White hair

Somewhere in NJ

One day someone killed Sam the Mindreader. I found him squashed and dried up. I stayed there for a long time just looking and listening to the creek running across the rocks. Suddenly I was left with a name in the emptiness, a name I didn’t know what to do with.

The mind-reader’s name
seemed hollow after his death —
just me, rambling.


simply wait

That night I dreamed of my first home, of the trees outside the closet-sized room with the pink rose wallpaper where I spent my childhood, and the scent of lilac in the spring. In the next room my parents argued and loved, dreamed and worried. Our lives there, now vanished, seemed as solid and indestructible as those tall oaks and catalpas outside my window.

In a hospital bed
with a view of bare branches,
dreams of long-lost homes.


Feathers of Hope

This creature emerges from decomposing piles. [drawing]

Placed on a white page,
the maggot looks anything
but white.



It grew cold, and the cold grew on all surfaces.

Lovely white hair
that crumples in the sun:
frost on a rose hip.


Burning Silo

We found the remains of dead seabirds and a sea lion, along with bits and pieces of crabs, clam, oysters and fish. The Black Oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani) and various species of gulls seemed busy as they poked between rocks and patrolled sandy beaches.

Skull of a seabird
washed up before the sea was half-
finished with it.


the cassandra pages

But something about these little, simple solids delights me: the way a few little flat sheets of paper become something so firm and beautiful.

Fed up with the blank page,
it’s so satisfying to make
a paper airplane!


tasting rhubarb

[photos of ice-skaters]

In a world of ice,
imagine how we would flock
to a walking rink!


Clouded Drab

Some serious lumps of beef on sale at Borough Market.

Red and gold foil,
a glistening side of beef:
Christmas at the butcher’s.

3 Replies to “White hair”

  1. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed these haiku. After my sometimes-sixteen-hour workday, your stuff often sends me in some fresh direction so quickly that I can fall asleep with almost no thought of work.

  2. I love the way Peter expresses his appreciation for these haiku. I read them, then I read Peter’s comment and then I read the haiku again. For a second time I tore into packages wrapped, immaculate.

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