My father was on his deathbed when I promised him that I would learn to live. I was, however, still very young and had no real idea of what learning to live was supposed to be.
Thus, I stood in the street, looking around. In front of an impressive building was a fountain. A sparrow perched on the rim of its basin. He took a beakful of water and then another one. I went to the fountain, and because it was drinking water, I scooped a handful and drank it, and then one more.
Refreshed, I followed a man in a dark suit carrying a briefcase, who just came out of the building. While he was walking his snappy way, he continually checked his watch and talked intermittently to the air and to his ear. I imitated all his moves. Someone applauded.
At the next corner, a metallic sound got my attention. A man, surely beyond fifty, bent forward, with hat, unshaven, was sitting on a black plastic bag, a tin can in front of him.
I looked, and after searching a few wastebaskets, I placed myself with my finding on my little plastic bag on the other side of the street, exactly opposite the man. Now I could observe him comfortably, but precisely.
Now and then, I held out my open hand ostentatiously, moving the pointed fingers and thumb of my other hand to my mouth and the tin can in front of me. Sure enough, from time to time my tin can too released this metallic sound that had attracted me right away before.
half moon rising —
the ocean compasses
the stone once more
Beate Conrad is of German origin and makes her home in Michigan, USA, and in a small town in Northern Germany. Her haiku and haiga have been awarded and appeared in a variety of print and online journals. She creates haiku-related works combining visual arts and music. She is editor of the International Haiku Magazine Chrysanthemum.