I Wrote a Little Haiku

      by Les Murray

I wrote a little haiku
titled The Springfields:

Lead drips out of
a burning farm rail.
Their Civil War.

Critics didn’t like it,
said it was obscure—

The title was the rifle
both American sides bore,
lead was its heavy bullet,
the Minié, which tore

often wet with blood and sera
into the farmyard timbers
and forests of that era,
wood that, burnt even now,

might still re-melt and pour
out runs of silvery ichor
the size of wasted semen
it had annulled before.

From Waiting for the Past, Collingwood, Australia: Black Inc., 2015. See Les Murray’s website.