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”

There Were Years When My Decorations Stayed Up

There were years when my Christmas decorations stayed up in my front hall for months. The straw roofed manger on the dining room mantle ALL year with the olive wood figurines – the garland hung passed Epiphany, passed Chinese New Year, passed Groundhog’s, passed Valentine’s. Don’t think I ever added Easter eggs to the fake evergreen boughs in my front hallway, though.

So when I drove by this today (February 6th) I was reminded of my leaving holiday decor up long after the Christmas season.

Punxsutawney Phil Saw His Shadow at Sunrise Today

Punxsutawney Phil, the perennial groundhog, declared he saw his shadow at sunrise, Friday February 2nd. Groundhog Day.

No early Spring for us.

“IF CANDLEMAS DAY IS BRIGHT AND CLEAR,
THERE’LL BE TWO WINTERS IN THE YEAR.”

How often is he accurate? Less than 50% of the time according to this article by Justin Boggs.

Hope he’s inaccurate this year.

I’ve been to see this event twice which might be in your bucket list.  And Last year’s Groundhog Compendium

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Two Airedales by Anna.

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Captured this morning by granddaughter Anna (14)

Josie looking in and Henry asking to go out.

Friends Shared Winter Carnaval Quebec- Guest Blog

Although I’m in Ohio, I got to experience a taste of the winter Carnaval Quebec in Quebec City today. What fun!

A group effort on the photography, thanks to Kristin and Rick.

Quebec City-today’s “temperature was a balmy 25 and yesterday a -2”

See their exhilarating toboggan ride video below.

Linda with Bonhomme -mascot of the Carnaval

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Kristin (native Floridian ) framed by the intricate ice sculpture.

(Linda,I love your sockhead knit hat!)

Join my friends on a fast toboggan run!

You might remember the pie pin map at Grant Bar in Millvale when Kristin and Linda visited me.

https://rutheh.com/2016/05/11/a-pie-map-not-a-pie-chart/

Granny Smiths

Yes, it’s winter. Seriously cold winter.

What better time to bake apples?

I used my sister’s method and added a few tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar in the bottom which I later spooned onto the apples’ core opening. Nothing else. No cinnamon or raisins or butter or sugar. Granny Smiths snd Balsamic vinegar.

I used an apple shaped Glasbake Vintage baking dish (a gift from Molly) and baked them at 350F for an hour.

The kitchen was warm from the oven and the whole house smelled delicious. Looks like an electric element but it’s gas.

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Along the Monongahela River.

The thin white tree branch over the dark trunk seemed to connect the bridge reflection in the river. Tie it together.

I photographed this image earlier in the week.

But-we’re not talking about the weather or what it’s doing outside my window right now.

It’s winter for certain.

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