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.