Haiku sequence: Birds in a hot sky

A haiku (hopefully) sequence for the dverse prompt



bold as brass echoes

with summer


swallows at sunset

flicker in elegant flight

winged evening dress


heat throbs

woodpecker-laughs while we bake

with tree envy


still hushed air

grasped in an iron fist

hot as a cat’s breath


too hot to sing

sparrowhawk ever ready

to pick a fight

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

54 thoughts on “Haiku sequence: Birds in a hot sky”

  1. I adore the summer imagery here too; each word is delved with deliberate thought and I can feel such warmth from the details alone. If anything, this impacted me the most:

    “still hushed air
    grasped in an iron fist
    hot as a cat’s breath…”

    I have cats myself and they have horrible breath. This made me shudder because I’m just thinking of that, hahaha!

    Excellent haiku sequence here. It’s so beautifully penned! I love your writing.

  2. “We’re having a heat wave”,Marilyn Monroe sang; even here in the NW, we have high 90’s. Your haikus simmer, stew, steam and hit every note of a poetic serenade.Your last haiku is my fave.

  3. So the sparrowhawk is still ready to fight. I imagine the cat could be goaded, too. But in the heat, maybe two-footed and four-footed creatures would just as soon melt–I mean, rest–on one spot.

    1. You’d think so. I’ve noticed that the buzzards are the only raptor to be systematically attacked by other birds, even songbirds. Mostly the other raptors mind their own business, but not the sparrowhawks. They are the bird equivalent of terriers I suppose.

  4. I enjoyed your haiku sequence and its title, Jane. The opening haiku is a real hook, with ‘blue’ standing alone and yet completely part of the alliterative simile, daring a bird or a cloud to disrupt the blueness. I love the way you make the heat more palpable, throbbing and ‘woodpecker-laughing’, and the image of sparrowhawks ‘ever ready to pick a fight’. I am so glad that the weather is cooler here and there are no overheated sparrowhawks about to pick fights. I think they must have all flown to Spain!

    1. Thanks Kim. The birds go quiet in the heat mainly, but the buzzards have a knack for stirring it up. The other birds of prey keep out of it, but the sparrowhawks are always up for a fight.
      It’s too hot to think about anything but…heat.

  5. Wonderful seasonal haiku sequence. I loved this one…
    still hushed air
    grasped in an iron fist
    hot as a cat’s breath

    I hope not as stinky!! :>)

      1. I did so much better work once I started freelancing and only went into offices to discuss the specific project I was working on. Some people thrive in that atmosphere though. My older daughter really misses it–they aren’t scheduled to start working at the office again until September. Of course she’s trying to work in a small apartment that’s not set up for it at all, and her work relies on other people. If they don’t give her what she needs she can’t just go to their desk and ask where it is, she has to wait (and wait, often) for them to get back to her.

      2. It makes a big difference if you actually enjoy both the job and the contact with lots of people. She’s lucky. I’ve worked with a tiny handful of people I have actually liked, and had to work with and for a whole crowd I have disliked intensely, doing a useless sort of job anyway. Anyone who enjoys their work is in a sort of heaven.

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