Friday, December 30, 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 the same direction,
Though homogeneous, we're individuals
Bent on pursuing a destination sought.
Is your's that differently from mine ?

Many are seekers of far off horizons, 
Seen through clear eyes, while traveling 
The highways which cross one another
In directions familiar or unknown to them.

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

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

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Haiku 70

Haiku 70

Haiku to challenge you to change the players :
Do Nothing Congress -
Bench the starters - send them home -
Vote in a new team.

Let Haiku set the stage for you :
~Home for Holidays,
~Congress gathers for eggnog -
~Unconcerned for us. 

Haiku looks at Washington's Holiday Season :
-A lump of black coal,
-Nothing else for the stocking -
-Oh ! It's stuffed with shame ?

Haiku is for both dreamer and somber thinkers :
Speaker is weaker,
As the tail wags the poor dog -
Where's his leadership ?

Haiku urges answers for questions you may raise :
Hold their feet to fire -
Congress is supposed to work
For all citizens. 

Try your own Haiku for the Holidays :
It is the season,
To be healthy, happy, well -
Days getting longer.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Haiku 69

Haiku 69

Tis the season to be Haiku jolly :
Winter Solstice Day, 
Shortest day and longest night -
Wish ahead for spring.

Haikus may not be true, but they're fun to do.
Most Medieval Courts
Had a Jester, law made fun -
Congress full of them.

Tweed'l dee - tweed'l dumb, Haiku for the fun.
"A bird in the hand 
Is worth two birds in the bush"-
Two month extension. 

Haiku is simplicity with words :
Prose - words, best order -
Poems - best words in best order -
Both tame ignorance.

A Haiku moment, thinking necessary :
House Republicans,
Tone deaf, they love super rich -
Hate the middle class. 

We need to ask local politicians by means of Haiku :
Boehner's off line,
Leading us into black holes -
Where is Jim Gerlach ?

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What Generation

What Generation

Born in 1930 my brother, Andy, missed by a year being a member of The Greatest Generation and I missed by six years. Andy spent four years in the Navy during the Korean conflict, while at Penn State, I had three semesters of ROTC. Neither of us achieved the accolades garnered by those of an earlier age but I'd like to tell you about our lives in Pottstown, a college town, which molded us creating who we have become today.

Brother, Andy, returned from the West Coast when his enlistment expired. He had married a local girl while still in the service so upon arriving back to the area both got jobs and he sought tutorial help from a Hill School professor so he could academically apply for college. His application was accepted at Muhlenberg, Allentown, and with both working and him getting financial aid from The GI Bill, Andy graduated and accepted a high school teaching job in northern New Jersey. After a few years there he accepted an English teacher ship at Morris County Community College where after many decades when in his late 70's he retired and lives today nearing 82 years in Boonton, N.J.

My story parallels the boom and bust which portrays Pottstown's, which is finally a college town, history during the later half of the 20th Century and into the first decade of the 21st. Generally, if something had happened in our town during that time, I'd have known about it or had been part of it. Let me tell about the goings on in the late 1940's and early fifties.

This was the era of deep longing for your own car, an automobile, which was in such short supply because none were built during the war years and the returning vets were gobbling up used one's too quickly. So, young men enamored with motors and their chassis migrated to be around cars when they met at their favorite service station to work pumping gas and changing oil when on duty, and when not working, just to hang out. The gas station was the proving ground, the training field for their generation. There at service stations young men of this generation achieved adulthood through trial and error's unscripted associations, also then, by running through the gauntlet made up of their peers.

Informal groups formed and evolved from boys turning into men at nondescript locations like : Merkles, Epiheimers, Chick Wades, Red Arrow, Jacks, Gauglers, Merits, and numerous others. There was no demarcation time line when the locations changed from gas stations to drug stores : Ellis's, Carmel Corn, Sheridan's, Rosenberry's, Pete's, Peoples. It was at these places boys met girls and the next generations began to evolve. Here, also, the juke box and the pin ball machine made noises over the talking, joking and the loud music couples danced to while forming close relationships as youth moved into adulthood.

To the Reader's who remember those times, please fill in the voids I leave unrecognized in this written exercise. Through your memory, life take on meaning personal and, if you wish, private. Maybe you could write your own story to illuminate your family and friends of the early years.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thoughts Of The Posted Poet

 Thoughts Of The Posted Poet


The Book Of Life of each individual is paged open by their own Hand Of Time revealing a just completed episode in their life. There is no use peeking at unturned pages since they are still blank and not yet written.

Therefore, we must live each day as it unfolds and deal with its consequences. Doing so, we hope to gain some knowledge that will help guide us in making future decisions easier to accept.

Learning from the past makes us stronger to face the future, unknown to us now, which will arrive in its own due time. 

Then, and not until then, will another page be written and found ready to be laid open.

   Ahimsa !

Ronald C. Downie - The Posted Poet

Namaste, an Indian greeting
Ahimsa, all life forms sacred, so avoid all forms of violence.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holy Matrimony

Holy Matrimony 

When adoration sings out to tippy tops of tall trees, 
Trilling a warble reminiscent of yon highland clans;
The beauty of love's florescent blooms, so to please,
Bursts memorable colors of rainbow's arching bands :

Then, the truism of love's adventurous wandering
Settles into places yet to know, like ancient caves
Adorned by artistic etchings found on walls depicting 
Life not seen millenniums, but like love, time saves :

And then, the bonding of almighty heaven heaves
The chests in want of foreverness, emitting sighs.
Two into one, giving over getting, each one believes
Their longing is real, their love sincerely justifies.

In my quest for life's fulfillment, you are my Heaven
And Earth, bound in Holy Matrimony. I shout, Amen !

Ronald C. Downie, a love sonnet,
To my wife of over 47 years on this her 72nd birthday, 12/23/2011 with all my love gathered but unspoken yet to her.

Friday, December 23, 2011

When Love Is Harbored

When Love Is Harbored

When love is harbored in a safe port
Snugly moored to a very sturdy dock,
It rises and reseeds like tides court
A lunier's pass, heaven's Earth clock :

Only then, the maturing pangs of love
Exercise a wanting nearness of desire,
Which unfolds as ageless as time's dove
Hovering, pointing a path lovers require :

And then up anchor, heading out to sea,
Watching Westerlies, eyeing the horizon,
Maturity nurtured love, sails set for lee.
It's an aged forest, ship's masts are from.

The Universe in all its wonderment created women
To birth and nurture beings, our World calls Men.

Ronald C. Downie, 
A sonnet to Connie, my wife, on her birthday after 47 years of marriage.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Particular To This Day

Particular To This Day

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 one who it really merits.

Ronald C. Downie.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011



Heaped full, under brown humped canvas
Flapping wild, is their garbage secured ?
Pressing west leaving East's big cities,
Not treasured, their trove's 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 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Haiku 68

Haiku 68. ( 17 syllables in 3 lines of 5/7/5 each )

History records,
Press informs, novels foretell -
Topic : Occupy.

Target your local
Federal legislator -
They failed test, flunked out !

Home for Holidays,
Your Congress loves vacations -
Hell with tax payers.

So sad, not funny,
That Congress is so inept -
Fire the whole damn bunch.

Do you really want,
A divided government ?
Our job, hire all new !

One percent blue blood's,
Ninety-nine, American red -
Money sings the blues.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, December 19, 2011

That Social Machine Called Work

That Social Machine Called Work

America must retool its social machine called work. The definition of work has to be changed from the one my children, myself, and my parents grew up with. Words icon on my iPad lists in long lists, 7 noun category definitions and 27 verb lists for work. To us oldsters, work was an occupation for which you are paid, when thought of as a noun and, as a verb, to be employed. Both cases brought into play a person exchanging time an effort for a payment in some mutually agreed exchange value, usually a wage in dollars and cents.

As we go deeper into the 21st Century, time and physical effort once carried out by human beings is now being carried out by robots. Factories once employing thousands now need only a few hundred people to produce the same amount of product and produce that product with a better quality.

So how in the world does a society develop a method to exchange dollars and cents to the masses of unemployed or underemployed so they too can live this American Dream ? Not living in opulence but in a dignified lifestyle having adequate shelter, food, health services, education, and cultural opportunities is The Great American Dream.

We must define work as effort expended for the good of the whole of society; such as, retrofitting urban blight, building and maintaining our public parks, maintaining our public lands, forests, waterways, and highways. These jobs have in the near past lost their importance, lost their value, lost the public's will to fund them.

We will pay for these jobs from the proceeds of those who have extracted value from investments that the whole of society has made which allowed the well off to gain vast wealth while taking advantage of what all of society has already invested. Included would be the value of products found underground, on public lands, or any other public asset.

We move into the future by realizing there was strength in the ways of the past which we best revisit. There was vast strength in the way the village operated. Those with ability were expected to provide for those of lesser ability : the aged, the young, the invalid. Each contributed to the sum total of whole through their ability to do work and took from the whole as their needs required. 

Look around you and think how you would want our town to really be, then imagine how we can  get there. If getting there requires some effort, think what work that isn't being done, if done, would get us there. Even if this type of work is now thought menial, this work is of extreme importance to us all.
This work has value to the whole population of the town. 

"Make work", most called this effort in the past. True, and the key word is "work", newly defined to fit into our future. Effort extended for the good of the whole must take on a new paradigm for the good of the future. Rethinking our entrenched ideas of how people fit into the old molds must take place sooner than later so new molds may be created.

Ronald C. Downie 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Haiku 67

Haiku 67 ( 17 syllables in 3 lines of 5/7/5 each )

If words can't move you out of apathy, what can ?
*Forget about lines,
*Vote out these mad line drawers -
*Take back your country.

A Haiku to tame the savage beast :
"Give me liberty,
Or give me death." sings out -
Stirs the blood of Man !

A Haiku which leans on your shoulders :
Ask : why should I care ?
Answer : if not me, who then ?
Leaders energize !

Are words in Haiku able to make a difference ?
Like a bad penny,
My Haiku's image my mind -
No followers, though. 

Haiku to express utter shame of education policy.*
Where is the damn shame ?
48% schools fail !
Shame on your damn watch !

Someday Haiku may allow you an eureka moment.
When asked what we did ?
Found a good cause, then acted -
Made the difference.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, December 17, 2011

It All Depends

It All Depends

It all depends :
Upon your dreams
Behind closed eyes,
Drifting in and out,
Nodding off and on
Until total emersion.

Subliminal are images
Beyond the conscious 
Activities of the day.
Retreat, or to attack,
Go far away or return,
Be of a party, or not.

Immersed in reality,
Tempered by hot fire,
Clothed for deep cold, 
Hair finely brushed, 
Bathed in redemption,
Lost in a wilderness. 

Finding one's own self
Throwing off shackles,
Demanding of a mental
Strength deeply internal,
You gather up yourself 
For life's universal battle.

You ask, "Who am I ?"
And, "Why am I here ?"
Paging your remembrances :
Being in and out of faith,
Does science make its case,
Who pulls Heaven's strings ?

You think the unthinkable :
Do we pass only once through
This conscious state of life ?
No beginning, so there's no end ?
What is my next form to be ?
Am I bound up in this body ?

How these questions are answered 
Before an Endpoint of active life
May make a tremendous difference
To those you lovingly leave behind.
But, my friend, to you, the dismissed,
Heaven awaits your elements' arrival.

Ronald. C. Downie

Friday, December 16, 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

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dream It

     Dream It

A green, open field awaits - an invitation,
Enter and look all around  - an inspection,
Walk it , feel it , smell it  - anticipation,
Dream it for life's destiny  - a revelation.

When plowed then sown, a yield 
Is drawn from tilth of the field 
Held bosom close with our heart 
And soul entwined, it's life's start.

Harvest all which you must
Return sustenance as trust.
The circle starts, as it ends
From a point, we are friends?

Light fades dim, turning in sad goodbye,
Moving on only to look back with a sigh.
A dream ? Was it real ? Know, not I.
Surely your life is worth another try.

          Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This Day

    This Day

You nihilist, night,
Cloaked in shadows
Darkened until light
Marauds horizons east
And lips rolling seas and lands,
Crouching tiger, demon beast .

Dollop madrigals, sun beams,
Wind and rain, painful sorrows,
Exhilaration, troubled dreams,
When logged, lock boxed
Safe as Social Security,
Morning's Sopranos out foxed. 

Mercurial High Noon Azimuth 
Plotted, slipping ever west
Drowns in punch bowel vermouth,
Sweet and dry, a sobering song,
Evening stars, lightning strikes,
Twelve step prayers to come along .

Jim Lehrer, C Span, Brokaw Live,
Copland and Bird, Frank and Barbara,
Recliner, refrigerator, back again, TV's jive?
Of all the days, this damned day, today
Is begging for its very existence .
The shades drawn, it ends in anonymity .

Ronald C . Downie      

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Haiku 66

Haiku 66

"Give them hell, Harry !
I just tell them the truth and 
They think it is hell."

Is government bought 
By campaign contributions ?
If big enough, yes !

Term limits, your choice -
Senate, two; House, four; vote out
When they reach limit.

When government stinks,
"We The People" have to act -
Inaction gains squat. 

Best, take what they give -
Hell No ! Demand much better !
Not pawns, but People.

Twenty First Century,
Men bought are newly made slaves -
Auction ! Congress sold !

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, December 12, 2011

I Love The Art In Stone

  I Love The 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


Sunday, December 11, 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

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Occupy The Voting Booth

Occupy The Voting Booth

I have a nagging fear building within me that the youngest and brightest among us, those caught up in the Occupy movement will, in their zest for the big picture, forget that all politics is local. These activists need to hone in on those politicians who got our country into the mess we're in. As Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, stressed recently : congress needs term limits, but until that happens, voters must vote out the old bulls, those whose primary objective is to get reelected. I would add, voters must also throw out those newly elected who have obstructed rather than govern as required when they took the pledge to uphold The Constitution of the United States Of America.

History will probably record The Occupy Movement as a successful exercise of expressing disgust in the inequities between the haves and the have nots which were brought about by governmental actions. I only hope history will also record the movement spun off real change in how legislators adjusted to a new era of governance. Not all revolutions need to be bloody.

In the long history of Man upheaval happened often. Many were very bloody as each side shouldered their weapon of choice : a broad axe, a spear, a lance, a pitch fork, but mostly a gun. Gandhi, nor King, nor Jesus chose any of these weapons and their results seem much more lasting than any violent one's, even so all three lost their lives trying to effect change.

Pottstown also needs to shoulder its weapon of choice and I contend that the weapon be a long handled broom accompanied with a sturdy dust pan and a hefty trash bag. Only an army of sweepers with their boots on the ground can make this sow's ear into a silk purse. 

The real test of the soul of a town is not in it's downtown main street or it's prime residential neighborhoods but it is found in how the condition of it's worst allies are. If they are relatively clean and fairly well kept you can bet the main, highly visible areas of the town will also be clean. Once upon a time, Pottstown was that way, not from an army of cleaners, but from each and every household being prideful masters of their own domain. Maybe they didn't own the property they lived at but they took pride in the property they lived in. Pride is always an exercise in self worth and fulfillment, traits lost in our race to the bottom world we find ourselves in today.

It will be a tough campaign in the war to take Pottstown back from the entrenched profiteers who treat our town as a throwaway place. It will be extra tough cleaning up after them when they are cleaned out of our town, but it will be worth it. 
Shoulder your brooms, fall in, the spring offensive is creating a battle plan, 

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, December 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 too
Easily, so small minded people declare them 
Truths, but 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 both storm or calm.

Ronald C. Downie 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

At A Pivotal Time For Sherri

At A Pivotal Time for Sherri, Random Thoughts.   
Up from all fours, erect, mobile,
Scared by cold ice and scorching heat,
Thunder and lightning, rain and snow,
Struggling for power, attacking for 
Dominance, man verses beast and man.
Gathered tribal, rapes and plunders,
To feed their wants, demand their needs.
Profits from World riches plundered
For personal gain by a scoundrel few
Who elevate themselves disguised 
As corporations claimed immune from
Universal Law meant to protects life.
Unquenched greed drives obscene profits
Wrung from degradation of Earth's environment
Despoiling life giving, life sustaining elements :
Waters become polluted, friable soils spent,
Our air choked with unspeakable contaminants,
Great forests withdraw under constant assault,
Ice caps melt away, vast seas and oceans rise,
Shore lines sound retreat, islands washed over are lost.
Man verses diseases as cancers populate vast clusters
Fanned by chemical pollution obscuring Universal Law.
Brash ignorance prevails but harsh power assails
To pervade the Holiness of our good common sense.
The overabundant Earth is a living, breathing sphere.
It is our bodies that are grim, beaker less test tubes,
Over analyzed, shocked at the findings, disease rampant.
For hope The College Of Doctors seek garish chemicals,
Their practice is to probe and probe with answers few.
More chemicals, for profit not cure, masking men's deeds.
The Human Dilemma: Not if, but when? Not how, but why?
We cry, eyes red and teared, for answers, hear,"I don't know."
From nonbeing, into being, finally back to nonbeing.
Since our genes have passed through living as stardust
Many times before, they will recycle again and again
Before the Earth crisps into dust and rejoins as elements.
Matter is never lost just changed in its composition.
Energy as a force just shifts from one to another form.
We live within our consciousness, in Universe Time, a moment.
The shock of inhumanity where wild greed prostitutes Man's ego
Exposing a weakness in him that acting for self chose flight or fight.
Wealth worshiped as God though money only is the Devil's elixir,
Power is the true Deity, power to lord over a crumbling planet,
Power to pollute water ways, power to deforest, expand deserts, 
Power to despoil land, sea, and air; to deny the public true health.
What is the true cost of health, of life?
Through introspection we will act
With sound reason, with intelligence 
To arrive at answers we find acceptable,
With emotion we act in knee-jerk ways.
Always challenge wants and needs,
The Big Picture is always necessary.
Strong of will are challenged to lead,
Leading requires a great strength of
Character found only in a very few,
You, Sherri, are one of those few.

 Ronald C. Downie, (Dad)

Haiku 65

Haiku 65

Abe, Teddy, Ronald,
Giants of the Grand Party -
Dwarfs : Newt, Mitt, Michele.

Race to the bottom,
How much crap must we endure -
Lagers not leaders.

They pass in review,
Do they really pass muster ?
It's your turn to judge.

Brother of Hard Ball's
Chris Mathews is indicted -
Commissioner Jim.

We deserve better,
Will Democrats so govern ?
Our county struggles.

Greed may rule the day,
But honesty wins the race -
Only if you act.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

So Grows The Tree

So Grows The Tree

When I strike a match to light the village fire pit,
Flames illuminate faces of our own fine family tree.
Nearly six decades of bearing and raising young fit
Members, trained to think, to act, raised to be free :

Then, these young accomplished see the World stage
Spread out beyond their horizons awaiting discovery.
Poised in innocence, thoroughly tutored beyond age, 
Finding their footing, they're off to life's pageantry :

And then, capturing the day, making way, work acts
To temper aggressiveness in some structured setting.
"The art of the deal" attracts some lacking of facts,
Most will attest education displays their upbringing.

"As the twig is bent so grows the tree", sings to me
Song lyrics, pressing achieving progeny, lovely to see.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

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 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 far off 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) 

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 7, 1941

December 7, 1941

This "a date which will live in infamy" expressed by then President, Roosevelt, resonated in Pottstown, I'm sure, with shock. But, over in the farm country of Chester County near Harmonyville where we were living then, a quiet hush filled the air when we first heard the message.

My mother's cousin from Scotland, Jock Piggot, arrived here by train from Philadelphia the day before, a Saturday, for his only ever visit here? He was the Captain of a British transport ship in port at Philadelphia taking on supplies for the English home front already at war. 

On Sunday morning we had a leisurely breakfast and after it Dad and my brother both queried Jock about his sea faring, with me nearing the age of seven, I was popping in and out the room. Mom was busy preparing a large meal for mid-afternoon and I, as usual, was her go get it guy when called away from the conversations.

Normally on a Sunday if we hadn't gone to church, as happened that day, Dad would read his paper while listening to the radio. His favorite station was WOR out of New York with Rambling With Gambling a staple. My brother, Andy, and I would have been outside for sometime by then. Our life on Houck Road just off Harmonyville Road was then recorded in memory as either before or after indoor plumbing. That meant an outhouse or an indoor cellar toilet ; a bath in the cellar in a large metal tub with water heated on a wood-coal stove then poured in the large tub sitting on the floor or taking a shower in a simple cellar stall with water heated by a bucket a day coal stove.

After our big afternoon meal Dad and Jock retired back again to the living room for more talk. It would be getting on to late afternoon and Dad, a news junky, finally turned on the radio. Nothing but the attack on Pearl Harbor was heard with endless reports from Washington and where ever else. The first bombs fell at Pearl at 7:55 AM so east coast time would have been five or six hours later, or early afternoon. 

Jock was ashen when he stood up dressed in his causal clothes and announced to Dad and Andy that he must get back to his ship. With that up the stairs he doubled stepped coming back down fully outfitted in his dress blues complete with his Captain's hat a suitcase in hand. Will you please take me to the train station in Pottstown, immediately, Alex ? Dad did so after a hurried good by and we never saw him again though we heard he had a ship or two blow out from under him during the War. He, to our knowledge, lived through the War and for sometime after hopefully in good health.

I remember the Second World War as a young boy being scared when the Light Warden rapped at the door at night informing Mom and Dad to pull the special black curtains closer together because a sliver of light was peeping through. The sound of an airplane engine sent many a chill up my spine.

The Second World War altered the way Americans have lived ever since. The ever ongoing tragedy, seems to me, to be that winning this war did not herald in a century or two of peace and prosperity that we thought we fought for. Might not always turns out to be right; rather it sets up a King Of The Hill attitude in the World where defending turf is paramount. Why, oh, why ?

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Grandson, Connor Kurtz

Grandson, Connor Kurtz

When a grandson takes an oath of allegiance to 
Uphold The Constitution of The United States Of
America, he joins a select group of citizens. Few
Are willing to be put to the test candidates love :

Then, when voting is long over and true work begins :
Reading, understanding, corresponding, and debating
Takes a good deal of his time. Do young one's whims 
Revolve around time budgeting, rather than dating :

And then, the rigors of meetings, schedule shifts, 
Want of necessity seeking an answer, finding none.
That noble cause grows a film of tarnish, not gifts
Once thought. Plow on does he, this gifted grandson.

A field of battle is not always fit for fife and drum.
It's for the tenacious, gifted solder who gets it done.

Ronald C. Downie
A sonnet to commemorate Connor's swearing in at 18 years of age to his local school board.

Friday, December 2, 2011

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 Devine;

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

This poem I cherish as my signature poem.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Andy Grey Downie

Andy Grey Downie

Gran'Pa Downie was a wizened old wise sage
Who's needs were few, his wants even less.
With a huge bald head, both forearms bowed,
His spine was so calcified it bent him forward
Making him unable to look up without sitting down.
His Scottish brogue, heavy RRRs, spoke of his birth.

His physical look told a quite different story.
This ship's joiner, carpenter, traveled Cape Town,
South Africa to home port, Glasgow, Scotland.
His disfigured physical features developed from,
We thought, deficiencies in his diet during long
Trips at sea aboard tramp steamer cargo ships.

Is one born a sage or does it slowly develop 
Through adversity during a health decline ?
Or does Man temper, as steel from iron does,  
When it's super heated molecules implode   
Making them much stronger through firing ?  

From this sage we find his strength in words.
           Gran'Pa said : 
" A good job is it's own reward ."
" Please measure twice so you cut just once ."
 "A job worth doing is worth doing well ."
 "I don't care ! " "Just is not a good answer ."

In Love For My Grandfather, I Am,
Ronald C . Downie 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sanatoga Speedway

Sanatoga Speedway

Always the showman, George Marshman, in1954 began the spectacle called Demolition Derby which was not a race but it was truly a survival of  attrition through luck. When the field of cars starting the event got down to only one still functioning, that one was declared the winner. 

Though run inside the fence dividing spectator from the oval action, this was not an oval race. The infield as well as the oval track was in use by the driver contestants. Their instructions were to begin racing in a figure eight pattern crisscrossing the infield in a manner to excite the crowd with near misses at first, then later cause crashes targeted to disable a car while keeping your own going. It was immaterial whether you ran in reverse or forward. Those who were adept at driving in reverse seemed to be the better survivors of the spectacle.

The crowds just loved the garish nature of Demolition Derby. Race fans were used to getting some what dirty from dust but this event which used the clay infield churned hardened clay into fine particles blanketing everything. George Marshman saw this problem early and turned to chemistry to solve it.

This is where I entered the picture. I was a young infrequent spectator working for a landscape contractor operating from a Sanatoga location. George found out this firm had a hydro seeder normally used in spraying grass seed and fertilizer on  disturbed ground along newly built highways. He contracted us each race day to spray a tank load of water spiked with a chemical that made water wetter on the infield which penetrated the clay and reduced the amount of dust occurring. I was the operator perched up on the pump platform spraying away. 

The Speedway's endurance seemed to be fading away around then and George, it seems to me, lost some interest in the Sanatoga operation. Remember, this was the coming of his son's heyday in the big arena. Sadly Bobby Marshman, after leaving his mark on racing, left this life. The images of both George and his son Bobby Marshman along with the Sanatoga Speedway fade into history as all things etched in memory eventually do.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Writing's My Play

Writing's My Play

When I'm caught up in national political chatter,
I retreat to my front porch, weather permitting.
There, enjoy brown leaves dropping without clatter,
While squirrels chase and birds wing, rarely resting.

Then, comfortable on my rocker, I turn on the radio
To NPR or, if they're rehashing gotcha's of the day,
I dial in a classical music station. Walkers say, Hello!
My universe expands from this rocker, gone is play.

And then, birds catch my eye, with swop and flit
As they move from tree to tree, kind of like chase
When I was young. A large hawk glides in to sit
Tippy top of the steeple pointing to heaven's place.

The older we get, memory enlarges to fill our day,
Now I can't physically engage, so writing's my play.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, November 28, 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, 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 are lazy, suffer.
A hand up always trumps a hand out."

"Seek strength from external forces.
Always choose your own 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 very 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    

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Win-Win For Pottstown

A Win-Win For Pottstown

If you had an investment of mega-millions in a property would you be satisfied in it just sitting there hardly generating any income beyond the cost to keep it mowed. If the property were on the tax rolls it would carry a negative balance sheet, taxes being more than income generated.

This property I describe is our own Pottstown Airport. With something like 70 Acres of open land much of it surrounded by industrial properties, the under performance of this commercial land is a drag on Pottstown's lagging economy. 

One way of addressing this situation would be by selling the property but, federal grants which would need to be repaid, scuttle this tact. About two years, or so ago, I wrote a letter to council and to the administration suggesting a method to create at the airport an income generating operation.

Create a solar farm on the roofs of the buildings and on the open space grass areas in a magnitude maximizing all available space. The very nature of an airport requiring that there be no vertical obstructions is perfect for a solar energy generation. I would suggest a minimum of 20 acres could be used for such a venture. In fact, Pottstown could become the templet for these types of operations across the state, if not, the nation.

Well, nothing's happened. With this Year's shortfall of $600,000.00 looming and property values into the future figured to be falling even further, I doubt we can assess fees up each year to balance the budget. What we need is an income generator, a solar farm. 

The future requires futuristic thinking, out of the box thinking. I would hope some would give this thought some consideration. A solar farm could easily coexist with the airport in full operation. Income generation would go on for ever and when investments were paid off income would rise accordingly. A win-win in my eyes.

Ronald C. Downie

Gain Mastery

Gain Mastery

When in a crush of many misled men
Our World shutters of horrible deeds,
A counter is born by all strong women
Who bear our children, sow new seeds :

Then, fresh generations gain the wheel,
Trim the sails, set the compass to steer
Vessel into clear waters. They then feel
Gaining mastery is something not to fear :

And then, we of a lesser state find comfort 
In understanding life on Earth gains in merit
From vitality pent up with genes of the sort,
Wishing for a more perfect union, to inherit.

Be these the dreams to set aside our own misery
Of discontent, discarded woes, or gain its mastery. 

Ronald C. Downie
A sonnet

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Neighbor Talkers

Neighbor Talkers

When our bright golden sphere arcs an azure sky
It causes sparkling reflections from all that's sheen.
Just like today, when frost filmed all caught by eye
Those surfaces until sun warmed reflections seen.

Then, with arc low in the sky the sun brightly shines
Illuminating all in a golden hue but heating up lags.
Winter's near, spring's far off, late fall now finds
Leafless trees, flowerless gardens, fluttering flags.

Then, from out my window I only see few walkers,
Healthy brave ones, warmly bundled against cold,
Earlier in summer these were my neighbors, talkers.
Many years I've seen seasons change, now I'm old.

The sun shifts its altering arc, the Earth accepts
Seasons as normal, and always, life's force adapts.

Ronald C. Downie 

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Value Of Meaningful Work

        The Value Of Meaningful Work

For nine years during the decade of the '60's I worked at Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, Lower Pottsgrove .While working there I met so many self made men that I wondered what was the key to their character ? When I engaged them in conversations I pressed them to explain how their former years were spent. Most were veterans of WW11 and attributed their character to the regiment of being in the military, the act of leaving home when still young, and their realization that there is value in a chain of command system .

War was not all that formed character . The older ones, some too old to serve in the war, told a similar tale of early development . These fellows were from families caught up in the Depression with little or no family income and no jobs in sight. They also left home at an early age and entered into a paramilitary style organization, the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corps, a works program for young men
aged 18 to 25 .

Their tales about life in the CCC were compelling . Newly away from home and family they bunked in log type cabins erected by earlier crews of Corps workers led by men trained in carpentry and construction . The newly arrived came with few skills, though at that time in our country most young men came from a stable family whose need was a livable income . It was the mandate of the Corps to take untrained young men and give them a job needing little prior experience.These jobs were mostly involved in work at public parks, in our public land's forests, and along our meagerly developed highway system .

Three square meals a day, a regiment of sleep time, work time, break time, all in a semi-relaxed supervisory atmosphere that gave these men structure in their daily life. They each received a small allowance with the rest of their wages being sent home to the struggling families there . Each to a man felt their work while in the CCC was spent for a greater good, for the good of the country, as sort of, for a noble cause. Each expressed a feeling that their lives turned out much better for them having spent time in the CCC and had no regrets for their service time .

Today the young, both males and females, need similar structure in their lives which their fathers and grandfathers lived two generations prior which dramatically changed their lives for the better. Of course the question remains : Could the government today create a 21'st Century equivalent to the CCC of earlier times? After that question is answered, a larger question begs an answer, should our government reinstitute the CCC today ?

If you answer, Yes, to these questions you join me in my way of thinking . It seems we must move away from a cowboy mentality of : arrogant independence, gun on hip, open range to ride, dumb heifers (people) to herd, deserving mine and taking it, the Hell with you, I  got mine . 

Let's press Washington to institute a 21'st Century CCC that will give the young adults among us an alternative to a wasted start without meaningful work at home, without a personal structure governing daily activities, without some sense of order and supervision, and without a goal of common interest, namely, for the good of the whole, for the good of the country, for the good of the planet, and mainly for the good of the self .

    Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, November 24, 2011

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 .

Ringing 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, bodies, and play.

Rules, who worried for rules, kick off the damn 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.     

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It Is What It Is

"It Is What It Is"

When, the real cast of actors leaves us down
Acting out their personal part in life's schemes,
Will we seek what we wish to see come around
Finding the play's truthful to all Man's dreams :

Then, as a slap across the face would bring a welt
We pause, feeling hurt, we reach out for answers.
"It is what it is." The plays are similar, actors melt
Into history, but in life only seven scenes, my sirs :

And then, accepting that which only we can control,
We look, listen, interpret, we respond with an action.
Finding our bearings, speaking out, always on patrol
Each day surveying The Field Of Dreams for traction.

Accepting early enough in a lifespan your limitations
Makes time pass more easily bypassing complications.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Eary Snow

An Early Snow

Frozen whiteness piles up thick on leaves
From the late October northeaster storm.
Bending comes to supple branches at ease,
Unaccustomed to snow, too far from norm.

Bending before braking serves all life well,
Sort of like thinking before actually acting.
All stories are pent up in us ready to tell,
They are time massaged awaiting the saying.

Weather has ways of tempering our actions
Into pauses and interruptions as we all react
Unscripted. Final outcomes move to reactions
Brought about through tough bending is a fact.

Planning may get the snow shovel waxed ready,
Or the lawn mower tuned, sharpened, cleaned.
Anticipation's good as long as thought's steady
On track, free of falling back on ideas dreamed.

But, dreams inspire what we want our World to be.
A future, free of dreams, would be a sterile place :
Void of bright colors, lush plants, clear water free
To drink from, A Fountain Of Youth, a lovely space.

A misplaced October snow prompted this poem
Which challenges us to think alternative thought.
Should we act or react or just let our minds roam
Through time, sifting comfortable dreams, sought? 

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, November 21, 2011

Haiku 62

Haiku 62

Super Committee,
A tragic joke on people -
"Stupor" Committee.

Occupy your mind !
Occupy your emotions !
Occupy your heart !

Each generation
Marches to dirge drums pounding -
Some will leave their mark.

A thought - Occupy !
Reality     - Occupy !
For hope   - Occupy !

I point my finger 
Directly at inaction -
Congress is inept.

Where's the Jesus gene ?
He fed the poor, healed the sick -
He spoke to masses.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Into The Lamp Of History

Into The Lamp Of History

When, onto the streets the massed disavowed march
From their "Occupy" camps into the lamp of history,
Their's is of every walk of life found under the arch,
Who make daily toil tribute to their work's mastery:

Then, they join in an echoing voice the massive choir
Assembled Worldwide putting sound to the footsteps.
Unscripted, leaderless, message driven, forgiving prior
Allegiances to Madison Avenue's lusty driven preps :

And then, cracks within the cloistered Wall Street
Conclaves who hire blue coats for their protection.
Big money needs big results, billions verses speech ; 
Words tug at heart and mind gaining true affection.

"The die is cast", an overwhelming thought adopted 
By multitudes, succinct simplicity, never's co-opted.

Ronald C. Downie
A sonnet

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Art Of Listening

The Art Of Listening

When we lean on the cluttered din of the day
Few sounds can escape chatter's deafening wake.
Sharp piercing sounds squeal loud, so far away,
The rest, cloud like, low muffled sounds make :

Then in conversation which guides this very day,
From clouds back to Earth, beckons our own reply.
Uptempo, finding why's and wherefores, we may
State truths and falsehoods out loud to the sky :

And then, do we really wait for an answer returned,
Or, have we retreated back into the heavens cloudy,
Not hearing the din nor if the responder's concerned,
Which has bearing living silently, if not, then loudly? 

Lost is the "Art Of Listening" basic to Earth as sod,
But, grown so close, we are just as "Pees In A Pod".
Ronald C. Downie
A sonnet

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tents For Sale

Tents For Sale

Grab your hats ! Six million dollars lost in borough assessment value this year up to Nov.9 requiring a borough tax increase. What will the assessed value be 7 month from now when the Pottstown School District figures our new tax levy ? Remember, the exact same properties that are taxed for the borough are the same which are taxed for the school district. For every $5 of yearly taxation paid by we tax payers, $4 dollars goes to the school district. Better start saving now or learn to live in a tent as  "Occupiers" choose to do.

Forget federal taxes, it is the crush of local taxes that will impoverish you and change the way you'll have to live. How in the world can those citizens like me on fixed incomes pay the increases in taxes along with every other price increase levied ? Does a 1%'r ever have to worry about where they will live to live out their days ? 

Tell me that I didn't put forth an effort, tell me I didn't work enough for me to enjoy the fruits of The Great American Dream, tell me I need less so a small few who have everything can amass more, tell me this and I'll spit in your face. Yes, I am angry, yes, I am discouraged with our country's governance, yes, I am in fear of a complete World financial collapse. No, I won't break, but I may have to buy a tent and get out of this rat race. Hey, is that you in line to buy a tent too !

Ronald C. Downie

Rebirth Of Pottstown, A College Town*

Rebirth Of Pottstown, A College Town*

John, John Potts, what was it like,
When first to this place you came?
You conceived a form, a town was born,
That forevermore carries your name .

You pledged your trust to a westward bluff,
Meandering east a lovely creek ran clean   
To a river so pure that it had in store
The demand for that black rock's glean .

The Schuylkill tamed, from Holland named,
She's a marriage of creeks, many a stream.
But the scourge of time the discharge of slime
Was in ignorance of man's best drempt dream.

So, John, again we'll look to her use,
To draw life for your town worn down .
Will the river forgive past utter abuse
And revive the rebirth of our Pottstown ?

*Our college town, Pottstown, long in history is poised for a rebirth, especially, if we associate our town with the positive image of The Montgomery County Community College. Please do your part.

Ronald C . Downie   

Thursday, November 17, 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, November 16, 2011

An OBX Night

Most people vacation at North Carolina's Outer Banks for the sun, sand ,and surf but not me. I enjoyed the starry nights deep jet black with stars so much brighter than found anywhere around the northeast. Even more impressive was the moon rising above the eastern horizon peeking up to then silhouette on the water off in the distance bringing thoughts with its rise. From this experience flowed the following.

  An O. B. X. Night

Way out there, where 
The inky ocean meets
The eastern night sky,
A red sphere silvers
As it lifts from the waves to
Begin its nightly grand arc
Across the heavens 
Bringing moon light
To a sleeping dark planet .

When full, the silvery moon
Gathers up to swell the tide high by
Raising lapping waves above normal .
Does this same moon cycle draw fluids
Up in life forms as it does with water?

Can abnormalities in beasts and humans
Be traced to full moon cycles ?
Are stories bordering on the macabre
A certainty of a full moon's power ?

Do you, as I do, look up on a clear moon lit night and wonder,
While viewing visible craters that depicts a bright faced full moon,
What is this force that causes changes here on Earth ?

A clear night at the Outer Banks allows keen sight .
That, which is keen, is not always a big picture's answer.
Insight that moves beyond the senses, beyond the obvious,
Has more of a chance to capture what we call Spirit sense,
A sixth sense getting us beyond the visible into the great unknown.

When sky is sky, and ocean is what the sky rests on.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Haiku 61

Haiku 61

A Happy Valley ?
No longer smiles, laughter -
Sad ! "Are We Penn State" ?

An image tarnished,
How many years to clean up ?
Never be the same.

No one person can :
Build a University -
Nor tear good one down !

Nittany Mountain,
Still rises above valley -
Learning must go on.

Man enacts the law,
Man abides or ignores them -
"Wheels Of Justice" act.

Jo'Pa Paterno,
Not bigger than life, we find -
His memory fades.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, November 14, 2011

Short Of The Mark

Short Of The Mark

Any observer of sports today, since it's so easy to engulf oneself in viewing a sports show on television any day at any time, has to have had similar feelings to mine. I've come to the conclusion that any ball, except maybe a baseball, left short of its sought  distance when launched has little chance to fulfill its intended purpose of a successful advance or creating a score. A basketball shot short of the rim, a golf putt short of the hole, a field goal attempt short of the goal post cross bar; you get the idea, you can think of many more illustrations.

Realizing this fact - efforts left short of their mark have zero chance of success - a perceptive coach, you would think, should urge his players to always err on the side of long when practicing.  A golfer putting would always practice perceiving the ball reaching the cup but if off line passing the cup just a short distance. A basketball coach would press his players to always shoot over the front of the rim of the basket. Long being not wrong, if long, it at least has a chance to succeed, if short, none at all.

Effort works in similar ways. When little extended, chance is success stymied, but when extra effort is given out, success has a real chance to succeed. Intention doesn't cut it, action does. Our World moves ahead because some people are not short on effort. They reach beyond, they pull up from inside themselves an extra measure of effort which, because it does not come up short, gains the results desired.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Policy Over Personality

Policy Over Personality

A forgotten lesson in organization surfaced last week at Penn State University. That principal which is often ignored is that all businesses, governmental agencies, all organizations must conduct their affairs based on stated policy rather than on personalities. Too often policy is pushed aside when an individual of commanding authority rises above an adherence to a well thought out policy. Similar to the too big to fail syndrome is this idea of the man being greater than the organization he works for even if, in fact, he started and built the organization. 

When policy is either ignored or bent because of a particular person's importance or power position the very structure of the organization weakens and, in Penn State's case, broke down completely. If the University had a policy of zero tolerance for disclosure which was abridged by the school and the athletic department because Coach Paterno was involved, personality trumped policy. If the school took into account the the Division 1 football wins record looked at by fans and pundits for the last few years and put off disclosure because of it that certainly would be personality trumping policy.

Policy must always come out ahead of personally if the wheels of society are to continue turning properly. Constancy is rooted in policy which is the stated procedure independent of who is directing it and transcends particular individuals as they pass through the organization. Policy is timeless if it was well thought out and universal in its construct. Policy becomes the very backbone of any desirable organization that is worth its weight. A great university should have adhered to its stated policy and, if it had, Penn State would still be looking to advance a winning record beyond catching.

Ronald C. Downie


Saturday, November 12, 2011



"About mid-calf ," the Doctor said ,
"That's if the foot won't heal properly."
I said, "Let's give it some more time, Doc."
When reality sets in , it gets one thinking .

Who were those boys: shorts, but no shirts,
Barefooted, one deep olive bronze with 
Jet black hair, and an ever youthful smile .
The other, thin, blond, fair, somewhat older ?

Jack, Bill, and me - A Band Of Brothers-
Later joined by Linwood and Bruce . We
Enjoyed barefoot summers climbing trees
And rocks in East Park, wetting in the dam.

A half mile down we caught the school bus
For Lower Pottsgrove Elementary School .
Swings, merry go round, base ball fields,
There education began it's life long roll .

Walked everywhere, caddied, played every
Game known, flopped badly at baseball,
Captained football, put the shot, threw the discus,
Was Penn State's freshman starting right guard .

Now I have a wheelchair, walker, a cane,
A hospital bed and bedside commode .
"Non-weight bearing," the Doctor warned .
Once so strong, what for? It's all gone .

Swamp Hogs, then basketball champs, Tony Z's,
Two games a night, I jumped and I ran,
I worked all day, played all night . I walked,
Knew no pain, an obstacle never stopped me . 

Business and work- work and business, no end,
No doctor, no diet, no checks, no balances .
My life style embraced no moderation .
It is today, stupid ! Just plod on and let 

Tomorrow care for it's own damed self .
Wrong ! I was wrong ! Independence
May be wonderful, but may not be wise .
Walk ? Well, my life has caught up with me .

    Ronald C . Downie 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Joe Jo'Pa Paterno

Joe Jo'Pa Paterno

Of the few dozen or so other local residents who have had direct contact with Coach Paterno my contact goes back to 1953, the year I graduated Pottstown High School. I entered Penn State College (it was not a University yet ) in September of '53 and tried out for freshman football as a walk-on making the squad. Joe was young looking - seven plus years my senior, me 18, he, 25/26 years old- the quarterback coach under head coach, Rip Engle. 

The quite young looking Paterno was a force on the practice field and players sensed the close relationship between Rip Engle and his trusted assistant. Paterno knew each and every player as if he recruited them all. Many times he even addressed lowly me, a lineman pulling guard, because the freshman ran plays of the opposing team against the first team at the beginning of the week which was part of the practice session Joe oversaw.

I last spoke to Joe Paterno in the early 1970's at a Boosters Club picnic in Reading, Pa. I have been an ardent Penn State fan all my life even though my personal football experience predated Jo'Pa's ascendence to head coach. His extremely long tenure as head coach seems to have allowed the creep of absolutism into the power thread of authority blurring the lines between University and football. This blurring of authority may truly reflect the mood of the general public where our once heralded Halls Of Higher Education have taken a back seat to vaunted university sports programs.

By gaining a larger than life image on a national scene, I do not think, served Joe well. He, as most authoritarians in history, chose an image over reality. Joe's was, that an image of a sport being greater than the lives of young adolescents who were reported being abused. Coverup always seems to trip up people who chose this path because their vision is blurred from some element similar to that of zealotry. 

Joe Jo'Pa Paterno will not outlive his demise as he descends from his throne. I would hope to think the Paterno I knew would have acted differently. Maybe higher education will come out of this a winner, although the price paid by human sacrifice can not be calculated, the university system may start a critical evaluation to put sports in its proper place.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lia Alexandra Downie

Lia Alexandra Downie

Her toes wiggled deep down in Gulf's fine sand,
Wet is her salted blond hair, oiled skin tanned;
She faces west at the nod of day, sun's scanned
Far off, ribboning horizon's west rim, so, so grand.

Half under-half out, off shore of tides strong pull,
Dolphins dip and rise in rhythm to ways of waves,
Not dependent on prevailing shore winds that saves
Seaman who tack north and south, billowed sails full.

Birds aloft flocking, they swoop catching the ground,
Running, pecking, scouring, ahead of retiring waves.
Walkers, joggers pass review, each their own ways,
Some know a perfect shell's there, their head's down.

Returning home, rounding the bend, house bright,
Comfort is always from seeing fruits of one's sight.
Flowers, their petals burst with color, bedded right,
Groomed, trimmed, organized for every day's light.

You, Daughter Lia, are that person we think about
Twelve hundred miles away, due south. Independent,
A can doer, resolved in your own ability, so resilient
That you are looked on with admiration, speak out.

All of lesser ability need a person to look up to :
Someone who can hold the ship steady in a storm,
Who can listen, cut out the chaff, return to norm.
Whether you accept it or not, the anointed is you.

With Love ,
Mom and Dad

Happy Birthday poem from Dad

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Haiku 60

Haiku 60

Eagles double down,
Join in baseball Phillies woes -
Neither win big games.

Returning - the foot
Is back in college football -
LSU Tigers.

Weather's wonderful,
Sun breaks the cold, bleak, drawn days -
Indian Summer.

Front porch beckons me,
Hanging baskets down, pots in -
Rocker in motion.

Oaks retain their leaves,
Some may hold until Spring time -
Makes a nice contrast.

I long for Spring bulbs,
Tulips, daffodils, crocus -
Beauty can not hide.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, November 8, 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, November 7, 2011

On A Long Night's Activity

On A long Night's Activity

When, in the wake of dreams unfulfilled,
Looking back, reaching for mind's set then,
Stirring hidden hollows, hiding strong willed
Thoughts usually left for deep night's, amen :

Then, with tossing and turning, sweat arrives
From body heat captured by layers of covers,
Deepened sleep slacks as the mind's eye drives
Piercing nerve endings toward thoughts of others :

And then, over and over we relive day's events,
Real or are they derived of fiction or of facts ? 
A deep night's sleep would have provided vents
For the escape from rewind or rewrite of acts.

Into this netherworld of super active long days
Take deep breaths, relax, mellow, chill out plays.

Ronald C. Downie
A Sonnet

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

The occupying 99%errs sorely need a modern day Mark Twain to vocalize their message in a way Twain did in his time which ignited the complacent masses into action. The United States in the late eighteen hundreds was in a financial debacle not unlike ours of today. Writer, lecturer, humorist, and the Common Man's philosopher, Mark Twain, delivered a universal message still on target for today's time.

He remarked rhetorically about the ethos of the age people were then living through, " What is the chief end of Man ?  It was to get rich.  In what way ? Dishonestly if we can;  honestly if we must."   

Mark Twain saw through the frailties of us human beings in a time what was then called "The Gilded Age". Periods of time get tagged by descriptive names, the actors of the times fade and die off, but the theater of life stages only so many themes the human animal will experience which gets expressed in the plays it produces. 

I'd love to be a 1%err but I wasn't dealt the proper hand just as about anyone reading this did not catch a Royal Flush either. As a society we owe those activists among us, the 99%errs of "Occupy Wall Street", who bring attention to the inequalities of how money is distributed in, not only in our country, but in the whole World. These "Occupiers" do for me what I'm incapable of doing for myself at this stage of my life. Whether you like it or not, neither of us are Mark Twain's; but both Twain and the 99%errs will be subjects of history, again neither you nor I will be so honored.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Haiku 59

Haiku 59

David and Charles Koch,
Cain's brothers - other mother -
Herman sings clearly.

Herman be Herman,
Cain mutiny resurrects -
Iowa not sea.

Herman be Herman,
Self inflicted wounds no sweat -
Strange dude, a quick draw.

Drip, drip, drip, no stop,
Each day Herman swings in wind -
Blood letting goes slow.

Money writes music,
Big bucks grab batons and lead -
Tune often sour.

Disgust comes slowly,
Congress despised by many,
Old bulls must go home !

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, November 4, 2011

History Is Always With Us

History Is Always With Us

Having lately become enamored with World History, I am amazed on how life's themes remain essentially the same, even though, the characters change just as their generations faded away. What is that saying often quoted ? Something like, if we refuse to learn from the past, we are prone to repeat it.

The sad irony of the worst characters who governed huge portions of the ancient world is that we can imagine many debaters on today's stages are just as inept as those fallen characters of old. Can you imagine some of these debaters being "The Leader Of The Free World" or giving a coherent policy speech to the nation which has whole world implications. I shutter ! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What We Don't Know, Yes, Can Hurt Us

What we don't know, yes, can hurt us.

If we picture a country that has : universal health care for its citizens, many paid holidays for workers, many paid weeks of vacation for those workers, and, above all that, the average worker's hourly rate of pay was $49.00 an hour, where on the World's scale of fiscal responsibility would you expect this country to fall ?

Most likely you, like me, would be wrong if we thought a country so described would be a basket case.

Germany, that dynamic industrial and financial engine powering The European Union, is the country pictured above. Yes, Germany, is the country being asked to bale out the economic wasteland which surrounds her and is a country which continues to build a middle class of upwardly mobile happy citizens.

Many of our Nation's Legislators fall into the abyss carved deep by those to the right and, especially, the far right who claim that beating down labor while enriching the effluent is in our country's best interest. To these, ignorance is bliss. The World needs more Germany's rather than, say, Greece or Italy or Spain's.

Put that stake, once and for all, through the heart of "trickle down economics" that worn out doctrine discredited by real examples of fiscal sanity. Learn to understand that the vastly increasing disparity between average worker's pay and CEO's pay can not continue to broaden. 

We can only capture tomorrow by understanding yesterday and working today with the knowledge we have acquired which allows wisdom to surface. It is through the use of wisdom that ordinary people can make extraordinary advances. 

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Eyes To Heaven

     Eyes To Heaven 

Long an observer of Berks County skies
From west wondered what ruckus implies .
Could children's chatter, playground's gleeful cries,
Be so close to hear though not seen by my eyes ?

Goose and gander, Canadians, across the pond
Shallow water succulent greens they are fond.
Muskrats pull grasses in spring as they respond.
These ponds come alive as my private neutron.

Quickly I turned to the sounds from the west,
An angled V gaggle with song from their chest.
Lost count at thirty, do they circle for rest ?
No, not today, they won't land here to nest.

But why do they sound so different from norm ?
Snow Geese who were off course by a storm.
Surely I've seen a lone Snow Goose forlorn,
But a pure white gaggle's sharp V was their form.

That surprised me in both sight and sounds.
Around us - Nature - in awe she abounds.
Gone are the Snow Geese, still Blue Birds around.
My eyes to the heavens, my heart's in the ground.

   Ronald C .Downie  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hippocratic Oath

Hippocratic Oath
   "First do no harm", as I understand it, is an oath administered to graduating medical school students to guide them forever in their profession. We all hope they follow this oath. 
   Legislators, both state and federal, take an oath to uphold the Constitution of their State, if a state official, and The Constitution of The United States if federal. We all hope that they follow this oath also.
   I wish legislators had to take the Hippocratic Oath too since their decisions can really cause wholesale harm to a society. Much of this harm seems to come about when a legislator legislates in a way to keep themselves in office. A vote on a bill not to upset the voters may seem prudent at the time and for future reelection, but in the long run may be the worst thing for the future and generations yet to follow.
   Our Country's Framers had little idea legislators would become full-time professionals at their occupations. Most envisioned farmers or millers would serve a term or two then go back home to live out their lives there. Times have changed and the minds of legislators have changed along with time. Eating from the public trough must be enticing. The easy move from legislating to lobbing must be so very inviting too.
   Today, our Country needs a redirecting of basic priorities starting with the limiting of terms of service for legislators. We always hear," lame duck session "and how much progress is to be made during that session. Why ? Because legislators including presidents are not running for reelection; therefore, they can vote their conscious instead of pandering for votes.
   Churchill said of The United States, " You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." Maybe that's where we are now, having tried everything else and now we 'll do the right thing. The impending World financial crises with us as a prime player makes Congress look like babbling fools in there pre-positioning stance about the debt ceiling and cuts to entitlements and raising revenues. All these talking heads blathering talking points only to gather in potential votes can't have you and me in their heart of hearts. 
   We are better than this I was always taught.  
   "Of the people, by the people, for the people", that is us : when young sent to War, when healthy asked to build a nation for the future, now when old asked to sacrifice gains worked for so the effluent few can get more. This, my friends, is not a representative democracy but it is a plutocracy. The rule over us by the rich is one of the harshest governments of them all. To them : money is power and power is money. We are merely pawns, numbers to be crunched, throwaways.
   My time is running out so someone has to pick up the baton and run with it. I only hope one of you who reads this bends over, picks up the baton, and runs like "hell". 

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, October 31, 2011



Long in years,            
        when passions pout -
Old's seen change,   
     heard hymn and shout -
Wondering still,
           what life's about -
Fire in the belly,         
        long turned to gout -
Thin's in,                 
      so we shun the stout -
The long haired poet,           
               termed a lout -
His poetic wish,                 
              to shout it out -
Wisdom through thought,     
              to live without -
We are the lesser,          
           left yet in doubt -
Deep in years,       
   time when passions pout-

Ronald C.Downie.   

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Golden And Great

Golden And Great

What bridges the living with the spirit world,
Was answered today in a highly visible form.
Majestically over our Schuylkill River Valley
On strong feathered wings which tightly tethers 
Rising drafts - up, up, up, - spiraling to sightless heights,

A noble Golden Eagle winged over us today .
Sir Eagle has a range too far and so vast,
Soaring, gliding, effortlessly on golden wings
Brushing Heaven's gate . So sharp its eyes which 
Views all the lands and all inhabitants found there .

For eons what are the tales, the hallowed stories ?
The songs of the aboriginal native sung to tribal drums ?
The unified dance around tribal fires sending embers aloft ?
The quest for tail feathers to adorn a magnificent head dress ?

As a badge of honor, a scepter, the feather's connected to the Gods
Granting the possessor any wish he desired from the great beyond .
Passing over unknown to all of us, a mere speck in the high sky,
An Eagle touches many people without their knowledge, as would,
A thought, an idea, a premonition, an erie feeling, seeking escape .

A Great Golden Eagle, as does an undetected spirit, moves across
The high sky stealthily to the unobservant looking only ahead .
Dancing over the ground in a graceful ballet the great bird's shadow 
Silently announces its presence in the sky above as a spirit may do .

Timeless, the grandeur of this magnificent bird elevated by worship,
Which blurs the line dividing that of the living world from the spirit .

Ronald C . Downie 



Saturday, October 29, 2011

Haiku 58

Haiku 58

Who owns public space 
Bought through earlier taxes ?
Must be tax payers.

Are you keeper of :
Family records, hopes, dreams, luck -
Rock pillars set deep ?

Snow, snow go away,
Come again some other day -
In leaf, tree problems.

Garbage in, same out,
Be not misled by chatter -
Seek your own answers.

Captain your own ship,
Decide which waters you'll sail -
Eyes, ears, charts your guide.

I'm not one percent !
I'm a ninety nine'er man !
Way, way down real deep !

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, October 28, 2011



"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman, and philosophers, and divines." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson spoke not only for his era but also for all times sake. Just like rigid, hard rock which shatters into pieces when struck with a hammer, the rigid consistency of a zealot shatters into illogical segments when confronted with reality. A life worth living is lived in the middle away from the harsh sheen of pure white and equally away from the bleak somber of jet black. It has always been through the art of compromise that brings thinkers from the their extremes at the edges into the middle ground, that fertile area where fresh ideas are grown.

The vast chasm, opening ever wider and deeper between rich and poor, is a prescription for failure.
We certainly need jobs here in America but, as importantly, we need an increasing middle class population with incomes sufficient to allow them to purchase the goods and services produced here. Jobs remain a function of a demand society so if you cut workers income to the bone they purchase less. Inversely, when the rich have less of a surplus they need not scrimp to just exist. 

Hogwash, it's hogwash in my mind that asking those who fed at the trough of obscene profits for decades to pay a few percentage points toward a recovery program which could save our nation as we have known it. More hogwash is the claim that these enriched few if asked to pay their fair share would starve the system by not creating new jobs. Ask them, how many jobs did they eliminate in the last decade which created their obscene wealth ?

It is the greater percentage of our population who is going to suffer if deep cuts are made so the rich and super rich can whaler in the sticky mud of greed. Old, mostly men, clinging onto a worn out creed that wealth is somehow a right of passage similar to a cast system as found in India, make up our Congress. Their time has passed and they must be sent home.

The "Pledge"of no revenue increase is one of a foolish consistency adored by little statesman. 

Amen !

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Blizzard Of The Season

First Blizzard Of The Season

Relish the first blizzard of the season
Watch for swirls of yellow and brown ;
Autumn early seems the real reason 
All the lawns are covered in the 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 home gardens wilt the tomatoes,
Deep breaths smoke great puffs as we walk.

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

        Ronald C . Downie 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Haiku 57

Haiku 57

Jack Frost wakes from sleep,
Sets sights on drifting down south -
Colors disappear.

Gathering huge flocks,
Birds know all about winter -
Seasons rule their year.

Fall back - spring ahead -
An hour lost - an hour found - my !
Do you really care ?

Just like a pumpkin,
I'm withering on the vine -
Carve me or kick me.

War Lords were slum lords,
Their wrath trashed human beings -
Slum lords trash also.

Capture and hold streets,
Clean them, then maintain that look -
Cleanliness, God's plan. 

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Haiku 56

Haiku 56

Plutocratic oath, 
I have money, so I rule -
Wealth worshiped as God.

Before you give up,
Stop, regroup, evaluate -
You'll want to go on.

Want's wail loudly heard :
Food, shelter, health, peace of mind -
Key is a good job.

Before the dawn, wake
As light seeks daily release -
Day's birth will not wait.

Into each day's light, 
Wants/desires, nudge needs -
A wise outcome rules.

Oligarchy's rule,
Tramp quite hard on loud voices -
Crush opposition.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, October 24, 2011

Haiku 55

Haiku 55

Mute majority,
Gathers, joins voices, shouts out -
Truth wins out, always.

Fifty senators,
Tone deaf, ignoring the facts -
Kiss rings of the rich.

Hear Buddy Roemer,
Republican who speaks truth -
His party mutes him.

Sticks and stones break,
Break more than bones, future's hope -
Leave the past behind.

Education swells,
Within chests and minds, Earth's needs -
Our dreams unfettered.

Feelings, join together
People needing common cause -
Need, ask; but have, give.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Minutemen Awaken

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

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

Power of a banker's nod brings foreplay to its max
As rush of playing GOD forges Temples in their mind. 
For eons man has thrust above the slyest of his kind;
Coin their allegiance, cherished dreams swing the ax.

I'm not willing to silence the fife nor quell the drum,
Both sounds our heart strings play to deep, so deep,
In the minds of America. You are not allowed sleep,
Fall in, shoulder your will. Now see - Freedom Won ! 
Ronald C . Downie

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We Must Escape

   We Must Escape  

Genesis 1 . . . We must escape
The bondage slog of daily gyre
To free Wisdom's intrepid wings
From Hades' fire . . . Revelations 22 .

Three hundred long dark years went by 
Assemble, vote,"U'ah, we got scripture !"
Talk about miracles, then they manipulate
The Gospels in praise of Heaven's rapture .

Those monkish scribes of walled in thoughts
Lay to the demands of their zealot priests;
Archangels fly, "Come in" calls out Noah,
Christ walks on water, holds Passover Feasts.

Two thousand years pass, the plot thickens :
Priests, monks, pastors, cathedrals, spires,
Holliday choirs, candles, especially crosses,
Madrigals, Holly Hymns, all feed Man's desires.

"Why are we here ?" and "Who are we ?"
Unanswered still. Who will please intercede 
On our behalf before the Lord, just because
We are lowly and unfit to plead our own need.

We wish our waters pure, our air clean to breathe,
Sufficient sustenance for all, a good strong society.
We must seek beauty everywhere, do no one harm,
Make Our World better, for us, and for all of thee.

   Ronald C . Downie  

Friday, October 21, 2011



Strong young vines with heaven in mind,
Stretch and grow skyward, wish to find
Sustenance in warming rays of sunshine,
Finds nectar's source, holy sweet, devine.

There's Cameron, Alix, Kendria, Stephen,
Casey, Conner, Evan, Ian, and Lilly : men
And women, boys and girls, babes to adults,
Vines of my linage, heredity's anxious results.

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

Young ones grow up so swiftly it seems
They far surpass a grandfather's dreams,
Nourished with good food and proper drink
Strength in 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 nearing my end,
Good life awaits them, engaging, a friend.
The Universe is their stage, like -"Glory Be" -
However vines grow they are an honor to me.

   Ronald C . Downie