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.