4th Floor Walk-up

artwork by Danny Gregory, used by permission, taken from his Flickr page

artwork by Danny Gregory, used by permission, taken from his Flickr page

This is submitted to dVerse Poetics where we are writing to the art of Danny Gregory.

I remember that summer well,
whenever I see the sun come through
the window at a certain angle,
or smell the sweet smell of old dry wood,
or I hear the first opening bars of
Baba O’Riley.

All the way up those stairs
sweating and taking a rest
on the third flight.
Smelling the meals of other people,
pot from that quiet man on the second floor.

Hot hot summer.
Up on the roof at night
looking down at the crowded streets,
looking up to the sky, a strange
orange from all the lights
and not really a sky, just a…
piece of canvas I guess.

Sitting in someone’s lawn chair,
lugged up there for the purpose
of finding repose.
I remember well that night
I climbed to the roof
with a cold six pack.
I couldn’t face that tiny
apartment full of faded plants,
books waiting to be studied,
and a lethargic shower.
And on the roof,
the young man sitting in the – his
lawnchair. he looked startled
that someone else would come up.
I hesitated.
Then, want to share a six pack?
And he smiled.

So we drank and smoked his
pot and talked…talked…talked…
We both wrote bad poetry and
we didn’t care.
We were tired of studying,
wanted to find a cool patch of green
We stayed up there until sunrise.
We watched the sun climb before
we started down the stairs
to our apartments.

I remember that summer well.
I often wonder,
Do you still write bad poetry?
Do you remember me
and that first morning
you brought me coffee?

36 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Grace
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 18:24:17

    That’s a lovely memory of summer and first love awakening ~ And oh to watch that sunrise together is something else ~


  2. bmiller007 (@bmiller007)
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 18:39:23

    smiles….what a cool memory…real i hope…and where you lived sounds like a cool place…full of textures and smells…and personalities…funny too who we end up bonding with along the way as well…


    • kanzensakura
      Feb 10, 2015 @ 20:31:27

      It is a real memory. As soon as I saw that sketch, I zipped back in time. We lost contact after graduation from university. he was a nice guy and a good friend.


  3. Mary
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 18:48:04

    Your poem held my attention from beginning to end…very evocative, emotional, and intense. I do hope that it is true!


  4. wolfsrosebud
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 18:56:33

    “a cool patch of green” ah… you took us to this place filled with sights and sounds… so much life you brought


  5. Victoria C. Slotto
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 19:27:32

    This really stirred up memories for me of a few weeks of summer spent in the heat of the Bronx in between semesters at College in Scranton. No pot or beer, but the sounds and smells and sweat and swelter–I could feel them–you recreated them for me.


  6. Gabriella
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 19:32:20

    You really told us a story! It would be great material for a film scene or a short story. I enjoyed your poem very much.


  7. huntmode
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 19:56:50

    Kanzen! This was terrific – such a change, I would think, from your disciplined haiku yet still evoking all those wonderful images you conjure. Lovely!


    • kanzensakura
      Feb 10, 2015 @ 20:37:16

      Theank you Huntie! This was for a prompt from dVerse Poetics….we picked a sketch and wrote a poem for it. The moment I saw the sketch, I knew. I went right back to that wonderful summer. I am glad you enjoyed.


  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 23:20:04

    What a great memory – to sit there and watch the sky. To me it sounds like the scene out of a film.. I’m sorry you lost contact.. Maybe he will turn up in the blogosphere 😉


    • kanzensakura
      Feb 11, 2015 @ 10:38:18

      I never thought of that. That would be nice. He was working on being a teacher of Modern American Lit. Ungrateful task. He was a nice man and a good friend. Sometimes, I think when we play back our memories, they almost do become like a movie or a short story or in this case, a poem.


  9. claudia
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 23:39:16

    hey – that is a cool encounter… and nothing wrong with writing bad poetry – ha – it’s the connections we make along the way that matter to me as well… a very cool snapshot here.. love it


  10. bkpyett
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 00:15:35

    A delightful poem and memory Kanzen! ❤


  11. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 07:34:37

    Awe-s.o.m.e. I agree with ALL the comments. This is superb. I have never climbed up on a roof alone or with anyone else, but this feels so real. Once again, you have outdone yourself. ❤ ❤ ❤


  12. macjam47
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 08:15:26

    How beautiful that you saw yourself in the sketch. Some memories are so strong, they can be no more than an aroma, lawn chair, rooftop, or sketch away.


  13. anmol(alias HA)
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 09:38:42

    It is wonderful how we get a good company for a while. Sometimes, people we don’t know turn out to make such an impression on us (through their personality or may be the mood of the event when we meet them) that we do remember them and particularly that meeting even when many years have passed.
    Beautifully penned.


  14. Suzanne
    Feb 12, 2015 @ 01:36:13

    A beautiful poem that captures the memories of one of those fleeting encounters that somehow end up meaning a great deal. Those moments we can never really forget.


  15. mishunderstood
    Feb 12, 2015 @ 17:59:51

    What a flashback this must have been to write….it really comes alive. I agree with Gabriella…it felt like a scene from a film. Nice!


  16. elmediat
    Feb 13, 2015 @ 16:40:32

    Very effectively captures time & place and the emotional energy connected to it. The closing lines of longing, nostalgia, and memory resonate like the closing bars of a melody. Well done. 🙂


  17. el34ax7
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 00:00:58

    For a moment, I was there, and I thank you for that. 😀


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