Sunday, February 27, 2011

Song Tune

"Song Tune" speaks to our very existence. The song of life is comprised of every sound, every noise occurring at any given time: The sound of an ABomb going off, a whale's song, the pecking of chick wishing to un-egg, the trill of an opera's high notes, its low, wind in the trees, talking or whispering by you and me.

It is regulated by that thing we call,Time. When passed gone forever, at the moment fleeting, in the future time for you may not happen. Time as we know it in our lives is highly regulated by clocks and calendars, night and day, the seasons, even our each breath ticks our hand of time.

So what do we have personal to ourselves? I suggest own own, Tune, this tune must be created by us individually to represent ourselves, our thoughts, our desires, our aspirations, our hopes. The following poem, Song Tune, speaks to these thoughts.

                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


Friday, February 25, 2011

A Cry From Mid- Space

    Cry From Mid-Space 

God damned you, Dreams, whore no more to me, release me
To covet grayness bleating from a sullen sky .
Don't show me violets pure nor roses gay that cry
My inter soul awake . No !  I must not think free .

Chain my mind, please stem that emotion swell
Within this hide so I do not hope in vain .
In image of his maker man can train
As oxen yoked to circle round the well .

I can not define mid- space where dreamers dwell ,
Far sight a scene then slowly squint it into
Mental pictures , like a frosted pane looked through ,
Is it real ? Is it heaven ? Is it, well is it, hell ?

Theater must be a hell for a lost dreamer's soul :
Not in dance around soothing flames and crackling sounds
That flow the senses' veins ; but of grey ash mounds 
Staged of choking soot waiting to fill a dreamer's hole .

Accept the young, they have not traversed the gorge 
Left by dreamers old whose torrent thoughts erode .
Fill the young with placid manna lest they explode
With alien notions thinking they're their own Saint George . 

Dreams - damn you !  Lay not your head on my breast this day .
Free me, so I may see what our Nation antes up :
Those dull, brow bent cast of actors who hold the cup,
Which keeps America hostage and wastes a dreamer's play .

   Ronald C . Downie    

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Past Is Knowledge - Future Find 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 keeping 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 and falls that roar
Before it again pools and calms .

So too, 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 our physical world ,
Flows in a stream we seek to posses .

    Ronald C . Downie  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shackled Two Millennium

  Shackled Two Millennium

Tribal God seekers understood
Gospels desired a certain style :
In a robe, tall, slender, beaded,
Long locks curling, wearing sandals,
Their messiah gained a human form.

Now, image is twenty-one centuries old
And still held onto by man. Religion
Imprisons it's believers into a rigid faith,
When disallowed to dream, man stagnates.   
Wrapped in the Bible, he is shackled to Christ.

         Ronald C. Downie .

The World Is restless but still wedded to its time worn belief systems bent on keeping a lid on the aspirations of followers sometimes no matter the costs in human life. Read Edwin Markham's poem "The MaN With A Hoe". He saw what's happening today long ago.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Village Within

   The Village Within

   With all the flowers 
       Across from
    Golf Course Road,
     A couple of cars,
 A Cape Cod with a garage,
South of the railroad tracks,
     Old Reading Pike.
You'll see, color everywhere.

     A house in a village
          Stands out
  By its tendered colorful care
Displayed by those bedded flowers
      That engage the eye
     And capture an emotion
          To just visit.

        It is the village 
       Within these walls
That makes this place stand out.
It is the extreme love exhibited
       Awaiting the passing
         Of a mate's life
    Which mirrors Nature's Law :

      A season of germination,
         Birth and unfolding, 
     Then pressing into a burst
         Of colorful flowers, 
       Setting the stage again 
           For fertile seeds,
             Before a sleep.

       With a smile and a nod
    We pass the flowered abode
Happy to have seen the color display
   We feel a tug within the chest
             A twang from
          "The Village Within."

            Ronald C. Downie

For Sherri and family-
Remembering Steve Kurtz : husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, and friend to all.

Steve Kurtz was my son in law married to Sherri, my second oldest daughter, who has a gift With flowers especially perennials which grace her gardens.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stephen Trevor Kurtz

Stephen Trevor 

Energy doubled, tripled, even squared
Describes you, Stephen, when compared
To every day events, say like, tornadoes, 
Hurricanes, earthquakes. God only knows

That deep reservoir wrapped within
Your body and your mind. Harness in
Desires' demands, channel your drive,
Embrace open arms as you do arrive.

Hey, Stephen Trevor, this is an old man's talk,
We try to slow youngsters to a pleasant walk.
You're doing just fine in your trip through life, 
But think, as you go, try to eliminate strife.

Ronald C. Downie

Words for a grandson.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sheer Church Steeples

         Sheer Church Steeples 

Sheer church steeples spire to prick the sky,
Breach through which archangels fly
Down gathering in souls , their earthly try
To populate heaven for the man on high.

Celestial maypoles heaved up by man
Anchored earth mud mired to land.
Escaped the cave, down from the tree,
This two legged being in want of just be.

Just be, quite difficult alone by the sea,
Span of the Universe,"Immortality.?" asks he.
By chance or was Homo-Sapiens planned?
Heinous horrors logged under his command.

Pinioned in amber preserved through time
Cenozoic bee perfect pre-pre-mankind.
Pollen's magi while sperm still slime
Never dreamt Gods imaged in kind.

Eternally fanning frenzied on wings
Pungent waif sweet nectar brings
Worker collectors with death they atone
There universe ,Queen Bee, almighty on throne.

From your garden gently lift an open rose
Bring it within the scent stream of your nose,
Petal vapor? Bee scripture ? I suppose .
Neither crucifixion nor armageddon myths they chose.

               Ronald C. Downie.     

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Not Your Normal Sewing Circle

  Not Your Normal Sewing Circle

Women trudge to work before the dawn
Awakens slips of peeking eastern light .
They'll work to dark for which they're born
Only on Sundays will they daylight sight .

Clutching a meager lunch while dreaming sweets,
Shoulders hunched forward, black shawl draped,
Their children left home must fend for themselves .
Through cold and snow walk iced sidewalks caked .

Windowed high walls stand five stories tall ,
This building's the tallest to tower the town .
It draws them as ants to sweet nectar dew,
They'll squint at dawn by dark they'll frown .

Zig zagging up a stairwell all must climb to
Their sewing machines waiting them in the gloom ,
Settling in, as a tiring long day looms ahead,
Their bodily functions they need hold to noon .

Their rate a must six days each week .
Is there a song their hearts would sing 
Above the din of machine needle strike ?
It's family needs their wages must bring .

Bosses want window's low cost light .
Dust and lint encrusted, dirty they'll be
Worry not that sewers loose their sight,
Cause seekers, a job is really all they see .

A forgotten era, a time so long ago,
These windowed old buildings quiet, silent,
Echoes muted, walls still stand starkly tall,
To the wrecking ball, they remain resilient .

Is there a new tune that we hear being sung
By people who want to live in an apartment
That could be built behind these old high walls ?
Hope ! Please choose a date for your settlement .

  Ronald C . Downie

The shirt factory at South Charlotte and Cherry 
was part of the Smith Pie Complex .      

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To Introduce The Following Poem

My life of limited movement, brought on by my own lack of desire to force myself to exercise, places me in a stuffed chair facing either the television or looking out the three front windows overlooking North Evans Street. One way North Evans is generally a low traffic street except for ambulances servicing Manor Care,a nursing home.

One other traffic generator is Catagnes Funeral Home on Franklin Street who stages funeral processions along Evans Street along the First Presbyterian Church property winding around the corner of Nightengale Street down to Franklin Street. Processions are random in both time and length but they perk my interest each time I see them so I began to wonder why.

The following poem rose from my thoughts about death, ceremonial, and internment, especially internment and the observers of the whole spectacle. I imagine we all have experienced the death of a loved one or a friend where we became part of the pageantry. Have you ever given much thought about those who have previously been interned to below the soil ? Why ?

Leaving Unlike Their Arrival

Leaving Unlike Their Arrival

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

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

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

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

Do stair railings smoothed sheen by their hands roughened through toil for daily needs 
still remain today for the Living to use ? 
Whose homes were these that 
Their easy access was repeatedly earned ?  

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

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

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

    Ronald C . Downie

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Thoughts - The Posted Poet

My Thoughts - 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

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Love The Art In Stone

  I Love Art In Stone

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

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

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

Mills, Roller Mills, needed Feed Mills
Still stand tall, their art's in place,
Family named, strong, silent, 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

Spring's coming in a few weeks and a Sunday drive is in order. Drive north following the Manatawny Creek by roads that border it and from time to time cross the creek. At these crossings you'll often find old roller/feed mills standing strong these past hundreds of years.There you'll experience The Art In Stone as I have, but also, often the bridge you cross will be a covered one, a product of bridge building artists long gone. Spring's coming soon!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Westward Ho The Schuylkill River

    Westward  Ho !

Way, way back then, in the earliest days,
The dream of a river walk's out of the haze.
A full fashion boardroom caught onto the craze,
Surveyed the Schuylkill, watched its flooding ways.

Seventy-two, " Water, water everywhere
And not a drop to drink", pure and clear.
Blue Marsh is built to tame flood's rage
The Schuylkill is calmed, she's come of age.

Berks County men and their women too
Began planning to build their dream come true
But the river is longer then a Penn Street view
Up and down stream needed work from a crew.

The Silver Fox and her Nordic Man,
From western plains in hand a plan,
Strode arm in arm into Pretzel Town,
Saw the Schuylkill flowing easterly down.

No matter there's no Apostle Keith
Nor a Dixie Angel to ward off grief,
They set their compass, surveyed the land,
Wrote the guidelines, finished their plan.

Now, into the sunset with our wishes of love
West goes the Silver Fox and her Turtle Dove,
A debt of gratitude and much more we owe you,
We will honor your work, your foundations are true. 

    Ronald C. Downie

The Swenson's : Dixie, Executive Director ; Keith, Planning Director assumed leadership of The Schuylkill River Greenway Association ( SRGA) from Victor Yarnell and moved the office from Berks County to Montgomery County at Pottstown .When they left to return out west, Kurt Zwikl replaced Dixie as Executive Director.   

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stewards Of - The Schuylkill River Trail

   Stewards Of

Heaved eons since worn down , Appalachian 
Mountain's run off turbulently tumbled ,
Carving through time our green river valley .
We , stewards of the Schuylkill , are humbled .

Past arching trees pristine , clear waters flowed
Drawing the Lenape , Swede , new settlers west .
Toward headwaters brave adventures rowed
Not timid weak , only the strong , the best .

Sordid history records what man built :
A canal for commerce , beds for railroads ,
Dams and bridges , mined coal with silt .
Into the river he dumped waste loads .

Seasons change pulsating Schuylkill's rise and fall .
Vital signs show acts of thoughtless man ,
Who then found enlightenment , best be his call :
With a dream , fine players , a well drawn plan .

         MacHarg set the acorn
         In Ferdinand's thought dream
         So Victor could nurture
         The seedling to a scheme
         Drawn east from Montana
         The Swensons create the team .

         A trail to hike or bike
         Through greenways sun or rain
         By a hidden river
         With scenic in its name
         Historic corridor 
         Heritage fame its claim .

The Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area - The Mission -

         Fidelity Is Our Aim . 

             Ronald C. Downie 

Ian MacHarg -an early naturalist who advocated for lineal walking trails be
developed along the banks of water ways
Ferdinand Thun - founder/ funder of The Schuylkill River Greenway Association .
A Berks County industrialist , Berkshire Hosiery , Mr. Thun 's interest in the 
MacHarg doctrine energized many Berks Countians to join him in a trails adventure.
Victor Yarnell-  former State Legislator and former Mayor Of Reading assumed the roll of The first Executive Director of the newly formed Schuylkill River Greenway Association .   
Keith and Dixie Swenson returned back east from Montana to assume leadership
Of the association : Dixie became Executive Director , Keith , lead planer . They 
Moved the organization from Berks County to Pottstown , Montgomery County ,
the geographic midpoint of the Schuylkill River, and expanded the roll of the 
SRGA to that of one encompassing the entire length of the river from headwaters 
To where it empties into the Delaware River at Philadelphia .
Kurt Zwikl- Kurt was chosen Executive Director when the Swensons left the 
Organization to return out west . 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Back to the Future

Back to the future

For me, its time to get back to the future. Headlines  lately extol the demise of a dream most adults harbor within their hearts, that of, their children will be better off than they were at a similar age.

What's the new dynamic? 
First, questions that should be answered :

(1) Will home ownership be a reality for most of today's young during their mid-life years ?
(2) Will industry and businesses be willing to invest in local communities with more than just the cost of plant and equipment ? 
(3) Will local communities be aggressive in designing new paradigms for business investment incentives ?
(4) Will the public be willing to give industry and municipal subdivisions credit and, also, time for trying to change the way business is done between them ?

Home ownership, once thought the gold standard of a successful life, has been tarnished in the past few years. Maybe, by turning back, the future need not be wedded to home ownership if renting and leasing took on a positive appearance.

Around the turn of the Twentieth Century the business of industry realized housing of employees to be so important they built houses for them thus insuring always having workers readily available. Then industrialists chose to invest capitol in more than factories and equipment, but not necessarily in the community per say. 

If industry today saw an incentive for investing in housing, well done housing which would appreciate over time and give a positive financial return, I believe, they could be enticed to consider it. These same businessmen would see an advantage in influencing the makeup of the community, sort of, like Disney did, but on a much smaller scale.

The key to this new dynamic rests in governmental acceptance in creating public/private partnerships. The State formulated Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZ's) which granted tax abatements for private   developers who would make investments in job producing establishments within the newly formed district. 

Now if housing were also part of the overall scheme, 
investors would think more long term and build accordingly. I'm afraid many of today's builders are quite short term in their thinking : build it quickly, cheaply, and get it sold. Do you ever wonder what modern housing built in the last few years will look like in thirty years ? I do and shutter.

The greatest obstacle to be overcome, which will impede this shift to a new paradigm, will be the publics' resistance to accept change. The downward demise of home ownership, the erosion of community, the flight of industry with their jobs, and the attitude of a helpless/hopeless public cries for a change. 

When the fabric of our present life style becomes tattered it needs to be fixed, but, how is always the question. I submit the forgoing as a means for change. Is it a cure all? Most likely not, though in concept, it prods government and business to work together to solve some of today's problems. It does so using the financial muscle of private enterprise to maximize a return on its investment with minimal concessions from public entities.

Respectfully, Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

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 

Another River poem,thought this one speaks to the crazy idea that Pottstown favors having a single spur rail line along the north bank separating the public from our Schuylkill River
which I refer to as Mother. This spur line must be abandoned, period.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Schuykill River 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, February 5, 2011

The Claussens Of Pine Forge

Betty With Images-Bill In Printed Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ronald C. Downie

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

Friday, February 4, 2011

Congratulations Casey

The following poems are for two of my grandchildren, Casey, a junior at F&M in Lancaster, Pa.and Stephen, on the road in Kansas with the Dirk Quinn band battling the snow and storming weather. May our love for them keep them healthy and wise.

Congratulations , Casey

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ronald C. Downie

For Casey Elaine Downie, granddaughter, upon graduating from The Hill School 5/24/08

Stephen Trevor

Stephen Trevor 

Energy doubled, tripled, even squared
Describes you, Stephen, when compared
To every day events, say like, tornadoes, 
Hurricanes, earthquakes. God only knows

That deep reservoir wrapped within
Your body and your mind. Harness in
Desires' demands, channel your drive,
Embrace open arms as you do arrive.

Hey, Stephen Trevor, this is an old man's talk,
We try to slow youngsters to a pleasant walk.
You're doing just fine in your trip through life, 
But think, as you go, try to eliminate strife.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Big Al

I met Al Fulton many years ago before he contracted cancer, the same cancer, prostate, which also afflicted me and millions of other men starting to age. Al's PSA sky rocketed and he died, mine after an operation, subsided and I lived on. I often thought it could have gone the other way around and these thoughts were exchanged between us often awkwardly seeking proper words. Al chose Hospice for his final days and, I too, have directed my family to do the same when my time comes.
This poem, Big Al, was my simple attempt to put in words my feeling for him, a man I can call a friend for life, so for those yet living closure can come to the deceased and life can go on for the rest of us. Words are really inadequate to reformulate a person's life but, in order to transfer thoughts and feelings held within, words written down are able to be a lasting remembrance of a person now gone.

    in Memory Of James Albert Fulton

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

        Big Al

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

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

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

   Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

You Grace Your Garden

A milestone will be reached Sunday February,6,2011 when I reach 76 years of age. Father of five, grandfather of nine, great grandfather of three I have lived a full life. In an attempt to give lasting meaning to this life, I took up writing poems about eventful episodes shaping the years. I memorialized births and birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations, as well as, critical life changing medical problems I've overcome.
I never claimed to be a scholarly poet because I'm not. Rather, my style is framed by describing a person or an event while also placing the pictured into some universal theme important to me. Preaching some would criticize. No matter, it's mine and I am proud to place these efforts into cyberspace for eternity to judge.
The following poem was written for daughter, Sherri Kurtz Downie, on her 40th birthday. Those who know her will see her hopfully in the images the words convey.

You Grace Your Garden

You grace your garden with flowers kept
As smiles on a fine face proud with care.
Each lead of day awaits the warm kiss
Of solar rays and clouds that gently tear.

Not- wishful wanting draws sense to pleasure.
Not- hours idle make dreams fit your scheme.
Fabric of the Earth you're woven a women :
Twice mother, two score, a matron supreme.

Give you a lever that's proper in length,
Give you a fulcrum to set firm and strong,
Not only mountains, but Earth will move too,
And flowers, and children, and all souls at song.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Eighteen Years Of Age

Eighteen Years Of Age

The fawn taught then sent away,
Young birds lord the nest at play,
Fly they must on one eventful day,
Date you cross not different then they.

No beating drums to announce this date,
Nor Devine revelation to set your fate,
Only your power to choose love over hate,
Will the World judge the man that you rate.

Welcome ! We accept you into adulthood
With responsibilities which makes understood
The strong positions that you take only could
Indicate Manhood as they certainly should.

Ronald C. Downie