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