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.

POST NAVIGATION

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

Family Photo Session – a 2017 Favorite

The Weekly Photo Challenge -Post your favorite 2017 photo.

Here’s one that comes to mind.

Thanks Jenn for allowing me to post your family photo. I know we did get you all together but this one is a standout for me!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/2017-favorites/

Every Hair bow on her Head

Visiting family in Ohio, I came upstairs to go to bed in Maura’s room.

There she was, sporting every hair bow she owns!

Cheeky.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/cheeky/

A Quart of Vegetable Soup

A good friend brought a quart of vegetable soup and some homemade bread for tonight’s supper.

Especially welcome as I just got home after being in Ohio for the Thanksgiving break and no chance to go to the store yet.

Simmered the soup and sliced the bread and enjoyed the delicious meal.  Thought of how fortunate I am to have good friends.

My friend J in Omaha trades a quart of homemade soup each week with her friend A.

I won’t return the mason jar empty!

vegetable soup

 

Self-Portrait in Someone’s Trash

 

 

 

 

 

On my classroom keyboard was a nice note,written on composition paper, from the computer man who stopped in yesterday  –

back up computer- hard drive must be replaced.

Now one thing I know is that discussing any sort of computer issue is instant snooze z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z

BUT look what I found today as I copied photos to a borrowed external hard drive!

A photo I took last Spring of my on the way to school.

I’m in the oval mirror.  Really.  And I loved the carport and the seemingly crooked pole.

Thanks for looking and thanks for all the good birthday wishes for Michael’s 8th yesterday.

I got to partake in the festivities via FaceTime along with the other grandparents in Virginia and it was fun.

Ninth graders come to school tomorrow for orientation.
Hendricks May 1 431

Bumper Stickers Gone Wild

At the red light, waiting to go into the Liberty Tunnel.                         I blurred the numbers on the license plate.

Bumper stickers have been around a long time but I haven’t seen them on too many cars lately. Until I drove home from school.

New Route, New Sign

Here’s the message board I saw on my way home from my new job at high school as I waited to get onto Saw Mill Run.   A quick snap with the iPhone-

JOY IS NOT IN THINGS

IT IS IN US

Thought it was a good one to think about as I drove.   In photo class, we’ve been talking  about the Art Element of LINE and there sure a lot of lines in the pic, too.  Not that these lines help the composition of the shot or add interest or draw the eye to a subject- just lots of power lines and wires on the bridge.

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