Hair Poetry Photographed
I am very passionate with my work, and towards life, but, regardless, there are times when we are faced with many challenges.
I have learned we can find the energy within ourselves to help us grow and learn from any situation. If we step away from the moment, we can examine our feelings and thoughts, and receive empowerment from our knowledge.
One day when I had free time at work, I decided to go for a walk, maybe get a new book at Chapters. As I set foot, I thought about this old man I see every morning as I drive in, and it appears that he lives, literally, on the street, outside of the bookstore.
When I came out (it was raining all day), I saw him with a sleeping bag wrapped around him, and another over his head. I approached him, as I saw the sign on the ground that said Homeless Poet.
I asked him if he would like a coffee. “Yes, that would be nice” was his reply, so I returned with a hot coffee and a slice of banana bread.
“Thank you Miss” was his reply, and at this point in my life, I can tell you….call me “Miss”, and I’m all yours.
The next day I decided to bring him lunch. “How are you today?” I asked, as I approached.
“Fine thanks” he replied.
“I brought you lunch today” I let him know, and I received another “Thank you Miss”. Sweet!
I asked him about his poetry, and if he could do something for me…”I would love it if you could write me a poem about hairdressers, or for hairdressers?”
“Why, I could do that for sure. I write poetry all day long, and I like hairdressers, because they listen” he said.
Ironically, that is what I have been working at, sharpening my listening skills.
“Super”, I replied. “I’ll see you again soon”.
That weekend, I shared this experience with my husband, and as I did so, I confirmed that yes, he should be worried that it may be a concern that he could come home to empty drawers and dressers.
His response was, “Actually, I was just wondering…When is He moving in?
It Will Show
When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Does the reflection of the person there, reflect Humanity?
How do you react, to the people that you meet,
Whether a friend, maybe neighbour,
Or someone asking for spare change on the street.
Does your heart go out to others suffering in countries far away,
Or do you ignore their plight, and go on with your day?
It doesn’t really matter, how you think of yourself
It’s the opinion of others, and what of you they feel about.
By showing a kindness to a stranger, taking a moment to care,
It will show that in your heart and soul,
Humanity is there.
April 17, 2007
I went to see Crazzy Dave today, thought he might have a poem for me. After the 30 cm. of snow the day before, in April no less, I was thinking I could possibly cheer his spirits.
As I approached, him wrapped up in numerous sleeping bags, I inquired about the poem.
“Actually, I haven’t quite decided on the direction I want to take with it. Would it be the feeling of a haircut, or the hairdresser cutting the hair?” he asked.
Wow, I thought, I really gave him something to think about
I replied, “Whatever you choose is fine with me.”
“Once I decide, it won’t take long”, he said.
I went to get him some hot pasta to warm his insides, and when I returned, maybe a half hour later, Dave held out the poem he promised.
“Wow, that really didn’t take long”, I said.
“I told you, once the thought comes to me, it only takes a minute or two for me to get it out”.
As I handed him his lasagna, I read “An Art of Their Own”, and all I could think is he really did it, he captured the many shared feelings of others about their hair. Cool!
As I looked up to thank Dave, I noticed that the lasagna was disappearing at an incredible pace.
I felt so good inside, for what I just did for Dave, and from what Dave just gave to me in return.
The feelings of pride, humanity, and communication were enormous.
I felt so grateful for all that I have in life.
An Art of Their Own
When we were children, the first time there was fear,
Not knowing why this was being done, to something we hold dear.
As we got older, this did become acceptance,
Of something to aid and help our appearance.
Now as adults, their aid we do seek, for when occasions arise,
They make us turn glamorous from meek.
Coloring and cutting, an Art of Their Own,
Making us a living work, stepping out for it to be shown.
They are really needed, if you want to impress,
For without a good stylist, your hair would be a mess!
May 24, 2007
The Homeless Poet, the Hairdresser, and the Photographer
I went to visit The Homeless Poet today. It is 33 degrees and very hot outside. Thought it would be a good day to offer him the haircut I had promised.
When I asked him if he was interested, he said, “Sure, but I want it to be a Mohawk”.
I had not pictured this look for him. I’m sure it has to do with the fact that when I first saw him from afar, I thought he was a much older man, and I have not yet seen an old man with a Mohawk.
I know that he is not such an old man now, just weather beaten, but he was very adamant that he would pay his usual $25.00 where he usually went. “Fine Dave, I’ll give you the Mohawk, it’s your hair, but I do believe you’re getting cheeky”, I answered.
“Not at all, I’m always like this”, he responded.
Shortly after, I took a chance and called Jean Boulay, the photographer he had befriended, and requested if he could photograph the haircut, as I was going to cut it on the street, where Dave lived, outside of Chapters. It was our lucky day, as Jean said he would be there.
At the end of my day at work, I gathered my tools, and set off to meet them at 6:30. As I approached, Jean was there as promised, camera in hand. Dave is freshly showered and ready. He grabs his huge overstuffed army type bag of possessions and turns it upright and there was his chair to sit on.
As I started wetting down his overgrown hair, it occurs to me just how small he is. I was so used to seeing him covered up in layers.
Once I sectioned his hair, and I started removing the sides, I can hear the camera clicking away. As I had visualized this moment earlier, it was great that it was now a reality.
My HawkIt can stand in spikes,
Or in a fan.
Just lay flat,
Or in a braided row.
Some wear it as a statement,
Of who they are.
Others for fashion,
Till a new fad hits.
Me, I like it,
Sets me apart,
The grey colour makes it noticed.
So, I don’t really mind,
If you stop and stare.
I think it suits me,
My Mohawk cut hair.
Tch, tch, tch….
Tch, tch, tch,
This sound it does make,
Capturing an image,
A moment in time taken.
It’s Cyclopes Eye,
Blinking with it’s voice,
Will not hear you if you answer,
Earless, it has no choice.
Follies and defeats,
A visual memory to share,
With people you meet.
Seeing who you really are,
Exposing the truth within,
Except when one’s posing,
With a pasted on grin.
In the hands of one skilled,
It offers a better view,
Can change one’s perspective,
Of the Image in You.
“It’s about time you got a haircut, Dave”, and “Hey, this is going to be so cool”, are some of the comments people were saying as they walked by. People see The Homeless Poet as they walk by him on a daily basis. It occurred to me how many people he has met and become a friend to talk with.
“Not to worry, I know more people here than the Mayor” was his answer to that thought.
Scissor over come for this Mohawk has become a great deal of work, so I keep cutting away.
“Over here guys”, we hear Jean say. He wanted a picture of us together when I was finished. Dave was now sporting a boyish charm, as opposed to the old man image.
He also refers to me by my name now, no more “Miss”, but that is all good. I have just made two new, very nice friends.
I also had the chance to “take my scissors to the street”, which was a first for me.
Most of all We “found Dave”.
Dave is not an old man. This Homeless Poet is full of wisdom.
Photography: Jean Boulay - www.jeanboulay.com