Selected Haiku by Issa

Don’t worry, spiders,
I keep house
    casually.


    New Year’s Day—
everything is in blossom!
    I feel about average.


    The snow is melting
and the village is flooded
    with children.


    Goes out,   
comes back—
    the love life of a cat.


    Mosquito at my ear—
does he think   
    I’m deaf?   


    Under the evening moon
the snail
    is stripped to the waist.


    Even with insects—
some can sing,
   some can’t.   


    All the time I pray to Buddha
I keep on
   killing mosquitoes.


    Napped half the day;
no one   
    punished me!

6 haiku by Issa from The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa, edited and with an introduction by Robert Hass. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Source: The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho Buson and Issa (The Ecco Press, 1994)
More Poems by Robert Hass