Releasing the Animals (the anti-haiku)

      by Marsh Muirhead

I am releasing
the animals
from their three-barred jails

the seventeen
shackles
of their confinement

the prohibition
keeping them from
seasons not their own

setting the frogs
free of the pond
that plop in water

cicadas
their
summer slavery

walking sticks
herons
beetles and geese

free to travel
any climate
any month

accepted in
comparison
not a cutting word in sight

crows allowed
a wedding in the tropics
the cemetery vacant

let the rabbit
in winter
reside in Palm Springs

let them all be
like something else
if they like

let seem
be the finale
of any line


From Modern Haiku 41:1, Winter–Spring 2010. Winner of the Robert Frost Poetry Festival Prize in 2009.