A pink umbrella – haibun for dVerse


His grizzled hair is wet and seated on the sidewalk he observes how pedestrians try to look the other way. His skin, is spotty leather and his sunken rib cage holds a shriveled heart, barely beating. He have learned that also hearts of steel can rust

He watches their feet, in staccato drumbeats on his street, hurrying for mindless appointments, for eastbound spreadsheets, for southward powerpointing or maybe northbound taxilines. He recalls how his mind was occupied with diamond cufflinks in exchange for another pink slip to an underling once. He remembers how he offered politicians dinner in exchange for another tax-cut. When he sent old workers off to charity.

“Greed was good”, he whispers to his mutt, and shares a piece of rain-soaked bread. With eyes as green as they where before he observes how grime have settled under his fingernails, and he remembers how he raped his manicurist. A beginning of his end.

Suddenly he notices a pair of canvas shoes that have stopped in front of him. A teenage girl bends down, protecting him with her pink umbrella. Without a word she hands him a steaming cup of coffee and a cinnamon bun. When he meets her green eyes he understands that it’s time for him to leave.

protected from rain —
a sparrow nesting
in the scarecrow’s beard


© Mary Kling

© Mary Kling


Tomorrow it’s haibun Monday on dVerse and Mary offer us a choice of different pictures. All having to do with water. The prompt will open at 3 PM EST and will remain open for a whole week. I know that the haiku is not 575, but I have tried to fit a proper kigo and a cuttingword.

December 6, 2015

24 responses to “A pink umbrella – haibun for dVerse

  1. Your poems regarding the homeless & disenfranchised are always intriguing; this one is especially good. But there is no empathy for the sidewalk squatter, only contempt as karma caught up to his black heart, his dark self-destructive aura.

  2. Ha. It never struck me that he was homeless; I just assumed it was a metaphor for feeling lonely, unseen, and undernourished. But worse than that would be to be offered “protection” by a young cute girl. That scenario has “danger” written all over it … especially if the protection is actually a hot pink condom, cleverly disguised by you as an umbrella. He should definitely hit the pavement running! If learned anything from raping his manicurist. LOL

  3. Whew, Bjorn! That is quite a story. It sounds as if he is responsible for his own rough times if he raped his own manicurist. I guess I can’t feel sorry for him, but I am glad someone stooped to give him a cup of coffee & a bun. I hope he is able to get his life on track once again.

  4. A grim view of humanity, which somehow rings true. Yet, in a world where someone still offers little gifts to a stranger, all hope is not lost.

  5. Nice job with going “full circle” with those green eyes. I get the feeling that the girl is his daughter, and he recognizes her as such…but I”m left to wonder if she knows who *he* is or not?

  6. short-long-short works for English language haiku as well and you did indeed do kigo and kireji! I count my syllables as an exercise in discipline. I only did short for my last line in my latest haiku. this is an intriguing tale told in such a short space. Past and present melded into one – I wonder if the girl is his father and somehow she knows – because she does give him some food but he most def knows it’s time to move on – literally and figuratively. I like your take on this photo. Such cityscapes are intriguing. I only go into the city if forced at sword point. I stay out here in the country where it is quiet and uncrowded. Maybe the man got what he deserved. Not for me to judge but I still feel pity for a man who can’t leave “his” territory, bound by his past.

  7. Such is the fall from grace due to greed ~ I admire how you painted him Bjorn, and this contrasted sharply with the kindness of the girl with the pink umbrella ~ The haiku is sharp with sparrow nesting on the beard, and poignant with life’s despair ~

  8. I too didn’t catch on that he was homeless until the very end. I thought maybe he had slipped and fallen and the passers-by were avoiding him because they thought he was drunk… A nice contrast between greed and generosity, egocentric musings (not sure he has learnt anything – his street etc.) and an act of selflessness.

  9. When he meets her green eyes he
    understands that it’s time for him to leave.

    Perhaps as a homeless he shouldn’t be selfish lingering on as he has been given his meal. Homeless have that sense of dignity too, perhaps

    Hank

  10. At first, I feel sorry for this homeless man because he is homeless. But then a different kind of pity sets in — pity and sorrow for his blackened heart that even as he has hit rock bottom refuses to allow him to see the kindness of the young girl as a way out of the darkness. Nicely done. Peace, Linda

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