Hairdo People

Sherry Killam, teacher, writer, visual artist.

     Sherry Killam


“I gotta use words when I talk to you.”  T.S. Eliot





Just back from a visit
to villages of underground dwellers
with above-ground hairdos.
Some whose buried heads
house creatures
like the tortoises,
who, too, surround themselves,
ducking into themselves
the way a wave ducks
into the sandy cliffs
that protect the castles
we mold from the salty beach.
(The Wigs are a different species
and settle in endless groups
at altitudes just below
the Original Buried Hairdo Tribe.)

how slow they stand
with feet flat inaccessible, no checking shoelaces,
head and foot in different blocks of sod.
Tufts of hair, erect, electric,
catch the light
to feed the body,
feed endurance,
feed the need to keep on standing,

I run among the plots,
my head so far above
these grassy toppings
they seem but tiny fields
of waving wheat
around my feet.

I take quick steps to curb momentum
adding rhythm just in time
to make the leaps
that land in sand
and lead me down
to the rocky high rise
also known as
Coyote Condos.

A wilderness resort of sorts,
sporting curved walls of
rooms carved with wind and water,
dry and quiet now, ledged with
ancient balconies guarding
private beaches
left by prehistoric tides
that come no more.

This landmark thousand star hotel,
massive, built to last,
till Mama Nature
needs more grains of sand
and lets some smaller pieces
break off under fingers of
the Land Boy who hurls the clods
toward distant hills and doesn’t see
them land on secret hairdos.

Dry desert bush with round brown flowers

Hairdo People Photograph by Sherry Killam


Rock formation in Joshua Tree National Park suggesting a hotel for wildlife.

Coyote Condos Photograph by Sherry Killam






5 thoughts on “Hairdo People

  1. Pam Martin


    All I saw were the Hairdo People and the Coyote Condos. They were beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us. I will never see anything like that in my life time.
    Every thing you do is beautiful.

  2. Sandra Lytch

    Beautiful. I remember you calling a painting of mine when I first started painting landscapes “Coyote Condos.” I loved the title. Will need to attach that title to another painting sometime. Thanks.

    1. Tom Dailey

      Sherry, I really like the rhythm of your language, and the imaginative images and meaningful connections you make. Also, it looks like you had fun writing it; it was fun to read. I was curious and went online to figure out what bush you were writing about–couldn’t though. And how are they different from the Wigs? And what ARE the Wigs? See all the questions your words provoke!? The few (relative to where I live) plants you have out there in the desert sure are interesting. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Sherry Post author

        Thanks for the feedback, Tom. I added a photo of some hairdo people, around the Coyote Condos . I try to protect their individual identities and respect their naturally introverted and unassuming way of life. The wigs are a bit flashier. All fun.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.