Outdoors, Seven Flights Up

Listening for city warblers,
red cardinals perched on cement ledges,
impatient jays clinging to limbs.
Ears cringe at raucus horns,
cherry red vehicles rush
nowhere fast, just out of view.
Grey skies meld into buildings,
perfectly perpendicular
floor upon floor upon stack
upon stack upon stacks.
Right angles everywhere.
My lawn chair, an oxymoron
on this outdoor slab,
seven floors up, walls on three sides.
Eyes close so memory can recall
morning Kiskadee songs at dawn,
Bermuda’s blue upon blue horizon
where shimmering waters touch the sky.


Written for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets’ Pub.

43 thoughts on “Outdoors, Seven Flights Up

  1. Sanaa Rizvi May 26, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    Bermuda’s blue upon blue horizon
    where shimmering waters touch the sky.

    Stellar close to an incredible poem ❤

    Lots of love,

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 26, 2016 / 9:16 pm

      Such a lovely thing to say 🙂 Many thanks! So glad you enjoyed.


  2. Magaly Guerrero May 26, 2016 / 3:13 pm

    I never knew that balconies were such a tease. Still, for us apartment dwellers it is often as good as it gets. I, too, shall close my eyes and summon birdsong. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 26, 2016 / 9:19 pm

      So many in our building have closed in their balconies to have an extension on their living room or an “extra” alcove. We crave the outdoors — even in the city — so we sit and look out at the cityscape — the buildings that blend into the sky — but it is outdoors.


      • Magaly Guerrero May 26, 2016 / 10:10 pm

        Living in NYC, I completely understand the need to escape and the need for space.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lillian May 27, 2016 / 7:25 am

        Yes! Always so glad we live near the Charles to walk along the river — or some time to sit in Boston Commons. Similar I expect to why people enjoy Central Park in the midst of the urban sprawl.


  3. Linda Kruschke May 26, 2016 / 3:29 pm

    This makes me feel bad for the times I’ve complained about the neighbor’s noise from my backyard deck chair.


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) May 26, 2016 / 3:35 pm

    I really love how you weave that geometry that contrast so well with birdsong and that wonderful blue… I think you have made the city wonderful

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 26, 2016 / 9:20 pm

      We love city life — but truly miss the beauty and water of Bermuda! Two months there was heavenly:)


    • lillian May 26, 2016 / 9:21 pm

      Sitting outdoors, with a city scape or the Bermuda Harbor — it’s the need for the outdoor air we crave. So very glad our city condo has a balcony — even if it does look out on buildings.


  5. kanzensakura May 26, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    The cardinals sequeing into those wondrous kiskadees! When I lived in the city, sometimes it was so hard to find that bit of blue, that lone birdsong among the clatter.
    perfectly perpendicular
    floor upon floor upon stack
    upon stack upon stacks…..life in the asphalt jungle perched among the cement mountains…My husband said to me last night, as we were sitting on our lawn chairs breathing in the honeysuckle….I wish we’d win the lottery so we could buy one of those NY fancy high rise apartments….I must confess, I got up and felt his forehead to see if he had contracted a sudden fevered delirium. I said, listen…and you could hear the cardinals, wrens, finches, jays – all of them bustling about getting ready for bed. And, I gave an ominous pause, the city can stink in the summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 26, 2016 / 9:23 pm

      “asphalt jungle perched among the cement mountains” – exactly. Although I must admit, I do enjoy our city deck more in the evening — when the lights are on in so many of those windows — but – I’d much prefer stars — which are unseen here because of light pollution.


      • kanzensakura May 26, 2016 / 10:35 pm

        There are certain charms to living in the city. But, like you said, no stars.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. scotthastiepoet May 26, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Agree with Sanaa – a very evocative piece with such a perfect finish… Don’t think I’ve been here before? But will certainly be back again. With Best Wishes Scott

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 26, 2016 / 9:24 pm

      So gladd you enjoyed! Please do stop by, and meander here any time. Usually I’m replying and reading over my morning cup — this evening, decided to respond over my chardonnay! 🙂


  7. Walt Wojtanik May 26, 2016 / 4:47 pm

    The splashes of color are visual; the sounds symphonic. The city stink? Thankfully, I have no sense of smell! One to read out loud! And I will.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 26, 2016 / 9:26 pm

      Well — no stink here. But the sounds of the city are intermingled with the birds — living smack dab in the middle of Boston has many advantages. Carless….we take public transportation or walk everywhere……..but we do enjoy the outdoors so walking along the Charles, hiking through the city, and sitting on our deck are favorites. But — after two months in Bermuda, our deck view onto the cement jungle is just not the same as our deck view of those amazing harbor waters and the sound of the bright yellow Kiskadees! 🙂


  8. Grace May 26, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    I admire the city’s little gifts from nature but nothing beats I am sure, those memories of you and your family back in Bermuda with:

    Bermuda’s blue upon blue horizon
    where shimmering waters touch the sky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 26, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      Exactly! But — instead of the stars at night, we have twinkling lights from those literally thousands of windows — trade-offs for sure.


  9. therisa May 26, 2016 / 5:26 pm

    As someone, who dreads heights, with extreme prejudice, I salute you, for your courage, of standing on your 7th floor terrace. As a fellow city dweller, I have various songbirds share their daily harmonies, outside my 2nd floor window, as I wake up to them. But, to have memories of Bermuda, is sweet beyond believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 26, 2016 / 9:29 pm

      Well, they say, places in the city cost more the higher up you go — 7th floor fit our budget in our 15 floor building. Our Bermuda deck looking out on the harbor was truly a muse — but now that summer is here, I must say, I do enjoy sitting out on our city deck in the early AM with my morning coffee, journal in hand. I just crave the out of doors — city or seascape! 🙂


  10. jillys2016 May 26, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    You have me at birds. They have a way of inhabiting poetry so well. That last line – where shimmering waters touch the sky – is a perfect contrast to the photo. Love this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 26, 2016 / 9:33 pm

      So glad you enjoyed! Will get to my readig in the AM with my morning cup. Just responding tonight withy my evening chardonnay 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • jillys2016 May 26, 2016 / 10:21 pm

        Aw! We are kindred spirits! Working on my evening Carmenere, but it’s all about the coffee!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Ayala May 26, 2016 / 6:17 pm

    I love sitting on terraces. There is always peace in the outdoors even in the city.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 26, 2016 / 9:34 pm

      Well…..the daytime view is not so hot, as the photo shows. But at night time, if you can’t have the stars, it’s at least nice to have twinkling lights from literally thousands of windows as you look out. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael May 26, 2016 / 9:37 pm

        Yes there is that perspective Lillian…..have a great weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. thotpurge May 26, 2016 / 8:36 pm

    So true.. over the din of urban life is the silence within that summons bird song!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 26, 2016 / 9:35 pm

      “din or urban life” — so well statted. The sirens, horns, car motors, airconditioning hum…..but there is still the ability to get out and about — and to sit out and feel real air rather than air conditioner blasts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Bryan Ens May 27, 2016 / 8:26 am

    This really makes me despise right angles! I really need to get out into the country more to hear and see the birds!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 27, 2016 / 8:53 am

      Smiling I am! Have you heard of Hundterwasser? May have it spelled wrong. He built a very famous house in Vienna that has zero right angles (think about that) and also has a tree growing within it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bryan Ens May 27, 2016 / 10:05 am

        I think that I’ve heard of that place…would be interesting to see!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Mish May 28, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    Wow, I can feel the longing you have for another place of solace…
    I really enjoyed your descriptions of the city view….”My lawn chair, an oxymoron on this outdoor slab”..and…”cherry red vehicles rush nowhere fast” . Despite the concrete jungle, you found peace in the outdoors with those beautiful birds to accompany you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 28, 2016 / 1:49 pm

      Peace is where you make it, right? 😊. Glad you enjoyed. Wrote ahead and scheduled in — old college friends arrive tomorrow for five days. My early morning routine will stay intact as they are later sleepers! ☕️


  15. katiemiafrederick May 28, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    i Love the siGn of a free
    bird flYinG iN thE
    sprawl of Big
    City Stress..
    murder on the
    24 hour news circuit..
    muggings around the back..
    as the birds just fly and do
    what they do.. and yes… i
    too.. am that free bird too..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Barry D May 28, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    The concrete jungle cannot contain the mind’s penchant for memory, nostalgia, and imagination. I cringed wit you at the horns, and strained to hear the birdies. Excellent poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 29, 2016 / 8:14 am

      Glad you enjoyed! Nice to see your reply over my morning cup of joe!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s