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.