Saturday, April 30, 2011

Haiku 15

Haiku 15

Just a day after,
Untold millions spent to wed -
How many hungry ?

Loosing everything, 
Tornadoes flatten the South -
London in splendor.

Royal privilege,
Opulence still lords the day -
Parliament to squeeze.

Another April, 
Where did it go so darn fast ?
May, bring us flowers.

Enough is enough,
When should you turn the switch off ?
Television angst.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Carpenter's Son

   The Carpenter's Son

Where's that boy , the carpenter's son ?
From upland lands , at youthful fun ,
Abroad they settled , made his way ,
World take heed of his deeds this day .

Mountains climbed as new lands surveyed
Time needs passage for desire's parade .
How much hurt can the human take ?
To what stress presses lives to break?

Surrounded by faces lonely ,
In the end , memory only ,
Shaped by people , place , always time
Recalled are talks , song , even mime .

He looks beyond the maze and haze
Which blinds most people with a daze
To grab the reins and steer the course
By his lead he becomes the force .

Heard " Water, water everywhere
But not a drop to drink." Be fare,
Aldo has taken up that cause.
He's trekked around the World because

Through his Ministries of concern ,
His doggedness makes people learn 
That they hold their key for success .
Within each , may their own Lord bless .

        Ronald C. Downie  
Words for Aldo upon reaching a maturity in years fulfilling a lifetime of service and ministry to the common man .
September , 2010 
Aldo Magazzeni, founder of Traveling Mercies, travels the states here and other portions of The World in order to energize the humanity in the man.



Wednesday, April 27, 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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

PSD - The Intermediate Unit


  Local interest in school affairs is an effort to be applauded. Local interest, I'm afraid, is looking for a
process modification locally that will make a significant change in how our schools function better and how they are more equitably funded. I suggest the true answer lies not locally in process but rather further out, regionally, in a policy change.
  I advocated for a legislative change to remake local districts into countywide districts. I rescind this advocacy here and now. 
  The state legislature in 1971 formulated the Intermediate Unit System which divided the entire state into 29 regions of relative equality. Each region provides support services to the 501 school districts in the state which they serve.
  We should vigorously lobby our legislators to broaden the roll of the existing Intermediate Units by giving them, along with other duties, the power to tax - eliminate the local property tax from that power - and equitably fund schools in their districts. Further, the state would rescind all local school district's ability to tax. The need to regionalize in 1971 was apparent then, now that need to expand the function of scale inherent in regionalization is more necessary than ever. 
  If you are old in Pottstown and on a fixed income while owning your own home your time is running out before you're forced to move because you can not pay your taxes. This should not happen in the 21St Century.
  My idea in Countywide districts was based on a means to spread out the burden of funding education to rich and poor districts where collected taxes would be accumulated and then distributed equally among each district according to their individual student population numbers. In the Intermediate Unit System already exists regionalization and structure sufficient to quickly implement a much needed change. The original thought behind The Intermediate Unit, I suggest, was a legislative attempt to bring schools out of an agrarian model and into a more modern formation. 
  Legislators will react if they realize they are improving on earlier legislation tested through time to be effective though now outmoded. Mergers will probably come and maybe 3000 students is the critical mass necessary to be efficient. In my mind, tinkering with local process is just in the end tinkering ; changing policy at the State level is the key to meaningful education reform.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pottstown School District

Answers to questions about the Pottstown School District (PSD)
Pottstown School District (PSD)
  The greatest strength exhibited by the PSD is its ability to continue to function as a viable school district. Realize PSD is among the highest taxing districts in the state and at the same time it is among the lowest districts in competitive student test scores. If the district was an army it would have declared defeat long ago and surrendered. If it were a business it would be in bankruptcy and have discontinued operating.
  This, I contend, is not necessarily caused as a direct function of our local school board or the present administration. They both are playing the hands dealt them by a flawed State system funded by local property taxes which is crippling PSD.
  The biggest weakness exhibited by PSD is its inability to make a logical argument to the State Secretary of Education proving that students who start their school life in Pottstown and continue on through graduation are as good as any good student in any other district. 
   Pottstown, mired in a spiraling down economic woe of traditional rust belt devaluation caused by loss of industry thus jobs and resident's income, attracts transient families who move here to take advantage of low rental costs. Children of these families pop in and out of schools gaining few social skills necessary to allow them to learn in our pro scripted manner.
  The fate of these children is very important but the fate of all the other children is important also. There has to be a method to evaluate the district's overall success in educating our young by discounting transient students from the whole. In order for Pottstown to attract new upwardly mobile families to move here to live the PSD must have an acceptable performance rating and the reliance on property taxes for education must cease.
  In order for the community to help turn a weakness into a strength it must collectively get off its ass and demand through our legislators that reform is well over due and, if they want to continue having their jobs, real change must take place.
  Day and evening every means of communication must be used by this group to contact our local state legislators so they begin to feel the discomforts of pressure. Then and only then by a mass effort can you create an environment which will have a chance to foment change.
Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thoughts For Daughter

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)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Good Friday

Meandering in date
Good Friday's fate.
How good's good ?
Easily misunderstood,
In a World's turmoil 
Fed by thirst for oil.

Green's certainly better:
Wind blows in all weather,
Sun shines even through haze,
Tides rise and fall with waves,
Algae creates its own fuel,
Horse, buffalo, and a mule.

Warring, "King Of The Hill",
Used to give generals a thrill.
But now, the pale of fatigue,
The mounting number who grieve,
Wonder what price a human life,
Shouldn't we quiet drum and fife ?

Means test Wars: rich teenagers go,
Both male and female into the flow 
Of fodder to be left on foreign soil
So Mom and Dad's cars swim in oil.
War, then will end, so count on it,
For the love of money, hot wars fit.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Haiku 14

Haiku 14

Congressman Gerlach,
Your vote to end Medicare -
Will end your career !

If you're a women,
Your body is your castle -
Not your congressman's.

If you're super rich,
Just how much more do you need ?
Jesus fed the poor.

Tax shelters off shore -
Do they help the old, the young ?
Still heard, "Greed Is Good".
"Fool me once, shame on
You - Fool me twice, shame on me."
Washington shames us. 

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, April 20, 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,
Think it and deep dream it - destiny's revelation .

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

Harvest that which you must
Return sustenance as trust .
The circle starts and ends 
Which part are we its friends?

When the light fades dim we turn in sad goodbye ,
Moving on only to look back with a sigh .
A dream ? Was it real ? Know, not I .
Tomorrow's tomorrow ,surely, life's worth the try.

          Ronald C. Downie
This is the time of year we all want to experience the great outdoors.
Our needs, though, encourage us to think more deeply about our existence in the natural World.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You Grace Your Garden

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

Sunday, April 17, 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 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April Marching

April Marching

I never heard the command,
Universal it would seem, by
The participants in lock step
Struggling to break cover
Together, not to be left behind,
Peeking out at daylight after
Nine months below ground
Gathering enough strength 
To capture the public's eye.

As pigments liberally spread
On accepting stretched canvas
By an aspiring young artist
Wielding extra thick brushes
Wetted dripping with paint,
Spring bulbs emerge in unison
To play their color rhapsody 
In family gardens they inhabit.
Each Spring this army masses.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, April 14, 2011



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Ronald C. Downie

Monday, April 11, 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 . Please intercede 
On our behalf before the Lord, for
We are 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        

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Never To Be A Jilted Suitor

Never To Be A Jilted Suitor

Never to be a jilted suitor,
DEATH, lifelong a cell mate,
Treads in a parallel universe
No matter asleep or awake.

Forever twins to the final end,
Inseparable as a mirror image,
In comedy, mime, or dire tragic
Events tracing one's own linage.

In a spiritual world, this unbeliever
Creeping beyond shadow's image
Swept on wings of dreams denied,
Casts a pallor of dreaded luggage.

Lifetime napping, progenitor of CANCER
That stews in an ugly bile of pollutants
Spewing poison into the body working
Toward the final endpoint, a vile mutant,

DEATH seeks its very own pound of flesh.
Never will our own Grim Reaper be denied
It's place in the sunshine, caring even less
About prayer to a God deity, Heavens skied.

Ronald C. Downie

Cancer, that sponsor of death, found on everyone's mind is endlessly interrupting family life. Society is marshaling armies to battle this scourge but, because cancer spreads its affects singularly not massed in major catastrophes, cancer is sneakily picking off unsuspecting persons one at a time along its World wide battle front. Support CANCER research, please.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Haiku 13

Haiku 13

Women won their rights,
Since forgotten by congress -
Republican's wrath.

Taliban women
Have no : rights, votes, or freedom -
Coming to your house ?

Ignorance prevails 
As a country looses heart -
"Let them eat cake" heard.

Reproductive rights :
Mother, father, family -
Government stay out.

Backlash in order,
Rise up all women and men -
Throw the bums out, now !

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Winds Of Change

The Winds Of Change

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

The air altered, as in a storm,
Cold rejects becoming warm
Begins the gradient's instruction
Tornadic swirls sweep destruction.

You've seen the wind in human form :
The common from the West at morn,
A person pleasant, cool, but firm,
Thoughtful, intelligent, prone to learn.

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

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

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

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

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Haiku 12

Haiku 12

Sequestered carbon :
Gasoline, fuel oil, and coal -
Natural gas, wins.

Drive more or drive less ?
Thermostats higher, lower ?
Prescriptions or food ?

April starts for fools,
With sunshine, warm nights, flowers -
It's Poetry Month !

Quality Of Life :
Love, health, knowledge, family -
"The hills are alive...".

Who's government for,
Super rich or rest of us ?
Down with Plutocrats. 

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, April 5, 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 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 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Haiku 11, Education

Haiku 11, Education

Battered and beaten -
Pottstown's school children survive 
Ignorant adults.

High taxes do not
Guarantee higher test scores -
Answer : good teachers.    ( good parents )

Bombast or thoughtful,
"The meek inherit the Earth"-
World through a child's eye.

Never productive -
Turf wars of elected board's
Arrogant egos !

Local officials
Have no lock on thoughtfulness -
Tail feathers ruffled.

Ronald C. Downie 

Sunday, April 3, 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 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