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