Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Haiku 72

Haiku 72

-These Haikus shouts out many inequities to ponder.

When in doubt, shout out,
When in need, plant fertile seeds -
Gardens feed the World.

Whither thou goest, 
A shadow creeps along side -
Daylight or moonlight.

Citizens rumbling,
Schools tax properties yet -
Went to sleep, did you ?

Taxing property,
The least fair tax man has found -
When will you react ?

State Legislature,
Look who is thumbing their nose -
They laugh while you pay.

Pay up, be quiet,
You keep on voting them in -
Your vote supports them.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, January 30, 2012

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
An English sonnet

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sir Eagle

      Sir Eagle

Leisurely I looked down at the oval pond:
Sun sparkled , wind rippled , shimmering on .
Thoughts mingled aimlessly within my mind,
Life' s a struggle, answers are hard to find .

Not a special day, sitting in the pine grove
Enjoying the sunny day, watching birds rove
Through branches or the grey fox far afield.
What was the grand shadow my eyes yield ?

Glide silent , majestically sublime ,
Even there in shade drenched pine ,
Hide and seek on wood 's floor below ,
What grandeur in his shadow's flow .

Sir Eagle chose my grove to grace 
This day on west winds strong in place ,
For he who rides to heights unknown
Plummets to capture his prey alone .

Extinction faced this great noble bird ,
Man 's problems are really I'll compared .
So children , we wish you would claim 
With honor, to carry forth your name .

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The State Of my Union

The State Of My Union

When I stand before you, rest in peace, don't worry,
Be happy, I'm just a local yokel waiting my endpoint.
Made over 3/4 of a century on this sphere, no hurry, 
No timetables to worry about, no heroes to anoint :

Then I assemble my score cards of accomplishments,
Those years in business after a busy sport's life.
When public sector called I found few compliments :
School Board, Borough Council, Authority, and strife :

And then after taking up writing poetry, I mellowed
Into a gruff old man, seeking rhythm juggling rhyme.
Hour after hour fingering my iPad, note page yellow,
I arrived at some combination of words, just in time.

I wouldn't change a day! Hell No! Who am I kidding ?
Many days pondered, Why Me ? Life's harsh bidding.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On A Long Night's Activity

On A long Night's Activity

When, in the wake of dreams unfulfilled,
Looking back, reaching for memories 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
An English Sonnet

Monday, January 23, 2012

"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
An English Sonnet

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ideals From Ideas

Ideals From Ideas

When, from your basket of dreams you pull out
Thoughts from earlier years which laid out ideas
Not yet realized, sort of detoured, changed route.
Mentally churned many ideas mature into ideals :

Then, as always, years accumulate dimmed decades :
Raising family, building a career, avoiding ill health,
Hopefully attaining stature among piers. Accolades,
Anemic statements, bring neither health nor wealth :

And then, the grandeur of an aging mind brings hope.
Earlier thoughts incubated over many years surface
To format a lifetime of wants, ideals ready to cope.
Now, after winning the battle of time, we save face.

If not from our mental cauldrons where do ideals
Come from ? Ultimate importance churns from ideas.

Ronald C. Downie
An English Sonnet

Friday, January 20, 2012

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
An English Sonnet

Thursday, January 19, 2012

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 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 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, 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, but again neither you nor  me will be so honored.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spin Filament

Spin Filament 

Shimmering deep rivers running wild 
Of their birth, settle down calmly now
In vast fertile valleys as would a child
Murmuring softly to power of the plow.

Waters are banked as is blood veined,
Each eternal fluid is a life giving force.
Blood pulses sustenance to fibers trained
Eons in symphony to their energy source.

Divined up from a water birth, Man created,
Beginning the long strand in the web of life,
Unbroken since first man and woman mated.
Many heirs pound the drum, few play the fife.

Choose the instrument that you wish to play,
Not always locked away in your young years.
But my strand, I'll string to my very last day,
So spin yours, Dear Son, eliminate your fears.

Ronald C. Downie
To my son, Ronald Andrew Downie

Monday, January 16, 2012

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 Manatawny creek ran clean   
To our river so pure that had sadly in store
The traffic for dirty coal's black rock glean .

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

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 your Pottstown ?

Ronald C. Downie

*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. Remember to put a tag on Pottstown, "a college town" whenever you write or print our Town's name.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Talking Out Loud

Talking Out Loud

Talking the talk wishes to walk the walk
Bring full circle the need to act, not wish.

Playing the game instead of gaming the play
Allows yourself a chance for personal growth.

The score of a game etched forever in print,
The way a game played is only in our memory.

We climb higher on stronger branched trees 
That anchor down while taking in sustenance.

Birth is the union of man's sperm, women's egg
Independent of emotions initiating their fusion.

Death looms over our shoulders like morning fog ;
We're sure it will lift, but will we see the sun ?

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Special Day At Second Baptist

      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 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 so dark 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.     

Friday, January 13, 2012

Be A Leader

Be A Leader

Prior to light pollution, when young,
Before the dank smog of dirty air,
Heaven each night was lowly hung .
Glittering stars then sharply clear,
Brightly shining through full sky flung,
Amazingly how heaven drew so near .

Running waters crystal sure
Drank from as thirstiness came
Stream bottoms seen clear and pure .
A push, splash, wet's the game,
Traveling streams a dripping tour,
Now polluters ply their evil aim .

Back then : fields so deeply green,
Horses set plows deep, rows long,
Litter yet to be, roads so clean,
Each home a garden, birds at song,
Young run and jump their bodies lean,
Lifestyles these days, are they wrong ?

Today : the air, the water, the land,
All belong to this now generation -
To be stewards of - responsibility grand .
The future always draws high expectation
As the ebb and flow of life etches the sand .
Always be a leader by nudging out competition .

  Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, January 12, 2012

From What Wondrous Wood

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 ease of passage. Razor teeth bite the mark
Incision sure, another majestic tower falls just right.

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

Virgin wood, oyster pearl smooth, jeweler eye hewn,
Delicate ballet symphonic, awaits its artful crafters.
No longer bird or breeze melodize forest tree's tune,
Staccato ropey, hammer and saw, resonate rafters.

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

   Ronald C. Downie

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Scottish True, My Bonnie Lassie

Scottish True, My Bonnie Lassie

There are hills beyond the hills we call home,
And people other than people we call friends.
When they meet in the right setting it mends,
As only a village may, bringing family into its own.
The hills of home are gathering in all who roam.
For us the Highlands call out, the bag piper blends
His shrill and base echoing what would be of men's 
Voices. "Old Lang Syne" sung in groups, never alone.

Athletic, blond, first born lassie, in slippers dancing
All the day, she knows how to dance in every way :
The Highland Fling, The Sword Dance, Scottish true,
She twirls, whirls, lightly stepping almost prancing
In yon misty hills of heather where stag deer play.
Music, images, hills, pipers, stage fade out of view.

Ronald C. Downie
Petrarchan sonnet  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beneath Sky Delft

Beneath Sky Delft

Beneath sky delft a soft dapple cloud
Pillows early autumn's nodding slumber,
As cold winter stirs north slope proud,
By the seasons, four's the total number,

A cycle repeated on Earth then etched into Eternity.

Naked trees openly pray heavenward 
Braced against a harsh winter's wroth,
Pregnant buds swell forever forward
To spring, a yearly primal lesson taught
Of evolution, that universal biological fraternity.

A discordant man slumbers all seasons
In a blatant affront to Natural Law,
While playing God, Moonwalker reasons
Sovereignty implicit, looking up, man saw
Vast Heavenly bodies, completely forgot, maternity.

    Ronald C. Downie

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Jilted Suitor

The Jilted Suitor

Never to be the jilted suitor,
DEATH, lifelong your cell mate,
Treads in that parallel universe
Whether you're asleep or awake.

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

In a spiritual world, this unbeliever,
Creeping beyond shadow's inky image
Sweeps in on wings of dreams denied,
Its dank pallor casts dreaded luggage.

Found napping is the progenitor of CANCER,
Which stews in a fluid bile of harsh pollutants,
Spewing nameless poisons into weakened bodies
And finds an endpoint, death, from vile mutants.

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

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Circle Of Life

Circle Of Life

Joined hand and hip, an unbroken circle of life
Dances around the fire pit, in an endless chain
Pressing forever forward seeking the unknown,
Accepting bits and pieces, building knowledge.

The human race is caught up in fervent prayer
To myriads of deities seeking : grander cathedrals,
Higher mountain top monasteries, ornate robes,
Gold leafed hymnals, silver chalices, sweeter wine.

Forests and savannas, seek not, accepts life's terms :
Birth, struggle, growth, unfolding, reaching life's end.
The Circle realizes all life prospers to its potential
Half Life, then degrading becomes the spiraling down.

Even icons of faith's founding pillars never reached
Their nirvana of Half Life. Grossly cut down while
Still in unfolding periods, their rabid faithful anoint 
Their lost presence through images ever expanding.

Images were designed to press an emotional response
Bypassing Man's innate desire to think. Thinking, he  
Gains wisdom drawing him away from a blind faith.
Reading from The Book Of Life he found necessary.

For millions of years upright Man processed through 
The cycle of life creating The Circle surrounding us.
Those who sought power needed shackles to control 
Ignorant masses. Image based faith their answer.

Though still popular today, faith, continues to lose
Its underpinning as more people gain fruitful wisdom,
Which draws them into reading The Book Of Life,
While they join hand and hip expanding the Circle.

Ronald C. Downie 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Only The End Remains

   Only The End Remains 

Before light - the beginning - then light :
Then magma, and lava, and basalt rock :
Earth, water, and air : morning, noon, and night :
Cells, then wigglers, swimmers, fliers, man: and clock,

Calendar and hour glass : to segment and measure,
To regulate and order, to plan and then design :
For goods and services, for necessity and pleasure :
House, factory, and store : and for cars made fine .

Highly speeding around a curve a car leans
Outward from center in an act of separation .
Quickening minds defiantly tug at pent up dreams
Waiting release to burst forth with new sensation .

Find hidden roads to distant horizons that you seek,
Move the sky line moves, sight it, fades another hue.
Awaken all your senses, act strongly not weak,
Be, rather then to just seem, forevermore be true .

Nearing the end, does fleeting time go faster,
Or, does awareness lost from aging veins
Deem doddering slowness become the master
Of the clock winding down ? Only The End Remains !

   Ronald C . Downie

Friday, January 6, 2012

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

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Reason For Being

 A Reason For Being

A poem like a story, or a song, a yarn, a tale, a communication, or just a conversation has a reason for being. Thoughts come to mind that need to be, are itching to be, amplified. 

The following poem, A Cry From Mid-Space, was written at a time in my life when those things I dreamt about doing were not going to happen. In a long life, unrealized dreams are commonplace moving on in spite of desires being unfulfilled enabling a person to dream anew. When we lose the capacity to dream the flames of hope flicker out as the path to fulfillment blurs until a new spark lights the way for dreams to reoccur. 

What's the old adage ? "It's not the number of times you are knocked down, it is the number of times you get up, that counts."
         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, common man can train
As oxen are yoked to circle around 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 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    

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Gift Given Us

A Gift Given Us

Between cream of split pea soup
And savory brown mushroom gravy
Hair, as dull as damp hay, droop,
Straightens broom like, turns wavy.

Cocktails do take effect after all
When they begin to vision what's seen.
The average in height, turns quite tall,
Those rather rotund, rollie-pollie, lean.

"To see ourselves as others see us,
A gift", Burns wrote, "He gives us."

Who gives insight so darn powerful
That it forgoes our arrogance of ego ?
However rocky, each life is meaningful
Routed by events played out long ago.

Implied within the rubble of real hope
Is a mythical, dreaming novel of one's life
Impassioned by a full broadening in scope
Complementing the real no matter its strife.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Haiku 71

Haiku 71

Allow these Haikus to awaken your inquiring mind ~

"Where there's no vision,
People will surely suffer" -
Best read The Bible.

Before you were you,
Enslaved people found freedom -
Their paths marked by blood.

Learning needs respect,
Greatest treasure is knowledge -
Ignorant debase.

Great awakenings 
Pulse through the blood of the young -
Education's gift.

To walk in wonder
Is an invitation to -
Pick up a good book.

Johnny can not read,
He's left behind to suffer -
What a waste to us.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, January 2, 2012

It's A Good Day

A poem for my Granddaughter,Lily Kurtz,on this her twelth birthday, 1-2-2012.

It's A Good Day 

It's a good day, Lily, for a walk, 
This second day of the new year.
Time, writers wrote, will march on
Either with us or leave without us.

Let's walk up this well used country lane,
So take my arm, since I'm a wee bit wobbly.
This reminds me a lot of early growing up 
Over in Chester County, in lush farm lands.

Look up there in the sun light along the bank
Why it's Tiger Lilies growing in all their glory.
They radiate such a lovely deep, orange color
And their speckled throats draw in many bees.

In the shade, over there beyond the stone wall,
I spy some low growing plants, let's pick flowers.
My goodness, these are bursting with fragrance
From little bells, oh, they're Lily Of The Valley.

Look ahead, just past the old mill at the mill pond,
Isn't that a bull frog sitting up on a floating pad ?
See how leaf pads caress the pure white flowers
Which cup up, calling, "I'm a Water Lily, fill me up."

Time to head back the lane arched over with trees,
Leaving peacefulness of this stroll behind as scenes
Fade but, over there in the field, what a beautiful
Display of pastel colors, Day Lilies grace our sight.

We often wonder what's in a name, like is it, fame ?
No, not that, that's too temporary. The name, Lily,
For example, is a pretty young girl growing into a 
Lovely lady which we proudly call - Granddaughter.

Love, Nanny and Pop Pop
January 2, 2012
A dozen of meaningful years !

Sunday, January 1, 2012

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 own footing, drawn 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
Lyrics, divinely achieving progeny, all lovely to see.

Ronald C. Downie
A sonnet