"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

“By Their Sidewalks You Will Know Them” Guest Poet Timons Esaias

Tim's Poem Came to Mind as I Admired the Concrete First Time in Two Weeks

*NOTE to poet(s)   not knowing HTML code I am restricted by the format of this blog template and or the limits of Text/Edit from word.doc to Mac? and the poem will not publish in the original format.   It is a five stanza poem and the breaks occur after   -out.   -Way.  -human. – eternal. Hence the hyphens for space and breath.

By Their Sidewalks You Will Know Them

-

Originally there were eleven Commandments

Moses, perhaps confused by the unfamiliar

snow, ice, and sidewalk,

botched one, and left it out.

-

But Buddha said that though Life is Pain,

falling on ice is gratuitous pain

and those who cause it, by neglect,

should never escape the Wheel of Rebirth;

and Lao-Tzu agreed, for those who will not

clear the path will never find the Way.

-

Zoroaster, in the endless war of light

against ice, demanded diligence;

claimed that those who surrender

the public way to the Enemy

have empty souls,

can scarcely be regarded as human.

-

The Prophet, regarding sidewalks and snow,

is silent; but his sura

Sand Drifting Against the Caravanserai Gate

is thought to apply. The condemnation there

is brutal and eternal.

-

Plato counted safe sidewalks as fundamental

to the ideal Republic, noting that those remiss

in this clear duty lacked all character;

and his pupil – perceptive, immortal Aristotle-

further declared, famously, that

lack of character

is destiny.

Timons Esaias


Timons Esaias is a writer and poet living in Pittsburgh.  His short stories, ranging from literary to genre, have been published in fourteen languages.  He has had over a hundred poems in print, including Spanish, Swedish and Chinese translations, in such markets as 5AMBathtub GinMain Street RagWillard & MapleElysian Fields Quarterly: The Literary Journal of Baseball and many others.  He has also been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award, and won the Asimov’s Readers Award.  His poetry chapbook, The Influence of Pigeons on Architecture, sold out two editions.  He is Adjunct Faculty at Seton Hill University, in the Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. Program.  This poem was originally published in hotmetalpoets.com when it existed.

16 responses

  1. Bill

    Too deep for me.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:07 am

  2. Makes me happy that our sidewalks are clear and clean – thanks to Mike!! I couldn’t handle all those punishments! Seems like an almost normal day today!! Thanks for starting it with something special!!! Did Bill mean the snow was too deep – or the poem??!! Either way, I agree! My mind is mush (like this snow will soon be) — been in the house too long!!!

    February 19, 2010 at 8:42 am

  3. Dorothy

    All tis is great Ruth. It is like your photos and words are a diary of living through these snowy days.
    Dorothy

    February 19, 2010 at 9:12 am

  4. erica

    Too wonderful for … words?? :-) Changes my attitude on shoveling, altho I am already somewhat aware that I smile and feel satisfaction when I get to the concrete! A bit anxious now, tho, about the snow still on the bushes, bending branches low over the sidewalk leading to my caravanserai gate ……! :-)

    February 19, 2010 at 9:52 am

  5. There is a special place in hell
    where, frozen in ice, only his rear
    exposed to Satan’s teeth, he’ll dwell
    whose sidewalk’s untouched while his driveway’s clear.

    February 19, 2010 at 10:50 am

  6. joseph k

    that is one great photo
    joseph

    February 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm

  7. Bonnie Imhoff

    I know the snow is a pain, but it is beautiful. I enjoy the pic very much.

    February 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm

  8. Pingback: Count the Pigeons on a City Rooftop « Ruth E Hendricks Photography

  9. Reblogged this on Ruth E Hendricks Photography and commented:

    Reblogging Timons’ poem in this season of snow and ice to acknowledge the ongoing obligation to shovel the walks so the path is clear and safe. This is just the beginning of the season. Winter starts in earnest on Saturday December 21 at 12:11 P.M.

    December 16, 2013 at 8:45 pm

  10. I recognize your street. Did you do all that shoveling? Impressive Ruth! I have to say I am always more worried about a lawsuit that becomes “gratuitous pain” but I did enjoy the poem. Merry Christmas to you and yours !

    PS. A lot of your friends are quilters : )

    December 16, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    • Those quilts are the wordpress generated avatars when commenters don’t have one. At least they used to be. Not sure now but will check.
      This blog was first posted in Feb 2010 when we had a massive storm.

      December 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      • Hi! Yes I know they are generic avatars! I was kidding because they were all quilts but mine : ) I hope for no massive storms this year!

        December 17, 2013 at 11:13 am

  11. My friend wrote the poem but I shoveled the walk! Thanks Sylvia

    December 16, 2013 at 11:16 pm

  12. This is great Ruthie! Thank you for making me laugh at this crap-tastic weather.

    December 17, 2013 at 7:59 am

  13. Sandra robison

    I miss my street beleive it or not, snow and all…Sandra in Seillans, Provence, France

    December 17, 2013 at 11:26 am

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