Wednesday, December 31, 2014


As Americans, we decide whether or not to live our lives in quiet desperation or live life on the thin edge of emotion. Passions are birthed out of the bubbling cauldron of emotions stocked full during our youth but, through time, diminish from the riggers of aging, as I have experienced, and which I try to describe by the meaning and intent of my words in the following poem.


Long in years,            
     when passions pout -

Old's seen change,   
     heard hymn and shout -

Wondering still,
     what life's about -

Fire in the belly,         
     long turned to gout -

Thin's in,                 
     so we shun the stout -

The long haired poet,           
     termed a lout -

His poetic wish,                 
     to shout it out -

Wisdom through thought,     
     to live without -

We are the lesser,          
     left yet in doubt -

Deep in years,       
     time when passions pout !

Ronald C.Downie.   

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Posted Poet: Basketball ConundrumsAnymore Christmas Day is a ...

The Posted Poet: Basketball Conundrums Anymore Christmas Day is a ...: Basketball Conundrums Anymore Christmas Day is a tribute to a winter sport, basketball. All day into the late of night, from tip off to la...
Basketball Conundrums

Anymore Christmas Day is a tribute to a winter sport, basketball. All day into the late of night, from tip off to last whistle, the games, one after another, go on and on. Notably was the Miami Heat verses the Cleveland Cavilers, LeBron James against his old team mate Dwayne Wade. 

For Philly fans who witnessed the 76ers last game against Miami earlier in the week probably figured this would be like a walk in the park for Cleveland and they would just pummel Miami. That's really what happened when the 76ers overcame a 23 point deficit in the third quarter and defeated Miami at the end, handily. It's tough to figure that an upstart Philly team could do something a true contender, Cleveland,  couldn't do. Professional sports take some amazing turns that even the wisest pundits could not predict. 

Well, the wobbly pundit that I am, won't watch the 76ers tonight, too late a start at 10PM. I'd love to, but I'll never keep my eyes open past 11 o'clock. Sunday I'll watch the swan song of our vaunted Eagles. That way I'll be able to holler at the talking heads who will be apologizing for the fall of another Philly team while forgetting losing is a generalization endemic to Philly teams. Someday, probably beyond my lifespan, Philly teams will repopulate with superior athletes and announcers will fadeaway, bringing on a more honest reporting, enabling Philadelphia to reach supremacy on their sports venue once again. I hope you'll be alive to witness this era.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sport Of Holidays

Unlike bygone years when Xmas holidays meant cutting down a tree over at the Christmas Tree Farm, acquiring the raw materials to make tree ornaments and presents, then finding time to accomplish both efforts. Today, in the hub bub of accelerated living, the only constant seems that more and more sports can be seen on television during Holiday Seasons. 

Another World Being arriving here on Earth for the first time could certainly think football, basketball, and soccer, maybe even ice hockey, were the main celebratory events scheduled around Earth man's holidays. They battle one another over roundish things, some inflated with common air so they can bounce, in order to excite an audience assembled to watch them. Far too often they punched each other when formal action slowed. They seemed to be of a brutal race willing to maim or be maimed just over a game played with a ball or a hunk of rubber. Humans are certainly a special type of earthlings, guess they could call them planetary humanoids. 

Replacing the religious aura surrounding our yearend holiday celebrations, sports seems to have filled the void in people's lives once dedicated to spiritual ritual.As the public ages, spirituality goes along with it, leaving the roar of a younger crowd supplanting the quiet of the temple for the elderly. The sight of graven images, a constant found throughout biblical teachings, has been transformed also into the din of the stadium.The masses can be drawn into most any folly especially when frenzy draws in many who normally would not let the crowds effect them. The herd mentality subtly takes hold of groups and dictates outcomes not often thought of; sort of, crossing the water by migrating herds while knowing there are crocodiles waiting in the water for a meal. Watch out for herders for they may draw you into following the crowd which could get you being a meal.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

As Love Grows

Unlike any other evening during a mid-week respite,
Early spring, actually April 22, Wednesday Evening,
Little bit later than we'd normally eat evening supper,
We arrived at Grace Lutheran Church, North Charlotte. 
Seven o'clock the ceremony began and's over quickly;
Back to the Chestnut Street homestead for finger food. 

Suit cases in the white Pontiac ready for New Hope, to
A motel on the hill, Connie's hair needs some attention.
Off to get a bite to eat before bedding down, morning's
Ready for day one, up river toward New York City's
World Fair. Short stop in Milford at Frederick Duckloe  
Furniture : two short backed benches, one tall chair.

Big Apple's in our sight, Taft Hotel is our destination.
Piano Bar for an evening nightcap suites us just fine.
For a full day at the fair, we follow the pressing crowd 
Toward the subway, climb on board, today accepts us.
Overwhelming, to just walk and look at all the pavilions,
What's most impressive ? That which lasts yet today.

Flushing Meadows, of tennis fame, retains the round 
Steel globe of our planet as a center focus yet today.
Memory brings 1964 back into my mind each US Open
Tournament when television cameras pan the grounds. 
As all trips, they're over before realizing it's happened,
Eventfully short was our honeymoon at a World's Fair.

Now, over a half century later, a wishful life continues
In spite of those trials and tribulations common to most.
Business wasn't really just growing and planting trees;
Rather, it's assuming debt without being subdued by it.
Connie, you handled the home front : house - children;
I wandered about : partnerships/ventures, but survived.

Together, down the path we'll continue to its endpoint, 
You assuming many jobs I once held, you're in charge.
Once our provider, I feel I've done what I could, I tried. 
Eventually our union will become dissolved, me gone,
But we'll live on through our children and grandchildren.
Marriage, honeymoon and family  products of our love.

With All My Love,
To My Wife,

* * *
The Downie's name lineage, Connie's and my children and grandchildren :

Evan, at MCCC, is just 21 this month; Casey, our oldest, at 25, are the children of Ronald, Connie's and my son, who is the youngest of our three children : Heather, Lia, and Ronald. 

Lily's pressing 15 years of age is at Daniel Boone High School, her brothers, Ian, 19, is at Rochester, New York, Institute of Technology and, Connor, 22, is at Catholic University, Washington DC. are our daughter Heather and James Kurtz's offsprings.

 Daughter, Heather graduated Penn State University and received a Masters Degree from Alvernia University a few years ago. Lia, a critical care nurse at Sarasota Florida Memorial Hospital, continues her pursuit of the preferred degree in her field. All grand -children will, are, or have attended college with Casey, our oldest granddaughter leading the way, she graduated Franklin & Marshall College a couple years ago. Today she works in the field of education.

Connie and I pride ourselves in realizing that the gaining of organized knowledge is one of the highest callings a person can receive. May learning never end, it is a life time adventure.

"Go forth and spread beauty and light."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What's The Future
The lid keeping despots from taking over the country seems to be coming loose. Individuals are showing their muscles, will they coalesce ?
Even Gandhi tried to promote non-aggression without success. He failed by giving up his life to a gun shooter's bullet, children die now !
Carnage is rampant not only throughout this World but it is apparent now in The USA, once thought of as a harbinger of safety and freedom.
Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Our "Go To" Guy, Evan Alexander Downie

Neither walking on water nor loaves into fishes,
Does our grandson, Evan; son Ronnie's, boy,
Accomplish. But, what  he does for grandparents, 
Connie and me, we feel is of similar significance.
Evan understands the subtle needs of aging adults :
We need a helping hand to do quite menial tasks.
From time to time, a smiling face coming in the door
Brightens a lackluster day with a look, a happy hello.

You, Evan, our work oriented grandson's birthday is 
Today. Twenty One is an eventful day, which with 
The tic of the clock, elevates you from youth to adult.
A Man, by law, requires you to always act responsibly. 

We're sure you understand how important your life is.
A desire to care for other people is a biblical calling,
It embodies the principal : "Do for the least of us as 
You have them do for yourself", self fulfilling prophecy.

You are discovering the difference between Needs and 
Wants : a Need is what's required to live life fruitfully,
Want is something you desire free from life sustaining. 
To fully appreciate each is an experience in adulthood.

Youthful jaunts are fleeting away in past memories ;
Adult journeys are tugging at you to be now started.
Each journey, we are told, starts with the first step,
Every building rises brick by brick, one after another. 

It is up to you, "go forth and spread beauty and light,"
Be a nimble warrior by warding off negative thoughts, 
Be a polished striker, soccer's of the feet and head.
You're the kind of person our World needs, good man.

Reward yourself with an education first, then travel
The World spreading your knowledge throughout it.
Your importance flows through your veins with ease,
Don't flaunt it, accept it. Your the man of this hour.

A good man is not alway easy to find, you need be 
Born for the job, for -"a job worth doing is a job worth 
Doing well"- "a good job is its own reward"- your date 
Of birth, your 21st is a starting point, Happy Birthday!!!

With All Our Love,

Monday, December 8, 2014


I just experienced a fall which didn't infirm me anymore than I've already been: on a walker shuffling along waiting for the inevitable to happen. A small throw rug buckled up and caught my foot as I was moving from my bed toward the adjacent bathroom. Quicker, than I ever could imagine, face forward I fell. The crash was heard by my wife, Connie, in the living room and she came post haste. There I was prone on my belly tangled up in my walker bleeding from a cut on toes of my right foot while, all the time, wondering how the hell was I going to get up. 

Once upon a time, I was considered quite a strong, powerful man who gained his prowess by working all his lifetime out of doors at physical labor. In my younger years I became tuned toward agility by playing organized sports both football and basketball. Today, two month from eighty years old, all that I had pushed into my body has withered away, gone forever. I now find myself on the floor bleeding trying to roll over to crawl to my bed and pull myself up on it. I couldn't do it!
I was unable even with Connie's help to pull myself up onto my bed. It's a harsh realization that a lifetime's strength has left you forever and you're now dependent upon others for your continued existence.

Connie called our son, Ronnie, who was a sleep having worked 11 to 7 at Dana. He arrived and surveyed the situation. From behind me he encircled my chest under my armpits with his arms and physically lifted me up and laid me on my bed. Thank goodness for a strong son ! There, Connie dressed my cuts and I tried to compose myself. The rug disappeared by the time I tried to shuffle out to the living room to resume a semblance of normal living. I'm somewhat conscious of moving more slowly now but I'm leery yet about what will be my final demise. Many oldsters die of complications from falls and I suspect I'm a good candidate to be one of these. My fervent hope is you will not be one of these, too. Take care !

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, December 5, 2014

Sherri Lynn

No more lilting melodies dream the senses
Alive, but when the beat, a drumming beat, 

Tickles both feet, dancing a tap, tap, tapping ;
Rhythm moves hips to catch music's peaks.

Music seems to be the elixir of the youth in  
Folks, sweet in sound, substantial of energy,

Governed by notes, but still free of inhibitions,  
Allows few, by lyric and sound, find their spirit.

Dance centers the ultimate extension of sound
When captured by couples caught in its rhythm.

Weather orchestrates movements by sun and rain;
Musicians, in charge of swing, by song polish same.

In a carpet weave, like the footwork of a dance,
Threaded in design, builds final consummation.

It is presumptuous, I describe the World of Dance, 
Since you have the true gift of expressive words.

Again, the celebration of another year gone by
Is a reason, I verse, in written form : Happy Birthday !

With Love, 
Connie & Dad 


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Water's So Important
"Flow on Schuylkill, Schuylkill River flow on," is a thought I've often written about. Safely, the river is my source of water, is yours safe ?
I rue the day our World awakens to the fact of sufficient water is unavailable to wet the thirst of all its global citizens. Water/wealth !
It's not a frivolous want for water but the inescapable need for potable water which, second only to breathable air, keeps we humans alive.
Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tomorrows Liquid Of Choice
Water, water everywhere but not a drop to "Waste". Desalination must be an area where investment in engineering will develop future good jobs.
Africa's great migrations stemmed from available water, an annual occasion. Man's migrations also for water, not oil, water the liquid of choice. 
China, industrialization equals jobs ; but, it also uses up vast amounts of water, notably, northern China is now devoid of useable water. 
Ronald C. Downie
Three Treasures

Break the mold
Burn the prints
Uncork the bottle
Speed the Genie gone .

Not of, but in this World,
Eye sight sharpens
Finds Nature's way
Quietly seeking silence .

Even though Nature does nothing
Nothing is left undone .
Enough becomes enough
Everything in it's own time .

Yin and Yang, the Te,
Into a family of oneness,
The practice of eternal light
Seeing small, listening more .

Keep needs to a minimum,
Wants to all but nil, for
Within each, a Universe exists
Where no storm lasts forever .

Flow as a water course
Which seeks her own level
Softly cutting it's own way
Unequaled in strength .

Surface your sixth sense :
To see, to hear, to smell,
To feel, and to taste are
Just not enough to liberate .

Cherish "three treasures":
"Courage" gained through "mercy",
"Generosity" found in "frugality",
"Leadership" developed from "humility".

Build life one brick at a time .
With a single step each journey begins .
Originating from a single source,
Existence ultimately depends on Love .

Instead of calendar pages
A slash joining four strokes .
Non-being, being, back to non-being
As the bell begins it's final toll .

        Ronald C. Downie
     -After studying The Tao-  
-Erica arriving at 21 years of age-

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving's Today
Like it -or not - the World : neither revolves around me, nor you, nor any other human who has lived, now lives, or will eventually live.
Thanks is our emotional attachment to a situation ; giving, though, is our physical reaction as a response to this attachment. It evolves.
Trivial is the amount of time most people take pursuing 
a lifestyle worth living. Do they," go forth and spread beauty and light " ? 
Give Thanks !
Ronald C. Downie

Monday, November 24, 2014

Four Billion $$$$$

What can politicians get for $4,000,000,000.00 ? They spent this amount (four billion dollars) for getting out the vote this last election cycle. Yes, they delivered a total vote percentage of 37% of the overall electorate. Seems, a kind of an expensive contest, the most expensive ever spent, to get such a paltry outcome. Hell, some countries get close to 90% voting without hardly spending a nickel to get the vote out. 

These countries have Supreme Courts too, but not ours. These same countries spend on infrastructure so economic progress is not stymied, they educate the young without bankrupting their families, and they acknowledge climate change while doing something about it. Also, they understand the future is exclusively in renewables for energy : wind, solar, and hydrothermal. 

The oligarch, who run our country and spend to keep the common person from realizing what harm is happening all around them, don't want you the public to know. In other countries, constituents are expected to keep themselves informed ; here in the USA, ignorance seems to be an honored attribute. Football and other sports are revered, the flag we observe is generally on display with guns by the gun lobby, and our congress is led more and more by numerous deniers of scientific inquiry. Ignorance, benign ignorance, relies upon an apathetic public who, by lullaby, fall asleep forgetting their duty as a citizen. What did our country gain from a  Four Million Dollar buy ?

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Where Is The Weighted Comparison

Council me if I'm wrong. As Commander In Chief, our president has the right to call up 5,000 troops, whether active or National Guard, to go any where in the world and engage combatants who jeopardize the security of our nation. Seems to me, this is quite an enormous responsibility put on any person by his country.

After a few days of our president calling for a secession of deportations to, as many as 5,000 immigrants, now congress seems livid. President Obama did not grant these people amnesty, far from it. They need to register, pass a criminal test, pay any and all taxes -and for this - they get a chance to be free from deportation for a three year period. The borders, including airports and seaports, are to be strengthened along with the ground lines we commonly refer to as our boarders.

Where is the weighted comparison ? We elect people to legislate when improprieties are apparent to the majority of the electorate. We elect them, not to stir up a "got you" attitude in Washington, DC. ; but, to move progressive legislation through into intelligent laws which makes daily life worthy of living. Sending men and women into harms way, acceptable ; allowing families to live, at least for a couple of years, free from a tragic upheaval, damned. Again, where is the weighted comparison ?

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I bask in bright radiant light cast by my children, their offspring, and all who'll come after. In them are all my hopes found in my expiring life.
Howling winds through high oaks all night, then at break of day, sun grabs shards of streaming flow, subdues into calm gentle breezes.
Unbelievable, the attitude of Phil. Pro. Sports team owners, who seem unconcerned how lousy their teams play. Mediocrity at play for owners. 
Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, November 16, 2014


We are a country of immigrants, both my parents from Scotland in the 1920's, who came with their parents and their siblings to New York and New Jersey : the Downie's to Yonkers, NY. ; the Piggots to Bayonne, NJ. Both families contributed to the economy wherever they eventually settled down. Immigrants tend to be the people with some giddy-up willing to take a chance. Mine where noticeable by their twang, they rolled their RR's in Scottish fashion until later in life, when finally they assimilated into American jargon.

Why would I think today's immigrants are any different from those of my parents time ? In my mind there is no difference, even if, their language isn't derived from English, but now from predominately a Spanish culture. Back far enough, I imagine, we all came out of a grunting culture, so far back that we all feel better when each of us grunts from some exertion. Everyone of us is related to ever other person in this World, bar none.

"The ethic of reciprocity" lays out an idea common among siblings "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". How in the World can Man be killing Man - today a video feed from Iraq showed more beheadings by Isis, one an American - with impunity ? Very reminiscent of the days of Ganges Kahn, or Adolfo Hitler, or even Hirohito, days forgetful of "The Golden Rule" as a way of living. Neither do I want to live under Islamic Law, nor do I under Papal Law ; but I am willing to live in a Democratic Society governed by the will of the people expressed through voting. I'm not satisfied with all the money prostituting our election cycles but, I believe, these inequities will eventually be reversed and revised so voting will end up as a true duty of living as an American.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Soccer's On The Move

Watching soccer, Liverpool verses Chelsea. I'm utterly amazed at the body dexterity, especially the feet, of professional soccer players. My dad, a Scotsman, continued playing this game when he arrived in America in the 1920's settling in Yonkers, New York, playing there with friends of The Partick Thistle. He gave up the game in the mid 30's when we moved to Pottstown since there was little interest shown in soccer by local natives. Even so, dad seemed quite athletic during most of his life. On occasion, he would kick balled up paper in the air keeping them going for many minutes at a time. Often he'd bop the balled up paper with his head during his antics just as we observe being done during soccer matches seen today on TV.

One aspect of soccer is finally sinking into my mind after years and years of playing and watching football. It is understanding that every one of the eleven soccer players on the field will kick the ball during the game. Most would also head the ball during the contest. Every one of the players must be proficient with their feet and head, they must be able to run, to run with gusto, and must have body dexterity similar to a ballet dancer. All eleven will engage the ball many times during an average game. Quite different from football.

A game of specialists, football, has evolved into a game according to the girth of your body, your brute strength. The game of football is under stress lately due to long range damage occurring to ex-players from, doctors agree, head trauma. School administrators are starting to pay attention, parents of young children are are also becoming alarmed. A movement away from football is evident so where do children go to continue in sports but not with football ? Soccer. Soccer is a world wide phenomenon played in most countries, in most corners of the world, why not here ?

Transition won't happen right away because of the enormous investments in football and, from these huge investments, pour in profits beyond any rational estimates. But, eventually, the health of players, especially youthful players, when damage from head traumas which seem to accumulate over time create many in firmed until their early deaths. These facts far out weigh the publics' need for organized carnage so football too will slowly peter out. 

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Finishing The World

Rain, heavily pouring down, so a man steps into a museum for cover. There he observes the art in paintings that he never experienced before. The poet as translated by Ms. Caws leaves the reader with this last line, a line which just blew my mind :

* "In each painting, I think, it's as if God were giving up on finishing the world."

What did this man, dripping wet with rain, see in artist's canvases which caused him to question the works of God ? Did artists capture beauty the man hadn't seen himself in the world ? Were the artists able to illustrate life free of the inhumanities that this poor man sees daily in his struggle to live this life ? 

Just what indicated to this man, in now out of the rain, after viewing canvases in a museum, that God may be tardy in completing the work started when he began the construction of our world ? If the reader is led to believe, as I do, that viewing art in which the depiction  of beauty commands the focal point, the dismal display of humanities' interaction with nature is truly a negative. 

May we all imagine a scenario ; if we were constructing our world would there be a point of disgust when we'd feel like giving up finishing ? I can; can you ?

Ronald C. Downie

* "The Museum" by Yves Bonnefoy translated from the French by Mary Ann Caws : Poetry, Nov. 2014.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Heard All Over The World

Pottstown, at least in name, was all over the airwaves. What a terrific on air interview with Mark Weitzenkorn about 12:15 PM today, Friday, November 7, 2014 on Public Radio, "The The Take Away Show" hosted by John Hockenberry, 12 Noon till 1PM, Tuesday thru Friday. 

Mark, in his familiar, deep distinctive voice, complimented Mr. Hockenberry's style of interviewing quite well. Mark was acknowledging his Weitzenkorn's store being in business 150 years here in Pottstown. He was able to weave the presence of the store, and the duration of the business, into an admonition his father promoted, which went something like this: treat you store like it was in the center of a corn field, give customers a reason to find you, and give them a reason to come back.

Pottstown should also honor Weitzenkorn's with at least a Certificate Of Appreciation. Any business lasting 150 years in the same town with an ever expanding customer base is an accomplishment few, if any, companies could consider. If I wore a hat, I would tip it to Weitzenkorn's for their continued presence and tenacious longevity in our relatively small borough.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Thinking Trees

The quiet still of this bright sunny morning belies a  week of harsh whipping winds which thrashed both tree and limbs into submission. So persistent are this year's leaves grasping onto their limbs, especially the outermost limbs, with a tenacity not experienced in recent years. Many of these outer leaves still holding on remain very colorful. They retain deep color pigmentations after chlorophyl ceased  production. A problem may come if an early snow lays in some depth before the majority of persistent leaves fall. Limbs which whipped crazily last week may now bend and break under the weight of accumulating snow. Nature dances to its own music, in its own time, whether with serenity or bluster, and cares little, if at all, to human influences.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, November 1, 2014

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 sizes 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 

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Sport" - Free Of Referees

Sport ( botany ) has a different connotation than sport talked about in daily life. In a horticultural setting  
the word "sport" refers to an abnormality in a plant's growth habit that causes a growth to form on the shrub or tree inconsistent with normal texture, color, or size from its traditional habit. From these abnormalities most dwarf plants stem and are further cultivated into the general landscape.

A terrific "sport" specimen is highly visible 30 feet up in a white pine tree from my front porch rocking chair. I've watched this growth from my vantage point for many years growing larger and more compact in my neighbor's white pine tree along St. John's Street. The old Shaner Homestead ( 767 N. Evans St. ) was recently sold and is being remodeled as we speak. 

If anyone knows of an interested party who, through climbing the tree to further evaluate the "sport" with a closer look, maybe the new owner would oblige, if asked. I estimate the "sport" to be about 8 foot around, about the same tall, in its present extremely compact nature. The study of nature, especially close at hand, can be fulfilling to a naturalist who's freed finally from books.

Ronald C. Downie 
The Carousel - PTC #9 -

Round and round, up and down,
Horse and lion, giraffe and hound,
Children laughing, smiling, asking,
Please, please ! Again, again !
Another ride ! Please, again !

Nostalgia, dreams, oh memory,
Young and old, all, everybody,
Climb abroad ! The organ plays 
Familiar tunes of bygone days .

1905 at the birth of Century Twenty
Wood carving artisans hew a plenty
Standards and jumpers to stencil then paints
Murals of landscapes, portraits of Saints .

The ring, the ring, get the brass ring,
Coveted is such a small round thing .
Heart jumping, anticipation high
Circling round and around for another try .

One hundred years soon gone by
Hark, listen to echoes of a joyous cry
Melded within these ancient pieces
For boys and girls, nephews and nieces .

In tribute to you fine workers all :
Helpers, investors, you believers tall,
We will honor his memory forevermore
For the living : those happy, healthy, and well
The Derek Scott Saylor Memorial Carousel .

   Ronald C . Downie 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Escaping Stories Written Down 

Genesis 1 . . . We must escape
The bondage slog of daily gyre
To free Wisdom's intrepid wings
From Hades' fire . . . Revelations 22 .

Three hundred long dark years went by 
Assemble, vote,"U'ah, we got scripture !"
Talk about miracles, then they manipulate
The Gospels in praise of Heaven's rapture .

Those monkish scribes of walled in thoughts
Lay to the demands of their zealot priests;
Archangels fly, "Come in" calls out Noah,
Christ walks on water, holds Passover Feasts.

Two thousand years pass, the plot thickens :
Priests, monks, pastors, cathedrals, spires,
Holliday choirs, candles, especially crosses,
Madrigals, Holly Hymns, all feed Man's desires.

"Why are we here ?" and "Who are we ?"
Unanswered still. Who will please intercede 
On our behalf before the Lord, just because
We are lowly and unfit to plead our own need.

We wish our waters pure, our air clean to breathe,
Sufficient sustenance for all, a good strong society.
We must seek beauty everywhere, do no one harm,
Make Our World better, for us, and for all of thee.

Ronald C . Downie  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

 Hand Over Hand

Inconspicuous, all these past years, are my hands. They served their purpose willingly doing my bidding over and over again without forethought. Today and for the rest of my life they've become a huge liability. The constant pain from advanced neuropathy continues to increase; it seems, daily. The resent bout of deep infection in my left thumb seems to be over, although I still have a couple of weeks left in a three a day regiment of an antibiotic pill prescription. I'll be happy when the pills are no longer needed, they taste so awful and leave me with a pit in the stomach, deep heartburn.

Many people are in my condition, most are a lot worse off than me, and I feel for them. We are those, where the cure seems too often more imposing on their lives, than the original problem. I'm suggesting to take the cure, no matter how foul it is, because the alternative generally is worse. Discomfort can be yucky; the alternative fatal.

Care for your hands : frequent washing and proper drying ; apply moisturizing lotion : liberally, timely, and sufficiently. Don't allow yourself to take these appendages for granted ; your hands are more important to you than just to handle utensils, in fact, in some countries they are a major component needed in order to talk. 

Remember : "A hand up generally trumps a hand out!"

Ronald C. Downie
Facebook Friends

Recently I acquired a few more friends on Facebook so I'm inviting all of them to read my postings on my blog -

Much of what I blog, if short enough, I also post on Facebook for all to read. Don't get me wrong, since I've started writing, I've always stated that I write for my own enjoyment and if anyone reads it I'm especially happy. 

Living in and around Pottstown for all but 80 years and accomplished most everything I've tackled, except being healthy and ambulatory at this age, I urge all others to take up writing. For me, writing is therapeutic by its insistence on keeping the mental juices flowing. The stimulation that writing forces the brain to do keeps the brain from atrophying into dementia. You all know the symptoms. Try writing to ward them off.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lessons Learned From An Orchard Man

It was with measured sadness when I learned of the end of operations at the Ringing Hill Orchard last week. The Mercury reported the end after seventy some years in operation. Thinking back, it was seventy some years ago since I worked there. Mr. Bill Hampton, grandfather of the present owners, was running the orchard on a day to day basis from his roll top desk when he hired me.

Even during my elementary school days I was big for my age so Mr. Hampton assigned me to be a ground man. I was to walk along side of the wagon and lift the picked fruit baskets from the ground and place them on the wagon for another boy to slide them into place for the ride back to the sorting station. I was happy and willing to trade hard work for the experience of earning a few dollars. Dollars which went home to mom for house expenses except for a small allowance for me to buy candy or a movie ticket. At 30 cents an hour, I wasn't a big earner.

Mr. Hampton was old to me then, like an old gruff grandfather, running a tough business based on the weather and fruit trees which needed constant attention. He seemed to have plan and under his wing things happened in positive ways, the fruits matured and were brought in then off to final market places. He taught me one of life's universal lessons.

"Hey boy !" he hollered at me, " Get that broom stick and get in my truck". The truck was a car chassis, roof cut off with and a homemade stake body where the rear seat once was. Off we drove up through the orchard stopping at a quite young tree maybe 3 or 4 inches in trunk diameter just up from ground level. Hop down he said and take that broomstick handle and beat that tree trunk, all around it. I timidly hit at the trunk and he, very agitatedly, scolded me for my timidness and, with some strong language, urged me to be more aggressive which I was. The bark cracked in places which pleased him so we moved on to other trees of similar size and age where I applied my vigor to them and his pleasure.

On the ride back to his office in the storage barn Mr. Hampton explained the reason behind what we had just done. Fruit trees, like all living organisms, produce, when under stress, more flowers therefore more fruit which are the carriers of seeds. Seeds are the ultimate extenders of the species. Even in humans, stress in a sector of a society will increase the birth rate so that society will have a better chance to live on. Scarring the trunk was an early orchard man's way of tricking fruit trees to do his bidding. The scars healed and gave no lasting affect to the trees except getting them to produce earlier and in more abundance. 

"Spare the rod, spoil the child" rings yet in my ears.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, October 20, 2014

Living Longer

The scientific community must be crazy thinking a guy like me should live decades longer just because they've isolated a gene or two that will give me replacement organs for those I've worn out. Hell, I've already out lived many of my buddies that I grew up with. 

We were from that generation just post depression, pre- WW2. That generation that was too young for a big war- too old for the next, some undeclared conflict. We were big on butter and lard, on hotdogs and bacon, on cigarettes and booze, on drive-in-movies and drag racing; yea, we rarely took care of ourselves.

Maybe, I've outlasted my friends because of my ancestral genes. Genes that were nurtured in the rugged upslopes of Scottish Highlands covered in heather and free range game. Did genes gain their grit from tossing of the caber or wielding a broad sword ? Or could it be from eating oatmeal and haggis a diet my ancestors cut their teeth on, that produced these genes I possess.

No, most likely it is by chance that I'm here instead of them. Probably it is because of my wife, Constance, who is my caregiver, the mother of our two daughters and a son, the keeper of the homestead, and she remains today the earner in the family. She keeps stresses to a minimum as those who know her will attest to. Please, I'm no candidate for longevity, neither by chance nor choice, so I'm here until I expire from normal causes.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wedge Issues

Way back then, mid 1940's, post WW2, Ringing Hill.
Here from hills overlooking Harmonyville, Chester Co.

Moved into our new two story home on N. Keim St.
Early spring before leaves unfolded summer's form.

A wooded lot demands certain tools for groomin :
An ax for sure, a grind stone to sharpen it, a saw, 

Not any old saw, a man's saw, well really, a two man
Saw to fell tall trees blocking out all the sun light.

Dad had a garden in mind and gardens need sunshine
And he'd have sun no matter what. "Timber" echoed 

That spring. Save the house, save the chicken pen 
Turned into our tool shed, don't drop it on the car.

Gathering more tools for the job, Dad read about 
Felling trees the proper way. Sight the desired drop

Line, notch the tree trunk with an axe two foot up 
From the ground anticipating the path tree is to fall.

A two man saw takes team work, once started each
person manning opposed ends must only pull the saw 

To them and relax when your team mate pulls back.
Pushing back is a no-no and only causes buckling up.

It's called pinching when the weight of the tree 
Exerts down pressure on saw blade stopping sawing.

Then a wedge must be inserted in the cut to spread
The saw line gap so pinching stops, cutting continues.

Those wedge issues were simple compared to today's.
Politicians try to spread citizens apart over hotly 

Contested topics : abortion, contraceptives, taxes,
Gay rights, segregation, wealth disparity, and debt.

The wedge to the tree was for a corrective action ;
For politicians, wedge issues are designed cancerous,

They are to slowly fester while gathering up speed 
To do the most harm, monkey wrenches of discontent.

When a tree falls its branches are removed first,
The trunk is cut up in lengths suitable for stacking,

Then stacked loosely so they dry out for more easy
Splitting into useable pieces, in our case was bon fires.

Summer memories were of Jersey relatives arriving
For vacations with tents tied to their old car roofs.

A sight similar to a religious tent meeting popped up  
In our wooded back yard, our vegetable garden used.

Rarely seen today would be a tent city sight, except
What we've all seen on television, viewing "Occupy" 

As well as me. Kindred spirited people are gatherin
Not unlike relatives did in my youth. The web of life.

A hunk of pie shaped iron, four inch tapering down to
A quarter inch a foot long, sledge hammered smartly 

Into a cut or later used to split the logs fire ready,
Is the main reason to have a wedge when logging.

The wedge is a very valuable tool to fell trees or split pieces for burning. Wedge issues are opposite.

They are surfaced to fell cooperation while splitting
The masses into rigid positions free of compromise.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Questions Seeking Answers

Before the pools of dementia become too deep for me to climb out of, I wish to record some thoughts itching to see daylight. On my mind is : is there any truth to the rumors going around about the real reason the Texas deceased Ebola patient was sent home from the hospital with a temperature of 103 degrees on his initial visit was because he had no health insurance coverage? If so, why wasn't this reported immediately ?If so, is this an indictment of just Texas's health system or our entire country's system ? May the truth have a chance to set all men free.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Sage

Gran'Pa Downie was a wizened wise, old sage
Who's needs were few, his wants even less.
With a huge bald head, both forearms bowed,
His spine was so calcified it bent him forward
Making him unable to look up without sitting down.
His Scottish brogue, heavy RRRs, spoke of his birth.

His physical look was not him; he was truly a sage.
This ship's joiner, carpenter, traveled Cape Town,
South Africa to home port, Glasgow, Scotland.
His disfigured physical features developed from,
We thought, deficiencies in his diet during long
Trips at sea aboard tramp steamer cargo ships.

Is one born a sage or does it slowly develop 
Through adversity during a health decline ?
Or does Man temper, as steel from iron does,  
When it's super heated molecules implode   
Making them much stronger through firing ?  

From this sage we find his strength in words.
           Gran'Pa said : 
" A good job is it's own reward ."
" Please measure twice so you must cut just once ."
 "A job worth doing is a job worth doing well ."
 "I don't care ! " - "Just is not a good answer ."

For My Grandfather, Andy Grey Downie,
Love, Ronald C . Downie 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Have you noticed the sun lowering in the sky daily ?
Colors become more pastel, like being washed out . 
Something again is happening in our World ,
Another new season approaches quickly upon us.
Nothing new , happens every year,
But do we really notice ? No ! Not really !
It takes something special, say like:

First Blizzard Of The Season

Relish the first blizzard of the season
Watch for swirls of yellow and brown ;
Autumn early seems the true 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 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sonnet 28

Sherri's Force

When a loved one plants a lush garden scene
To capture life forces that tugs at the heart ;
Will a sharp spade edging arcs and curves mean
Same as a painter's brush for an artist's start :

Then, from the Good Earth : sun kissed, reaching, 
Elongating, branching, replicas drawn of eternity;
How many millennia stacked up to Heaven, seeking
Their chance to bust forth in color, cell's maternity :

And then, trimming and grooming, set and resetting
Creating a look pleasing to the minds eye and heart.
Complimentary to picture's size and shape getting
On to maturity, plants which grow love their start.

It's the artist in the planter, green of thumb, driven 
From Nature's depths creating scenes, she's given.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sonnet 27


Weighted with being my brother's keeper
I no longer am an independent 
Soul, free to be a just judgement seeker.
But now, the World's worst seeks my compliment:

Often we trade some notoriety 
For a chance to gain true independence.
Sun light shines as if it's prosperity
Is drawn from blessed Earth's true abundance:

Cashing in, calls forth a stalwart person,
Grounded in humility, a good soul.
"Many called; few taken." a sound reason
We trudge the land and we brave the wave's roll.

"To do for others what we want ourselves" -
Is a scene from history found on shelves.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sonnet 26

The Emperor's Cloths

When an overwhelming argument must come out
To bolster an awfully weak set of made up facts,
A candidate must keep a straight face, no pout.
Voice must not quiver or sound lower, stage acts.

Then, if the voting public has bought into the guise 
An artful candidate, though deceitful, may survive.
Today's voters, under assault of Big Money, a prize
For billionaires, the difference, voters are yet alive.

And then, if the time comes to govern the country
A charlatan starts to show weakness of an ingrate.
Core convictions fail the test of governance, clumsily 
Undoing that which made this Country so very great.

Voting must be an effort to best educate yourself,
So you see through the Emperor, who cloths himself.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sonnet 24

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

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 ?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sonnet 23

Ideals From Ideas

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

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

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

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

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sonnet 22

When I Tremble

When I tremble under weight of reason
Built on strong earth pillars sunk hard rock deep.
I see a ship under sail in season,
Charting tight courses, me rocking to sleep :

A land lubber, I'm anchored to the Earth,
Have realized value of both sea and land
Beyond dreamt horizons cloaked in rough surf.
I envision Man's purpose as he planned :

Captains sail seas, generals rule the soil,
But, whose money's bet on the lost teachers
Who taught them, every one,"Blood, Sweat, and Toil"
Man's demons follow after lust's seekers.

Since, painting on cave wall days, Man's dark pasts
Are bathed in horror, Almighty's death masks.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sonnet 21

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, when 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

Friday, October 3, 2014

Sonnet 20

Spiten Spittle

When readership expresses to little
Interest in my subject as written,
That my mouth drys up with wasted spittle,
I take some water, gargle, start spiten :

Then, access the topic again, rethink
My propositions, rewrite if I must.
It is the public who wishes to drink
From my word fountain; needed is their trust :

And then, when the steel of my conviction
Gains temper, hardens, and affirms my thought,
I write for self without old restriction
Between me and my reader, I am caught.

The World exists in spite of my being,   
I write for myself to find some meaning.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sonnet 19

 "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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sonnet 18


"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

Sunday, September 28, 2014

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 thru writing.

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

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sonnet 16

Our Home

Beyond these hellish heated days, late spring,
Pigments deepen their hues, colors surface.
Chlorophyll's still working, life's force she'll bring
To dominate landscape is green's purpose.

Spring gives way to summer's growing season :
Warm nights, warmer days, occasional rain ;
Sap flowing up new formed stalks, the reason,
Plants create oxygen, Man's outright gain.

The browns of fall loom horizons over
A bountiful Earth spent of production.
Energy accumulates in sober
Soils building up for next year's growth action.

Why life ? Why us ? Life's process ours alone ?
It works ! We're here ! Planet Earth is our home !

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sonnet 15

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sonnet 13

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sonnet 12

To War As Boys

Broadly speaking, the story teller sighs,
Before laying out his theme's apt reply.
In a small town, it's tough not knowing guys
Who'll make a difference with their goodbye.

Oft in swarms on trains, they to war so soon.
Hardly roughed on chin, their pompadours wait
Floating to the cutting floor, shave by noon.
Marching, left-right, straighten the lines, eyes right.

To war as boys, their return home as men
Knowing unthinkable things, mums the word,
Until authors seek them out, use their pen.
Some relate, some not; some true, some absurd.

Effecting maturity, a war's theme,
Discounts beauty found in "The Golden Mean".

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sonnet 11

Verdant Valleys

West, from a bluff, I see a verdant valley
Clothed in varied greens that eyes sight.
Unfolding leaves wishing deep green, dally;
They wait for high skies, warm days, sunny bright :

Producing chlorophyl is their desire,
Multiplying in numbers to pump breath
Onto Earth. Exchange is what leaves require:
Plus sunshine, water, and food from soil's depth :

Life's food, pressure squeezed into fossil fuel
From deep down, this carbon now seeks release;
For what ? Pollution, climate change, storms rule: 
Twentieth Century found power, not peace.

Advance walks giant strides, mostly thought blind ;
Words state facts, time arbitrates for the mind.

Ronald C Downie

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sonnet 10

Gain Mastery

When in a crush of many misled men
Our World scunners 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. Where 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

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sonnet 9

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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

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's 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 reads 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 by those, who read quickly.

Ronald C. Downie
Sonnet 6

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

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sonnet 5

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 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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sow's Ear- Wishing It -A Silk Purse

What do you all expect ? Train a bird to sing, and sing it will. Train a dog to fight, and fighting becomes his style. Train a boy of eight to be aggressive, and continue his training in the ways of thuggery each year after year and what should society expect ? 

Couple the youths' training with a lifestyle of stressed, if not absent, traditional family structure and the child has little chance to fall back on a positive roll model to emulate. All through middle school, high school, onto the beginning of college these young men, trained in thuggery, are now expected to be pillars of our society. But, how would they know what it takes to be a pillar ?

It takes more than wanting to make "a sow's ear into a silk purse." When one experiences a lifetime of a drug culture, then add to this lifetime, a societal acceptance of unlimited, uncontrolled alcohol use, and what remains in a young man's mind ? Train him in football thuggery, feed him on a lifetime of televised killings, promote to him the honors of cage fighting and what are your expectations ?

"We reap what we sow" rings in our ears but seems easily forgotten. Football has become so prominent in modern day life that a few indiscretions by a few players can be easily overlooked. Television revenue makes learned men forget a lot of things, as does, office pools and tailgating. Yes, we are a Football Nation having a little hiccup right now but it will be sweep under the rug soon enough. Don't fret, young men trained to be aggressive fit right in to a military society. They'll be quite ready for War when it comes.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Bard's Sonnets

Champion, in the world of writing plays, William Shakespeare also became the master of the sonnet, and all of his writings ring as meaningful today as when he wrote them. One hundred and fifty four sonnets were compiled and printed in 1609 under his name. 

His sonnets had structure: written in rhyming iambic pentameter of ten syllables per line divided into five feet per line, each of these feet were composed of one unstressed syllable and one stressed. This rhythm can be heard by the reader or listener in it's drumming of "baBoom" five times over in each line. His rhyme scheme, in poetic lingo, was : abab,cdcd,efef, and gg.

William wrote 14 line sonnets configured in three quatrains of four lines each, in which he developed  a problem or a theme and then followed them with a couplet that resolves or sums up the issue. Definitive were his sonnets while holding on to a confining structure. Shakespeare was the sonnets' master and  was rewarded by having sonnets written in his style named after him these past centuries, they're called Shakespearian Sonnets.

Except for the difficulty of writing in iambic pentameter, the other constructs of his style of writing sonnets are not too difficult to master. I have struggled many years to write a well constructed Shakespearian Sonnet but they seem not to cut the mustard for many people. Poor as they seem to those, I still publish them, because they ring well in content to me. I am competing with no one but myself and for those few who may read them for their content. I may only hope you are one of those who are willing to join me in my folly.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sonnet 26

The Emperor's Cloths

When an overwhelming argument must come out
To bolster an awfully weak set of made up facts,
A candidate must keep a straight face, no pout.
Voice must not quiver or sound lower, stage acts.

Then, if the voting public has bought into the guise 
An artful candidate, though deceitful, may survive.
Today's voters, under assault of Big Money, a prize
For billionaires, the difference, voters are yet alive.

And then, if the time comes to govern the country
A charlatan starts to show weakness of an ingrate.
Core convictions fail the test of governance, clumsily 
Undoing that which made this Country so very great.

Voting must be an effort to best educate yourself,
So you see through the Emperor, who cloths himself.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What - Never Ending

What blots the sun, bloats the moon;
What from a seance gains us sense;
What tricks the heart as if at run ?

What causes short breaths to heave
From a chest that wrenches above
The climaxed tourniquet of flesh ?

At dawn of eternity, life's river spawned 
Of an ionic maelstrom, primal ooze fresh.
Joining cells abound - Jehovah yawns -

"In a twinkling of an eye", green mould, us,
Lusting past reason, while rutting in acts of 
Desire, yet will and wisdom woefully wanting.

Ruinous the occult of carnal appetites 
Transcending an entire life bent mainly
On nocturnal pleasures of human flesh.

Hopefully not forgotten is pure, true love
Since penetrating  passions will never end,
But subsiding with age, memories drift on.

Ronald C. Downie 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Long Strides

Born into this World from an overt act
Each our fellow beings resulted from.

None of us can reach back and undue it,
So the dye's cast, the future's our soul's path.

Gestation, those 266 days of formulation, 
Is only the rehearsal for life's play.

It's a child's parents through their union 
Which transcends generations, leaps forward

Quickly, as the child gains raw knowledge
And takes positive steps in their own world.

They prepare for their own future linage
Drawn from family, spirited through time.

History's long strides can be best measured 
Not by duration of gestation, nor 

By abundance of productive unions, 
But thru the result of the best coupling.

Then a spirited offspring, receptor 
Of knowledge, an ambassador of life

Enters the World to make a mark on life,
Indelible as a tattoo, it's not.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, September 11, 2014

          September 11, 2001
-Another Date Which Will Live In Infamy-

The twin tower's three thousand dead
- Never, ever, shall they be forgotten -
Every eye a tear, each heart bleeds red,
Homage paid to ground zero, Manhattan.

On polished brass plaques, every name
Etched true to last time immemorial.
Hero rescuers ignite their own fame
And join in their special ceremonial.

The dead laid to rest now mute and silent.
Their epitaphs cut by hammer and chisel
Onto headstones of grey hardened granite.
Each word tears through rain, snow, drizzle.

Unlike these three thousand today so honored
Are dead from past wars and gross genocides,
Who are known by count only. Acts abhorred !
Man killing man while the whole world sighs.

Iraq,  Afghanistan,  Sudan,
Rowanda,  Croatia,  Vietnam,
Dachau,  Auschwitz,  Treblinka, 
Omaha,  Normandy,  Iwo Jima,
Bataan,  Pearl Harbor,  Korea,
Hiroshima,  Nagasaki,  Libya.

Man killing man.  When ? Oh when, will it end ?

Ronald C. Downie.      

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

To Our Son, Ronald

We live out our time on this Earth
In a segment of living called "Half Life".

At forty five, Half Life seems realistic, 
A great time in life to golf your age.

Your offspring grown, beginning to move out, 
Finished school, Casey's settled in an apartment.

Evan, approaching twenty one, still studying hard,
While manhood gains on him, will find him soon.

Vested in yours, the continence of our Downie name,
With Evan, our line could end or be forever sustained.

Your first Half Life, filled full of trial and tribulations,
Tempered you, as steel gains hardness through fire.

At least forty five more years to experience life
That may elude reasoned thought, in a new World.

You'll be ready more than the rest of society to
Exist into the future. Your edge honed by hard stone. 

Birthdays set a date certain, a calendar fact.
Life evolves: past dims, future uncertain, today ?

Please accept our wish for a heartfelt birthday,
You have earned it through the riggers of a past.

With Love,

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Property Taxation

It's kind of unnerving for me to read responses to my piece "Shameless in Pottstown" without reading one comment about property taxing for education being the most egregious wrong of all the ills facing Pottstown residents. The thrust of most of my writings about Pottstown lately has been about taxing property for education in all its inequities, especially, for elderly owners of homes who have little way to earn extra money to pay increases in taxes. These placid elderly who bring stability to a town are forced to sell which then changes the wants and needs for the new citizens who move in. 

It will take a vocal, energized electorate to get Harrisburg to change the tax structure. Most importantly it will take a new governor; specifically, voting out Tom Corbett, once and for all. Secondly, it will need new people in the legislature, ones who can see the needs of older communities that are encumbered with the old agrarian concept of property taxation paying for education. Ones who see, a broad based tax most likely based on consumption as the new method for financing of education, are needed.

A country, unwilling to change as the needs and wants of its citizenry change, is a country headed toward decay not unlike grand empires that history records their eventual demise. Change is good just as life evolves on a constant scale. Are you up to change or are you stuck in the past ?

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, September 1, 2014

Shameless In Pottstown

No ! I have no, or, to say, little shame. Less than a year until I'm 80, I've put in a lifetime of apprenticeship in this, my hometown, Pottstown. "Been there, done that" wouldn't be unreasonable for me to answer you, if you asked me about conditions found in our town.

If asked about the ongoing latest debacle, the patching up of outdated buildings we refer to as our elementary schools, makes me shudder each time an additional oversight surfaces, escalating the cost, raising our taxpayers' responsibilities for more and more taxes. 

The right to tax, remains today, the opportunity to impoverish. Pottstown has little to offer but a robust desire to tax for education disproportionate to the ability for residents to pay. Instead of an all out assault  on our legislature to change to a broad based tax for education, our school administrators and directors, complacent in their right to levy taxes, are like a shuttle cock knocked back and forth over the net as over runs and under designs assault them monthly. Directors' responsibility is projection, the distant view, it's not being a daily scorekeeper. 

In a shameless pronouncement : I was a proponent for the Elementary School Campus projected for the Washington Street revival area. This was a well designed, inclusive complex which took into account the total town, taxes included. Most school district are unlike Pottstown's. Here the boundary for the town is exactly the same boundary as it is for the district. Until that changes, both the borough and the district are one, and they are beholding to the same taxpayers, the property owners.

 School Directors and Borough Councilors have the same responsibility to improve the town. I believe, both directors and councilors should extend every effort to change the method of taxing for education from property taxation to a broad based income tax. One of their prime responsibilities is to maintain the financial vitality of the town. 

We have to finally forget forever the idea of "walkable  elementary schools". This concept, narrowly accepted, has been used too often to impede a unified vision of our town. An impoverished town, when sinking, needs a more comprehensive planning module to buoy it up and send it into the 21st Century. Stop being duped by the more vocal zealots among you, you the leaders. Someday you may be old enough to become shameless, too.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Neither Do I Like Questions Nor The Answers

I wonder, why in a World of unimaginable inventions do local civil defense units need war armament to protect their residents ? Does a desire to kill supersede the need to control public uprisings ? Isn't there more futuristic means for police to use, similar to stun guns and rubber bullets, that can overcome crowd predators, especially, in volatile situations ?

Are we as a society always going to extend the image of the Wild West far into the 21st Century before we understand bullets maim and kill ? There must be a less lethal way to respond to a crazed gunman, especially, in our futuristic society of invention. Would a better response help in the aftermath of a young man being shoot to death in Ferguson ? 

We got to be kidding, oops, another person killed or maimed teaching, as young as 8 year olds, to fire high powered armaments. Has our society gone over the abyss ? Does the NRA have that much of a strangle hold on our legislators ? Will there be a time when the young will be escorted down into our missile silos to feel the ultimate button, when if pushed, the end of civilization occurs in a nuclear Armageddon ? Craziness is among us ! Please wake up !

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Of This World

The World busses - Is Pottstown not of this World ? Seemingly not, for ages I've heard "Walkable Schools" touted by a recognizable named school board member. How much more damage to our district; therefore, to our town, will his influence be continued tolerated ? 

Ladies and gentlemen : winning a Pulitzer Prize Award is not the granting of almighty superiority, it does not elevate the recipient to Pope, nor does it bestow on the winner genius status. Why then, does everything he has to say, not questioned ?

Don't misconstrue what I'm saying ; winning a Pulitzer Prize is no small achievement. It requires a journalist to have the ability to write expressively while being doggedly persistent in collecting the facts. Further, he needed a cooperative vehicle to print the series which The Mercury provided. I question that the public sees in a Pulitzer more than it actually is.

Are you like me who sees a dysfunctional school system monitored by elected school directors who seem unresponsive to their electorates' needs and wants ? I do understand the dynamics of a democratic society that uses the ballot box to express concerns of the whole. Too often this system allows a vocal few, although a quorum of five in this case, to set agendas and direct the way the school district operates. 

An affected public must be an informed public if any change is to be realized. The ballot box is where the battle must be waged and, if my thoughts resonate with you, please marshall forces to change the direction that our school district is headed. Remember, it still comes down to a simple vote to rout out a problem.

Ronald C. Downie 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

America's Own "Ebola" Like Plague 

You are right ! A plague of our own, not as incendiary as Ebola is, in the world's view, ours is stealth like ; but Ebola is open, blatant, quick, and awfully deadly.

Ours is also deadly, in its own way, taking much of a  lifetime to achieve a person's death after depleting the person's livability for a carefree life. Many times it develops early in childhood lasting a shortened life span and for many of those years life is in some degree of discomfort. 

Yes, you are right; I'm talking about "Diabetes" as America's plague. I just came home from five days in the hospital where I saw the fallout of America's plague first hand. During my stay, I had two different roommates who both were hospitalized due to some complications attributed to diabetes, as was mine. 

I know little of Ebola except it is spread by cross contact with bodily fluids. It is deadly and quick. Diabetes, though, seems to be a disease brought on by excesses with contact not being one of them. Unless you count contact with poor food choices. Sugars of all types seem highly suspect and fats and carbohydrates. Couple a poor diet with lack of exercise and diabetes has a firm foothold on a person's health. Age reduces activity and often an increase in food intake, and you know, often an increase in alcohol consumption. 

Gran'Pa Downie always preached moderation even as he struggled during his waining years, then he died. I have now assumed his roll in preaching for moderation.Gran'Pa and my mom and dad all died in their 60's while, with diabetes, I'm turning 80 soon. I don't really know if diabetes can be reversed but it can be moderated to an excepted level if life styles of the afflicted are undertaken. Our plague will continue to fester until each of us accept the challenge to control our excesses ourselves. Are you willing to try ? Learn more about our American Plague from literature already written about it.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fox and the Hen House

Who the hell is watching the hen house ? I read about delays after reading about overruns in construction costs and wonder. Are our leaders also Foxes, who will gain something personal by not finishing elementary school overhauls on time ? Someone is not watching out for my tax monies nor for yours. The fox is watching the hen house !

The tragedy is now more than ever obvious; that is, a Washington Street Elementary Campus should have been built and occupied these many years. The opponents should have been vilified by denouncing their antiquated reasons for retaining scattered school sites. Sure, it is easy for me to say, "I told you so". But I did !

The ability to tax is the freedom to impoverish. Again, the ability to tax is the freedom to impoverish. 

Pottstown is but a shell of its old self. Once it was an engine of industry spitting out tax dollars for whatever the need, then industry left and tax dollars dried up. Along with it, a once robust school system prevailed which has slowly deteriorated into a questionable system that seems unable to govern itself. A school district's ability to shine in the eyes of potential young upwardly mobile families looking to settle by purchasing a home there is the catalyst for regenerative town. Does our district shine ? Less so now than ever, is my answer. Why not ?

Ronald C. Downie, 
Alumni Honor Roll Recipient

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

PMMC, Pottstown Memorial Medical Center

I wish to compliment Pottstown's largest employer, 
( PMMC ) for a very good experience that I was afforded last week when I spent five days there getting medical treatment. Monday morning, never thinking I'd end up in the hospital, I was advised by a medical person to go to the emergency room ( ER ) since my visual signs were needing immediate attention : excessive swelling, inflammation migrating, infection on the move.

The ER was not too busy, even by their own standers, and my few hours there went by quite smoothly. They do move, seemingly multi tasking all the while, especially the lead  nurse, who, I asked if she was ever caught in a hurricane or a tornado ? Startled, she replied, no ! Where by, I told her, she must have been since she still has a whirlwind stuck in her as she whizzes through her duties. With these parting words up to the fifth floor of the hospital I was spirited.

To room 501, bed 2 with bed 1 empty, I arrived here on a gurney at about 1:30 PM. Squared away fairly quickly, I adapted well to my quarters, all except the hospital bed which took getting used to. With my size and weight it's hard to maneuver efficiently on the mattress while keeping all the cords and hoses freely working. 

A hospital is known by its sounds, things you hear but do not see, but you do imagine what or who is making the sound. Like : moaning or crying out in pain, or squeaking wheels on certain carts, or sounds of certain voices, finally, there's the footsteps up and down the hallway at all times of day or night and the infernal beeping when machines malfunction and keep beeping until someone attends to it.

But, it's the human professional care, the medical expertise that I want to compliment. It's all the people on the Fifth Floor I came in contact with who need to be honored for both their efforts and expertise. Many persons who I came in contact with floated between floors. I respected their care; notably, the respiratory crew, especially Heather and Joe, all of them. Same goes to nurses who gather blood samples every hour day and night as ordered.  Even though they interrupt sleep, they are efficient doing it, smoothly. 

The thrust of my compliments I save for the nursing crews which operate 24/7 on the 5th floor. I'm sure their leader is as exceptional as they are. Even though their names are always visible written on a calk board hanging on the wall, I can only name a few by memory. 
There was Special K, a nickname I gave her because of her dogged determination to find a vein suitable to hook up an IV to it. So memorable were nurses and helpers, the housekeeping staff, everyone. 

Over the years our local hospital has taken harsh and unwarranted criticism so today I want to set the record straight. In so many very personal ways caring for people is difficult and intrusive. Knowing this and, by a keep caring attitude, professionals, all in all, are truly a responsible team, whom I applaud.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Home At Last

My five day stay at the hospital came to an end today when I was released from PMMC at 12 o'clock noon. In proportion to humanity's vast needs, my little problem seems so minuscule compared to those whom I saw in the hospital setting last week. My thumb infection that caused so much swelling to my hand began migrating infection up my arm and is still in the process of receding as I write this. The main reason for my hospitalization was to enable doctors to treat my infection with fluids designed to kill infections through my blood. The hospital is the sterile setting where professional care givers on staff are experienced in their art of inter vinous applications. My homecoming was allowed because oral pills are now thought able to continue the infection killing job at home away from the hospital. 

Home at last, home at last, thank God Almighty, I'm home at last ! Thank You ! Everyone of you, who thought of me during my latest sojourn.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Wow Experience

Going to and from Douglassville last evening by way of West High Street, I observed tanker car after tanker car sitting hooked up to each other in a train which must have been over a mile long. I've never seen a train this long in all my extended life. The train was not moving but sitting still in the rail yard yard paralleling West High. Most of the cigar shaped tanker cars looked like they were new. I thought, they probably are new since all the horrible news lately is about old tankers blowing up, some in urban areas just like on our tracks running through the heart of Pottstown.

These tanker cars, often referred to as "a pipe line on wheels", if new, are a good sign and if they were built in the states, they would be a tribute to the USA's manufacturing engine. News reports continue to tell of our economy rebounding with new jobs being created. It certainly would be wonderful if my conjecture was reality, wonderful if America became the "the little engine that could" again. I'm keeping my eyes open and hoping you do the same.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

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

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Beggar's Body

Ever since, I have inherited a 
Beggar's body, no longer may
I inherit the wind. Or, can I ?

The sun and wind, sea and stars,
Are but like high hills to be scaled. 
From atop, a huge universe expands.

For me, this sight is but an illusion
Fostered in my mind by desires felt,
But never more, to be fully realized.

Is mine a waste ? Or, is it the inevitable ?
"Beggars can't be choosers" echoes on.
I'm of the former, seeking pleasing breezes.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Honor, The Product of Knowledge

Honor arrives to some by good deeds done or from the sum total of a fully lived exemplary life. Mine came in the back door when a Tea Party neighbor accused me of being just a Rino, Republican In Name Only. Holier than thou in attitude, he extolled the virtues of human ignorance, he vilified the roll of scientists in assessing reasons behind climate change, and wrapped his thinking in his closeness to the real God. 

The returning to vacation of this do nothing congress further draws me away from thinking like I'm a Republican. How can truly civilized men and women simply walk away from their pledged responsibility to govern this country if they weren't demented in some way or other ? Can the color of one man's skin be so offensive that they abdicate their oath on the Bible to produce laws to enhance the betterment of their constituents ?

Our President, who has African American features, also was born of a white mother. Through a lifetime of education and growth President Obama has excelled beyond most peoples' imagination. By far and above he is one of the most intelligent presidents this country has presented its citizens. Maybe it's because I never felt I reached my full potential at being educated, that gaining knowledge through education, must be the ultimate goal of a human's existence. 

The honor is all mine in thinking independently, not being tagged by worn out idioms that have little stance in the 21st Century and beyond. The World will move forward with us or without , but be warned, it will follow learned men who recognize the past but forge the future they will possess.

Ronald C. Downie
Honor, The Product of Knowledge

Honor arrives to some by good deeds done or from the sum total of a fully lived exemplary life. Mine came in the back door when a Tea Party neighbor accused me of being just a Rino, Republican In Name Only. Holier than thou in attitude, he extolled the virtues of human ignorance, he vilified the roll of scientists in assessing reasons behind climate change, and wrapped his thinking in his closeness to the real God. 

The returning to vacation of this do nothing congress further draws me away from thinking like I'm a Republican. How can truly civilized men and women simply walk away from their pledged responsibility to govern this country if they weren't demented in some way or other ? Can the color of one man's skin be so offensive that they abdicate their oath on the Bible to produce laws to enhance the betterment of their constituents ?

Our President, who has African American features, also was born of a white mother. Through a lifetime of education and growth President Obama has excelled beyond most peoples' imagination. By far and above he is one of the most intelligent presidents this country has presented its citizens. Maybe it's because I never felt I reached my full potential at being educated, that gaining knowledge through education, must be the ultimate goal of a human's existence. 

The honor is all mine in thinking independently, not being tagged by worn out idioms that have little stance in the 21st Century and beyond. The World will move forward with us or without , but be warned, it will follow learned men who recognize the past but forge the future they will possess.

Ronald C. Downie