not conceited."
Through lips drawn tight of teethe sly,
Bravado loud, dishonest call repeated.

Stone, the stone apply it often
When mind at rest in dullness creeps.
In apathy's folly the robber's hidden,
Citizens engaged, informed, America seeks.

The stone, the stone apply it often,
Hone yourself a sharp mental edge. 

         Ronald C . Downie 

*One of the more important tools of early America was a unique looking device, a household need and especially a farmstead requirement, that was the scythe. The scythe was the premier grass, weed,  grain, and hay cutting tool with about a three foot long curved metal cutting blade about three inches wide with a sharpened leading edge. Keeping the edge sharp was accomplished by a stone, a graphite like abrasive six inch long stone stick, held in one hand at an angle to the cutting edge and vigorously run back and forth to sharpen the blade's cutting edge. Scythes were very efficient when properly used and craftily sharpened. The stone was the key to making the scythe work so well and it allowed early America's life to be more livable.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Congratulations ! Casey

Congratulations ! Casey

*This is a tribute to my granddaughter's pursuit of higher education and I would like to acknowledge the positive effect Hill School's Headmaster David Dougherty and his wife, Kay, had on Casey's educational grounding. Thank You, David and Kay upon your announcement of retirement from The Hill School at the end of this school year.

Congratulations ! Casey

Within the heaving of your chest
Forever beats an energy universe :
Exhibited on many grass green fields,
Shown skillfully on wood court floors.

Just as a lamp, when lit, illuminates
Clear words of a newly formed script
Showing fresh themes and big ideas,
Your spark will light a four year voyage

Through uncharted college waters.
By your sheer mental agility
And your true athletic ability
No sojourn is beyond your reach.

We heard the power of your voice
Fill the Chapel : the past, a future.
Leadership courts strong candidates,
They choose you to be team captain.

Dream map desired accomplishments :
Assault ego's harsh rash arrogance,
Demand respect to equal your own,
Win or lose, how you play, matters.

Sharp minds draft meaningful lives,
Gifted with athletic ability, better.
Build facts into useful knowledge -
Eureka ! Wisdom ! Harvest it now !

Ronald C. Downie

For Casey Elaine Downie, granddaughter, upon graduating from The Hill School 5/24/08 prior
to her entering Franklin and Marshall college,
Lancaster, September 2008, and to graduate
June 2012.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Winds Of Change

The Winds Of Change

Normally out of the West
Prevailing winds will attest 
To the slow common pace
Of a day's life long face.

When air's altered, as in a storm,
Cold rejects it becoming warm
Beginning a gradient's instruction
To swirl which sweeps destruction.

Have you seen the wind in human form ?
Comes common from the West at morn,
A person pleasant, cool, but quite firm,
Thoughtful, intelligent, prone to learn.

Contrasted with the badgering bully
Swirling with intemperance so fully
Self centered, lacking any tolerance,
Storm within a storm's dire consequence.

The Earth is under environmental change
From vast oceans to our Western range.
As a blanket is to a young baby's warm bed
Atmosphere's like a hat on Earth's chilled head.

Seven generations, Native Americans thought long,
Honored the Earth with drumming as well as song.
Their's was not all about exponential excesses
Demanding everywhere to have universal accesses.

Left to their our own devises, both brute and timid,
They must dance to song and beat made ever lucid
By the wind and by the rain in wild gale like storms.
Man, not being master of the Universe, God forms.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Particular To

Particular To

Particular to this day and time
Unable to squeeze out a rhyme
I look for some type of awakening, 
An epiphany, to stir up my thinking.

"No jobs"the mantra of our leaders.
Offshore, from those true job bleeders,
Those who ply the corporation's creed :
"First, maximize profits; Second, weed

Out workers; Third, give parachutes golden
To corporate executives who are beholden
To their own well being and a few friends.
To maximize wealth's their long loved trends.

When will the masses understand the purchasing 
Strength of the super wealthy whose underlying
Lust is power, unremitting power, that of life
And of death. Forget the masses and their strife

Since they have exercised little voice while being
Processed as would hulls from kernels, or gleaning 
Of an ear of corn from the fodder of a tall stalk,
Or, as ten pins falling in spite of the b'ball's walk.

Where are we, those great in number, small in voice
Masses ? Are we hiding behind timidness by choice ?
When will we lift our heads from being bowed down
In some notion of servitude scared of a rich's frown?

Small is the initial gathering of disenchanted groups
Which grows in numbers as fears wane. The troupes
Gain strength from the number of kindred spirits
Gathered, but it is you, the only one who merits.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, August 26, 2011

Haiku 41

Haiku 41

Are you earthquake proof ?
Native Americans were -
Tepees shook, not drop.

High water, high land,
Animal instinct still best -
Read Nature, follow.

Red woods heaven up,
Anchored Earth, sway, but not break -
Man's towers have flaws.

Hurricane's coming,
Wind, rain, creeks up, flooding, fear -
Hunker down and wait.

The Earth is alive,
Weather is perspiration -
Earthquake a hiccup.

"The Sound Of Music",
Bird songs, breezes, thunder storms -
Nature's symphonies.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Destination

   Destination

Heaped full under brown humped canvas
Flapping wild, is their garbage secured ?
Pressing west, leaving East's big cities,
Not treasured their trove is on board.
Sleepy eyed with the hammer down
He hears his metal stallions floored,
Gulping in clean air to guzzle more fuel,
Pipes puke blue, that black lung sword.

Dank smells trail to our fair meadows
Destination figured to fume you and me.
Gonads great are gorged of garbage
Which rut our lands long green and free.
When fields serviced huge ugly landfills rise,
But you must be careful of what you cannot see.
Clear treasured waters, clean, sparkling pure blue
Are gone, gone just as they, the Lenni Lenape .

   Ronald C. Downie 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Garbage, Trash, Waste

   Garbage, Trash, Waste

Modern man always finds a way to sanitize undesirable elements in his life. For example read again the title of this writing,"Garbage, Trash, Waste". When I was young everyone spoke of their unwanted throw aways as garbage. Yes, garbage that guttural sounding word that deeply reflects something very bad. 

To us sixty or seventy years ago garbage fit quite well since what was considered garbage was very little. Out onto the compost pile went ashes, kitchen wastes, dead plants and leaves while into the burn barrel went newspapers, paper bags, just about anything that would burn, though we did bundle magazines and cardboard for the rag man who, by name, took rags too. He came around with some regularity so we knew he was in the area when you heard in the distance, "Rags, Paper", over the din of the day. The rag man also sharpened scissors and knives for a small fee.

I remember garbage dumps all over the place. It seemed farmers, especially those unable to make a living from the land due to sub-marginal soil, were more than willing to allow garbage men for a fee to dump their truck loads into a ravine outback, out of sight. Many of these farmers later became pig farmers when garbage men began hauling slop wastes from restaurants and food processing plants.

Creeks and streams became polluted, then sub-surface waters were affected, the public outcry forced the state governments into action. Garbage dumps were closed down as new facilities became permitted complete with bottom liners and surface water runoff controls.

The heyday of consumerism jumped up complete with a dearth of packaging material which needed to be collected and transported to a dump. About this time garbage became trash in an attempt to sanitize the process in the public's mind. Still the operations were somewhat random in nature, even so, the scale of collection, transportation, and landfilling became bigger than a piecemeal system could handle and a new day arrived.

Many attribute the likes of "Tony Soprano" and his associates for turning trash into waste. Waste became so profitable it needed to become respectable. In my lifetime garbage, to trash, to waste has made a universal transformation from the guttural to that of sophistication whether just in name or in true reality. I hope the latter.

My poem, Destination, talks to the idea of siting landfills out here away from the mega cities which generate enormous amounts of garbage/trash/waste. Do you remember paper blowing off trash trucks on the by-pass hauling the unwanted loads to our local landfills ? Does our future have in store more landfills close around us ? Please be aware.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Star Fish And Ants

Star Fish And Ants

You must of heard of the beach goer meeting up with a guy bending over, picking up individual star fish and throwing each back in the ocean from the thousands which were beached from the out going tide. When asked, why he bothered picking star fish up and tossing them back in the ocean since there was far too many to make a difference; he replied, it makes a real difference to the ones I throw back.

I'm losing the battle with ants this year, especially those tiny little ones that I have trouble seeing. But, when I do see them, I squash them good and think about the guy and the star fish. I'll never kill them all, but the ones that I do kill won't bother me again.

In all my years, 37 in this house 76 total, I've never experienced ant populations so great, especially the wee, little ones. Have any of you had the same problem ? If so, and you found a good solution to get rid of them, please let me and the public know.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Leaving Unlike Their Arrival

Leaving Unlike Their Arrival

Leaving unlike their arrival red eyed
Mourners, Kleenex ready, observe the
Keepers of grassed graven grounds. These
Standoffish keepers of the soil quietly wait
Their turn to complete the act of final rest:
Filling, then properly hilling the quarried
Cavity with soil sufficient for it to become
Level and smooth when relaxed by weather.

Keen of sight, makers of mounds watch
Accordion vehicle processions elastically 
Slowing then quickening in response to traffic .
The cort├Ęge is led by long somber transporters
Which winds the line past prior digs noted by
Hammer and chisel on hardened block granite .
Processionals are precision timed to arrive just
Post flower wagon where it's artistic contents are 
Unloaded to cover with color freshly piled ground .

What are the stories resters here could tell ?
Would tales wick below the ground as does
Supple roots seeking out life's sustenance ?

Will sight and smell of petals mingle among
The sculptured stones and awaken the interned
To a time when their leather boot nails scuffed
Depressions in step stones of doorways old ?

Do stair railings smoothed sheen by their hands, Roughened through toil for their daily needs, 
Remain today for those of us still living to use ? 
Whose homes were these that are yet lived in
Where easy access was repeatedly earned ?  

Does the saltiness of tears, the dirge of hymns,
Blush of breeze, ruffle of feathers, in song or shriek 
Gather within us when we finally face the Earth
And seek it's permission to enter ourselves therein ?

Soil keepers tend the entombed but do they listen
To their flocks' grave tales always being whispered ?

Subject to chance and challenge, their duty done,
Mourners depart the scene at times unscheduled .

    Ronald C . Downie

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Haiku 40

Haiku 40

Do you get the drift ?
A youngster's future's in doubt,
If parents not rich.

Middle East our fate,
Or European default ?
Signs point to either.

Some high on the hog,
Never to want or worry -
Born with silver spoon.

"The Grapes Of Wrath" told
Tails of desperate cursed times -
Read them, return's near.

Songs of Pete Seeger -
"Where Have All The Flowers Gone ?"
"Take It From Dr. King".

You still listening ?
Don't drop out, change is needed -
Your voice must be heard !

Ronald C. Downie



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Haiku 39

Haiku 39

Maybe Forrest Gump,  ( Or Jim Gerlach )
Republicans still need more -
When's enough, enough ?

Facts get in the way
When candidates talk out -
History ? Fiction ?

Held responsible ?
Partygoers shun gilt -
Live in denial. 

Trickle down washed out,
Now, no jobs is the new norm -
The poor get poorer.

Heaven help us, please !
September in Washington -
Politicians back.

Grafts : who's up, who's down -
Are charted by the minute,
Like a Ponzi Scheme.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, August 19, 2011

Vines

    Vines

Strong young vines heaven in mind
Stretch and grow skyward to find
Nourishment in warm rays of sunshine,
Holy sweet nectar's source, Devine.

Cameron, Alix, Kendria, and Stephen,
Casey, Conner, Evan, Ian, and Lilly : men
And women, boys and girls, babes to adult,
Vines of my linage, our heredity the result.

Rooted Earth for moisture's measure
Sips diluted for growing's pleasure.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, and all
Iron, and boron await calcium's call.

Young ones grow so swiftly it seems
They far surpass a grandfather's dreams,
Nourished with good food and proper drink
Strength for muscles, brain matter to think.

Up, up you tangled climbers grow
Wrap and hug entwined you'll go.
Taller the host higher you'll climb
Slow and steady in Nature's time.

They, their beginning, me at my end,
Good life awaits them, engaging, a friend.
The Universe their stage, it's -"Glory Be" -
However vines grow they are an honor to me.

   Ronald C . Downie

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"To Be Or Not To Be"

Sometimes it is easier to write a poem for a family member when you can pinpoint that person's true nature in the first person. The following poem fits this description.

To Be, Or Not To Be ...

"To be, or not to be, that is the question :"
Shakespeare's Hamlet spoke beginning "Act 1".

We take from the past to form a firm future
Beyond all expectations, except your very own.

Your's, a dogged determination to seek excellence :

Ability to triage assignments, to power read,
The gift of memory, to channel the mind, all
Point you toward a wisdom based environment
Which, as all environs need, is to be nurtured.

A garden requires a winter's rest, and spring's
Renewal by turning the soil, adding nutrients,
Planting the best seeds, sunshine, moisture,
And grubbing out unwanted noxious vegetation.

Build gardens melding your mind with your heart
So the blessing of expectations fulfills itself
Allowing all the great questions of the Earth to
Have answers formed in the gardens you've prepared.

Love Always, Nanny and Pop Pop

For Ian upon attaining Fifteen Years of age.








Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Love The Art In Stone

  I Love Art In Stone

I love the art in stone as shown less, these days,
When hung framed on walls of homes, in ways,
Absent of a stone mason's style of art, he displays,
With hammer and chisel his love of stone, he plays .    

Gathering in fresh farm springs
Country creeks flow downstream
Eroding outcroppings of hard rock
Strata used as wagon crossings
Later becoming bridge locations .
Near these, built at creekside,
Stone walls rise four stories tall,
Deep window sills mark each floor,
At the peak a hoist beam extends .
Below is an arched stone mill race,
Where channeled swift water turns 
A huge drive wheel that transfers
Power by wide leather belts up to
The grinding floor where grain is 
Fed between a flat stone face and
Another stone face that is turning .

Flour feeds an early struggling Nation .
Cut stone seeks a past's artful relation . 

Mills, Roller Mills, Flour Feed Mills
Still stand tall, their art's in place,
Family named, silent, strong the walls.
Their need is gone, now long forgotten .

You. - cameras, You - pencils,
You. - water colors, You - oil pigments,
You. - Have you captured their souls ?

I love the art in stones when built as walls.

  Ronald C . Downie

  
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Haiku 38

Haiku 38

A stake through Mitt's heart,
Bachmann's a true Amazon -
Males, back to your caves.

Straw polls for bedding,
Also rans are given stalls -
Voters as cattle.

He's up from Texas,
Big Oil will start showing strength -
Watch negative ads.

The hair says it all,
Does this one "clear brush" for fun ?
The "Lone Star State" combs.

Poor Tim dropped out,
He was no Pat Buchanan -
Or Sarah, Or Newt.

Submissive Michele,
"All husbands should rule the roost" -
Ouch ! Connie hit me !

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, August 15, 2011

In Memory Of Big Al

    In Memory Of James Albert Fulton

"... few adult persons can see nature." Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his essay on Nature, then he followed with, "There is a property in the horizon which no man has but whose eye can integrate all of the parts..." Al Fulton saw, Al saw all of the parts.

        Big Al

Uphill half hidden an A-Frame stands
Among Century Oaks straight and tall,
Tree strength drawn from rock and earth,
Cathedral canopies brace for winds of fall.
Downhill open fields make a western slope
So many years planted, spring love, fall hope.

You steward of the soil, the Earth Life Man,
Elixir for roots, champion God's Grand Plan.
Once you were so very straight and tall,
Strong with energy, at Nature's every call,

You are returned today back to the soil
Ashes to be spread on the love of your toil.

   Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Betty With Images-Bill In Printed Words

Betty With Images-Bill In Printed Words

Soft strokes flow pigments canvas captured 
By eye with brush, stilling time, framing place.
When works of art are hung, walls disappear,
Rooms fill with pleasant, familiar warm air.

Beyond walls flows the Manatawny Creek.
Hung on walls are painted scenes which speak
Of a time in Pine Forge, just north upstream,
Where things happened thought only a dream.

Through these hills this stream erodes eons past.
Soft moccasin footprints allowed forests to last
Until Europeans arrived here in America by boat,
Pushed upstream beyond where canoes could float

To mine black iron ore for peace but also for war.
Clear cut Hemlock, Pine making charcoal fires roar.
Where the muscles of water drive wheels of a mill
To grind grain for a Nation with empty bellies to fill.

Betty chose paint pigments, husband Bill, black ink.
Betty created canvas images, Bill words that think.
She drew the 20th Century, he the long past away.
They lived on Creek Road, in Pine Forge, that's in Pa.

Where once ran a railroad, though only at night,
No whistle, no smoke, its passengers in life flight,
No rails, only hidden trails across river and creek, North Star showed the way to freedom they seek.

From Titlow to Ives then to Rutter at The Pines,
Its mansion a beacon during these troubled times.
Below on the Manatawny sat Bailey's Roller Mill
Banging away at boiler plate with orders to fill

For locomotives' fire boxes on railroads you all know.
Abolition's in their hearts which men of iron grow :
Thomas, Rutter and Potts ; Samuel, Savage and Nutt 
Forges, the muscle of wars; Revolution and Civil, but,

Are grand paintings like a secret heirloom recipe,
Both needing appreciation for memory's chemistry ?
Or, are paintings, as described by Andrew Wyeth 
Heard to say, "I was merely illustrating my life."

Soft strokes flow pigments canvas captured
By eye with brush, stilling time, framing place.
When works of Art are hung, walls disappear,
Rooms fill with familiar, pleasant warm air.

Ronald C. Downie

Written and read on the occasion of a showing of Betty J. Claussen's Art May 11, 2006. 
Husband, William Edmund Claussen wrote "Pioneers Along The Manatawny".
The Underground Railroad took root in Pottstown and  especially at Pine Forge.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Highways In Life

Highways In Life

Ever wonder why highways must cross
One another, intersecting as they will,
Generally in quite opposite directions,
Seeking a quick escape from the other.

Not everyone goes in the same direction,
Though homogeneous, we're individuals
Bent on pursuing a destination sought.
Is your's that differently from mine ?

We are seekers of far off horizons 
Cast by our clear eyes while traveling 
The highways crossing one another
In directions either familiar or foreign.

Some seek a clearly defined destination,
Others are satisfied with the trip's lure.
Getting somewhere has its own merits, 
But travel for travel's sake often's desired.

Being of the latter persuasion, I trust
The road to be my teacher of choice
Leading me toward new horizons melding far
Off hills with lush verdant valley meadows.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, August 12, 2011

Haiku 37

Haiku 37

Who needs a damn bridge ?
Canoes, kayaks, waders, swim -
Ways to cross rivers.

Reconnections, Ha !
Divided we stand, (alone) -
Gone home, it's my ball.

Corporations are :
People or rich men's playgrounds ?
For sure - offshore jobs.

Do corporations :
Pray to God or the Devil ?
Are they Muslim / Jew ?

Do corporations :
Bleed red blood, are they black/white ?
If people - boy / girl ?

Milt loves their power,
Sells off assets, fires people -
Makes a huge killing.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Haiku 36

Haiku 36

Where is your anger ?
Can you be quiet when wronged ?
Congress only punts.

We've come full circle,
From the best to also ran -
Dumb begets inane.

Up then down, up, down ,
Stock markets - roller coaster -
Our future's at stake.

Don't-vote; don't-complain,
Your voice heard from your ballot -
Sticks and stones break bones.

Beam me up, Sparky,
Show the World what you're made of -
Grin or growl, your choice.

The Planet's motion,
Spinning as it moves through space -
In/out of control ?

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Frogs

      Frogs

Plundering for energy
Greed extracts with lust
Earth's horrid demons,
Let loose...extinction ?

Faint from emissions,
Clear skies polluted
From gross bunker bile
Belched aloft as vapor :
Raising Planet's temperature,
Clouding Earth's atmosphere,
Melting every ancient ice cap,
Deserts form from fertile lands.

Forests wilt and whither 
Back they must retreat
To once much colder zones,
If unable, be forever gone.
Rising waters lap over top
Engineered built higher dykes
To tame rising, angry seas
Enraged by awful, wrecking storms.

Dreamer's fond lost memories:
Azure colored embracing skies,
Soft green slopes covered of moss,
Rainbow colors pastel in flowers,
Winter's whiteness, Spring's rebirth,
Summer's warmth, Autumn's harvest.

But,"We Pledge Allegiance...",
Sing,"America The Beautiful",
Love high performance automobiles 
Which speed beyond set limits,
Desire every darn device devised,
We worship the arrogance of excess:
With 4% of World's population
We consume 20% of World's energy.

Is our future very pretty ? Or,
Are we to be like lowly Frogs
Placed in pot of cold water
Brought up to a rolling boil ?
Will we stew slowly, swimming
Happily in the warming water
Until voiceless, then croak ?
What will be our cooking time ?
Just how long can we last ?
Frogs, Frogs, you and me, Frogs.

Jump! Jump! Get out of that pot !
Holler! Holler! Don't, no, do not croak!
Honor a basic, primary oath -
  "First - Do No Harm -"
Be a doctor to the Earth
     "Do No Harm !"

     Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Winnowing Wild

Winnowing Wild

Winnowing wild western winds work
Their will among the towering pines
Thrashed to and fro, savvy to storms.

As is a spider's web spun flexible and
Strong yet flapping wildly anchored 
On limbs to catch their wayward pray.

Politicians spread falsehoods around so
Easily small minded people declare them 
Truths, the learned few know differently.

Should we be caught up in savage winds that
Bend the towering pines close to breaking ?
Better we settle in the calm of soft breezes.

Better yet, the learned must make a difference 
By pressing truths onto the prevailing breezes
Which nurtures understanding and firm action.

These learned are wise to the ways of spiders
Who lay out their webs silently though strong.
They work their will through storm or calm.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Park

To all of you who took time to hammer the stones that play music for modern ears, as Marty experienced this week.

The Park

Marble sized for giants - whose
Muscles lugged huge stones here ,
Epoch sung through harmonic echoes ,
Waiting with hammer and an ear ?

Glacier droppings thawed to earth
In retreat of Ice Age nights ,
Was Hudson Bay their place of birth
Under Aurora Borealis lights ?

Bare footed , shirtless , agile 
Rock climbers scout to find
Cave caverns and weathered fossil
Prints of what beastly kind .

Zig zag stairs to the tower ,
Which commands a southern view ,
Potts's dream , factory power ,
Blue collar through and through .

They board to ride steel ribbons
Through fields of yellow and green ,
Their voices join track rhythms ,
Up hills , blue skies , at pleasures dream .

Round and round swiftly sweep 
Four roller shoes , they in circles flow
To ebony platters etched needle deep 
Of organ music for their graceful show .

People recreate at Nature's door :
Wooded oak hill of ringing rock ,
Pavilion roofed with hardened floor ,
Strengths of family from human stock .

At " This Wonder Of The World "
Which Ripley took time to note -
All the Twentieth Century unfurled -
May memories stir by this that I wrote .

( Ringing Rocks Park , Lower Pottsgrove Township ,Montgomery County )

         Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Three Treasures

Three Treasures 

Break the mold
Burn the prints
Uncork the bottle
Speed the Genie gone .

Not of, but in this World,
Eye sight sharpens
Finds Nature's way
Quietly seeking silence .

Even though Nature does nothing
Nothing is left undone .
Enough becomes enough
Everything in it's own time .

Yin and Yang, the Te,
Into a family of oneness,
The practice of eternal light
Seeing small, listening more .

Keep needs to a minimum,
Wants to all but nil, for
Within each, a Universe exists
Where no storm lasts forever .

Flow as a water course
Which seeks her own level
Softly cutting it's own way
Unequaled in strength .

Surface your sixth sense :
To see, to hear, to smell,
To feel, and to taste are
Just not enough to liberate .

Cherish "three treasures":
"Courage" gained through "mercy",
"Generosity" found in "frugality",
"Leadership" developed from "humility".

Build life one brick at a time .
With a single step each journey begins .
Originating from a single source,
Existence ultimately depends on Love .

Instead of calendar pages
A slash joining four strokes .
Non-being, being, back to non-being
As the bell begins it's final toll .

       Ronald C. Downie
   -After studying The Tao-  
Erica at arriving at 21 years

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Shaman Speaks

A Shaman Speaks

High up in a mountain top cave sits an old
Man crossed legged, grey bearded, robed.
Embers wisps a sharp herbal fragrance
Up on the breeze fanning the wood fire.
I have come here to seek out Wisdom
From this revered Shaman in his temple.
How else does one get great new ideas
If not from minds of learned old men ?

" Oh, Great Seer, how shall I best live 
My life ? I feel I'm just a lowly life 
Since all around me I sadly see myself
In other people who themselves need help."

   The Shaman speaks :

"Be clean and neat, be orderly,
So little cost, so great a reward.
Satisfy these basic human needs :
Be content, controlled, simple, and clean."

"Be honest, especially with yourself,
If truly in your own mind you're a cad,
Tell yourself you are, don't lie about it.
You must lead your own self to freedom."

"Reward comes from effort through work.
Expect none if you don't freely give
Of yourself. If you're lazy, suffer.
A hand up always trumps a hand out."

"Seek strength from external forces.
Always choose your beliefs wisely.
Question yourself, be ready to change.
Make wonderment your personal temple."

"Gather facts to develop knowledge,
From this Wisdom may suddenly emerge.
Through Wisdom comes original thought
Which has a chance to change our World."

I asked,"Anything else, Great One ?"

"I'm tired, but : seek out beauty,
Need little and want even less,
Balance desires, promote life's needs,
Heed the message of your inner voice."

I sensed the story of Moses carrying 
The Ten Commandments down from
The mountain. Scripture or Shaman Speak ?
Chose the message to live your own life by.

   Ronald C. Downie    
 
    

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Messenger Ancestor

The Messenger Ancestor

Dog-eared thoughts crease corners of my cerebral pages
Ancestrally bound by hardened covers of earlier ages.
Universal questions chapter this book that engages 
Me to write at this point in time . Please listen , my reply .

I have lived well beyond my half-life years .
Warm thoughts furrow happy acres, but, tears
Embedded deeply erode forgotten ancient fears
Wondering :" Why am I here?" and "Who am I ?"

Uranium encased rods are organized to squeeze heat
Into electric current, when spent, active life's complete .
But, until sealed to sleep decades of ten thousand years, feat
Required of our heirs , no stirring allowed nor restless cry .

Do atoms compressed into stiff rods differ that greatly
From DNA atoms strung like a pearl neckless neatly
To imprint fibers of the human body still physically
Evolving ? Atoms from the same early primal stew ply

Their way for eons until there present purpose found : one ,
Heat to electric , two , human imprint , a mental sun ,
Brain waves at the center of a thought universe which run 
Not only backward but forward toward a cosmic try

To create a Supreme Being in our own image . Earth rendered
Subservient . Desired omnipotent, God was engendered 
Male by decree . With impunity, oppressors remembered
As cruel and debasing , unjust and inhumane , which flies

In the face of humanity . I'm here only by chance ,
To do no harm so offspring of my DNA may dance
To the natural rhythms of Mother Earth . They will remember
Me , The Messenger Ancestor , not forced into sleep am I .

         Ronald C. Downie 
  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

ResilIence

Resilience

Capture life through your five senses :

Smell the sweet wisp of fresh fragrant lilacs .
Taste the sharp tartness of a ripe Winesap .
Feel the hand smoothed surface of antique wood .
Hear the murmuring of softly falling water .
See western far horizons painted mauve at dusk .

Somewhere beyond the obvious
Lurks an attitude, a sixth sense,
A resilience born flush of spirit
Drawn from a person's gene pool .

Grandfather at fourteen drove a 
Horse and wagon Penn State to Linfield ,
Then survived Europe's W.W. I .
Charlie with Florence produced ten .

The widowed grandmother left Scotland , 
Just missed the Titanic , but she caught
The Great Depression here in America
Where she raised six of her children .

Bent over with age , grandfather
Also caught the Depression, even so,
Andy Grey and Wee Annie raised four
Boys, Scots, who willingly chose America .

Evolved with an attitude - resilience 
Found deep within our forbearer's genes .

  Ronald C. Downie  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Minutemen Awaken

Minutemen Awaken
  
Utopian thoughts engorge my mental loins
While sly money changers craft their worshiped will
Debasing strongmen into eunuchs who still
Think honor stems from high ideals not coins .

Power swells smirking men happily fondling coin ,
Who crypt with keyless shackles those of a lessor vein .
They give the earth their fullest shift with hope to gain
In honor life's reward for offspring of their loin .

The power of a banker's nod brings foreplay to it's max
When the rush of playing GOD forges temples in their mind .
For eons man has thrust above the slyest of his kind :
Coin power their allegiance , cherished dreams anoint the ax .

I 'm not willing to silence the fife nor quell the drum ,
Both their sounds heart strings play to , oh , so deep
In the minds of America . Do not sleep ,
Fall in , shoulder your wlll . See Freedom Won ! 
  
             Ronald C . Downie
 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Haiku 35

Haiku 35

I need a "time out",
Because, I express myself -
Heaven help me, please !

...moan, piss and moan, piss...
- Democrats/Republicans -
...moan, piss and moan, piss...

"Age of Innocence",
Gone, with it, intelligence -
Party retrograde.

Harsh reality :
How can we lead the Planet ?
Dumb leading dumber.

"The meek shall", do what ?
"Inherit the Earth". Oh, my !
Can the poor be fed ?

Reason's illusive,
Intelligence is a must -
Where's it found today ?

Ronald C. Downie