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