Songs to Survive the Summer

      by Robert Hass




The haiku comes

in threes

with the virtues of brevity:


        What a strange thing!

        To be alive

        beneath plum blossoms.


The black-headed

Stellar’s jay is squawking

in our plum.


Thief! Thief!

A hard, indifferent bird,

he’d snatch your life.



Four verses out of 123, excerpted from Praise (Manchester, England: Carcanet New Press, 1981), page 55.