Monday, January 31, 2011

Haiku 5

Haiku 5

Down float lazy flakes,
Thunder frenzied snow blankets -
Lawn mower ready.

Super Bowl action,
Foreign Texan soil they play -
Who wins ? Money does !

Horizons beckon,
In the distance lures our dreams -
T.V. stifles them.

Zhivago winter,
Ice, snow, Siberian bleak -
Vodka ! All around.

Bright golden sunshine,
Indicates warmth, early spring -
A false conclusion.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, January 28, 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 divine.

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

              Ronald C.Downie


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thoughts of OBX Nights

While sitting here looking out the front windows at an ever increasing intensity of snow coming down, my mind drifted back to some years ago. Connie, my wife,is of the Hall Family who had a family reunion down at The Outer Banks, North Carolina, about eight years back.
The days were fine but the nights struck my mind as being special. Light pollution at night in Pottstown is so bad few if any stars can be readily seen by me from my home. I do recognize the planets that shine more brightly though.
Viewing a rising Moon coming up from the horizon Of ocean meeting the eastern sky took my breah away. It was a full moon at that which dominated the heavens for me. But,never since I was a very young boy before World War Two had I seen stars as numerous and so sharply bright.
The following poem, "An OBX Night", captures some of my feelings which I thought about that first night and the others of that eventful week.
Ronald C. Downie

An OBX Night

      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 creates a bright faced full moon 
What is this force that causes changes here on Earth ?

A clear night at the Outer Banks enables keen sight .
Sight that 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.

     Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Robert Burns On His Birthday's Anniversary

Robert Burns
Born in Alloway, Scotland, on January 25, 1759, Robert Burns was the first of William and Agnes Burnes' seven children. His father, a tenant farmer, educated his children at home. Burns also attended one year of mathematics schooling and, between 1765 and 1768, he attended an "adventure" school established by his father and John Murdock. His father died in bankruptcy in 1784, and Burns and his brother Gilbert took over farm. This hard labor later contributed to the heart trouble that Burns' suffered as an adult.

At the age of fifteen, he fell in love and shortly thereafter he wrote his first poem. As a young man, Burns pursued both love and poetry with uncommon zeal. In 1785, he fathered the first of his fourteen children. His biographer, DeLancey Ferguson, had said, "it was not so much that he was conspicuously sinful as that he sinned conspicuously." Between 1784 and 1785, Burns also wrote many of the poems collected in his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, which was printed in 1786 and paid for by subscriptions. This collection was an immediate success and Burns was celebrated throughout England and Scotland as a great "peasant-poet."

In 1788, he and his wife, Jean Armour, settled in Ellisland, where Burns was given a commission as an excise officer. He also began to assist James Johnson in collecting folk songs for an anthology entitled The Scots Musical Museum. Burns' spent the final twelve years of his life editing and imitating traditional folk songs for this volume and for Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs. These volumes were essential in preserving parts of Scotland's cultural heritage and include such well-known songs as "My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose" and "Auld Land Syne." Robert Burns died from heart disease at the age of thirty-seven. On the day of his death, Jean Armour gave birth to his last son, Maxwell.

Most of Burns' poems were written in Scots. They document and celebrate traditional Scottish culture, expressions of farm life, and class and religious distinctions. Burns wrote in a variety of forms: epistles to friends, ballads, and songs. His best-known poem is the mock-heroic Tam o' Shanter. He is also well known for the over three hundred songs he wrote which celebrate love, friendship, work, and drink with often hilarious and tender sympathy. Even today, he is often referred to as the National Bard of Scotland.

A Selected Bibliography


Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786)
Tam O' Shanter (1795)
The Cotters Saturday Night (1795)
The Jolly Beggars (1799)
Burns' Poetical Works (1824)

Monday, January 24, 2011

This Love Affair

      This Love Affair

This love affair's been going on for years !
What ? What fuels a flame that endears 
A relationship to outlast earthly fears
Of outward affection, of overt tears ?

Cordwood stacked by fore bearers, I suppose,
Or chestnut coal nugget parents at repose,
Maybe, a pilot flame honor which we chose,
Or warm sun rays coaxing forth a fragrant rose .

Out in the open in the bright light of day
Dressing and disrobing simple back yard play
That everyone observing is so fond to say,
" What loving affection this public display."

South of the railroad I look to the right,
The end of the garden absorbs my sight,
Dancing and swaying to a breeze calling night,
Late autumn season brings passions to height.

I'm timid to stop and just ask their name ,
Their aim to live simple without any shame .
But why do I write ? I seek them no fame .
To grow the best fig tree in town - their game .

    Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, January 23, 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      

Saturday, January 22, 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 



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Look At Music - Listen To Art

   Look At Music - Listen To Art

Spring mother, Dear, conduct your annual symphony,
Lead us to heights in primal song . Memory plays
Our pensive harp awake with color cords ablaze :
Golden daffodil yellow - crocus choir harmony .

Notes of sweet tulip red and smooth hyacinth blue
Await drum beats deep in the gold of forsythia .
Wake up world ! Your colorful cosmic orchestra
Readies again to play life's spring concert for you .

Look at the music of flowers swaying the breeze :
Like a string section in unison its visual sound
Silent, so brain supplies the score to music round
The mood we feel. One's self, only you to please.

Listen to the native art of unfolding leaves :
Slow but steady in a stretch enlarging their span
Reaching heavenly in canopy over common man,
Who at song, sings of Gods in self image, not trees.

Concert master, tune the instruments true
To the pitch of the seasons : winter, spring,
Summer, fall . Movements composed are to bring
Life full circle as all living are compelled to do.

             Ronald C. Downie 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Old World Wisdom

Old World Wisdom

  Gran' Pa Downie in his distinctive Scottish brogue, rolling his RR's, dropping words of Old World wisdom advised me sixty-five years ago "to look at music and listen to art". In other words, don't be content with the apparent, but rather, see into the depth to which organized sound takes us and, as importantly, hear our inner voice when we view any work of art.
  More real today is the need to go beyond the obvious and find truth where it may lie hidden just out of easy reach. Captured as we are by being spoon fed by a twenty-four hour news cycle, we choose not to critically think for ourselves, but rather have some talking heads shout out catch phrases which easily excite the emotion pent up within us, an unthinking public. Easily fed as " garbage in, garbage out" just as easily led becomes our peril.
Ronald C. Downie

Monday, January 17, 2011

Past / Knowledge - Future / Wisdom

The Past Is Knowledge, The Future, Wisdom

Water like thought calms when slowed
Into deep pools at quiet depths
Where mud and murk bottom settles
To clear the liquid for it's continued trip .

Thought, if not allowed to calm
And settle out nonessential 
Clutter to keep the mental stream
Clean, finds no clear ideas will surface .

As water makes it's long journey 
To the sea it encounters swiftly
Moving rapids over falls that roar
Before it again pools and calms .

So to, the mind's mental travel path
Must shoot the turbulences of doubt ,
Navigate trouble, and evil, and fear ,
Each cascading down until calm calms .

Ever since the dawning of time
When water appeared on the earth 
It adapted to Earth's Natural Laws,
Repeat, repeat, over and over, repeat .

In his time upright man found force
Beyond his physical prowess when
The utter strength of his mental
Ability raised him above common beasts .

The sun, the moon, stars, earth, water,
The air, the eagle, fire, wind, and rain
Man would experience and then worship .
But, as with water, strong storms disturb,

Alters flows, and interrupts calm
Quite common with Nature's way .
But thinking man dreams about the future
Thus he soon becomes uncertainty's victim .

The past is knowledge, the future, wisdom 
And through time knowledge accumulates ,
But wisdom is fickle , and the needed spark
Not timely, so wisdom has to be nurtured .

Water flows everywhere to the
Same Laws Of Gravity, while thought ,
Not contained within the physical world ,
Flows in a stream we each posses .

    Ronald C . Downie  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King - A Tribute To His Life -

      A Special Day At Second Baptist

A tall steeple spires Pottstown's highest hill
Above strong walls of matched field stone.
Within,  pitched voices heavenly trill
At Second Baptist, their spiritual home.

   Are there shadows dark enough to hide
   A light within shining deep inside ?

Below, in the valley of the Schuylkill River
Arched trees gracefully mark her banks.
Finally clean, clear flows this life giver.
Man's new conscience commands our thanks.

    I ask. Are there shadows dark enough to hide
    A light within beaming from deep inside ?

Up there, somewhere on mountains high
The heavens open, down strong rains pour
Streams, creeks, and rivers from the sky.
Water flows for all, for rich and the poor.

     Say, are there shadows dark enough to hide
     A light within glowing deep inside ?

Not all rivers run deep of rain water.
Thought streams and brooks of want flow together
Carrying dreams for humanity's order.
We are immersed in life regardless the weather.

     Who could light dark shadows which tries to hide
     An illuminating message from the heart inside ?

King ! Why King could ! Yes, Dr. Martin could :
Spark a flint, light a candle, ignite a flame ,
Have a dream, a dream that inspired all who would 
Listen.Spread the light, sing out, proclaim! Proclaim !
      There are no shadows dark enough to hide
      A bright light radiating from deep inside .
      Proclaim ! There are no shadows dark enough to hide
      A spiritual blessing sent from the Lord On High.

              Ronald C .Downie

Note : Written for and was read at a special service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King held at Second Baptist, January 20, 2003.     

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Comments on my poem, "Walk."

  The following poem, Walk, is my attempt to assess the physical condition I find myself in today. In a couple of weeks I'll be 76 years of age. Certainly a milestone in anyone's book, but remember, the span of time one lives is not necessarily the true marker of a good life. The quality of one's life, in health, in doing for others, in being an asset to your community is more important to society then the number of years you stay alive, I suggest.
   Look further below to "Haiku 4" first 3 line poem which admonishes :
"Live your life fully,
Good long life or life lived good -
Independent judge."
As I see life, we each live our own but some judge independent of ourselves determines its true value by some standards which may be foreign to us. Will it be our God, our church, our society, or some universal norm that every being is subjected to ?
  "A life lived good" sounds better to me.
      Ron Downie                        



"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 and 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 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 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Haiku 4

Haiku 4

Live your life fully,
Good long life or life lived good ?
Independent judge.

Religion fosters
Faith in an unseen male God -
Needs reinforcement.

White and beautiful,
For an instant found cleansing -
Salt and plowing due.

"Truth's self evident,
All men created equal"-
Please show your checkbook. 

Ever wonder, if
In the lap of luxury,
Why poverty is ?

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daughter, Bonnie's, Birthday Poem

   From What Wondrous Wood

From what wondrous wood is a stage floor made?
Century trees spire stately cathedral, grain right
Through a woodsman's eye whose heart's a blade.
Ennobled are those trees chosen by his keen sight.

The cushioned hum of a forest is pierced by the bark
Of a chain saw revved high for top speed to excite
Oil for the ease of passage. Razor teeth bite the mark
Incision sure, another majestic tower falls just right.

Rudely dragged over holy ground, just like Nimrod's prey,
Both to be sliced and severed, even so, heartwood lives.
Kiln fires fully stoked for sweating out crowns lumber's day.
Wood seasoned endures like feelings, as words of a poem, gives.

Virgin wood, oyster pearl smooth, jeweler eye hewn,
Delicate ballet symphonic, awaits its artful crafters.
No longer bird nor breeze melodize a forest tree's tune,
Staccato ropey, hammer and saw, resonate in the rafters.

Audience hushed, curtain up, coronation begun :
Music will be manna, the sustenance of choice,
As a rainbow of bright spotlights supplant father sun,
A dancer's tapping engenders lumber its own true voice. 

   Ronald C. Downie

For Bonnie upon her birthday acknowledging her lifelong love of the dance.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thoughts About My Daughter Sherri's EMail

About a month after Sherri's husband and soul mate died after a long, difficult sickness a memorial service was developed by her and her two children, Alix and Stephen,along with the help of their numerous friends. It was held at the second floor ballroom Of the former Eagles building, High Street. Hundreds attended this extraordinary Memorial Service which must be recognized as an afternoon in their lives that will never be forgotten.

Following this post of mine, Sherri expresses her reflection on this, the one year anniversary of that Memorial Service.

An Anniversary Remembering Steve Kurtz Words From Sherri

Finding a better way to grieve : The New Yorker
Dear Family and Friends,
A year ago today, around this time, me and a bunch of enthusiastic helpers were cold and impatient, chomping at the bit till we could blast through that door and whip that ballroom into shape for our Celebration of Steve's Life Performance.  And what a performance it was.  That day stands in my mind as the perfect celebration, one that over a month had grown from the seeds of inspiration from Alix, Stephen and myself and  was the perfect mix of planning, hoping, wanting, giving and serendipity. While most of the planning was on our shoulders and a few enthusiastic friends most of the serendipity was from you....our extended family and friends.
At the time I didn't fully realize dual nature of life that only becomes apparent after such a profound loss. That day started the realization when we celebrated the life of Steve and also mourned his death ...that it was experiencing the true nature of life. Until then life was a steady uphill journey celebrating life...not that death wasn't was everyday...but that my life had never so profoundly been touched by death.  It wasn't till then that opposing emotions would live side by side, not in competition but in harmony in a life song that had reached octaves never before imagined. There is not a time that my mourning isn't interrupted by the joy of the memory of having had shared my life with Steve.  Not that it was perfect or it was all good.......but just because it was and it was ours.  Something that we entwined our lives around and made into our relationship; our idea of life with each other on this earth...
Thank you all for your part in our Celebration of Steve....from showing up to sharing thoughts, words, songs, stories, or just for corresponding to let your feelings be known.  The magic of the day wouldn't have been possible without your input.  We all got to know a little bit more about the man, father, friend, and partner that he was. 
Thanks to Alix and Stephen who brought and gave their hearts....
With my words is my heart....thank you for going on this journey with me....grief does not have to be a solo always I invite you to share with me....
Included is an article from the New Yorker Magazine.  It was originally given to me by Michael Sullivan soon after Steve's death and I have read it every month or so and it has been a great companion this past year.  Grief is little talked about and less understood.  Maybe it will help you or your loved ones during a mournful time. 
And lastly.....there is no secret handshake...there are no special words of wisdom......there is no special potion.........there is just the hug, the smile, the tears, the words, the calls, the cards, the talks.....your own unique way of showing love and caring during difficult times.  Don't be recklessly........and sloppy.......and share your fears.....we all have the same ones....and we all have the love to overcome them.............
Thanks from my yours.........Love for the New Year! we would have been well into it by now.........thanks for your help!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Universe Within

      A Universe Within

Entombed within our mental mass universes
Await life . Sadly their stillbirth curses
Man to forego quantum leaps. Each generation
Slowly acquires knowledge in rapt anticipation.

Are we moulded in his image by a personal 
God ? Centuries strewn of carnage from temporal 
Piety fouled holy battlefields , all claimed Devine
Right, in demonstration of the horrid worst in mankind .

Awash in perpetual prayer pious true believers,
Self proclaimed , shroud wrapped , these soul receivers
Expect almighty benediction . Man's evolved creation
To ultimate extinction our lot . Demand salvation

During our lifetime by launching heart based
Missiles into the brain unhindered , not interfaced
With two thousand years awaiting Heaven or Hell .
Within you is a Universe - treat it well .

        Ronald C. Downie  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lee Hall's 90th Birthday

My wife's family- Hall on her father's side, Smith on her mother's -Both sides had long lived seniors among the members. Lee Hall was in his mid-ninties when he died. I took to writing poetry when I wrote poems for special occasions, such as his birthday.

You too, if a guy like me essentially a farmer can take to writing, so can you. You need only a piece of paper and a pencil with an eraser to get you started. Like letter writing except a poem needs to flow from you for you and needs also to have a voice coming from within you. It need not be fancy nor sophisticated.

Within you is a universe which only needs a means of release into the World around you.Uncle Lee Hall's 90th Birthday

East came the cows from Mifflin County
On the rails also rode the Family Hall.
Lee, the youngest, yet not very tall
Settled Parkerford, Halls to farm its bounty.

Later tracks lead east to "Brotherly Love",  
City of choice, one of bustle and RR work.
The Pennsy named Lee Hall a "Super Clerk".
Lee, four score and ten, lived all the above.

And: two wars, named conflicts, a Desert Storm,
Horse, the car and plane, then Moon, now Mars,
Radio, the movie, stereo, television, and disco bars.
Yes, Lee, you have lived all this in "Super Form."

Ronald C. Downie

Lee lived through just about all the years of the 20th Century.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Haiku 3

Haiku 3

Rouge red domed sky
Before daybreak, fine snow falls,
Artists capture scenes.

Cause and effect stills
The common man in his tracks-
Brave, captain swift ships.

Give me liberty
Sung while being shackled tight-
Freedom is a fight.

Frenzied feathered friends 
At feeder enjoy the harvest,
Earth's bounty at play.

Awaken to life-
See, smell, taste, feel, hear, one more,
Stir your sixth sense now.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, January 6, 2011

When Are We Going To Get There

When Are We Going To Get There ?

Friends circle around the camp fire :

Lengths of downed trees flame within
The blackened iron fire ring where
Aged wood burns, wafting smoke 
To chimney up through the high
Canopy of tall pines .

Burning wood's cave ageless aroma
Escapes flames of carbon as hues 
Of white and blue, also shades
Of orange and red, that join crackling ,
Popping gases released finally from
Spent embers to seek again the 
Chemistry of union .

Before molecules, pre- atom, both ash and gas 
Were big banged into primordial birth
As quarks - positive and negative - then
Chaining over and over, again and again ,
Linking for how many times, maybe into ,
Even my own DNA .

A child sees a journey as a destination, as an ending,
" When are we going to get there ? "

But force and matter, not knowing beginning 
Or able to see an end, journey to connect 
Into granite, or possibly, into you and either by
Magma or by fire, they are released as
Ooze or as ash to again travel .

Stalking silently within me, multiplying 
And dividing, oblivious to the demands
For long life and old age, stealth cells , 
The aggressive minority demanding their
Pound of flesh cheat in line, as they become
The new order .

Downed trees or me makes no difference
To fire's finality of form .

I am, as is a child, as is ash to " there",
Release is to my continued journey .

Giving up their colors embers cool and
Die away, on the breeze ash drifts ,
There into darkness, depart friends .

   Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Introduction to Flood Twins a Poem

Flood Twins, a poem from many years ago was just posted below in an effort not to forget the Schuylkill River as a force of Nature to be respected. We as a community are entering into some tough times because of deteriorating infrastructure: the Keim Street Bridge,the Route 100 Bridge,the Railroad Bridge crossing over High Street west of the Manatawany Creek.

Not if, but when floods happen again the detour relief routes will be cut off due to flood waters: the Collage Drive underpass floods impassable with just a heavy spring shower, the Mamatawany Creek, with the islands being rapidly built up at the King Street Bridge,will back up and over flow King Street at the park entrance.

Will floods happen this spring? I don't know, but, with living here 75 years I've experienced
numerous floods of various intensity and undetermined length. As with most communities, we rise to emergencies but forget to do preventive maintenance so emergencies are mitigated and only happen with a true catastrophe.

You, by reading this blog, will be exposed to a number of river poems written over the years.

Flood Twins

      Flood Twins

Twice this week the river Schuylkill rose
An flowed brown muddy where she chose :
Water charging, frenzied rapids dance,
Backwaters calm, sneaky their advance .
Rising ? Receding ? Gauged with a stone
Set water's edge, a time left alone .

Not identical were these flooding twins,
Apocalyptic ? Yes, shows humans' sins .

The First : 
Floating styrofoam, man's sallow garbage,
Pock marked the river's surface, carnage,
As pusses acne on a fair, young, soft face .
The Schuykill, a life sustainer, in disgrace .

The Second :
Water cleansed of visual degradation
Recalls an era before coal fed the nation,
When early Americans native to this turf
Worshiped at council their deity, Mother Earth .
She, who connects hard rocks with trees,
Listens to song birds, admires honey bees,
Blesses tall mountains, stars, the pure water,
Connects one to all, especially father to daughter.

   Ronald C . Downie  

(1993, late November early December,floods)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Rain Forests Cry Out

Rain Forests Cry Out 

Rain forests cry out in searing pain
Listen- hush- their teardrops rain
Down in agony on thoughtless man
Whose allegiance lusts a fatal plan.

Self -centered in worship of his navel 
Believes wrongly that the Earth enable
So few use so much- unholy contempt
Of Natural Law- from which non exempt.

Lord Of Lords, unquenched greed, you bastard seed
Planted in exhausted soil . You are in need 
Of : purpose, values, and true tested honesty ,
Pillars used forever to uphold Life's Tapestry .

Hoe out noxious greed, build proper tilth
In soils of concern . There's a vast wealth
From loudly speaking out, so join with voices
Who shout, " I will not accept wrong choices !"

       Ronald C . Downie   

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Common Good

   The Common Good

Do you ever think you're "The Road Runner" being chased by your government and coming to the edge of a ravine and you, the Runner, stop but the baddie, the government, can't stop so over the edge it goes to doom. Watching the national news gives me this image and presses a dour feeling within me.

Pottstown has experienced the loss of industry, and with it went good paying jobs held by blue collar workers and semi-skilled white collared ones. These jobs are not coming back in this new employment climate where Washington is grounded in the fallacy of consumption as the prime driving force of our economy.

How do the under employable gain an income today?
Many won't, not until our nation puts a value on our common assets; such as, water ways, public parks, roadways and highways, shore lines, and public lands.

It takes a renewed effort to better prioritize public values in favor of this generation, as well as, all the generations yet unborn. We are a young nation with a golden beginning for a small minority of our citizen families who, like the money barons at the turn of the Twentieth Century that gave for posterity parks, monuments, buildings, and institutions, need to follow in their footsteps.

When values change on the national level than worth at the local level will also change allowing jobs to be created to take care of common assets. In other words, we need a present day version of the New Deal concept of The CCC during the Great Depression of the last Century.

Look around and ask yourself, what needs getting done that isn't being done? Remember, work must be designed for the betterment of us all which each of us is willing to value therefore pay someone to do it.
Many workers would come first from the roles of people already being paid from public funds. 

I realize this will be a hard sell especially for those self motivated, up by their boot straps, super independents. When they realize they are part of the common good crowd, they too will see value in  "The Common Good."

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Schuylkill -1-1-11

The following poem , Our Schuylkill Mother ,was written as a plea to town fathers to fight the Norfolk Southern Railroad from continuing to keep active the rail spur running along the north bank of the river next to College Drive and The Industrial Highway west and east of Hanover Street.

Many years earlier this spur was essentially abandoned but for some reason town fathers Of that earlier generation decided to reactivate its use.

To fully create a public friendly river front, "a magical place", as an aggressive faction recently formed has suggested, the single track must go. Access to rail service for present end users can be achieved from the multi tracked main rail.

I only hope more activists take up the cause to give the Schuylkill River a chance to lead Pottstown in a meaningful renaissance.

Looking for help, I'm Ron Downie, The Posted Poet.

Our Schuylkill Mother

    Our Schuylkill Mother

Awake ! Wake up you Norfolk Southern Man
You slept too long on an old Pennsy plan
To keep public from our Schuylkill Mother's
North shore. A rusted railroad track covers
Her bosom, which nurtured first settlers here,
Who reached her banks by sweet waters clear.

Shout ! Shout out ! Release my river to me !
Our Schuylkill Mother's in jail. Set her free !

Long gone's that era of iron and coal -
Of black lunged miners who gave their soul
To fire hot furnaces that belched out bars
Which produced steel tracks and railroad cars.

No longer tire nor steel pulse Pottstown's veins.
The Twenty-First Century asks our brains
Fashion life new from the strengths of the past.

Schuylkill of birth, unlike us, you will last
So unborn heirs may enjoy your green banks,
Your freedom's required to merit their thanks.

Renaissance marries the mind to the heart.
Our responsibility - provide it - a fertile start.

       Ronald  C. Downie