The writer, especially the poet, is always on the lookout for the unusual. The following happened this morning.
The Umbrella Man
Glorious glorious sunshine
and not one sign of anything else in the sky
not one sign of a fluffy white cloudlet
or even a single herring-bone
and strange to say not even one vapour trail
in this day's blank blue sunlit sky.
The weather forecast
is on the Sony Walkman
when I take some garden rubbish
to the large green compost bin
at the end of the street -
record temperatures for the time of year
warm wind from Africa
high pressure over the Alps
to a record 21 celsius.
Coming towards me a man about his business
confidently swinging his umbrella
carrying a large green shoulder bag.
Mysterious. An umbrella - this weather?
And a large green bag?
The stranger stops at the bottle-bank
and sets down his green bag on the pavement.
Now he starts fishing. Yes, fishing
with his umbrella. Out of the bottle-bank
come the beer bottles -
hanging delicately on the umbrella's tip. One
by one he fishes them out. A catch almost every time.
One, two, three, four, five ...
he lines them up on the pavement.
When he's finished he transfers his catch
to the green bag -
and soon it's bulging with bottles, it takes
a hefty heave to lift it. Now off he goes
with his bulging bag of bottles
rattling gently down the street -
his umbrella casually swinging
pointing the way.
c)- Gwilym Williams 2008
In Austria empty beer bottles are returnable - they fetch 9 (euro)cents each.