First posted in February 2010 and again in 2013. Thanks Timons Esaias Guest Poet
Tim’s Poem Came to Mind as I Admired the Concrete First Time in Two Weeks – Photographed Feb 2010
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
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 5AM, Bathtub Gin, Main Street Rag, Willard & Maple, Elysian 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.
This entry was posted on February 19, 2010. It was filed under poetry, Things in the Snow and was tagged with city scene, HIghland Park, photo of the day, photography, Pittsburgh, Poem, poet, poetry, shovel, sidewalk, snow, Timons Esaias, urban scene, winter scene.
Too deep for me.
February 19, 2010 at 7:07 am Edit
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 Edit
All tis is great Ruth. It is like your photos and words are a diary of living through these snowy days.
February 19, 2010 at 9:12 am Edit
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 Edit
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 Edit
that is one great photo
February 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm Edit
I know the snow is a pain, but it is beautiful. I enjoy the pic very much.
The result of an enthusiastic snow plower.
A pile of asphalt chunks by where I parked.
I photographed it as I was getting ready to head home this afternoon
Can you find the “puppy”? and the “smiling face”?
Like a sculpture garden as I made my way into school this morning
Cinderblock in the snow
and how the school looked through my impressionistic windshield-
on my way home
We had some fun neighbors on Lowe Street in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
The Army Housing had eight units and they lived on the end and we were in the middle. I can’t remember a single movie we saw together but we sure laughed a lot. Years later when we lived in Germany the whole family came to visit us and we have a video of that occasion.
My friend Sally found out she was expecting her son Jonathan when Mark was just a baby in 1976. Jonathan is headed back from his Army assignment in Korea and I know Sally is glad.
And somewhere in my house, I still have the cute birth announcement for their dear baby girl Jennifer, born February 26,1982.
Thirty three years ago.
This post is to honor and remember little red-haired Jennifer and all those who love her. xxooxx
Self-assignment: Return to the same place and take another photograph.
Did you ever see two photographs where you are to spot the differences?
Photographed December 2010 Where the Rivers Meet (note the Christmas Tree at the Point)
Talking about weather and the impact on our lives has taken a prominent role this season.
We’ve had enough of winter here and we’re not Boston. I see their photos of piles of snow to the rooftops. Ugh.
Not sure how they can stand it. What will happen when it all melts?
Dangerous driving, slick roads, walking warily. Ice you can’t see.
Grateful for a furnace and power. Everything seems more of an effort.
First day of March and I’m a week
off but I’m blogging from my phone while sitting in the dark in my granddaughters room. Some of the family already headed out to a swim meet.
Here’s the vein of memory sparked by these photos – not for certain when Presidents Day started but will google.
My mother had a small cookie cuter in the shape of a hatchet.
Baked sugar cookies and the skinny dough hatchet handles would break off so easily.
She also made a pie like dessert with canned sour cherries and every so often you’d find a pit. I remember her stirring the juice on the stove with cornstarch to thicken, a crusty biscuit on top, baked.
This pie, a purchased one, reminded me of her efforts to celebrate Washington’s Birthday when I was growing up.
I’ve baked a chocolate log for Lincoln when the kids were small.
For this impromptu photo op, I pulled out the Presidents’ teapot J gave me and then remembered my parents George plate in the china cabinet.
The year mark (77-78) and I lived in Philadelphia while his dad was in Korea, my mom or dad would rock Mark in the big wooden rocker( it’s in his office now) and he’d look up at the blue plate on the wall and say “George” when you’d ask him “who’s that?”
After breakfast in Ohio. The hope of an imminent Spring.
Thought the tulips would help counteract the snowy landscape this morning.
A single petal fell off and froze quickly.
Here is Long Tail the feral cat in the garage. You may know the story about Ann next door who was in her nineties and passed and we caught two of the four young cats she’d collected and had them neutered and vaccinated and released. How they survive the sub zero temps is astounding. Steve feeds them and made a shelter.
As I arrived, I noticed sunlight.
It’s been pretty gray around here. Twenty four days until Spring.
Just the tips of the top of the PPG building, reminded me of a sandcastle at the beach.
And up over the hill, the rest of the skyline.
You can see the barge lane in the middle of the icy Monongahela River. Don’t let the blue sky fool you, it was really cold.
A panorama taken with the Sony Mirrorless camera. First time I used this feature.
This was actually the first shot Monday afternoon as I pulled out of the school lot.
First time the sun had shown itself in awhile.