PHOTO (and a Poem): PRAYER, GERMANTOWN & CHELTEN AVENUES, JANUARY 20 2014.


Yesterday I sat on a northbound 23 bus and

I caught this moment out of the corner of my left eye and

I prayed silently as he bent his torso forward toward the southeast

His head facing the edge of the curb and

The soles of his feet facing the check cashing place where I go

To exchange paper for dead presidents that I can spend with

Hacks who shout to me on corners

Brothas who sell me things I don’t really need

Oils day passes incense soaps shea butter gloves hats knockoff pocketbooks

I prayed that the exposure settings were correct because

Sometimes they aren’t and

I checked one more time quickly then

I aimed the lens at the bus window facing west and

I brought the viewfinder to my right eye and

Held my breath and waited for the green light

Pressed the shutter button one time and

Heard the familiar click and

Wondered why he kept a bucket of peppermints nearby.

Pressed my luck

Shot two frames from the hip – no good

I looked around.

No one cared.

The bus pulled away.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Keith Miller says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Tiesh! I had the privilege of reading the poem before actually seeing the image and the words really brought it to life. In its simplest form, I think it sheds light on capturing a special moment in time – burdened with context. At the same time, I think it also puts a voice to the invisibility of artists among us. Despite the attention to detail and focus it takes to capture a moment that even words can’t explain, to me, there’s a loneliness as none of us have control over the impact our labors of love and devotion have on those around us. You stop, point, focus, and shoot as the world continues to chime unknowingly – as if you’re a ghost voyaging through the past or a time traveler from a distant land. But, that’s what makes what you do so special; for every shot you take brings you that much closer to making all of us more conscious and aware!

    1. Thanks Keith for your insightful comment. Despite the burdens that come with being creative, I’ve seen how art can change the world. That’s what motivates me to push forward despite the loneliness, invisibility and sense of disconnectedness and detachment. The world needs us!

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