Releasing the Animals (the anti-haiku)

by Marsh Muirhead

I am releasing

the animals

from their three-barred jails

the seventeen


of their confinement

the prohibition

keeping them from

seasons not their own

setting the frogs

free of the pond

that plop in water



summer slavery

walking sticks


beetles and geese

free to travel

any climate

any month

accepted in


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.