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.
Steve said it was Robbie Burns birthday today. Born January 25, 1759.
We missed the fancy fundraiser for the museum last week, the Haggis and men decked out in kilts of their clan.
We missed the “not your grandfather’s ” Robert Burns birthday party in Lawrenceville and the one on the South Side with all kinds of scotch at Piper’s pub.
But we got to pay homage to the Scottish poet, just before dusk. The end of a January gloomy Sunday.
We headed out to Schenley Park to the Robert Burns statue (by Scottish sculptor J. Massey Rhind) and it started to snow.
Right next to Phipps Conservatory.
Mrs. Peacock sounds like a game of clue but here is a snippet of the article in the Mary 3, 1914 Post-Gazette.
For a list of Robert Burns memorials around the world, click here
“The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley.
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
(To A Mouse)”
― Robert Burns, The Works of Robert Burns
My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.”
― Robert Burns
from Tam o’Shanter
But pleasures are like poppies spread—
You seize the flow’r, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river—
A moment white—then melts forever.
“And man, whose heav’n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn
Man’s inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!”
― Robert Burns
Serenity (noun): The state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.
October 29th, Wednesday Afternoon
Funny how the unexpected sight of something triggers a stream of consciousness.
The word Iris, the sight of these Iris blooming made me think of many things.
In Highland Park after school today, while waiting for a poet to arrive to shoot the author photo for her new book cover,
I saw these Iris.
I always think of Iris as the“end of the school year” flower but now I see they bloom in late October, too.
Vincent Van Gogh painted them.
Liane Ellison Norman wrote a poem, ” I Dug Up the Iris” about our friend Dorothy’s Iris.
When I was young, we lived in Montclair New Jersey and walked in the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens named after the founder of the American Iris Society.
So many memories triggered by the sight of their blooming today.
Pilot John Gillespie Magee, Jr. wrote this sonnet three months before he was killed at age 19, when his Spitfire collided with another plane on 11 December 1941.
Today when I was flying home from Panama City Florida to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (via Baltimore), I remembered we had to memorize and recite this poem in Mrs. Stewart’s Sixth Grade at Morris Plains Borough School 1963.
True, I wasn’t the pilot but man’s ability to fly is astounding to me.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
First image shot with iPhone The rest shot with a Canon 50D
It was a great day to fly.
Above the fruited plain……..
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside–
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown–
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
Robert Louis Stevenson
Maura at 5 1/2 finally learns to pump
The Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life part two Found these in my old laptop. Different city streets-
From the archives
A sunrise – a perfect beginning.
A baby, just born.
The first page of the dictionary.
The first page of the new calendar.
Once you start, more come to mind.
Beginning= possibility? A new start.
I did not search the archives for beginnings but put the iPhone to use at breakfast-
My Saturday morning.
Here’s the beginning –
The special English muffins a surprise in the Christmas mail from Ben and Susan, thanks
A newly sharpened pencil ready to begin……
a journal entry, a letter, a poem, a novel, a list-
Begin with a single match…………..