Needing a haircut …

I’ve been wondering what to post in these strange days of lockdown, social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine. Plenty of people are hitting cyberspace with ‘haiku’ they’re writing to stave off boredom/amuse themselves and yet still want to inflict upon others.

So I thought I might try and find some decent poems that are tangentially about the situation many of us find ourselves in. One thing that occurred to me too late was that even if New Zealand’s lockdown lasts only 4 weeks, I’m going to need a haircut in that time – if lockdown lasts 8 weeks or even 12 I’ll be turning into a cavewoman! Haiku Husband has already said he won’t do it, which seems a bit unfair as I’ll be trimming his beard, as I’ve done for almost 40 years!

Still, I have given myself a haircut once before – using nail scissors and the wing mirror of a VW Kombi van parked in a campground in Salamanca, Spain! Needless to say, the next professional I saw said: “Who gave you your last cut?”. The insouciance of youth … and now age!

my child with a cold –
her forelocks almost
her eyebrows

Sugita Hisajo (1890-1946)
from Far Beyond the Field: Haiku by Japanese women

What’s the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut? About 2 weeks!

Sunday best
a fresh wind styles my hair
more casually

David J Kelly
from Kokako 30 (2019)

last week’s haircut
my DNA
in the phoebe’s nest

Stuart Bartow
from Bones 15 (2018)

Native to North and South America, phoebes (Sayornis) are part of the flycatcher family of birds.

town barberpoll
stops turning:
autumn nightfall

Nicholas Virgilio
from The Haiku Anthology (1999)

evening rain—
I braid my hair
into the dark

Penny Harter
from Haiku North America Contest, 1999

Not having access to hair dye has apparently been a big lockdown issue for some (if you can believe the ‘popular’ press). Fortunately, not a problem for me as I’ve been naturally grey for years!

too young
to look so old —
grey temples 

Julie Bloss Kelsey
from the RH Blyth Award (2019)


A, B, C of Haiku

Hope you’ll enjoy this ride through a fairly random haiku alphabet – there are a myriad of alternative choices for each letter. If you feel inspired to make your own alphabet, please share the link in the Comments section.


deep autumn
the arsenic
at the apple’s core

Melissa Allen, A New Resonance 8 (Red Moon Press, 2013)



home of my ancestors
I download an app
that speaks their language    

Ann Magyar, IRIS Magazine Little Haiku Contest winner, 2017



so suddenly winter
baby teeth at the bottom 
of the jar

Carolyn Hall, The Heron’s Nest 7.1, 2005


we sample new
baby names

Susan Burch, Betty Drevniok Haiku Award, 2018



today my son weighs the same
as when he was born

David J Kelly, Modern Haiku 48.3, 2017


into the church hymn
wall gecko

Anthony Itopa Obaro, Yamadera Basho Memorial Haiku Contest, 2017