Stairway to Heaven

I’m a fiction writer. Poetry is not my thing. I tried to write a poem for this post, and my husband said, Image“You didn’t rhyme the last two lines.” Of course I did. I’m not an idiot. I went back and read them. Hmmm … I guess “come” doesn’t rhyme with “done.” Crap!

But, in an effort to post outside of my comfort zone, I am forging ahead with poetry. I even have a picture to use for inspiration. Also outside of my comfort zone is to ask for participation. I can barely squeak out a question at the end of my posts, so this is definitely outside of my comfort zone. (I just used the words “comfort zone” three times in one paragraph. Now four.) So, here we go …

Sing with me. Led Zepplin. Stairway to Heaven. Do you have it in your head? Good.

Thanks to my husband, whenever I go out into our backyard, the song rolls around in my head. There isn’t a stairway to heaven out there, there’s a stairway to nowhere. Now sing the song using the words “buying a stairway to nowhere.”


Click for a closer view.

This summer, the house next door to ours was gutted and completely renovated. The stairway in question used to go to the door to the kitchen. As you can see, they made a new entrance with new stairs. They didn’t remove the old stairs; they simply painted them brown. What were they thinking? For me personally, the stairs to nowhere would be a deal breaker.

Rather than try to understand the logic, let us pay homage to the stairs to nowhere today. Leave a poem, limerick, haiku, or simply your comment about the stairs to nowhere – or anything else for that matter. I’ll walk over, sit on the stairs, and read your work or comment aloud. Maybe. I might pay a neighbor kid to do it.

We’ll start. Here’s hubby’s limerick because he is a fountain when it comes to limericks:

There once were some steps, a total of four,
That led from the ground up to the door.
The door went away,
An improvement some say.
Now they lead to a door that’s no more.

Good, but BORING. His bacon/schmeckel limerick was so much better. If he hadn’t mowed the grass this past weekend and used up all of his energy, I’m sure he would have given us better.

Here’s my poem:

Oh stairs once gray,
I feel your dismay.
Slathered in brown,
The bane of the town.

You went to the kitchen,
You used to be bitchin’.
Now useless to all,
There is only a wall.

That is why I don’t do poetry.


Let me try a haiku:

Gray happy stairway
Leaves fall on distressing brown
Renovation sucks

I’m supposed to take a moment to reflect on the experience of this new type of blog post for me. It only took a nanosecond to have my thought: Poetry is hard. I’m stickin’ with fiction.

Your turn.
Just go with it.


171 thoughts on “Stairway to Heaven

  1. I liked your poem…it was funny! 🙂 And I agree with you, poetry is hard! And something I can’t seem to do anymore now that I’ve dedicated myself to fiction. Hmm…perhaps I’ll give it a try:

    I imagine them to have spirals
    like a castle in the sky
    grey and twisting no where
    and no one seems to know why

    You’ll sit and stare a minute
    at the green and climbing vines
    wonder at the clouds and blue
    In that space of wasted time

    …Huh. 😛 Yeah, poetry is difficult! Even though its not great, it’s still fun though! 🙂

  2. I actually think you did a fantastic job. Here is a haiku about me wearing men’s long johns:

    On the front exists
    A generous hole, for what?
    Something Is missing

    Did I fail hard enough?

  3. There once was a door where these useless steps still lead
    Now a wall is all that’s left, but for a door there is no need
    The steps are quite inviting, to guests who come to call
    From beyond the grave, they float right in,
    Through the kitchen to the hall.

    Oh my gawd! Is that craptastic or what? Poetry IS hard. It took me fifteen minutes to write that drivel. More time than I usually spend on a whole stupid wordy post. Thanks so much for making me stretch my brain today. Sorry the results were so embarrassing.

  4. Recalling the vision
    Whenever I hear that song
    Of your neighbour’s house
    And where the door’s gone

    Having already written a different blog to usual I’m really going for it tonight! Funny how songs have associations….

    • Great addition! My husband said he had the song with the wrong lyric in his head all day. It never dawned on me that anyone looking at these stairs might now see them in their mind’s eye when they hear the song. 🙂

  5. I liked your poetry. Poetry does not have to rhyme; most of my poetry is free verse (no set rhyme) and/or free style (no set style/format). Go for it!

  6. Here goes…Stairways to nowhere, or to somewhere? Your nowheres are my somewheres and my somewheres are your nowheres. Now that’s some heavy poetry!! lol

  7. We interrupt our homage to the stairs to point out an important stat. For the first time ever, I hit 100 views for the day. Yeah, I know, I’m still a newbie at all of this. But I know about the 100 because I was watching, and it registered at the same time as a Like on this post. It was someone new to me, and I’m instantly in love with her blog! She’s an artist. And SHE HAS DOGS. And she draws dogs! And other wonderful things, but go to look at the dogs!! I love basset hounds.

    Resume stairway poetry.

  8. I loved your poetry! But now I can’t get ‘Stairway to Heaven’ out of my head (I don’t mind though because it’s one of my all time favourites) 🙂

    I’m not a poet 😦

    • I’m not either. All I know from school is to rhyme the words, and even that’s pretty much out the window these days. I admire those who write poetry well; it’s not easy. Glad you don’t mind the song in your head. 🙂

  9. I thought your poem was good, especially since you said it was totally out of your comfort zone (and it’s better than your husband’s 😉 ). It’s out of mine too; coming up with rhymes is just too frustrating, haha.

    Wonderful post, Maddie!

  10. I like the combination of Yiddish with bacon in the other poem. As a smut writer, when I hear limericks, my mind goes elsewhere. You guys write cute poems though.

    As far as those stairs, I dunno, maybe they kept them to amuse the children? It’s a bit bizarre that they were painted. Like, that didn’t help them look like they belonged.

    • My husband can do smut limericks, but I try to keep things pretty much PG-13 here. 🙂 The house is a flip, so it’s up for sale – no kids yet. Painting them gray to match the house would have kept them from sticking out like a sore thumb.

      • Maybe they .painted them brown so people wouldn’t trip.over them. If they were grey and blended in with the house maybe…could be they kept tripping over them, until they painted.them brown. Good thing they didn’t paint them some neon color! Ha ha!!

        Why are they still there? Too remove? Connected to the house foundation and to take a sledge them would desaster?

        Me thinks they would be better if turned into a plant stand. 🙂

        • I asked my husband to go over there and take a closer look tomorrow. I’m thinking they must be part of the foundation. There is a stone foundation around the house, and it’s possible there are no stones behind the stairs. The previous tenants had roses and tomatoes growing on that side of the house, so I think it really could be lovely with potted plants. When the house is sold, and new owners move in, I’ll have to do an update post on what they do with the stairs. 🙂

  11. Poetry! I’m glad you ventured into the world of poetry- it scares me, too. I think it’s the pressure to get it all right in such a tiny space. I like your neighbor’s stairs because they are poetic- something that once had a purpose and no longer does. Their only job is to exist = mind blowing.

    • But you *could* be a poet; you always have such a wonderful way with words. 🙂 … The sellers should have staged the stairs. Potted tomatoes, plants, flowers – something to show that they could be used for a small garden.

  12. enjoyed your post and thought i’d join in.
    i usually write free verse poems, so i’ll try to rhyme!

    lonely stairs
    no one cares
    to see where you once led

    but once people rose
    following their nose
    waiting to be fed

    while i’m at it, I’ll make it a two-fer tuesday!

    lonely stairs
    live without purpose
    no one to climb
    in anticipation of a meal
    painted brown to obscure
    the loss of a door
    without a window
    of opportunity
    to replace it

    • Thank you for two!! I like them both, and they brought back memories. A family from Guatemala lived there for quite a few years. There were days when you would go outside, and wonderful, spicy odors of cooking filled the air. They made your mouth water. I’m sure the stairs miss them, too. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. When life hands you stairs you must climb
    To the top and if you should find
    There isn’t a door
    Just a chocolate-brown floor
    You’ll know you’ve been had one more time!

    Very funny story! Maybe they decided painting them was easier than ripping ’em out, hauling ’em to the dump, and reseeding the lawn– weird! Could make for some very confused trick-or-treaters… : P

  14. Well, try free verse poetry. You were interested in writing a poem pertaining to a particular form, grounded by predetermined rules. But poetry is not limited- there is a poet in every being. Just write what comes out of your mind, give it a flow- and thereby, you have a beautiful poem written by no one else but you.

    • I’ve only recently paid attention to the different styles of poetry. Free verse is interesting, and while some poems make me scratch my head, others are more easy to understand. I guess that’s the beauty of free verse. I’ll have to try it some evening and see what comes out. Thank you for the encouragement.

    • I think, too, they were left there with the intention they would be used for a mini garden via potted vegetables or flowers. It may have been too much of an undertaking to have them removed.

    • I think it’s not likely. 🙂 The house has been a rental for many, many years and was recently purchased, renovated, and put up for sale. I expect a new owner will do something creative with the stairs.

  15. I’m not going to add a poem, but do want to add a thought. Have you ever seen doors that are up on the side of a building with no stairs beneath them? I have. It’s like they’re supposed to go out to a balcony or something, but actually lead nowhere. I always wonder if anyone opens the door from the inside and I think to myself, “Watch out! That first step’s a doozy!”

  16. Once I had purpose,
    unnoticed and abused.
    No one cared,
    I just got used.

    Along came a stranger,
    who colored me brown.
    Used so much paint,
    I thought I would drown.

    Now i’m alone,
    I just bake in the sun.
    Did I do something wrong?
    What have I done?

  17. I haven’t had so much fun reading a post’s comments section in a while! This was a blast! I also am a fiction writer who tried poetry. and did worse then you! I should have asked people to help! I needed it! Thanks for the smiles and laughs.
    this is where my awful poetry attempt is if you are brave enough!

    I would have posted a comment about the stairs in poem form but I think I used my yearly ration up all ready! 🙂

    • I was brave, and I looked, and it was a fun poem! Isn’t that funny we both write fiction and tried poetry for the challenge. 🙂 I love the picture you have at the top of your page. I’ll be back to look around when the dust settles here. 🙂

  18. Very good for someone who is out of their comfort zone! Haha now I have stairway to heaven stuck in my head, and guess what my names Maddie too!! Great Post!!

    • It’s easy to get the song stuck in your head. 🙂 Your name is Maddie, and we both have pink on our blogs. 🙂 I like that you review books for teens. I’ll be by soon to read more of your blog. Thanks for stopping by today!

  19. Both sets of stairs seen
    One has a door, one does not
    Why choose the dead end?

    You’ve got me thinking…there’s something either really deep or just really lazy about those two sets of stairs.

    • My first instinct was to say really lazy, but the houses here are over 100 years old, so there may be something really deep about those stairs. It’s pretty cool how they finagled their way into staying. Thanks for adding a poem!

  20. “What is this life if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand on stairs”
    William Henry Davies with a slight twist at the end 😀

  21. I enjoy dropping the occasional bit of poetry into some of my cartoon work. A few years ago a put out a cartoon on the excesses paid to CEOs and upper management while the rest of society was poor and starving.

    It depicted a bunch of pigs wallowing in a tub full of money, and to one side was a single mum walking away with her child, both looking “downtrodden”.

    I borrowed the format of an old nursery rhyme song.

    Sing a song of five cents
    a pocket full of dough,
    four to twenty million
    to pay a CEO

    This is their value
    don’t give them any less,
    fill their trough to overflow
    to hell with all the rest.

    I enjoyed doing that one, as it attracted some favorable comment when it was published in the newspaper.

    Thanks for your post, I enjoyed it the most.



    • Hi Mick! (The name of my main character’s love interest in my books. :-)) Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I found your post in my spam filter, but you are now officially included in the Stairs to Nowhere post.

  22. I like the way you have taken up an ordinary event and encouraged people to let their ideas flow. Two thumbs up. 🙂

    And here’s my first time ever at poetry, actually it’s so far off from poetry that I will just call it non prose 😉 Pretty much evident that no rules have been followed (‘coz I ain’t even aware of any), but here goes:

    You ponder, you rhyme
    on my purpose, my pigmentation and my shine
    I will tell you how I see it,
    And then the true version you can decide.

    After a lifetime of service, there are
    No footfalls and no potted plant grime
    No butt warms and no luggage marks (ah bliss)

    Didn’t you ever think, maybe,
    All I have ever wanted is just to be?

  23. I love this post and your poem made me laugh, I actually really enjoyed it. I’m with you about the stairs, odd that they were painted brown and not grey in keeping with the rest of the house?!
    Anyway, how interesting that a simple set of stairs could be so thought provoking.
    Here is my attempt at a poem:

    Grey stairs up
    Brown stairs down
    Isn’t it funny how their life has turned around

    Grey stairs in
    Brown stairs out
    Isn’t it strange how their use is changed about

    Grey stairs new
    Brown stairs blue
    Stairway to Heaven? I haven’t got a clue?

    Peace, Love and Happiness 😮

  24. Oh heck, the mere mention of rhyme brings me back to playing rhyme games led by my mother when we were going on long journeys in the car back in the day!

    There was a young lady in flares
    who was always up for bold dares
    she spotted THE guy
    let out a wild sigh
    ‘Oh help, I might trip on the stairs.’

    Thanks for the fun!

    • So glad the post brought out nice memories for you – as well as a great limerick! Do you know the children’s song Down by the Bay? Our son and I used to make our own rhymes to that song and laugh until we cried. Being silly is so much fun. 🙂

      • No, I don’t know ‘Down by the Bay’ ~ I’m Irish and living in Ireland so that might explain that! However, I do know the laughing until we cried and got pains in our bellies bit.

  25. Maddie, I am so intrigued by your post — so here goes:

    Gray stairs for you
    Or brown stairs for me
    It used to lead to door with a view
    But now it goes nowhere you can see

    Tho’ to me it must stay in my memory
    While to you it may mean nothing
    So if I choose to let it be
    Please be nice and don’t say anything

    Hope it pleases the neighbour at least… 😉

    Thank you for the chance to join the fun….

    • Val, thank you for your poem! I think if the new owners tear the stairs down, I will be heartbroken. Now that there have so many wonderful poems written about them, they must be saved! 🙂 I appreciate that you stopped by and participated!

      • Hello Maddie,

        Thank you for taking the time to reply to everone’s comments. Perhaps by the time the last poem is submitted, you will have enough to compile into a book/let of sorts – your first book on poems about a stairway to heaven – and possible present it to the new owners! By the way, I take my hat off to your publishing achievements which seem effortless to me! Keep on the fabulous work….

  26. While the muse eludes me this morning, I’ve taken a shine to the useless stairs. I think of them as performance art. Who needs therapy when you can go in your backyard, look at your thoughtful stairs and just “be”?

    • After so many great responses, I have a new appreciation for the stairs. I think I’ll take our dog over later today, and we’ll just sit on them for a while. Thank you for your comment. I think performance art is a good perspective. 🙂

  27. I guess I’m a little late but the challenge was too fun/funny to not participate. This one’s silly. 🙂

    The stairs where Billy goes to smoke
    After a night out of being a jovial bloke
    If I’ve told him one time, I’ve told him ten
    That will be the door for him to come in
    If he returns smelling of perfume, no joke.

    Fun challenge & a great blog you have here!

    • Thank you, Stacey. Good poem! The stairs would actually be a great place to slip away and have a smoke (if one were so inclined). And you’re never to late to write a poem! 🙂 I appreciate your stopping by.

  28. I know nothing about poetry, but I liked your post. And the picture made me chuckle. I think I would start sneaking out each night and leave something on the steps – maybe spray paint an imprint of a body on the wall as if someone had walked up the stairs and thumped into the house!

    • Piper, this is one of the funniest comments on this post! The imprint of a body on the wall is so creative, and I can see it in my mind. … Your puppy is adorable, and I’m hoping to have time this coming week to check out blogs of some of the kind people who stopped by. I’ll be back to read more about cheesecake! 🙂

  29. It’s my first visit to your blog and I have to say, I really like both poems. Most of all, I like that you wrote on post on the “stairs left behind.” That’s exactly the kind of thing I notice. Those steps are begging for some decoration – especially if done under cover of darkness. Could be alot of fun!

    • I agree. A few fall plants would be pretty. There has been one open house there, and I’m surprised they didn’t stage the stairs that way. I’ll have to see what I can do. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

      • Or you could print out all these great poems (or write them out if you are so inclined 😉 ) and leave them on the stairs for passersby to read. Just sayin’…

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  31. How’s this?
    walking up ONE is no fun
    walking up TWO feels too few
    walking up THREE means carefree
    But walking up FOUR brings the crowd’s dull roar and a way of escaping defeat

    • lilypetal, that is really emotional. Some of the poems have made me feel so sorry for those steps. And with winter coming, I want to go over and put a blanket on them. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by and participating.

  32. once I was a need
    I was paid much heed
    now my place has been taken
    with no comings and goings….my faith has shaken
    I guided my loved ones being the bottom stair
    times changed, i now lead to nowhere

    here s my attempt
    lovely post!…
    i think i can borrow some patience from someone and work more on it…i love poetry… given somebody gives me a prose or an inspiration, or may be a few words…
    u just reminded me of an old interest 🙂

    • It’s amazing what a prompt can do, isn’t it? My husband said this post would have been a dud without the picture, because I could tell you about the stairs, but actually seeing them would bring out the poetry. Very good attempt; I liked your poem! Thank you for contributing!

  33. I really enjoyed your poetry! Poetry is hard, I’m not sure if I could have done better, good for you for writting outside your comfot zone! I was going to try and write a fiction short story as so far on my blogsite it is mostly been like a journal of my different intrests. Anyway, I’m James great too meet you! I caught your post on Freshly Pressed! Cheers!

    • Hi James! Good to meet you, too. When the dust settles here, I fully intend to check out the blogs of everyone who has come by, so I will see you soon. I hope you write your story one day. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Thanks, I’m glad you have confidence in me! I haven’t written any fiction since probably the 4th grade so I’ll be a bit rusty lol!

        • James, I’ve never written anything before. Give my About page a quick look. I sat down one day in February and just started writing. I self-published four books this year. Sometimes, the interesting ideas hiding in your head just find their way to paper. 🙂

  34. One step at a time.
    Enough for us all,
    When at the end of the climb
    There is only a wall.

    Whether they are gray
    Or whether they’re brown,
    I’ll not stay,
    I’ll jut go back down.

    Life is that way,
    Dead ends everwhere,
    Here I won’t stay,
    I’ll find a new stair,

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  39. You will not out stare me you four stepped motherfucker
    make ya god damn mind up for you are neither up nor down
    not even sure you’re the right way around
    Hersey covered shit steps no door eyesore
    I half expect to see kermit half way up your useless purpose
    Maddie, my darling please talk some beauty into this two up two down Tutti Frutti

    and if that monstrosity keeps playing dumb

    call the sanitation man round

    and have him step up and do to his duty!.

    Love from Ireland


    • Hahaha, Mark! I admit to laughing out loud when I read this. You put a lot of emotion into that artful work of poetry.

      I was tempted to do a wee bit of editing on your comment as my blog is rated PG, but I’d feel hypocritical since it made me laugh, so I’ll just let your words stand. 🙂

  40. If he hadn’t mowed the grass and used up all his energy.” Haha so true.
    Have you seen Fiddler on the Roof? Surely you know of the song Tevye sings “If I were a Rich Man”. He sings how in his house he would have “one long staircase just going up, and one even longer coming down, and one more going no where just for show.” I’ve always wanted to have a staircase going nowhere just for show. Admittedly, I didn’t imagine it brown or made of concrete.

    Stairs at rest
    My sides are heaving
    Wish I could rest
    And let the stairs do the leaving.

    • Hi GlowWorm! I’m sorry to be so late in catching up here. Yes to Fiddler on the Roof and a staircase just for show. 🙂 The only thing that has happened with the staircase next door is that a green hose has been allowed to flop on it. I had hopes for pots of flowers, but so far nothing creative has shown up. Very nice poem! Thanks for leaving one.

  41. While you were jamming to Funky Friday I was humming “Stairway”…sigh…

    Would Robert Plant just shake his head
    Or rewrite his classic song instead?
    To end with “She’s Paaaainting A Staaaairway…that leads to off-white or possibly taupe depending on the lighting aluminum siding…”

    • Hahaha – very good ending, but I don’t think Robert Plant would approve. Boxes were built on the stairs this past summer. Plants were planted. Our house blocked the all-important sun, and I don’t think the plants did too well. Oops.

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