By Their Sidewalks You Will Know Them

First posted in February 2010 and again in 2013.  Thanks Timons Esaias Guest Poet

Sidewalk Shoveled

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

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 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.

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16 responses

Bill

Too deep for me.

February 19, 2010 at 7:07 am Edit

Reply

Toni Kichi

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

Reply

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 Edit

Reply

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 Edit

Reply

Arlene Weiner

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

Reply

joseph k

that is one great photo

joseph

February 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm Edit

Reply

Bonnie Imhoff

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

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7 THOUGHTS ON “BY THEIR SIDEWALKS YOU WILL KNOW THEM – GUEST POET TIMONS ESAIAS- ORIGINALLY POSTED 2-19-2010”

5 thoughts on “By Their Sidewalks You Will Know Them

  1. Pingback: By Their Sidewalks You Will Know Them – The Militant Negro™

  2. My sidewalk is clean – my back hurts – I walk everyday snow or no snow and I thank everyone I see shoveling!

    Like

    • It stays light longer now. One day our temps are arctic, then teasing us,they rise. The snow we have should melt today. Pittsburgh isn’t in the “snow belt” but we get enough to make driving treacherous. It starts out so lovely. Hoping the grip of winter has loosened but I’ll let you know. Yes. Tim’s poem is good. Thanks Gilly.

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