Thursday, February 27, 2014

Football Nation

All the game's bumping and banging is over for this year, oh sure, "the want to be's" are working out for the owner's who wish to hire some college players. During this thing called NFL Scouting Combine where, I theorize, players are treated something like slaves were back around Civil War time. Inspected and measured : they sprint against the clock, they lift weights in counted repetitions, they jump up as high as they can, and maybe they're not pinched and fondled as of old, but they are ogled at non the less.
Seems the owner's are extremely active in their interests of accumulating flesh in this marketplace. 

Owners have maneuvered present ball players along with retired players to accept a lump sum payment to offset potential costs which could arise from maladies stemming from football based concussions. Owners act when their pocketbooks are affected. How, you ask, could the owner's effect the game of football in a positive way while keeping the game moving in a  safer direction. Thinking of pocketbook issues, owner's seem to stay in the black because of television royalties but, I would think, everyone of them wants to win and winning the Superbowl is the ultimate prize. 

To force owners to make the game safer, I suggest, the contests need some changes. In an effort to level the playing field and leave the outcome of the game to the players on the field, a system of penalties was devised to punish offenders. Never fully appreciated, it seems to me, that penalty should fit the crime. Does the loss of yardage or loss of down really fit as a penalty for the weight of the infraction incurred ? Is it time to rethink the roll of the penalty in controlling the way the game is played ?

In my mind, emphatically the answer, is yes ! 

The issues that surround what we call thuggery must be curtailed to save the integrity of the game : punching, fighting, cursing ; grandstanding ; unsportsmanlike conduct ; all those elements, not of the athletics of the game, we know as football. 

It is time for implementation of a penalty box where offending players must sit out minutes in addition to their team losing yardage and/or a down when a penalty is assessed. I suggest owners and the player's representative begin talks about the possibility of a penalty box for football. Ice hockey does it and so does soccer ; in fact, they play on but with a player short. I would assess penalty box fouls first for those penalties that I itemize in the previous paragraph since they should not be part of the game of football. 

Owners would put added pressure on their coaching staff when their players disregard the rules of the contest. Thuggery, if allowed to continue to exist, will eventually bring down the game for spectators as we know it. Bullying is a negative in modern day life experiences and should not be part of the game of football.

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

Wednesday, February 26, 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

Saturday, February 22, 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

Friday, February 21, 2014

Of Flint, Be 

Would my words ignite, if I of flint, be ?
Would my verse billow, if west winds blew free ?

Would rhymes ring loudly, as iron strikes steel ?
Would my muse enthuse, if less wordy, feel ?

Would couplets surface, if in magma, yet ?
Would rhythm inspire, if no fuse, be set ?

Would craters irrupt, or heaven's poems, spew ?
Would Earth's mantel crack, if posies were true ?

Could I attest these improbable dreams -
Will you see through my insidious schemes ?

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


The history of Man's ascendence to the top of his food chain became factual for him when he wielded a huge club to subdue all man or beast that got in his way. Today the club is not of wood, but is in the form of huge sums of cash dangled in front of the greedy eyes of demanding politicians. 

Money, the 21st Century's  cudgel of choice, drives a deep, deep divide between the haves and have nots. The political haves need only to infer that their vote is up for sale, then speech in the form of money - political contributions termed speech by the highest court - funnels in.

The audacity called representation perpetrated upon the electorate by our legislators is abominable. These officials seek, first and foremost, the means to get reelected above all other considerations. It is not only your interests that are being eroded, it is all of ours. 

The idea of representative government leaning toward your interests becomes just a figment of your imagination if you're not of the moneyed group. Yes, our capital has been bought out by the capitalists.

"The Wolf of Wall Street", I suspect, will just bolster the idea that "greed is good" of an earlier movie. The grand idea that accumulated wealth can be a corner stone of modern day governance has gained support of, at least, the 1%errs. The bedrock idea of "one man- one vote" is under erosion from the powerful wielding capitalists who spend unimaginable sums of money to produce advertisements debunking "one man-one vote", the very bedrock of representative government.

Money, GranPa Downie frequently voiced, is not the root of all evil, it is the " LOVE " of money that perverts  all that lust for its thrill. Money, being only a metaphor for power, has subtly captured our modern day entrepreneurs who worship at the feet of Wall Street. 

You all know "the rest of the story", or do you?

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


My plea :

Do not allow yourself to come under the spell of Diabetes whatever you do!

Type 1 diabetes may be beyond your control since it is an early age onslaught disease.

Type 2 diabetes is a somewhat controllable disease especially in its early stages. 

Diabetes (Type 2) is a begetting style disease which slowly gathers momentum as it subtly debilitates bodily functions often ending up in an earlier death. If death seems not to loom early, the debilitating daily bodily functions makes the afflicted wonder if a living death is any better than a dead death ? 

I can attest to the primary symptoms of diabetes :
(1) Increased thirst, 
(2) increased hunger, 
(3) increased frequency of urination.
These symptoms most often culminate in obesity that proves intractable. Overweight and diabetes go hand and hand in the struggle for graceful aging. They are mutually exclusive with that trip we call the good old life.

I've turned 79 this month having for over twenty-five years weathered all the complications with diabetes. I'm still plagued, but seem able to put up with all the damned discomforts that grind at my everyday life. I shoot myself with insulin every night, watch what I eat, take a regiment of pills daily, by God, I nearly stopped consuming alcohol, even without it, I stumble around using a walker. I hope my liver and kidneys are still viable. My eyes are suspect, teeth are horrible, and my feet and legs swell indiscriminately. I have no stability when I stand or walk since I've encountered Charcot Foot with corresponding nerve damage to my feet. 

My most pressing problem these days is the increasing severity of neuropathy in my hands, the hands that I use in one finger typing blogs on my iPad, the same hands typing this that you're reading. The loss of sensation in nerve endings has an ever far reaching debility in almost anything that I do, like picking up a glass, or a fork, or a spoon, anything.

My plea is that you don't get into a battle with Type 2 diabetes. Believe me, it will be a God Send for you, if you do all the things right that I did wrong. Read up on diabetes and follow the instructions. Never ever, even wish diabetes on your worst enemy. Good Luck !

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, February 17, 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

Friday, February 14, 2014


How inconsequential, just how insignificant is Man in the big scheme of things ? Sure, he's put men on the moon and surely history will total up the vast amounts of carbon based energy he's extracted from this planet. Yes, man has made his footprint far from  Earth but, more importantly his imprint here, found in our upper altitudes may last forever though, because of it, Man won't. 

Before the end, by effects of hyper pollution, maybe Mother Nature will intercede in ways forever old. Rain and snow, hot and cold, wet and dry, fire and ice will stymie Man's movements within the limited access arteries he's concocted for travel. Ships, so big, he's built to subdue the seas although he has trouble when maneuvering tsunamis. His vehicles won't jump deep crevices carved in the Earth by quakes, nor can they outrace super hot lava spilling down erupting hills, or float out of deep sink holes that punctures the good earth from time to time.

Weighted by arrogance of his ego, triumphant Man, lauded by his peers, roll plays dominance over the universe uninhibited by shame. Mother Nature needs no roll playing time since she is, from the beginning of time, the Alpha and Omega of all life until the end of time. What is is what has evolved and what will continue to evolve ever more, inclusive of weather, climate, earthquakes, volcanoes, even Man. 

Controlled by time and place, Man is an accumulation of certain particular cells culminating in some merged super cells which absorb knowledge allowing memory of the past and perceiving of the future. Really, Man's trip Is just starting so his final destination is undetermined unless he disregards Nature's roll in continued evolution and ignores apparent signs.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, February 10, 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.

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

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, February 9, 2014


From around the country members of my family leave and return to their homes, hopefully well rested, ready to tackle the every days of life. Through them, by their fine photographs and stories, I have traveled too. To live my life fully does not necessarily mean this old man leave his front porch or his easy chair in his front room. One of the strangest irony's of life is summed up in a statement I once read, which goes something like this, "no matter how far and wide you travel you're giant always goes with you". What you call home, you may also call it your "Giant". 

Four Seasons

I see, from my front porch, seasons pass by :
Daily shifting with the slant of solar rays,

I see as a manifestation 
Of living's involuntary deep breaths,
As all vertebrates demand of their lungs.

I experience plant leaves deep breathing
As they place their faces toward sun beams
Slanting in concert to the arc's angle
Shifting slightly each day marching through, 

Drawn in to all the living, a torch
To illuminate a dark path through strife.

Slanted rays from our universal sphere
Shift daily to draw from flowers sweet fruit,
Four seasons are drawn for Mans'calendar.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Song Tune

The song,
The song of life,
The song of life is played in the key of time.

Seconds tick minutes into hours for days to find,
As weeks couple, bearing months, that years combine
Into passing decades etched forever on the mind.
Friends, in chorus, help harmonize the melody Devine.

But the tune,
The tune is ours,
The tune is ours alone,
But the tune is ours, ours, all alone to find.

Ronald C. Downie

Song Tune,

Song Tune is my signature poem suggesting time is the greatest regulator of each of our lives, segmenting periods of living at song, culminating finally in our own personal tune. It is the tune, people; really, folks, it's your own tune that makes your life pulsate.  

Friday, February 7, 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 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.   

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Our electricity providers have coined money over the years by not spending adequate amounts of it on preventing outages. Montgomery County reports 62% of Peco's customers have been negatively affected and many are still without power. I bet, if someone investigates Peco's high level corporate records, they would discover that Peco figured tree trimming efforts should be curtailed to improve the bottom line. Corporations are ultimately in business to make a profit, Peco, it so happens, produces electricity to make its profit. 

Being a monopoly granted by government, electricity providers should be required to do more to assure customers that they will not have their power interrupted. 

Evaluate this suggestion : Have government require energy providers install home generators for their customers on an "at cost basis". The cost would be legislated to be the lowest possible triggered by large volume purchasing and installed by competitive bids of sub-contractors. 

Certainly this is not a universal remedy since most customers couldn't even afford the "at cost basis" charge. But, still, many customers who could take advantage of the opportunity would no longer be subject to the outage problems inherent in the power grid. 

As a society we believe that turning on a switch always results in electricity being activated. The cruel fact is, this is becoming a greater fallacy rather than a truism. The enormity of the piecemeal constructed electrical grid makes it subject to failure, think of the brown outs of past years. Within the year in California there was an episode of sabotage which had a possibility of bringing down the entire national electric grid. We are living on a precipice, teetering on its edge, caught without a parachute.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fire or Ice

Into a World destined for extinction either through fire or ice, I live as all others. We ignore the inevitable.

If by fire, I figure man will have a heavy hand in the outcome as battling powers will unleash their arsenals of nuclear destruction ; if it is to be by ice, then, through eons of time, life will just flitter away by drying up, and flinging its remnants into the universal winds.

Though we were; we will be no more.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, February 2, 2014

This Writer's Dilemma

I'm closely watching my personal weather vane directly across Evans St. from my front window's vantage point. The easterly facing roof of my neighbor's house is my weather vane. This Sunday morning the roof is still half covered in snow but, even with a temperature hovering yet around freezing, the cloud filtered sun is directly hitting the roof and must be causing a heating on its surface greater than the air surrounding it.

A wet two inch snow predicted for tomorrow morning will recalibrate my roof gage. Even now, after lunch, a warming temperature has reduced snow cover to one - quarter or less. By evening it will be reduced even more but, I bet, some remnants of the snow that drifted more heavily will still be visible in the morning.

I write this not because of your need to know; but, because I need to write something, something no one else would probably bother with. Since I'm ambulatory 
challenged, where I sit I tend to stay; so when I sit in my parlor chair, if my eyes are open, I'm looking out my front windows. When spring gets here and, if I'm still here, I'll occupy the rocking chair on my front porch and write of spring bulbs, damned squirrels, and emerging flowers. 

I leave to others, those who choose not to write thoughts they've developed themselves but, who on Facebook are just satisfied with reposting what another has written, their right to remain silent as if they're muted by some affliction. I'm convinced many more people can, but don't write, because they're afraid of rejection. I write in spite of rejection because, I write for my self satisfaction, something many would call, writing as a hobby.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, February 1, 2014

When Females Find Their Stride

Women may rock and roll as the tide rises and falls with the pull of the moon but, in the future, they may have to become like a tsunami : over powering, wild, making their own waves, and washing over all who gets in their way.

Congressmen are stumbling over themselves trying to see what else they can deny their constituents : now they weigh, heat or eat ; tomorrow, tax the poor or greatly enrich the prosperous. 

Within the confines of a ballot box rests the future of womanhood and, with the success of them, lies the  future of unabated life on this planet. Until this ultimate goal can be realized, it is our country which needs saving.

I've watched Washington at its worst, presently at a 13% approval rating, and I'm disgusted. Catch a committee hearing and you'll see these dominated by paunchy old white males. These are the law makers deciding women's reproductive rights. 

Of course, it was these same entrenched males who has kept America in killing wars, as it seems, forever.
Yes, Ladies, it is your time to change the way things are done in Washington - real change comes through the ballot box - it's up to you. 

Ronald C. Downie
Women, Grab The Reins

Women may understand their lot in life has stemmed from an ancestry formulated on the proposition of "might makes right", meanwhile the physically mightier  male has  dominated all aspects of living beginning with the lording over of a dwelling place through the eons of hunting for game to eat. Human history has been one of physical imperialism ?

As do the tides change, so does the evolution of the human species change, not by lunar pull, but by a gradual learning force pressed from trial and error exercising the mind rather than the skeletal body. Now society is adapting to "brains have grabbed the reins". The proper time has come for some women, but others under ignorant subjugation, will have to struggle longer. 

The patriarchal bondage has cracked with the genie escaping for many. For those freed, their job is ahead of them, they must secure a no going back policy while helping those yet in bondage to free themselves. As tides never end, so never ending is the struggle for freedom, just look at the never ending battle over race relations here in the cradle of democracy.

The female gender must emulate water, by being of the softest element, but yet, being able to grind down the hardest rock; being the life blood of all living things, but yet, never depleting itself. The Captains of Industry will try to stem women's advance because they fear your new thinking will upset their power dynasty. You may rock and roll as the tide, pulled by the moon, rises and falls, but in the future you may have to become like a tsunami, over powering, wild, making your own waves, washing over all who gets in your way.

Ronald C. Downie