Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Postman

I have the upmost respect for the postman who service our area, they brave every hardship Mother Nature throws at them. In spite of the variances of climate they get their job done, mostly alone without fanfare, not gushing for recognition. They're quite affable when encountered with a few minutes to talk. Not cookie cuter people, each an individual, with their own needs and desires which makes up the greater World.

I am aghast at what some congressmen are trying to do legislatively to dismantle the postal system as we know it. Privatization to payback huge donors should not be allowed by the public, that's you and me, the voters of this country, the far to often "Silent Majority".

The Postal Service needs now a character similar to the one played by Kevin Kostner in the movie titled "The Postman". As a residual of the demise of our Nation one element refuses to dismantle; namely, the postal system. The pledged mantra of the Postal Service embedded in the hearts of it's servers prevail-
"The Mail Must Go Through"- The storyline speaks to good over evil, the will of the mass over the might of the few, to those who persist in a belief over a demented militia.

As a tribute to all mail carriers during these harsh winter months of high demand for your services, I echo a Happy New Year from your customers. May 
we, the silent majority, in this new year become your voice, our own Kevin Kostner's, in your struggle against the almighty power of the dollar pitted against you.
Happy New Year,
Ronald C. Downie

Friday, December 27, 2013

For The Birds

"That's for the birds" thinking, permeates my wakened hours these shivering cold days. Some birds stick around all winter, saw a couple cardinals in the Star Magnolia out in the front yard yesterday. The Magnolia begins plumping up its flower buds before fall leaf drop and it must be these that the cardinals feed on. There's also the berrying up of Holly which some birds love if they can get to them before the darn squirrels eat 'em all. Surely, birds of a feather should flock together.

There are other birds that peek my interest too ; they're seen only by their vapor trails stripping the high sky on clear cold days. Pressing south, jumbo jets fly in my eastern high sky delivering passengers to warmer climates for winter getaways. Who are they ? Are they temperate snow birds ? Are they escaping or are they returning home ? Male or female, young or old, thin or plump ? 

A century long history of travel has asked these questions time and time again through story and song by vivid dreamers. What's a better theme than describing a huge plow in the sky turning over a long furrow of vapor readying the heavens for a spiritual application of fertile seeds. If only I could have thought of such a wonderful theme for a story, I would have become a writer. 

The unknown is a greater mystery than the vast list of knowledge accepted by the known world. It is for the living to chip away at the great unknown, find there the stories to reveal, then express these stories as best we can. 

Happy New Year,
Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Connie Mae

Connie Mae

The following is a tribute to Constance Mae Hall Downie, my soulmate these more then 50 years, on her date of birth, December 23, 1939 with all my love.

From This Day Forward :

Born before The Big War, the global one,
Youngest daughter of Florence & Charles Hall,
(Their union was a real productive one)
Connie was preceded by eight sisters,
After her, finally came a boy, Douglas.
She was, as all her siblings were, hill born ;
They populated what's called Chicken Hill
Through the depression, well past WW2.

To Have and To Hold

Christmas Holidays greet Connie's birthday
While announcing winter's snow calendar.
Late December is a tough date,
Such busy time near the end of the year.
She has sparse time to fully celebrate,
Year after year, the others always first.
Even today, never ever complains,
Connie goes with the flow, the show goes on.

In Sickness & In Health

Connie and I joined in marriage, April
22, 1964, at Grace Lutheran Church.
On that Wednesday evening, off we went
To New Hope on the Delaware River,
A cottage, change of cloths, a late night bite
At a lodge south across the canal bridge
Between it and the Delaware River.
In loving embrace was night's restless sleep.

In Good Times And In Bad

Off to the World's Fair in New York City
Stopping first in Portland, Pa. where we bought
Two Windsor Benches and a Windsor High
Backed Chair from Frederick Duckloe & Bros.
New York City, downtown at the Taft Hotel,
We went to Flushing Meadows by subway.
An adventure that everyone should take
Sometime in life, hand in hand- arm in arm.

To Love & Cherish

Home : Heather, Lia, Ronnie - Chestnut Street,
Walnut Street and Evans Street - these our homes,
Now forty years, Evans Street, our homestead.
Connie raised our children, my business, work :
Industry, partnerships, garden centers, 
Tree and plants contracting, buying, selling.
Heather to college, Lia followed suit,
Ronnie went my way, bound to Mother Earth.

For Richer Or Poorer

Connie learned plants, she still works plants today;
In fact, she's our bread winner, our savior.
Social security just doesn't cut it,
Especially, if want more than just eat.
These latter years I've not walked very well,
Football is a debilitating sport.
Our bread winner, too, is my care giver;
Without her I'm sunk, future would be bleak.

To Love You & Honor You

From soul mate, lover, mother, home maker, 
Bread winner, care giver, I owe my
Life to my wife, Constance, "In Thee, I Trust".
Life's a story with many a chapter,
Each built upon the preceding ones, each
Wrestles with good and bad, fiction or fact,
The idea is to keep the theme honest.
Love is an endearing theme of the heart.

Until ... Do Us ... !

With All My Love,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Good neighbors are those persons who freely act through their own volition to do something on the block that needs to be attended to. 

When it snows an appreciable amount, enough to be shoveled, our neighbor at the southwest corner of Evans and Wilson Streets uses his snow blower. Mr. H. used his snow blower Sunday to clear the main sidewalks of the entire block including doing the entrance walkways. In previous years he and his boys even cleaned snow off cars and shoveled out parking places during deep snow events. 

Good neighbors are good Samaritans by their desire. 

Then yesterday a young teenaged girl and a boy, I would think her younger brother, who I saw shoveling our neighbor's sidewalks across the street came across to our house. Without any contact from my wife or me they began cleaning snow from our walks and front steps. As they finished my wife tried to give them a few dollars for their efforts along with a thank you.  But, they, with a smile and a no-thank you, waved her off and proceeded up the street shoveling away. Who they are, I do not know; though, I love them dearly for what they did. 

Good neighbors are good Samaritans by their deeds. 

Of course, there's Daisy P. our next door neighbor, who I've referred to in my writings before as our special neighborhood energizer bunny. Daisy and her broom are inseparable and she has a sharp eye for any leaf in her sight. Her's is an estate attitude : everything in place, a place for everything, manicured as possible, and cleaned to the nth degree. The curb line for the majority of Evans Street is her domain. I'll challenge anyone who wants to compare their neighborhood with Daisy's. 

Good Samaritans are Good Neighbors.

Ronald C. Downie
700 Block of Evans Street,
Pottstown, Penna.

Friday, December 13, 2013

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 necessity.

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 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

In Memory Of Steve Kurtz 

Yesterday, on the anniversary of the horror remembered as Pearl Harbor, it is still Cancer that has taken the lives of more people than all the wars combined, but, this crucible of death, kills its victims one at a time. Each of us have experienced the death of a loved one or an acquaintance from Cancer one death at a time.

Steve Kurtz, my son-in-law and soul mate of my daughter, Sherri, for forty years was the father of two : daughter, Alix, and son, Stephen. He died on Dec. 8, 2009 from a losing battle with Cancer. To all who knew Steve, his death was a close personal loss. To number crunchers, his death added just one to the total number they tally for a report on Cancer deaths. 

This is also "Jimmy V Week" known to basketball enthusiasts when country wide donation appeals are everywhere on television to support Cancer research. A much heralded basketball coach, Jim Valvano, died from Cancer during his prime years, much like my son-in-law, and, to their credit, the basketball community unselfishly took up the challenge to fund Cancer research and labeled it "Jimmy V Week".

Off budget our country has fought two very expensive wars while also off budget our country has decided to add trillions of dollars to the debt. As a culture America has long passed over the idea of paying for things as they occur; such as for wars or tax relief for the super rich. What would happen if a couple of trillion dollars were spent on eradicating Cancer instead of buying bullets or drones or nukes?

Parceled out, one at a time, the enormity of the total deaths from Cancer loses urgency in a society's psyche. The public embraces the aftermath of hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, just about any earthly malfunction since they visually abrupt the norm of the day. Cancer is stealth like, progressively declining its victim's vigor, silently encroaching on a life style, and then Cancer begins its demand for its pound of flesh. Only the end remains !

The Relay For Life has taken up the challenge locally with an appreciated success for its record fund raising performances over the years. When will the spirit of The Relay For Life enter every legislator's soul to draw their thinking to make war on Cancer rather than war on countries and cultures?

I think of Steve, my parents, my business partners, my classmates, my co-workers, my relatives, my close friends, my ... the list goes on and on in an endless addition of death from Cancer. To me, the enormity of just the totality of Cancer victims that I knew, mirrors an earthly catastrophe. Legislators, where are you hiding when the sky is falling down all around you ?

Ronald C. Downie
Reposted because it is still relevant !

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sonnet : Only Knowledge

When looking into the mirror of hope,
I find far too many so deep in despair 
Who willingly slough off a need to cope,
Leaving them vulnerable, requiring care :

Will it be some epiphany that grabs the scene ;
Without something like that, what's then ?
Do spots disappear, stripes fade, does fat lien ?
From nagging disappointments, hope comes when ?

Realizing a personal attitude becomes the key
To unlocking the potential energy pent up now
Awaiting release. Learning wisdom's wise old plea,
"Only knowledge sets Man free", showing him how.

History records, rewrites episodes sad or proud ;
While shunning facts, destiny floats on as a cloud.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, December 6, 2013

Such a lyrical name, Nelson Mandela, put to song by so many. Could you survive 27 years being locked up waiting the World to sing out ?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Price Of Ignorance

History records many declines of an imperial power who thought they would rule their World as they knew it, forever. Inevitably, the decay of their governing system for an ever increasing accumulation of knowledge failed. This marked the path leading them to their demise.

Fitting this definition - is this the USA of today? Ever since our inception as a nation, we have gained military, financial, and education superiority throughout the world. Our educational system was once, by far, number one. 

Ignorance, I contend, is the harbinger of things to come. This morning, I learned of the latest comparison between American students and students from the rest of the World's industrialized nations. Our students are fading fast in competitive testing with no end in sight as they spiral down.

No answers have I ; comments though, are much easier to come by. 

For what it's worth, reading has always been considered the premier process in the learning cycle, but I've changed my mind on its prominence over the years. Now, I think, writing must be the ultimate provider of knowledge leading one toward wisdom. It is wisdom we must urge the young to attain. It's not enough to be able to accumulate facts and regurgitate them on a test, but the learned, must be able to put to use whatever knowledge they've acquired. The young, even those well read, need what writing forces them to accomplish. 

Writing well is a learned exercise. It requires the writer to pick a theme, introduce the theme, expand a discussion of it, and finally sum up what information the writer thought relevant. The nature of writing's structure, I believe, imprints on the brain of the writer in ways reading, even of the highest caliber, does not do. In fact, good writers are excellent readers, look at their bookshelves. By their efforts, they encourage a real lust to gain wisdom.

Acquiring knowledge is commendable ; utilizing gained wisdom results in supremacy.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Long Night's Activity

When, in the wake of dreams unfulfilled,
Looking back, reaching for past memories,
Stirring hidden hollows, hiding strong willed
Thoughts left for a long night's sleep pleasantries:

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, quiet, chilling out plays.

Ronald C. Downie

Recent Thoughts

Thuggery not only invades America's streets but also diminishes college football. Where has the civility in athletic competition gone ?

True patriots fight, literally beat up each other, over sale items in a true black Friday tradition. The third world has nothing on us but utter poverty. We'll catch up, soon.

Blue cloudless sky, bright sunshine, crisp air, what's black about this Friday ? Oh! America exists on her consumers, stupid. Buy War Bonds.

A sharp mind atop a healthy body is the goal of a kale diet. Have you tried a kale smoothy ? Try one to find out a difference.

No wonder, the oaks outside my windows are so huge,
they exercise constantly in wind gusts blowing wild this end of autumn. We wait winter !

Which first - chicken or egg ? 
Which first - cage fighting or one punch knockouts ? 
Real life mimics sensationalized journalism.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, November 25, 2013

Changing Drivers

Into the emancipation of thought,
Innocently born, clambering escape
From the drudgeries of ordinary

People, an exceptional person 
Emerges through ingenuity and 
Spunk to become a public leader.

But the crucible holding their future
Spills, from time to time its holdings
Onto written pages, seers construct.

Fiction or oracle must pass inspection
Of those of inquisitive minds and such
Feelings that poetry or prose reveals.

The drumming which holds the beat,
The strings that arc to heaven's door,
The woodwinds which carries the tune,

The voices that peel away at sadness
Are pent up in a discordant population  
Struggling for their chance at survival.

To them, nothing rises to challenge 
A way of life long lived, well satisfied,
Tempered by experience, uncontested.

Miracle of the mind forgotten, ordinary
Life forces decisions to be crudely made, 
Unexamined, rather than knowledge based.

Leaders must weave their way through clutter
Left behind in the wake of earlier disciples.
Is pandering to get reelected a baton to pass on,

Or, for the better good of all, a banner's made ?
Needed, exceptional people, those who will grasp
The reins, control the team, then change drivers.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Hidden Gene

You could say, over my more than three quarters of a century of living, I've seen more than a lifetime of Medieval Age movies. Cowboy flicks may be my favorites, but the era of Kings and Queens always draws me in, so I spend too much time watching our European past in all its grandeur. 

I've always wondered how a down trodden people, the surfs and common folks who often had to beg for food or for a roof over their heads, still held homage to their ruthless King who often starved them. There must be some hidden gene in ordinary people that drives them longingly into servitude. I've seen pictures of men belonging to a religious sect who march bareback through throngs of countrymen thrashing themselves on their bare backs with multi tipped whips to the point of severe bleeding. This display of self flagellation takes the idea of demeaning oneself before their own kind as an exultation elevating those in power to sort of being saints, anointing them and their surrogates into sainthood by their weird whipping actions.

The hidden gene concept must popup in various generations, in fact, it seems our generation must be prone for similar instincts. Kings and Queens and their extended court complete with jesters, in today's World, are in their realm as upper 1%er's free of financial cares, the embodiment of today's oligarchy. This present day aristocracy would never divulge the size of their treasury or the account numbers of off shore banks. They certainly would have multiple homes throughout the country. Their children may not be titled Dukes or Counts but they are no the less endowed by huge sums of money from the cradle. And, this newly begotten King and Queen, all powerful, surround themselves with a Court made-up of followers smitten with a rouge gene lurching them into unquestionable servitude.

Common folk, at least about half of our fellow countrymen, posses some of the symptoms of this wayward gene which alters rational thought. How else could clear thinking people vote for the party made for and of the oligarchy. Ordinary canine conversation tells many tales of a dog owner kicking or whipping his dog only to have that abused dog seek to lick his owner's hand and leap to attention at his owner's command. Your vote to these politicians is like the dog's leap to attention, though the beating you got was subtle, it came in questionable advertising that shades the truth by altering comments and disguising falsehoods. 

I imagine in the future humans will be at birth, as someone just suggested to me, impregnated with a chip that through devious programing finds that all kinds of latent responses could be expected. Heaven help the backward party who discounts the insidious nature of the information generation. Heaven help the World and all the living who will be forced to live in it here.

Ronald C. Downie


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Red... .

          "Red in the morning 
           is a sailor's warning ;
           while, red at night
           is a sailor's delight."

This little ditty was repeated over and over to me by my Gran'Pa Downie, a seafaring grandfather from the 1890's into the early 1900's who plied the waves from Glasgow, Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa before immigrating his family to Tarrytown, New York,USA. prior to 1920.

This cute little poem was once used by weathermen all over the world to predict a change in weather for the rest of that particular day or night, but little more. 

It was a spectacular, beautiful red morning this morning even better than yesterday's. Just around 6:30AM, shortly before the sun emerged on the eastern horizon, angular sun rays refracted off a sky of herringbone clouds. I'm told the intensity of color comes from the amount and composition of the dust particles suspended in the clouds which sunlight rays bounce off which is called refraction. 

More vivid was a sky color not often seen. Wide patches of red clouds striped with thin glimpses of blue were predominant. Then, just a minute before sunrise, a large patch of blue sky turned teal, blue-green in a glorious display of a natural phenomenon not often seen, at least by me. The sun popped up and the sky immediately went white-grey. Where color had been  vivid in the clouds and sky, pigments now, though still there, were subdued by a dominant ball of fire, the sun.

When aboard ship Gran'Pa saw the horizon 360 degrees around and, I'm sure, he saw spectacular sunrises and sunsets, in fact, a teal sky may be commonplace at sea. I awaken to the eastern sky out my two rear windows and usually catch the moment of sunrise as it happens. It hasn't been too colorful until recently, just the plume from Limerick to catch my continual interest.

Watch nature, watch the sky. You, too, may find recording your observations a pleasure as I do.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Grand Old Station

Back in the cloudy recesses of my mind are those early days which get further out of reach as time goes by. Glimpses of events enter my mind at night and try to break through that fog. Lately, it's been an event that lasted all summer long back in the early 1980's called "Operation Bootstrap".

Operation Bootstrap was the name given to the effort of a small army of Pottstown volunteers who decided that no wrecking ball would demolish the grand old Reading Railroad Station just because it was a little run down on its heels. 

Not unlike Pottstown itself, the train station just mirrored everything else around her. Betlehem Steel, Firestone, Doehlers, Robinson Clay, and many other industries in and around Pottstown felt the declining vitality of the area due to plant closures. Employment, once seemingly endless, was becoming tough to come by. 

The long drift downward was happening all around us and the train station, long left to decline, was a glaring symbol of decay. Here, in the very heart of Pottstown, nearly everyone saw the slow decline but, because the decline was slow coming, it drew little effort to subdue it, that's if, anything could be done at all. It was this thought that encouraged more volunteers to muster into the army of volunteers to save the train station from being demolished.

Passenger service was in gradual decline for years and ceased in the late 1960's when the station was shut down. Vagrants began their occupation of the premises shortly thereafter as they evaded policing
efforts. Obvious signs became apparent : trash, urine, ficus, rags, and bed rolls were accumulating visible to the naked eye. Effects from  Hurricane Agnes in June of 1972 were still quite apparent in the early eighties furthering the grand building's decline, in fact, when the volunteers took action they had to pump eight foot of flood water from its basement. 

The names of individual volunteers are beyond me though many came from  members of the BIE, Building Industries Exchange, and the Ambucs, American Business Men's Club. Both these two organizations endorsed the cleanup effort from day one. Also there were a goodly number of  businesses that contributed things like dumpsters, pressure washers, cleaning products, and professional expertise. Food donations appeared along with gallons of hot coffee, cool lemonade and iced tea. 

A real highlight came toward the end of summer when things were winding down. The borough officials saw and felt the desires of the public not to demolish the grand old station. Ultimately the borough sold the building to a syndicate led by a carpetbagger type fellow who didn't last too long in town, but that's another story.

 The highlight was a community flea market on the concourse complete with an auction of bicycles the police had found abandoned throughout town over the years. Then, Chief of Police, Rodgers suggested an auction of them to raise money to pay incidental bills that arose through the cleanup process. 

I guess, the success of any undertaking is in the desired result intended. The Grand Old Station stands today, maybe not as the army of volunteers intended which was for a strictly public building, but it still stands. When the public gets behind an idea, when they feel an injustice may happen, when the public stands together good things can happen. 

I request, if anyone has sharper reflections of the summer of Operation Bootstrap please let the rest of us know what you remember. Maybe someone still has news clippings of this event and would be willing to share them with the public. 

Ronald C. Downie 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

   First Blizzard Of The Season

Relish the first blizzard of the season
Watch for swirls of yellow and brown ;
Autumn early seems the real reason 
All the lawns are covered in the town.

            It's a time when :

Damp mist steams up from the river,
Foot steps leave their prints in the dew. 
Morning sun gets red and redder,
Vast flocks fly all birds but a few.

Thin herringbone clouds stripe the sky,
Heading south geese V in a flock,
Crows land and depart with a cry.
Farmers watch weather like a clock.

Goldenrods garnish the meadows
Stately corn tans tall on the stalk,
In home gardens wilt the tomatoes,
Deep breaths smoke great puffs as we walk.

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

Ronald C . Downie 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Stupid Is ...

I can't get Forrest Gump's assertions out of my mind in times as these, times of utter stupidness by our federal elected officials. "Stupid is, as stupid does" certainly defines the two bodies, House and Senate: the House, closing down government for a couple weeks; the Senate, inert from holds on appointees. 

Maybe, the full stupidness of their doings wouldn't be so obvious if each body was held in high esteem by voters, "We The People". Instead the public places incumbent legislators in the lowest hog mire ever, at a mere 9% approval.  

Just how stupid do legislators think the public is ? 
I believe most people feel deep down they're quite dumb but they also feel they can't do anything about it. When this happens, the politician has the public right where they want them. The lethargy of, "can't do anything about it", creates an attitude of do nothing, or "don't rock the boat". 

Dumb and dumber seems to be an apt description of our electorate today when what we desperately need are voters who are smarter and smarter. Professional politicians train to deceive their constituents so truths and falsehoods become intermingled in the voters mind. This way the politician can put themselves out there as the true arbiter of good and evil. They want us to believe they're invaluable and life can't function without them.

No longer can we continue to be "stupid is, as stupid does" type people. In order for us to populate a more equal union we have to vote smarter. We have to throw the bums out and we have to engender a whole new breed of politicians who will be more responsive to their constituents.

From what other body of 535 public servants (435 House, 100 Senate) are there so many millionaires. Many who are, are multi-millionaires; those who aren't, are still rich beyond most persons in the middle class.
Our founders never realized we would have so many professional politicians entrenched in our congress as we do today. 

Getting elected just may be the quickest trip to wealth. If they don't gain riches while in office; when out, they pander for an enriching position as a lobbyist. The story's out : a lobbying job is a real high paying plum.

I'm sure Forrest Gump would keep mumbling "stupid is, as stupid does" over and over again when he heard what congress had been up to. He'd know that our congress acts like they were a box of chocolates, when one was opened up, he wouldn't know what he was getting. 

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Oligarchy - political system governed by a few people.

In yesteryears the United States of America was the premier Republican Democracy challenged by the Communist Soviet Union for the dominance of the whole world. Today the Soviet Union has broken up and goes under Russia once more but continues to stir up confusion in the world. 

Here, in the USA, we've never really figured out if we're a Republic or a Democracy or some highbred of either. Instead, the moneyed in our time play to the publics' apathy as they begin pulling wool over sleepy eyes. Their goal is to accumulate as much wealth as possible and to gain, not only financial superiority but, their primary goal, is to gain ultimate political power to weld complete control over the country.

With complete control these Oligarchs continue to pile up wealth just like the Walton family. This family has amassed over a 100 Billion dollars through ownership of Walmart which is reported to pay employees the minimum wage that causes many employees to have apply for food stamps just to feed their families. Also reported is the fact that 40% of all new wealth created in the last few years has gone to the oligarchs who comprise the top 1% of US taxpayers.

Do you, as a member of the lower 47% that candidate Romney described, quite understand the position you're placed in. You and me, and almost everyone you'll see, are but serfs in present day clothing. Not unlike, in the long past feudal systems when a King and his court took everything for themselves, today's oligarchs want all the wealth and political power for themselves. 

The plight of the peasants of the past was expressed in literature by a hero defender, called, Robin Hood. Both you and I, and all the rest of you, are the latest inhabitants of our own Sherwood Forrest. Now, we need our own, present day Robin Hood. I thought the Occupy movement would develop some candidates but they seem to be unable to stay in existence let alone birth progressive leaders.

Before our voting system is highjacked completely by the oligarchs, vote out the offenders to the democratic 
process. Look past a candidate's wants so you can vote for citizen's needs. Keep looking, keep pressing for a modern day Robin Hood to surface, since each voter has to become their own savior, Robin Hood may be in each of us.

Ronald C. Downie 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Three Legged Stool

The young of our generation need, desperately need, all three legs of life's proverbial stool. They have their physical presence embodied in youthful statures that forms one leg of the stool. That's the easy one, stemming from the union of a male and a female that has happened for millions of years, the striking of the flints of flesh creating the spark that fires a breath of life.

One third of the legs of the three legged stool is set,
it's the other two legs that I'd like to think about, I'd like to write about, I'd like you to read about. 

I suggest the other two legs are life factors of each individual's personality that makes them particular to themselves as they maneuver through life. They are aptitude and attitude. 

Aptitude is the inherent ability of an individual to perform at a level commensurate with their physical  makeup. Their ability, their capability, their instinct, their power has an individual's imprint on society that I call another one of the legs of the stool.

Attitude, though, is a mental state. It is the third leg completing the integrity of our stool involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways. It, too, defines an individual by that person's brain waves. Attitude seems to be, not only the crucial third leg, but also the glue that holds the three legged stool together. 

I contend most of our youth have the physique complete with a goodly amount of aptitude which bolsters them as individuals as they grow into adulthood. They grow along with their ability and power to physically improve at all visuals of their lives. 
This is certainly meaningful but woefully inadequate to enter into a competitive society with all its varied

Attitude becomes paramount to our youth's survival. It is the the educated youngster with an expanding mind who can weigh alternatives to the rigid norms which stagnates our adult society. We find in our youths, as in all advanced generations, the hope inherent in a future worthy to pass on to our descendants. 

These descendants will honor this generation for constructing stools that, not only withstand the riggers of time, but become the standards for future societies.
Body, mind, and spirit is the bulwark of some modern day institutions. I am encouraging that stature, aptitude, and attitude to be our pillars, or if you will, our legs of the proverbial stool. Upright and solid it's the tripod that can hold up a whole universe.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, November 11, 2013

Urban Forrester

The front porch seems out of bounds these fall days,
Temperatures down, even when sunshine
Breaks bright - early mornings, late afternoons ;
Oldsters seek shelter of the mid-day haze.

From my easy chair, I'm like Robin Hood
Surveying my own deep Sherwood Forrest ;
Inside, I'm looking west out four windows
Wondering, when will dead leaves all be down?

When the hawk is up, leaves come floating down;
Even a lite breeze unlocks them from trees.
From in looking out, it's the first blizzard, 
Needing no snow shovels, but bamboo rakes.

Leaves, the engines of life, fulfilled their role
Of being chlorophyll's chief enabler,
By changing carbon dioxide into
Breathable oxygen, sustaining life.

My forrest, within sight, is mostly oaks,
With oaks comes squirrels who scurry about
Collecting acorns and plant everywhere.
Are there more squirrels then ever? Seems so.

Oaks don't exhibit sharp coloration
That maples do in my far off site-line :
Norway maples vivid in their yellow,
Sugars deeply blaze a yellow-orange.

This urban forester can only look,
I'm saddled to a chair or a walker.
Once, far off hills engrossed my pensive eyes,
Now a single tree, green or fall color,

Must satisfy my appreciation 
Of art, nature's art, firmament's pigments.
A long life draws from an inner vision
Where important scenes are mentally stored.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Why ?

Best you figure it out then answer the question, why. 
Why ? Why do our local school districts have so many problems today dealing with contested contracts,  declining property assessments, lowering test scores, and addressing the publics' low esteem of current education policies ?

Before we answer those questions, we should look at a very successful component of the education industry, the community college, specifically, The Montgomery County Community College ( MCCC ). MCCC is the poster child for how education around here should be offered to its users. 

Many of you question : how can we be asked to compare apples with oranges ? One is college the other public school; one is compulsory the other voluntary ? 

My comparison here is with the structure of their composition and their way of administrating the system. MCCC is county wide; districts are small, and generally multi-township. MCCC has a county wide board of directors who are of diverse professional achievements; district boards are made up of locals generally caught up in some turf struggles of limited nature. MCCC, I'm sure, works from a grand mission statement outlining systematic growth and accountability, somewhat like a fortune five hundred corporation at their height of professionalism. Local districts are what we read about : they try each year to cobble together a budget or a teacher's contract while some members pander to their little pet projects taking professionalism out of their equation.

Local districts are administered by an elected superintendent and assistants who are chosen by a present board or carry over filling out a contracted term. MCCC takes a longer view, a seemingly more professional vision, putting the administration in the hands of a president and assistants who answer to a board of directors, who in turn, answer to County Commissioners. There is a clear line of command in the MCCC process.

The point is : locals seem amateurish, MCCC professional. Locals are caught up in petty turf wars, MCCC stands above the whims of zealots. Locals seem rudderless; MCCC seems to have charted a course and follows it.

Pennsylvania has been divided up into somewhat equal districts, namely, The Intermediate Units. It so happens that Montgomery County stands by itself as one of these twenty some state districts which is already functioning in its given capacity. 

The problem lies in these units being underutilized as education has changed and moved on. Therefore,  I recommend a commission be organized to look at The Intermediate Unit as a vehicle to change the nature of public school administration. 

Take local away from school districts by making the boundary's of The Intermediate Units the district's boundary, take taxing away from local districts, and force education to adapt itself to a sense of professionalism. The World has changed, why not how we function in educating our young, the highest  responsibility of a mature society.
  Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, November 7, 2013


First star showing I'm alive
Was posted in year, 1935.

Tartan threads grow in the fields
Watching stars that heaven yields.

Stripes are custom, long and lean,
Marking my vision's family scheme.

But my banner's so incomplete,
I write to people, I'll never meet ;

Do I really write words for all of them :
The strong women, the thoughtful men ?

But, for myself, a rhyme is sought,
A meter's found to further my plot,

It's only by chance or is it a struggle
That word by word grows my puzzle ?

Somewhere there's another Plowman's Bard
Walking the furrow's straight, deep, and hard.

He tramps God's Earth in want of nourishment ;
His mind's at work for destiny's encouragement.

One is so boldly driven for its benefactors ;
Others, dream in clouds, as if they're actors.

Lasting the longest, beyond a generation,
Some build a society, some feed a nation.

Who said, "Man can't live by bread alone"?
We think of dreamers wherever they roam.

Poets subsist on a sparse spartan menu ;
While writing  words for all World to view.

So soon, "I'll lay me down for a long night's sleep",
Not knowing, if any words my readers will keep.

But that can't drive my lust to keep on writing ;
I write for me, then for thee, then unborn waiting.

Forgive me for being so overtly aggressive; 
In my cluttered dreaming mind, the mess is.

Starting a poem is not, all that, very hard,
It's been done fairly well by many a bard.

But ending a poem, that's a poet's blank wall,
Readers seek closure, bards hear a clear call.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Reason For Being

A poem like a story, or a song, or 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, they move on in spite of your desires to be fulfilled. They enable you  now to dream anew. When we lose the capacity to dream the flames of hope flicker out and the path to fulfillment blurs until a new spark lights the way for new dreams to occur. 

What's the old adage ? "It's not the number of times you're knocked down but, what counts, is the number of times you get back up.
* * *
         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    

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hitch Our Wagon

Please consider "hitching our ( Pottstown's ) wagon to a star". Ask yourselves, what's one of the few stars rising within our borough ? There are not many. 

I'd suggest Pottstown, hitch its wagon to the ascending star of MCCC.. The Montgomery County Community College, west campus, is strongly positioned in our town and its future seems quite secure. It is here for the long term ! 

In the pursuit of knowledge, there comes a strength of conviction beyond the sum total of the the efforts expended, which is called wisdom. Gaining wisdom is one of the main purposes of a successful life.

Checkout any college town and you'll find, in every one, an intangible vitality. Vitality is a commodity severely lacking in Pottstown. MCCC is in the business of learning : expanding one's self, casting off the dreaded prejudices of ignorance, and, not only finding new horizons, but ascending them to look for those unscaled horizons beyond. 

I suggest Mosaic Lands Trust or any other entity in the  borough form a committee to press MCCC to meet with them to explore a more interactive relationship between the entities. Yes, I know there has been a good synergy between the borough and the college but most of that has involved the transfer of property. There is something more than tangibles at stake here. The life blood of Pottstown has essentially been drawn from herself and she needs, in my mind, a transfusion. 

It takes people of divergent interests to come together and discuss what each could possibly do for the other.  "Hitching Pottstown's Wagon To A Star" would be another positive step forward and forward is the only direction we should take.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, November 2, 2013

It All Depends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ronald. C. Downie

Friday, November 1, 2013

Changing Players

Earlier in the year the Washington Nationals gave their city some hope that something good would come out of them playing there. It didn't materialize, just as many hopes fail, but Washington is a city ripe for failure. It is the seat of our federal government when it's open for business ; it's a joke in the Capitals of the World when some legislators shut Washington down. 

The Nationals rely on their ability to play baseball but, how they play, is registered in the statistics compiled for them as individuals and collectively as a team. Our legislators play a different kind of game. They rely on their ability to ignore the oath they took before they inhabit the office they won in the election. 

Legislators still seem able to count, at least, they add their names to straight party votes. Votes are recorded so the general public should know who voted for what. But most votes that affect constituents' interest are hidden from them in the rhetoric of local politicians propaganda. Through the privilege of franking they swamp mailboxes near election time while using telephone Town Halls the rest of the year to press their issues, whether true or hyped. 

Yet, there is a set of statistics that really matters to politicians and voters, but should also, especially, matter to you. It is the the set of numbers that tells the public just how the country views the work of each branch of government. The latest poll, post shutdown of the federal government, shows a sharp decline in the publics opinion of congress's work. The numbers indicate that the country feels congress's ability to perform the job each member was voted in office to do has not been met. Their favorable rating is trending down below 20% and in some cases approaching 10%. 

Certainly no baseball team, not even the Nationals, could play with players who had such little success as our congressmen have. Why in the World should "we the public" have to ? We, the rightful owners of our government, have as much right to hire new players to run our government as does the owner of the Nationals has the right to hire new players to take the field for him. 

Next year, 2014, after the Nationals pickup a few players they'll figure on being more competitive. Next year, after the elections when we throw the "bums" out of office, the country should have a chance to have a more responsive government from our new group of legislators. 

Our responsibility is to use the ballot box in the way it was intended : in a democratic society the power rests with the public through the use of one man one vote rule. Within your reach, through the use of the right to vote, is a chance to change the players who run our government. Use it properly or you waste it !

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Look On My Life

I'm moving into my 79th year of life on this planet and, with that, some lifetime milestones seem now attainable; such as, my wife and I will be married for 50 years in the spring of 2014; also, in the spring we'll have lived in our north end home for forty of our fifty years of marriage. 

Brought to Pottstown as an infant of six months old in year of my birth,1935, by my parents who moved to Pottstown when my Dad got a job as a draftsman at the Bethlehem Steel Company; I have lived the rest of my life in or around Pottstown.

I'm retired from the landscape nursery business, my lifetime profession, but retirement, for me, is not what I had imagined it to be. It's not a cross country trip in a convertible with wind through the hair, or a World Wide Cruise bellying up to a buffet after buffet. Mine is something quite different.

My home of nearly forty years, instead of being a godsend, has become as a drag wrapped around my neck. This drag is property taxes, taxes that are increased almost yearly for public education. I believe in education fully. I am a product of the Pottstown School System, in fact, I'm an Alumni Honor Roll Recipient. 

I am, though, completely opposed to property taxation to raise money for education, rather, I recommend a more broad based tax that is equalized across the state. Retirees, like me, have little means to raise extra money to pay for increases in property taxes. This quandary results in elderly's flight to adult living somewhere else other than their homesteads where, except for taxes, living costs are lower. 

I understand our state legislators are talking about a change in the property tax law. We need to put the pressure on our elected officials to get this job done, done effectively and finally. We retirees have a declining voice in legislative action, but, some of us think and take time to make our thoughts heard. Please become one of those with a loud voice!

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Beyond The Senses

Clambering for acceptance,
Mediocrity cast, bogged down,
Not understanding why I am
So serious while the World
Wallers in its superficiality.

Is my life a drama or a dirge ?
Can I accept universal song ?
May I see nirvana in the arts ?
Will I, the painter's eye, perceive ?
Is this me or is it a mirror of me ?

Ankles swelled, strong hands shriveled,
Eyes sight hindered clouded with tears,
More gum, not white what's left in tact,
Like Spanish Moss grey, less head hair,
Dropped chest rests like a flat tire,
Hobbling's more than a pain in my ass.

No longer pungent are tasteful smells. 
Where did my fine feeling fingers fly ?
Horizons, once sharp, bleed as if misty.
Guttural rumblings mute my Earth's Song,
Flavors of a bountiful table have escaped.
Post-eternity looms as an indomitable spirit.

Value an acceptance of yourself
Within the boundaries that society
Permits you of being the roll model. 
Be yourself, not that method actor,
Slipping on and off center stage.
With issues grapple, high goals climb.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sonnet - Neighbor Talkers

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

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

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

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

Ronald C. Downie 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Women's Voices Needed

"She can't change water into wine; instead
She fashions sweet milk out of her own blood."
A.E. Stallings, "First Miracle"

In this the last couplet of her ten line poem, Ms. Stallings sings out words which vibrate in my mind as an anthem loud and clear that could be adopted by today's women's movement. Sweet milk out of blood is unique only to the female gender as is the birthing of both female and male offspring. Where and when did the idea of male supremacy creep into the story of humankind ? Was body mass trumping maternity ?

Passed down orally for untold millennia the Story Of Genesis was finally written down by scribes for future generations to read and further disseminate. From a female's perspective, through Eve, women got off to a bleak start. Conceived of one of Adam's ribs, Eve consorted with the Devil, imaged as a serpent, to get Adam to eat of the fruit from the Tree Of Knowledge Of Good And Evil. Purportedly God had mandated the eating of this fruit would result in a dire penalty, the banishment from this glorious Garden Of Eden. 

Poor Eve, as men conceived human history, was just a portion of a man, Adam's rib, and was from inception already flawed, she being easily influenced by God's nemesis, the Devil. Let history continue its detailing of the trials and tribulations which females have endured throughout the ages. Look at church doctrine that subjugated women into a minority roll even continuing on until today. Examine their roll in governing, their toil in daily securing such a thing so basic as water. Think of all the women in this World who must cover up due to male made laws. Who labeled women as harlots, as witches, as chattel to be traded freely in Man's World ?

I don't read many articles locally written about how a women's roll in today's society functions. Are local women satisfied with their pay scale, with the tone of political rhetoric, and with stories of female inferiority ? Do local women empathize with national unrest stirring under the surface of male/female relationships ? I don't know the answers because I don't read any writings on this subject.

A.E. Stallings begins her poem, First Miracle, with this couplet :
"Her body like a pomegranate torn
Wide open, somehow bears what must be born,"

Look the poem up, it's worth the trouble.

Press women to get involved in the political process, in their destiny may be the salvation for the World.

Ronald C. Downie


Thursday, October 24, 2013


Memory is blurred leaded colored windows -
Life peers through -

Not bright stained glass pieces placed -
In view of the pew -

Artful are the beliefs there told to us -
By a few -

Figments of the mind, when not true -
Must be dreamt anew.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This Day

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

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

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

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

Ronald C . Downie      

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Contrary to a popular notion, that
A person like me is indispensable,
I'd like to put this thought to rest.

My willingness to write is quite commendable ;
My ability to write may be truly questionable ;
But, on and on I go, writing words of valued trash.

I question authority without due cause,
I refuse to listen to reasonable chatter.
I am an icon of an ineffective communicator.

Those like me are seen daily on Facebook,
Always posting their image, good or better,
They feel images are better than new ideas.

Impervious to reticule, their facial expression
Shows they're the real deal, truth exudes.
All's alive, not from information, but by photos. 

Narcissistic are our own Daphne's and Adonis' 
Capturing their faces, not in pools, but on line.
Angelic are spirits of the super self important.

There I go again - King of the Hill - that's me,
Over stuffed, overly old, too unimportantly brash.
Don't listen to me, I am really inconsequential.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, October 21, 2013

Follow The Money Trail

Follow the Money Trail

Do you see, as I do ? It is the prostitution for more money in their personal bank accounts, which most congress persons lust for, that drives the current insanity in Washington,DC.

They're worried about being challenged in a primary by someone supposedly from their same party. If so, they may lose their lucrative jobs. Jobs which lock them into the money pits of political influence. Also, into the pipe lines, after legislating properly, the sale of  their body of influence that takes them into the dark side of lobbying. Legislators have an eye on their future earnings which wags their tail rather than truly legislating for and of the people - us.

Following the money trail is one of best ways voters have to evaluate their legislators. But, too often, the individual person has little if any means of doing an
in-depth investigation. With the demise of investigative reporters due to the parallel demise of print media, where does a person go for honest reporting ? Difficult as it seems, it is still incumbent upon a responsible electorate to seek out truth and weed it free of partisan  bull .... . Follow the money trail !

Ronald C. Downie

Health of the Herd

Health of the Herd Known well in the veterinary field of medicine is the concept of "the health of the herd". Long's been the idea that true good health, that which needs to come to each of us individually, must also flow over to become the health for all or for the total health of the herd. Modern medicine for humans has never adopted the herd concept in its teachings, even though, we live more and more and are affected more and more by  herd tendencies. We crowd into cities, congregate in huge stadiums, and commingle with one another in groups oblivious to a multitude of germs and viruses.  It's no wonder that portions of our society get the flu in mass or come down with some uncontrollable disease that's not killed by modern antibiotics. We the people are subject to obesity as a society mainly due to the hype over the years of huge food companies. They bank on people consuming more food because foods that they produce are loaded with sugars and fats. These are the opiates that drive people to eat in excess and it's this excess which drives up the weight that results in obesity.  As a result, extra weight on people translates into diabetes, heart problems, and all the maladies that extra weight puts on a person's mobility. An immobile society is problematic one. It seems, all problems become exaggerated in an obese society.  Doesn't our government have an enormous responsibility to its constituents to rail against those forces which want obesity to continue ? Government needs to think of "the health of the herd" when it addresses the total health of its citizens. Clean air, water, and soil are the backbone of bodily heath; freedom from fear while living in an educated country is the basis for good mental health. Again, "We The People" deserve an educated healthcare system second to none in the World. Remember, excellent health care for the rich, when averaged out with poor health care for the many, does not equate to fair health care for the country. Ronald C. Downie


Ignorance Eating from a trough full of fresh slop of modern dogma, seasoned with white supremacy marinated  by years of black subjugation, are immature brutes who thrill to the anguished cords of ignorance.


Frogs 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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In Our Time

In Our Time

America's version of a suicide bomber, in the USA we call them proponents of a NRA culture, kills twelve in Washington, DC. at a Naval complex. The killer was himself killed, and killed by a gun in the hands of a police officer. You know in your heart, the killer realized before he carried his guns into the complex that he would not live past that day. This was the day he decided to commit suicide.

Americans don't strap explosives around their waists as third world crazies do to create mayhem. Our prime means of mayhem continues to be found in the almighty right to carry concealed weapons, and in someways this seems similar to what third world crazies do.

I understand, though, that guns and ammunition do not mix very well. It's been reported that every gun, either displayed or carried at a gun show, must be unloaded and verified unloaded under a penalty of expulsion and other sanctions. Organizers are beginning to understand that massed people and loaded guns are a bad prescription which could lead to mayhem.

Suicide bombers, to a greater extent, target market places where a large number of unsuspecting women and children are caught in the explosion. Here in the states our mass murders seem more selective in their victims by targeting certain segments of the populous just to satisfy some incoherent whim. The bombers may be, in fact, zealots ; whereas, our killers seem to be just truly demented.

Little in life could justify either way of crazed killing. Is our World but a jungle where beasts are being conceived to run wild ? Just because all societies once were tribal, so this is why people can't live together without century old feuds resurfacing ? Am I to think religion has let us down, government also ? Has the worship of moneyed wealth perverted humankind ? I ask.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reunion Revisited

Reunion Revisited

Surviving a pole dance by the most colorful classmate, insured our reunion afternoon of certainly being one of the most memorable on record. Now don't let your mind run away with some sultry image, something I'd wish to find in a rocker's bar. Rather, it was our youngest at heart male member, Captan Jack, who was the dancer, and for the part, was dressed just right in his short shorts.

Chris Poje, a rarely found very good singer, provided the entertainment and brought out the best in Jack's dancing. I commented to my table mates, that I'd get a mime to entertain us so conversations could continue through the entertainment, if I were were in charge. Isn't the idea of reunion to be that of renewing associations with people who we have been separated from for a long period of time ? Reconnection seems best renewed by speaking with those long separated, in stead of, concentrating on entertainment bought and paid for.

I doubt if anyone in my class will be reading this. Knowing this, I can offend without being offensive since "out of sight, means out of mind". I would assign seats from the get go, then at each half hour, everyone would be asked to move and continue that process throughout the duration. Moving from table to table forces everyone to see each other, rather than, from a glance around the room to a somewhat more intimate connection. A connection, granted, that may be more than any closeness that happened even in school.

A dud, like me, would benefit from this experience. From living outside of town and some strain in my family's affairs, I rarely involved myself in school activities, to the extent of, even not attending my graduation. Maybe, that's why I've over compensated by being so active in the affairs of Pottstown. I've been President of many organizations, school board member, two term borough council, eight years borough authority, one of three class members who were voted as Pottstown Alumni honor roll recipients,
and have had an Amphitheater at Riverfront Park named in my honor noted by means of a bronze plaque attached to a stone which sets there.

The boy I was in school is not the man I've turned out to be in my intervening years. I'm sure many others have experienced similar epiphanies unknown to them during their school years. Because I've become relatively immobile, I don't move around a room on my own volition, in fact, I rarely go out much at all. I must come across as aloof just as I was in school, surely I was acknowledged then as a football player, but for little else. How am I to alter my image in later life if not given a chance to BS a captured audience ? Most likely death will get me or them before we get together again so that I may read my poetry to classmates in the tradition of Mr.Gable or Miss M. Ludwig.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sonnet : Lashed Together

Sonnet : Lashed Together

When rolling swells from humanity's wake
Rocks life's boats, tethered safely at ready.
Sailors seek rising tides for sailing's sake
As Moon mass draws up sea waters steady:

They look to stars and charts to map the way
Off shoals, between buoys marking channels.
Seeking guidance demands society's say
About normal living, choosing panels:

Panels representing will of people
Who, when lashed together, become stronger,
As bricks and mortar raise up a steeple
To tower cities with shadows longer.

Bundling sticks together will give them strength,
But, bundling thoughts takes wisdom its full length.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sonnet : Writing's My Play

Sonnet : 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


Wednesday, September 11, 2013



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

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

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

Young ones grow up so swiftly it seems
They far surpass a grandfather's dreams,
Nourished with good food and proper drink
Strength in muscles, brain matter to think.

Up, up you tangled climbers grow
Wrap and hug entwined you'll go.
Taller the host, higher you'll climb,
Slow and steady, in Nature's time.

They, their beginning, me nearing my end,
Good life awaits them, engaging, a friend.
The Universe is their stage, like -"Glory Be" -
However vines grow they are an honor to me.

Ronald C . Downie

The Posted Poet: 9-11

The Posted Poet: 9-11:                    9-11                                                 September 11, 2001 -Another Date Which Will Live In Infamy- The ...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ronald A. Downie

Ronald A. Downie

A little damp from dew, but deep green,
When the small army of golfers tee up.
Mowers and groomers at work already
Before dim daylight fully breaks brightly.

Players armed with back packs of clubs
Assemble in spite of last night's lateness.
Still, they think, they're in their prime time
Since they're captured, caught in hopes.

Of the old school, our son's one of those soldiers
Who makes his mark by golf stoke or loud voice.
Crushes his drive, as he pin points his irons,
His putting, he contends, is a thing of beauty.

Ageless are combatants who fumble score cards
Before they calculate the distance needing to hit,
Before they contend with ball flight destination,
Before their ageless aching back disrupts a swing.

But, it's the grand leveling act born of score card
Comparison, at the 19th hole, where dreams collapse.
From the quiet of hardly whispering during a putt,
To now, when the bravado of shout echoes so loud,

And fermentation found in bottles soothes their lips.
Bound, as they've become, competition ties the knot
As sports has done for many passing generations.
It is still, the thrill of success, that counts for duffers.

Their mantra : hit the ball long and hit it straight, but don't hit the wee, white ball so often. Putts do count.
From hollows to hills, from in sand to on greens, we hear them bellow loud their thrills and sad agonies.

Well Ronald, our son, these words are for you on your Birthday in this beautiful part of September, 2013.
Some times we need diversion from the scares of life so we can keep on trudging up the cold, dank road.

With All Our Love,
Happy Birthday !
Mom and Dad

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Connor At A Birthday

Connor At A Birthday

Fertile fields are early tilled and fed,
Then sown with proper seeds of grain,
Stalks yellow, heads of grain mature,
It's late summer, harvest's in the fall.

Stone grinding creates the baking flour
Long used as staple for country tables.
A little moisture, a pinch of leavening,
Then intermittent kneading and resting,

Into loaves mounded by tender strong hands,
Oven bound, hard crust a result of misting.
Left awhile in hot stove heat, smell enveloping.
"The Staff Of Life" drawn from far fertile fields.

A family's somewhat like a warm loaf of sweet bread :
Satisfying, if all the components work in unison;
Not so, if the grain turns moldy or too little leavening.
Sweet bread has graced family tables for millenniums.

Every member of a family has their own recipe,
A little more of this, a little less of that, a pinch ... .
Each must be allowed to formulate their own self
From the fields plowed for eons by earthly others.

Those constants remain, we all build on old recipes;
We all harvest from ancient fields, we expect results.
Some breads are difficult to digest, some ignore them.
There may be times, any bread is better than none.

Connor, living is not as simple as bread making, but
Life takes just as much kneading and rising, it takes
Periods of rest for the ingredients to meld together,
It takes proper heat and time for sweet bread's baking.

Connor, you are blessed with youth and a lifetime of
Adventure before you. You too will plow fertile fields,
You'll sow fertile seeds, you'll grind hearty flour and,
Also, you will prepare your table to serve sweet bread.

May you, on this remembrance of your Birthday,
Have all that's necessary for a meaningful life of your
Own choosing. Be the Master of your special ship,
And keeper of your own recipe for sweet breads.

May our differences be swept away with time -
May you make a contribution in life's direction -
May you harvest grain from fertile fields -
May you be our family's baker of choice.

With Love,
Happy Birthday !
Nanny & Pop Pop

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Growing Old

Growing Old

I'm wanting in pity, lax in sorrow, lethargic in apologies so why do I think I have something to offer a reading public. Readers, who abhor writers like this, desire to watch them fail, to see them twist in the wind, and watch them trip over their own words. Shame on me.

But, my readers are few and far between and, those I have, though quite sparse, are probably rather loyal. Even, that these personal charges I level at myself are untrue, I labor under their delusions. Truth is, it's a bedeviling, unnecessary crutch for a writer to be introspective since he works in con cocked imagery quite independent of, or with, the facts.

I mainly write poems which, I suggest, are more sermon like than they are poetic in the traditional sense. Too early old, too late smart has essentially caught up with me.

The modern poet, though, as I read their poems in the Poetry magazine, come across quite oblique in words and structure. Seems to me, they closet their thoughts in some lockbox which opens only to a fraternal few. I'm not one of these disciples, but only an old bloke who pokes away one fingered on an original IPad with a smile on my face every day, just because I've wakened in the morning.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tasting Wine

Tasting Wine

Oft on a starry, starry night, I pause to
Think about the poem I'm apt to write.

Not so fast, a few words, simple it seems.
But, it just isn't so simple, it's quite troubling.

When you write you leave somethings of yourself
Behind, each or both, your heart, or your soul.

Crunching words and phrases which echo thoughts
May seem easy, but it is not, it is quite difficult.

The reading of combined words is a challenge;
A challenge worth the effort, a time well spent.

Introspection draws effect from the inner self
In ways that today seems much less important

Than yesterday. A day, which seems to linger on
As wine in a barrel does, forever aging, mellowing.

Today's juice will always intensify sharpness
In ways the sour of fresh cheep wine, tastes.

Take now. I am struggling to write on in ways
I would like to be able to freely express myself

With garbled words, of those who write, use.
Words lay around like dead fish on an old dock.

Many size and species of the sea passes over
The smooth surface slippery now from its use.

Harvested or not the oceans continue to pulsate
In their own good time, not too different, from ours.

In verse form is the prose of my intellectual being.

Ronald C. Downie


Thursday, September 5, 2013



Insult wounded, my character's impinged
By the pervasive ignorance of class.
Without wealth, persons are deemed inferior,
No matter their accomplishments or pride :

True grit begins by lifting sleepy heads,
Drawn from deep contented sleep, alertness.
Light brightens pigments, breezes carry sounds,
Heart rate rises, lungs draw more oxygen :

Up and out into the concrete jungle.
Of women born, as is all young conceived.
Field level, but birth right looms very large,
Ancestral wealth demands its tilt, its place.

Upon the bed of death, leveling stirs ;
Huge casket or none, flesh to dust, occurs.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sonnet : Trial And Error

Sonnet : Trial And Error

When in the surge of history, we brace
Against the breadth of inane ignorance,
Which permeates those persons seeking grace
From worship, instead of, perseverance:

Then the tide swings toward understanding
Limits of man's faith in a modern world.
Scribes write their definition of meaning,
Describing the shackles, flags are unfurled:

And then, the inquisitive seek science
As it builds upon trial and error,
With preponderance on thought not seance,
"This I Believe" just's a broken mirror.

Faith's failure leaves many disconsolate,
Though science, may they all repatriate.

Ronald C Downie

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sonnet : Resolve

Sonnet : Resolve

"When in the course of human events", do we stray
Or remain in a direction that speaks to our resolve ?
Is making a mark in life, resolve? What is the way?
Ancestry commands that all its strengths must evolve :

Then, from the fringes into the middle, a line's struck
Marking the optimum course to achieve desired goal.
Familiarity captains ship, reads charts, exudes luck,
All the while the groove is ground etching the soul :

And then, the die being cast, you put your shoulder
To the task ahead committing yourself into action,
Finally realizing, an unexamined life's not only bolder,
But one swinging widely poised to gain more traction.

Life marked to succeed, by person's true grit, gathers
Many followers. Desire to win, with a winner, matters.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sonnet : "It Is What It Is"

Sonnet : "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

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Modern Sonnet

The Modern Sonnet

These days the sonnet has taken on a modern perspective; unlike in the days of Shakespeare when sonnets spoke mostly of love in all its particulars, sonnets written these days are capturing every aspect of life and thought.

They're written with a rhyming fourteen line scheme and swagger to foot and meter. But, the true beauty of the modern sonnet lies in the shortness of its length, about a minute in time to read a standard one.

These days poets are promoting their books by this notion of shortness, calling them, an hour of verse. Sixty poems at a minute each creates an hour of reading if done with no interruptions, that's the hook. Who would read a poem just by mouthing written words ? Sonnets are as addictive as most other types of written verse; they too draw the reader in to read again, to capture a reader's mental state, to pause and reflect a proposition the author presents.

Authors are not fools neither are publishers. They know purchasers of poetry books are looking for writings that have a chance to jog their minds and titillate their emotions. The sonnet tries to do this in only sixty seconds, at least this, in a quick read.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sonnet : Only Knowledge

Sonnet : Only Knowledge

When looking into the mirror of hope,
I find far too many so deep in despair
Who willingly slough off a need to cope,
Leaving them vulnerable, requiring care :

Will it be some epiphany that grabs the scene ?
Without something like that, what's then ?
Do spots disappear, stripes fade, does fat lien ?
From nagging disappointments, hope comes when ?

Realizing a personal attitude becomes the key
To unlocking the potential energy pent up now
Awaiting release. Learning wisdom's wise old plea,
"Only knowledge sets Man free", showing him how.

History records, rewrites episodes sad or proud ;
While shunning facts, destiny floats on as a cloud.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Message

A message given to a grandson upon his birthday with a wish that he understands the linage he has become a mainstay of. The World waits for his entry.

Follow The Thread

From the stock, of the stock, from so far back ;
Hunter Gatherers, they all were back then.
Before husbandry, before dirt farmers,
Before herders, before creative freemen,

Titanic their struggle compared to ours.
Blood and death, survival, so commonplace
Was their theme, reaching long from then to now,
Discounting gender, color, any which race.

You, me, your friends their long threads are in place
Knotted, over and over, linking each
Back, unbroken, but stretched, so stretched
Through millenniums: forests, fields, and beach.

Today, you are the keeper of the thread
That links family to eternity.
It is safe in your trust, integrity must
Carry the day, life's grand fraternity.

Proud but humbly, in you, we have faith
No matter what road signs impede and block.
Safely entrusted, banners bright, wind torn,
Unfurled, marks your journey, voicing the talk.

You are not alone, but of a special
Generation, one poised to move the Earth
Away from crippling decay. We honor
Your understanding for reasons of birth.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, August 22, 2013



Has the Occupy movement just dried up, ready to blow away into lost memory, or is its strength reconstituting underground, remaking itself into a new formidable power, ready again to challenge the wide World ?

Sonnet : Into The Lamp Of History

When, onto the streets the massed disavowed march
From their "Occupy" camps into the lamp of history,
Their's is of every walk of life who carry the torch.
They make daily toil tribute to their work's mastery:

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

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

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

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back To School

Back To School

Back to school rings sadly for many young,
Even the students in the Great Northeast.
While others, realizing gaining knowledge
Is a nobel endeavor, want return.
I was one of those caught in the middle.

For me, the lure of the story held sway,
Coming in class, more then when out playing.
School spoke to my desire for structured time,
Far too often, time off, brought disarray.
I was one to be quickly dissuaded.

We lived halfway : not farmers, not in town.
Always had a garden so we ate well.
Picked berries, in season grabbed fruit,
Thankfully took hand outs from our neighbors.
I wasn't special, just normal for the time.

My close buddies and I did all we could
Within walking distance : play sports, work, lounge.
As the opportunity arose, we -
"A Band Of Brothers" - accepted our role.
I never felt rebuff, but disappointments.

Which we shrugged off and went on with life.
Our youth was just like a roller coaster,
Up and down, around a corner, then stop.
We tried most everything: some wins, some not.
I bet, not keeping score, our saving grace.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Do I Have Your Ear ?

Do I Have Your Ear ?

I don't get away from my house too much, maybe once a week, but especially when I have a Doctor's appointment. Then, my wife, Connie, drives me around Pottstown so I get to see some of the changes being undertaken by town citizens and the borough itself. So, I get a birds eye view of town about every two months, this way, small continuous changes become readily evident and more memorable.

But, also evident and more memorable, are things which which should have changed but haven't. One that's so obvious and, which if not done, will create financial harm to many Pottstown residents and still this has not been addressed.

The Manatawny Creek has been prone to flood over its recorded history. It has a finite space for the stream, under normal weather conditions, to flow under the King Street Bridge on its path to merge with the river further south. Calculations for the bridge construction included the amount of anticipated water flow that could move under the bridge without building waters up stream, therefore, flooding Manatawny Street and adjacent properties.

If it has happened before, you can be sure it will happen again!

Silt has washed down stream and deposited below and above the bridge reducing the flow of water that could move under the bridge in any abnormal rain event. Adding insult to injury is the fact, that not only has silt built up but in that silt, trees and vegetation have germinated. These growing plants anchor them selves together and form a permanent barrier, they are islands in the making.

The Borough of Pottstown must remove these islands from the Manatawny Creek as soon as possible. This is so obvious its apparent need may be overlooked, something like, "not seeing the trees for the woods".
I'm sure there'll be appeals to the county and the state for them to address the problem of potential flooding.

Fleeting away is the time needed for correction, although, our weather has no set time table. A flooding deluge could come next week, next month, or next year, but come it will. Have you watched films on television depicting the terrible results from flooding around the World which someday will happen here ?

I hope we do more than give this potential problem a shrug and a nod. Benign neglect is the worse answer Pottstown could give its citizens.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sad Note

Sad Note

A grand old Elm Tree seems to have just succumbed to the dreaded Dutch Elm disease. A tree which was probably living when our country was at war with itself during the Civil War. A tree that defied all the rules of long life but lived it anyway; that saw much of our Town's history but couldn't write or speak about it, this Elm experienced it all.

Growing on Hanover Street just north of Second Street this Elm grew in the front yard of what used to be the Swavely Home, where Orb Swavely last lived. I speculate it, along with a Red Oak tree, were planted, most likely, prior to the start of the 20th Century. They survived in spite of the smallness of the front yard they were planted in with buildings, and sidewalk, and Hanover Street so close.

Finally, when this Elm Tree is cut down, some smart students should get a cross section cut from the lower trunk and have a project of counting its rings so its age can be determined and certified.

There is an old saying,"when any person dies, a little is lost from from each of us". For me, someone who planted trees for a living during my active working years, I carry this sentiment over from humans to the plant world. My feelings are expansive.

When you drive on Hanover Street give a nod of your head to the now leafless grand old tree which has bowed finally to the scourge of disease, probably, the Dutch Elm Disease. This disease, in my mind, is similar to some form of cancer in humans, and, like cancer, must be eradicated from this Earth.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, August 16, 2013

Dry Toast

Dry Toast

Unarmed and fearless, passive, not thinking,
We jump on every cockamamy scheme
Politicians have the gaul to project.
Who is unstable ? Are we or are they ?

An electorate that's illiterate,
Or worse, unconcerned is very troubling.
Societies have withstood ignorance
But crush under the weight of not caring.

(Gran'Pa Downie left this timeless message :

"Ronald, do you want marmalade on your toast ?"
I loved sweet spreads on my warm morning toast.

I replied, "I don't care !" He passed me dry toast,
Saying, "If you don't care, I don't care."
Following up, he said, "All the more left for me."

Over the years, this harsh message hit home.
Not caring is just not acceptable ! )

Caring is a quite active exercise
Requiring a minimum of raw
Intelligence plus desire to commit.
It stirs emotion, effects an action.

My young attitude of just not caring
Is amplified more then a million fold
When a whole society adopts it.
Its malaise easily permeates all.

Knowing this is a politicians job.
Their industry's to stroke the ignorant,
Romance the rest, don't stir the non caring.
Deception's their artful work endeavor.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, August 15, 2013

It All Depends

It All Depends

It all depends upon, Henny Penny's sky falling,
And Jacques Cousteau's blue oceans swelling ;

Depends upon, The Rolling Stones' songs playing,
Guardian Angles' protection finds safety amazing ;

Upon, John Updike past his Endpoint, again rising,
Evan Brandt penning each story his Dad's not writing;

The Mercury attending to the poor's needs unending,
And leaders in Washington their ignorance extending;

It all depends upon, the morning sun clearly rising
In a dedicated arc across our sky its energy giving;

Depends upon, grandsons picking up batons dropping,
Left over from attempts to keep live music rocking;

Upon, the fingers at their instruments still plucking,
Viewing the World from a lens in need of adjusting;

Within you, trees feel at ease, grasslands swaying,
Gardens seek your pleasure, soil rich for playing.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sonnet : Gain Mastery

Sonnet : 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, birth new seeds :

Then, fresh generations gain the wheel,
Trims the sails, set the compass to steer
Vessel into clear waters. Then they 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 this sort,
Wishing for a more perfect union, to inherit.

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

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Art Of Listening

Sonnet : The Art Of Listening

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

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

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

Lost is the "Art Of Listening" basic to Earth as sod,
But, grown so closely, are we just "Pees In A Pod"?

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sonnet : My Body Of Work

Sonnet : My Body Of Work

When my finger becomes a stump from pecking away
On my iPad, with just the right hand pointing one ;
I look at my body of work, shrug my shoulders, pray
That I'm not as lame in ability as thought by some :

Then gathering myself, I think, "What The Sam Hell"
Am I doing out in this arena of original thought ?
Me, a boy of the soil, with pulsating words to tell
Audiences about education's purpose, as it's taught :

And then, a Scottish Highland stubbornness invades
My innards and rescues an inbred arrogance for life.
If not me, who the hell will write of grand parades,
Of awakening flowers, children, theirs, and my wife ?

However menial the task, it's the full effort given
Which measures a person's metal, sung by the liven.

Ronald C. Downie