Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey Day

          Turkey Day

High School Football season ends officially
In towns about noon on Thanksgiving Day,
Not on Ringing Hill or down Sanatoga way .
The grunt's game began at 2 PM traditionally .

In the 1950's about 1 o'clock Turkey Day 
Fellows began arriving out behind LPE School :
Young and old, in shape or not, wise or fool,
Rag tag or football wise, kick off to come soon .
R. Hill : Jack, Bill Bechtel ; Sanatoga : the Burns's,
Eddie Albert, Jack Babel, Tassy, and the Schott's
Ringing Hill : the Spohn's, Lin Bieler, the Mitch's,
And me . I played in this game for many years .

Fifty years later, memory slipping, who'd I forget ?
The Koren's for Ringing Hill ; Earnie, George for them.
Age presses up against the reality of fleeting time
To rob the picture of faces, and bodies, and play.

Rules, who worried about rules, kick off the damed ball.
No one wore pads, some wore a hat if it was windy,
But it wasn't until the shoes or sneakers came off that
A true earnestness surfaced, in barefoot, speed accelerated . 

Since August some of us had practiced in full gear,
Played a full schedule of High School Football games,
Prided ourselves in wins and discounted our losses
With less fanfare, then was anticipation for this "real" game. 

Up and down the wind blown field from sideline to sideline,
Men and boys played at blocking and tackling, running
And throwing, in an earnest effort or just to have some fun.
The yearly game of random intent came to forgotten conclusions.

Gone, but for memories, some still living others long dead,
The Prize, bragging rights for a short while, the true worth
As always, individuals banding together at some sort of play
Where the journey far outweighed the outcome of the contest.

   Ronald C. Downie

LPE- Lower Pottsgrove Elementary School on Pleasantview Road, Sanatoga,
Dedicated to many friends, lifelong closest, Jack Bechtel and Linwood Bieler.     

Monday, November 29, 2010

Footsteps Of A Thousand Generations

Footsteps Of A Thousand Generations 

Foot steps of a thousand generations
Formed my path's early morning walk
Along the river among the fowl ,
Between leafing fauna, seeking sight of 
Critters , different not that much from
Those seen by our ancestors, who
In their own good time, communed 
With our same Schuylkill River Mother.

Today's steps, increasingly halting and measured,
Drew me, while slowly shuffling along,
To observe a large family of geese
Soldering their goslings, skirting
Both swift waters and hidden shoals,
Those the acts of teaching an 
Awareness of potential dangers .

Nature repeats, repeats, repeats,
Always repeating, which forms
The waves of the living tide .

Ronald C. Downie 

The read of Nature each day is an important link to the very existence of self. We are as much Nature as the trees, the anamals, soil, rock, and all. We are of it while in it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Comfortable Host

   A Comfortable Host 

Horizons meld hills for eyes to climb ,
Far distance blurs their sharp images ,
Also , does the real passage of time .
Nineteen twenty one (1921) , vestiges

Long gone : trolleys and their rust weary rails ,
Rutted cobblestones , worn down brick ,
Etchings of wagon wheels mark their trails .
Four score years grows memories thick .

The Century Club chose Potts's High Street
Casselberry House for it's beginning .
Forty years there , double it ,repeat
Forty years while still remembering :

The smell of linseed from shoe hardened old wood
That squeaked and groaned with each foot step .
Dappled sun light peeking in where tall windows stood .
"Shhh ! Be quiet, please !" Rules strictly kept .

When words emerge from their book covers :
Distance alters and time accepts change ,
Dreams seek children , their fathers and mothers ,
Stories flow rivers , climb mountains , ride range .

Facts flow from open pages into the mind
And swells clear, deep streams of knowledge .
Wonder grows wisdom we all may find ,
Cause reading hones that sharpened edge .

Libraries draw horizons close ,
Time finds them a comfortable host .

   Ronald C . Downie 

Written for the occasion and read to the assembled commemorating  the eightieth anniversary of the founding of The Pottstown Public Library .(2001) 
A symbol of a maturing town was a library being sited there which happened here in Pottstown in 1921.It is still a major player in the town, even though, cyberspace surrounds us.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

First Blizzard

   First Blizzard Of The Season

Relish the first blizzard of the season
Watch for swirls of yellow and brown ;
Autumn early seems the reason 
All the lawns are covered in town.

     It is a time when :

Damp mist steams up from the river,
Foot steps leave their prints in the dew. 
Morning sun gets red and redder,
Vast flocks fly all birds but a few.

Thin herringbone clouds stripe the sky,
Heading south geese V in a flock,
Crows land and depart with a cry.
Farmers watch weather like a clock.

Goldenrods garnish the meadows
Stately corn tans tall on the stalk,
In gardens wilt the tomatoes,
Deep breaths smoke great puffs as we walk.

Pumpkins rough petal's fashion,
Straight up,smoke stretches chimneys tall.
Witch and goblin excite child passion.
Snowing down - leaves announce - Fall !

        Ronald C . Downie  
If you watched the sky you may have already seen this season's First Blizzard .

Friday, November 26, 2010

Song Tune

         Song Tune

        The song,
    The song of life,
The song of life is played in the key of time.

Seconds tick minutes into hours for days to find
As weeks couple bearing months that years combine
Into passing decades etched forever on the mind.
Friends, in chorus, help harmonize the melody divine.

            But the tune,
        The tune is ours
    The tune is ours alone,
But the tune is ours, ours, all alone to find.

              Ronald C.Downie

I consider this poem my signature poem sort of like a singer or an orchestra known by a song or tune as soon as it's played.
The Song of life is all around us in all the Sounds of the universe. But we are limited by this thing called time, the ultimate regulator of life. It is the tune, our own personal tune, that must concern us. Our own tune is ultimately all that we have of our own selves.