Thursday, May 30, 2013

Golden And Great

Golden And Great

What bridges the living with the spirit world
Was answered today in a highly visible form.
Majestically over our Schuylkill River Valley
On strong feathered wings which tightly tethers
Rising drafts - up, up, up, - spiraling to sightless heights,

A noble Golden Eagle winged over us today .
Sir Eagle has a range so far and so vast,
Soaring, gliding, effortlessly on golden wings
Brushes Heaven's gate . So sharp its eyes which
Views all the lands and all inhabitants found there .

For eons, what are the tales, the hallowed stories ;
Songs of the aboriginal native sung to tribal drums ?
The unified dance around tribal fires sending embers aloft ?
The quest for tail feathers to adorn a magnificent head dress ?

As a badge of honor, a scepter, the feather's connected to the Gods,
Granting the possessor any wish he desired from the great beyond .
Passing over unknown to all of us, a mere speck in the high sky,
An Eagle touches many people without their knowledge, as would,
A thought, an idea, a premonition, an erie feeling, seeking escape .

A Great Golden Eagle, as does an undetected spirit, moves across
The high sky stealthily to the unobservant looking only ahead .
Dancing over the ground in a graceful ballet the great bird's shadow
Silently announces its presence in the sky above as a spirit may do .

Timeless, the grandeur of this magnificent bird is elevated by worship,
Which blurs the line dividing that of the living world from that of the spirit .

Ronald C . Downie

Monday, May 27, 2013

I Love A Parade

I Love A Parade

Late morning, long after sunrise lights the east,
Necks craning, the gathered peer up High street,
"Must have started, when will we see the lights?"
Every year brings a similar anticipation treat.

Police cars, lights actively rotating, lead
As spectator's expectation comes into view.
Slowly the cars carrying Chiefs and Captains
Roll at their lead pace. Parade's started true.

Patriotism and flowers with flags and music,
Join the deep rhythm of heel/toe marching
In straight lines, as our service men and women
Parade down High Street, uniformed backs arching.

Waiting, bands and pipers, military vehicles pass
To hands clapping in gratitude for their service,
Then a bevy of classic cars, there's yellow bikes,
And a grouping of motorcycles. Promoter's purpose

To satisfy all people by expressing their interests.
Beautiful as ever the Queen and her lovely court,
Bathed in sunshine, are perched high in convertibles.
Their's is the future accompanied by a male escort.

Like ants scurrying for a meal, volunteers work
The crowd for donations to fill collection buckets.
Vehicles, Fire Engines, shinning and grand, drivers
And volunteers are a Town's invaluable nuggets.

Year after year organizers give of their time
To bring smiles to faces both of young and old.
Curb lines filled with overflowing happy crowds,
Tell how good parades of old were. Stories told.

"I Love A Parade", the excitement of a crowd,
The music, the colors, the hubbub, the pageantry,
Humans becoming alive by expressing themselves.
I need a hat, where's that bucket for my ante ?

Independence Day, July 4, 1776 , Declaration Of
Independence signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
We observe with parades, picnics, and fireworks
But we must never forget the breadth of Sylvania.

"I Love A Parade !"

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fire And Brimstone

Fire And Brimstone

Blood red, wide and long, the front's moving east,
Accuweather got it right on, last night.
Huge from Binghamton, NY. through PA.
Clear down south well deep into Tennessee.

Climate change is affecting our weather
In stormy ways we're unfamiliar with.
Last night's front crossed half of the country
Leaving in its wake hail and downed trees.

It brought my early years back into focus :
Down Houck Road off of Harmonyville Road
Our house, with a wide front porch faced west,
Was just perfect to view storms moving east.

Often Mom would seek a deep, dark closet
To hide in but brother, Andy, and I,
Along with our Dad took to the front porch
To enjoy God's lightning, to hear him roar.

Around five fifteen as the wind picked up
I took to my front porch which faces west.
Not super intense, the forceful strong winds
Soon subsided while clouds thickened darkly.

Heavy rain developed blessing the greens
And flowers, trees and shrubs, grass and weeds.
A life cycle born of necessity,
Water is that heavenly elixir.

Our Earth is running out of fresh water
That can be drunk by plants and animals,
Including Man, who always demands more.
More to fill each desire, impossible !

"Water, water everywhere but not a
A drop to drink", a seafarer's chanty.
Man will have to desalinate salty
Water to just provide a minimum.

We must learn to farm thunder storms better
And not allow rain water to escape
Unused for Man's purposes, say, flushing.
The "Great Battle", control of grey water.

To change perception and change attitudes
Will take generations unless a vast
Calamity quickens Man's backwardness.
I hope you readers are futurists too !

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dream It

Dream It

A green open field awaits - an invitation,
Enter and look all around - an inspection,
Walk it , feel it , smell it - anticipation,
Dream it for life's destiny - a revelation.

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

Harvest all which you must
Return sustenance as trust.
The circle starts, as it ends
From a point, as do friends?

Dim light fades, turning we say goodbye,
Moving on, only to look back, with a sigh.
A dream ? Was it real ? Know, not I.
Surely your life's worthy of another try.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Three Legged Stool

The 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 to fire 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 a 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 institutes. I am encouraging stature, aptitude, and attitude to be our pillars, or if you will, our legs of the proverbial stool. Upright and solid, the tripod that can hold up a whole universe.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Reason For Being

A Reason For Being

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

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

What's the old adage ? "It's not the number of times you are knocked down, but, it is the number of times you get up, that counts."

* * *
Cry From Mid-Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ronald C . Downie

Friday, May 17, 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

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Look At Music - Listen To Art

Look At Music - Listen To Art

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

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

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

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

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

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Art Of Listening

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, May 13, 2013

The Jilted Suitor

The Jilted Suitor

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

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

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

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

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

Ronald C. Downie.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Last Hurrah

The Last Hurrah

When crippling becomes the coin of the realm,
When cane and walker ease some wiggly wobbles,
When a chair only substitutes for comfort in a bed,
When death creeps beyond all horizons of hope,
I challenge myself to keep writing, by plugging away;
Writing is cathartic, essentially cleansing, healthful.

I write for myself, as my number of followers, shows.

We organize our mind's eye, to envision, to synthesize
A subject so it unfolds for our own inward emotions :
As sure as waves embrace all shore lines, ebbing and
Flowing, with moon inspired tides, crashing or baying,
Oblivious to only, but Nature's Law. Our wants are left
On paper for all others to per rouse at their pleasure.

I write for more than myself. Readers are my targets.

Does an artist wish only his art to replicate his vision ?
Does a potter wish only his vessel carry cool water ?
Does a dancer wish only her movements to spin ?
Does a writer wish only his words to tell of the past ?
The human instinct is toward expansion, fulfillment of
The unique essence of continuous folds in the brain.

Why do I write ? Why do you read ? Who are we ?

I am compelled by an internal clock to record myself.
You are drawn to see my written thoughts exposed.
Mine is a must, yours is by chance, our's different.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Rememberance

A Remembrance

David Dewey Detar, Jr. will be laid to rest on Saturday, May 11, 2013 after 84 years of an eventful life lived.

I knew his father about the same year I knew of him, the son. Doctor Detar was the Pottstown School District doctor who examined any student wishing, like me, to participate in school sponsored sports. I was entering seventh grade and football was my longing. Doc gave me the usual physical which I passed.

Doc was someone special : he wrestled at Penn State in the 1920's at 135 pounds, was Intercollegiate and NCAA champ, and even went on to coach the Penn State squad in 1922-24. He scared Dad and me on Thanksgiving morning 1946. The morning drive to Downingtown took us on Rt. 113 south off of Rt. 100 which wound through the countryside finally going down a fairly steep grade with a large sweeping curve before the road leveled out in the valley. Traffic south was heavy on this two lane road and Dad was in line going slowly with the other cars when all of a sudden he calls out, "My God ! Who's this nut passing us ? He's going to get us all killed ! " You guessed it ! It was Doctor Detar in his big black sedan barreling to get to the game. He made it but we lost anyway.

So memorable in Pottstown school's history was the year 1946 ; the stadium was packed on game days with everyone wishing to see our Trojans go undefeated in football. The backfield tandem of Dave Detar and Deacon Reinhart captured everyone's imagination as the best in our school's history. I remember the WW2 jeep decked out in school colors which brought into the stadium a costumed Trojan accompanied by many wholesome cheerleaders. The spectators loved it. Pottstown went on to win that day but Downingtown was waiting in the wings for the inevitable Thanksgiving Day Game. Undefeated did not happen that year when the turkey day game was over.

Young Dave went on to West Point for four years, Deacon began a painting business which is continued today by his sons long after his death. I continued my education in Pottstown schools and played football six years there. A few times during these six years Doc Detar got me and a couple other players to work for him bringing in baled hay at the farm off Route 23 and later at a farm off Route 73 near Gilbertsville. In 1960 I went to work at Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and guess who was their company doctor, yes, it was Doc Detar.

Also working at Firestone was Dave Detar where we talked often as both of us were on salary and working in some official capacity. I was hired as a Statistical Quality Control Technician; Dave was a department manager over plant cleanliness maintenance and the grounds surrounding the complex. Around the mid 60's I was elevated to Dave's position and he was asked to develop a new position, that of a quality recognition manager who was to bring a sense of competition into the plant and create an awards program that honored the individual laborer. We shared an office on the lower level near the cafeteria so we saw each other on a daily basis for a few years until I left the firm in early 1969.

Over the intervening years we saw each other occasionally generally at public affairs since I was in business which took up most of my free time. For some time we lived within three blocks of another, and then for a time only one block until Dave and his wife Kitty moved out to the senior living complex on Manatawny St. I watched one of his girls on PCTV televise the junior swimming meets and a few times I went to his son, also a doctor as his grandfather was, for medical treatment of a minor problem. Dave's son, Scott, is a well respected Certified Public Accountant who heads up a regional firm.

Early on during my football career Pottstown teams went to football camp. One camp I remember vividly was when Dave Detar, while still at West Point, visited a practice session. By then at the Point he was playing on the line at guard and our coach, Herbert Meyers, asked Dave to show our linemen some college tactics.
When my turn came, Dave took an offensive line stance and I positioned myself as a defensive lineman.
At the snap count Dave fired off from his stance and with his forearm crushed my stomach in driving me backward and the shiver took my breath away That was a real learning day for me never to be forgotten.

To bring this remembrance to an end, follow this story line which tells of David Dewey's football career. Out of high school Dave's physical running ability was, by far, one of the best in the country. Most said, If he could stay healthy, no damage to his wheels (his legs), the country would forget about Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard the cream of West Point football. Detar , many believed, would reset the football records of past recipients of glory.

Football may vault a person into prominence but, far too often, when a person's limbs are in jeopardy, damage to those limbs can alter a career and nag that person for a lifetime. David Dewey Detar was caught up in a circumstance which damaged his legs beyond his bodily repair mechanism could correct. All sports emanates up from the legs, to excel, a player must have sound legs. What could have been, wasn't ; what was, nagged him into his grave. May he rest in peace !

Our Condolences:
Respectfully, Ronald & Connie Downie

Monday, May 6, 2013



A blast of golden light woke me today,
Early sunshine seems especially rich
Peeking below clouds on the horizon.
"Blue as blue can be" painted morning sky.

Unfolding leaves are still not summer green
Although more chlorophyll is daily made.
Maples most advanced nearly summer green;
Oaks pastel, pasty yellow green catkins.

Huge oaks pump out volumes of pollen drift
Covering cars in a pee green powder.
Oaks catch up, their girth, their height, not by chance.
Acorns attract squirrels, life's ardent champs.

Life lives not for color, but color lives
In each facet of live's crowning glory.
Color's intensity is proportionate
To day's ambient light's narrow shadows.

Green, though, becomes the the drape of day,
More and more pleasing, a meaningful way.
Up from plant roots chlorophyll seeks heaven
By bark straws as sap wicks green life's given.

A painter fills canvas after canvas
In a lifetime mixing pigment colors;
Nature fills the whole World's composition
In each pigment hue imaginable.

Who, pray tell, should we call Master Artist,
One with bottled pigments, one a grand scheme?
For inside, wall art's hung of good artists;
Outside, all pigments blend into colors.

May is the greatest monopolizer.
She draws heat from the Sun gaining sky heights,
She draws moisture from gathering storm clouds,
She delivers reality, hugs dreamers.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Gruber Legasy

The Gruber Legacy

When Edgewood wakes from winter's sleep
Her green grass growth measures ankle deep .
It is Spring, April is the queen of color's ball,
With lovely growing displays enjoyed by all .

Quick suck of air heaves out the chest
Accepting "uums" escapes with breath,
Atonement for bleak cold winter's wild
As pigment hues tweak our optic smile .

At bloom, flowering trees embrace each other
In a cotillion dance of bright confetti color .
Eye pleasures waltz across fields and glen
From nature's pallet are gifts to women, men .

Grand Marshal, Dogwood, draws all the raves,
Other dancers arrive while the symphony plays
Cords of color singing soft music to the heart .
Bless him, Edward, who planted trees for his art .

Ronald C. Downie

Edgewood was the name given to the Gruber Family Estate now a well recognized golf course, Bellewood. II

Friday, May 3, 2013

Wanted :

Wanted :

Boarder collies, not docile sheep,
Herders, not the herded ;

Posses, not the hotly pursued,
Runners after, rather than runners from ;

Leaders, not meek followers,
Out front, instead of holders back ;

Lookers in the box, not lookers out,
Progressives, not status quo duds ;

Thinkers, not dull song hummers,
Eureka makers, rather than iTuners ;

Winners, not sap faced losers,
Blue ribbon receivers, instead of also rans ;

You, not the guy behind the tree,
A reader of this stuff, not comic book fanatics.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Like A Jury

Like A Jury

When the weight of honesty bogs me down,
I pass judgement on our politicians,
Who, from each side of their mouths, speak untruths,
While evil intended money men laugh :

Then, the duped public : asleep, complacent,
Lulled into apathy, votes without thought.
They pander to slick adds of sleazy lines
Always skirting truths, garbage in - same out :

And then, with our country in peril, awake.
America has always moved forward
Like a jury collectively coming
Together to find the truth, dispel fears.

Lathered in a harsh fever oozing sweat
Political hacks die slow deaths, I bet.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Plumb Line

Plumb Line

When the line stretches taunt, perpendicular's set,
As the tapered pear like bob seeks Earth's heart.
Plumb is a desired need for any building plans met
To assure sturdy built structures from their start :

Then, if plumb, could skyscrapers rise as would Lego
Pieces quickly snapped in place by youngsters neat ?
Surely, foundations being set plumb allows the flow
Of upper stories safely built, above a busy street :

And then, we're comfortable building walls erect.
We think of those who plan the future giving hope.
You are that person we look at, it's you we select,
You will be there, always giving strength to cope.

Growing strong through tough times tempers each
To check plumb lines, go forward, ready to reach.

Ronald C. Downie