Sunday, April 27, 2014


Storms seem brewing not represented by weather; namely by a guy named Donald Sterling, the owner of a professional basketball team, the Clippers of Los Angeles,  California. He is reported to have uttered some very racist comments that got recorded then reported. The storm over these statements is starting to spin in the nature of a tornado who's path is not determined nor its potential destruction calculated. 

His words have pulled the scab off of racism, that wound festering for well over century. Donald Sterling, a mega millionaire, often captured on camera with attractive women in his company, many of diverse skin colors, he still plays his eighty some year old game of being a hunk to women. 

Money, mega money, has the muscle to buy professional sports teams and staff them with players, coaches, and administrators drawn from predominately  males of all ethnicities. It's true, many in Sterling's employment are only a couple of generations away from the cotton fields of segregated slavery. Most in the World have put this thought behind them but, in Donald Sterling's being, he seems not to have embraced the ideals of forget and forgive. Also, it seems, Donald still carries the aura of Master/Serf in his heart.

The Master/Serf anomaly must be an experience learned not something inborn. Could his demanding drive to accumulate wealth have developed in him these thought patterns ? It certainly seems, from my  understanding of those in our society who doggedly pursue wealth, that they acquire a jaded view of the common man. Their view gets wrapped around a generalization : in man, there are takers and there are givers. 

As a three day storm cranks up out west and starts its tornado devastation across the USA, a similar storm is taking place on TV and radio stations. The Clippers are engaged in the NBA championship series with a chance to go further on if they continue to win. The future of the Clipper's owner is, about as up in the air, as will be the condition of residents living in Tornado Alley after a stormy season. As the president put it : when ignorance opens its mouth, it's best to let what's said, be heard.

Ronald C. Downie


Friday, April 25, 2014

Fool Me Once, But Not Twice

Should I become a conspirator by thinking ill thoughts about Peco? I was really put out of sorts the other night when the power went off in hick-up style: on-off, on-off a couple times, until it finally shut off altogether. With the digital clocks blinking away, the prowler light on-off, on-off, and the huge, loud diesel generator at Manor Care down the street cranking up like an overloaded eighteen wheeler chugging up an incline; that night was not one for sleeping. I'm still listening for a credible answer for why this outage occurred.

This morning I learned a reactor was being shutdown. Is there a connection? Limerick is aging, maybe aging faster then the corporate heads want to admit. Should we in the area of evacuation become more uneasy?

I date back to the time when Peco was selling the concept that, if they were allowed to build Limerick, local customers for electricity would get power for almost no cost. We were duped then, so are we being duped now?

Fool me once, shame on you ; fool me twice, shame on me.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, April 24, 2014

May Living Fill You With Life

Our wish, Connie and mine, is from deep within our hearts : thank you for making this Easter weekend one of the most memorable in our lives. To all our family, to our family of lifelong close friends, and to all who have known us these many years is our gratitude for sharing our 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration at daughter, Heather's, home : Saturday, April, 19, 2014.

With all our love and memories,
Connie & Ron Downie

Monday, April 21, 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

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rain Forests Cry Out 

Rain forests cry out in searing pain
Listen- hush- their teardrops rain
Down in agony on thoughtless man
Whose allegiance lusts a fatal plan.

Self -centered in worship of his navel 
Believes wrongly that the Earth enable
So few use so much- unholy contempt
Of Natural Law- from which non exempt.

"Lord Of Lords", unquenched greed, bastard seed
Planted in exhausted soil . You are in need 
Of : purpose, values, and true tested honesty ,
Pillars used forever to uphold Life's Tapestry .

Hoe out noxious greed, build proper tilth
In soils of concern . There's a vast wealth
From loudly speaking out, so join with voices
Who shout, " I will not accept wrong choices !"

Ronald C . Downie   

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Eternal or Determinate

Spring arrives, its steps fast and furious,
Wind and rain driven, flamed by the sun.

Colors, pure and true, drawn from hardy bulbs
Deep asleep long months, top soil pillowed.

Green, who can escape green's swift advances,
From tippy tops of trees, carpets of grass,

The stalks of spring bulbs and, of course, bad weeds.
In green, the sun and earth simply mingled,

Softy penetrating rays energize
Elements slumbering soil's lactose. 

Life eternal or determinate end -
Grand is the ultimate life long question.

What is this force we refer to as life, 
Evolved from the beginning primal ooze ?

It is present all around us living
In plants and flora from the beginning.

Accept, if you will; if not, ignorance
Has an overzealous blind audience,

See no, say no, hear no evil, they say.
Interdependent is this Web of Life. 

Ronald C. Downie


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Gruber Legacy

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

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

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

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

   Ronald C. Downie

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

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Look At Music - Listen To Art

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

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

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

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

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

Ronald C. Downie 

Beyond The Senses

Clambering for acceptance,
Mediocrity cast, bogged down,
Not understanding why I am
So serious while the World
Wallers in its superficiality.

Is my life a drama or a dirge ?
Can I accept universal song ?
May I see nirvana in the arts ?
Will I, the painter's eye, perceive ?
Is this me or is it a mirror of me ?

Ankles swelled, strong hands shriveled,
Eyes sight hindered clouded with tears,
More gum, not white what's left in tact,
Like Spanish Moss grey, less head hair,
Dropped chest rests like a flat tire,
Hobbling's more than a pain in my ass.

No longer pungent are tasteful smells. 
Where did my fine feeling fingers fly ?
Horizons, once sharp, bleed as if misty.
Guttural rumblings mute my Earth's Song,
Flavors of a bountiful table have escaped.
Post-eternity looms as an indomitable spirit.

Value an acceptance of yourself
Within the boundaries that society
Permits you of being the roll model. 
Be yourself, not that method actor,
Slipping on and off center stage.
With issues grapple, high goals climb.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Why I Blog

I got interested in blogging when I realized I could distribute my many years of composition to a wider reading public than I ever could imagine. Nearing 80 years old, I realize I have much to say and a limited time to do it. Blogging gives my voice to a muted public.

With my blog, which is mainly posting poems written over three or four decades of the last half of my quite eventful, eighty years of life, I hope by example to encourage others to take advantage of emerging cyber capabilities to do the same. Beyond the poem, I hope to give the reader some insight into the reason behind me, developing it by adding some prose commentary, which may illuminate both content and construction.

I guess writing about my philosophical understandings of life is the most interesting thoughts I've been able to record. There is a stream I often refer to : facts accumulate into a stream called knowledge,
more easily formed today by the advent of the computer than ever before in human history, but it is what we find in this stream that propels human life swiftly forward, that we call wisdom. It is wisdom, sometimes called original thought, that is the Holly Grail of life, in my mind.

With so many holidays behind me, I guess what I like best about holidays is the gathering of family, because the family is the underpinning of all society and, from that, civilization.

I would eliminate fear in the World, if given a chance.

Ronald C . Downie. 

Friday, April 11, 2014


Beneath my hardened exterior beats a wanting not yet fulfilled. Am I like you? Are you like like me? Are we the disrespected among the mass of our community because we speak softly, with opinion we write, we keep to ourselves, are we a hidden muzzled minority?

Does History record our achievements in grand headlines or can they be seen in the script of the measured advance of civilization recorded by the multitude of post episode reporting? I hope so.

As Americans, we decide whether or not to live our lives in quiet desperation or 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 try to describe in the following.


Money to incarcerate, none to educate.
What's our future ? Where's our priority ?
Are we dumbing down America, the World ?
Dumbing down to give few, too much.

Have you no shame? College students 
Must borrow to learn, their learning 
Improves the lot of all Americans.
Congress is eating our seed corn !

Holidays are a time to give honor 
To those who give of themselves,
Who willing give making your life 
Safer, happier, and worth living.

If your not of immigrant ancestry,
You're of Native American linage
Who are awash in casino gambling.
Immigrants learn gambling easily.

It's will to live, beyond all else,
That drives people to longer life.
Having the will, is no guarantee,
Breathing longer is the answer. 

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Exit Interview

I've been thinking lately about who will be questioning  me at my Exit Interview, the one just after my last breath. Will I hear questions from below - from above ?

In anticipation I've been listening more intently to the Music Channels (400/450). I prefer Classical Masterpieces or Light Classical. Through them I can hear music from below as well as from above; the guttural dirge of base and drum - the lilting strings of a whispering heaven.

If asked about my generation, I'll have to apologize for mine. We seemed to be a militaristic one. Just post the Great Depression, mid-nineteen thirties, extending on for twenty some years. We lived though grade school  while the Second World War waged, we were there during Korea, followed with Vietnam, then Grenada, on and on. 

Many my age, like me, didn't serve in the armed forces since we fell short in years for one war and too old for the next. Did war for us seem just an annoyance, ok as long as some other guy was getting shot at, but not us ? Out of sight, out of mind allowed conflicts to go on and on with little public oversight. 

My generation perfected the age of disengagement, just opting out, no reason needed. We began the long drive for profits beyond reason, as they aged our members were caught up in the profits from the military industrial complex. The Stock Market was their playground; from the military industry they got their finances, my generation not only the puppets but also the string pulling puppeteers.

I apologize! 

Exit Interview- I best get busy thinking about it again or, at least, about the music which will follow me along as I sway on out.

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tweet's Twang

Bounded by enthusiasm but suppressed by ignorance, some travel thru life whistling while they work, all the while, they shuffle along. The beauty of not knowing is knowing absolutely nothing. If you choose to live an unexamined life, do it alone, don't drag others down with you. 

For eighty years I've pondered
The outcome of my life lived long :
Small rust town, riverfront flooded,
Many things known, some by song. 

Dripping wet from baptismal waters, five of our Supreme Court now absolved of citizen care. The super rich duty's done. Money's their elixir.

Who in battle would you want watching your back ? The multitude who spout belief in Jesus and Father or those who, in their moccasins, walk.

Huge carnivores, satisfied when eating flesh, were not able to exist beyond a meteor strike. Man's developed the bullet to fill death's void.

Entry level jobs are those most needed in our country today. The CCC the WPA templates still exist.   Rethinking "Work" must take precedence.

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, April 4, 2014

To See Vast Waters And Grasses

To see vast oceans pillow a red balled western
Sun at close of dying day, hearts our thoughts.
Ship's anchorages dot our jagged shores while seas
Are pleasured by watered life old as age itself.

Great green seas, endless to the human eye, watch 
Waves of high tasseled grasses strong wind blown
Gathering in antiquity's rhythms of Earth's songs.
Feared of fire, though necessary, life force cycles.

We close each day a little wiser, dumber ?
How do we unravel the crimes of ignorance ?
Is death final or only a prelude to really living ?
Do questions come easy, answers not easy enough ?

Never standing still, time steps to a silent drummer,
Wearing down muscle and sinew, thought and will,
As a grind stone mashes kernels into eatable flour
To sustain life,which lasts until it ultimately ceases.

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Sing it out loud and clear, listen to the choir echoing in the rafters, "Hallelujah, Hallelujah" - our 21st Century civilization is safe, safe now from future wars. Love has finally won out over hate, love is the great emancipator from conflict, it demands turning  over the other cheek or set of cheeks. Generals aren't immune from physical relations with subordinates, it seems, since they're out of uniform when the formal deed is done. 

The top general of our longest ever war, or is that wars, has found the answer. Not even penis envy could dissuade him from his newly found amour. He has unleashed the secret of the Holy Grail, not a cup or what the cup holds, but the secret is in an attitude. Neither parades nor Navy seals grab his attention but his command to attention is centered in his groin. 

Our country, once so homophobic, cursed all over the World not even comfortable with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", finally hit its stride last week when fondling between ranks became the new norm. Coupling's now commonplace ; even the birds and bees do it. 

Foreign countries are to be embraced in their struggles for independence. Once it was just between leaders but in the future may mean individually embracing. Its  outcome may truly cause a World wide melting pot, colors fading away, language blending into indefinite twangs. Killing them with kindness will be the ammunition of the future, a kiss there, a hug here, a pinch or two, and then some real foreplay. "Goodbye, My Fancy" will make a grand comeback. 

Hypocrites invade our lives far too often unannounced and undiscovered telling us, "do as I say, not as I do".
They love the choir singing loud and clear, "Hallelujah, Hallelujah" since the music drowns out their dishonesty. The question plaguing us all seems: are we better off knowing the truth, or better off not knowing it ? 

Ronald C. Downie