People-watching on Durham Station

A nerdy sports coat in herringbone tweed, wearing jeans and desert boots.
I heard him say to no-one, “intelligence neurones versus free will.”
A shivering dolly bird with mile-high legs below a six-inch skirt,
busy fingers twinkling, texting adoring sweet nothings to her love.
A young couple standing close, she a sultry-eyed beauty, he a fool
for ignoring her studiously, glued fatuously to his cell phone.

Checks and stripes and leopard print to match the dolled-up baby buggy.
Small girl in pink, with black tights and Doc Martens – why must they all wear pink?
Muttering murmurings from behind, drowned by raucous drunken laughter.
“About now the white lady begins to separate in the middle” –
that nerdy chap is at it again and I wonder what he is on;
I haven’t the foggiest idea what that could possibly mean.

Rather late for and I haven’t truly obeyed the prompt of a “cast of thousands”.  It is written in the form of an American sentence for – 6 sentences on a single theme, each line having 17 syllables (ie a complete haiku!)  I think I must have been tired as well as cold, as this has come out rather sour!


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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24 Responses to People-watching on Durham Station

  1. julespaige says:

    “A shivering dolly bird with mile-high legs below a six-inch skirt,”
    This has got to be one of my favorite lines. I used to work in a fashion boutique and saw a few of these ‘dolly birds’.

    Thanks for your kind words.


  2. brenda w says:

    Excellent observations…definitely an interesting cast of characters, Viv.


  3. Haha, something that makes him exclaim his internal thoughts aloud. I’s fascinating how some people will ignore or engage each other.


  4. I’m always fascinated and a bit bemused when I see people texting away on their phones and ignoring the people they’re actually with. Never makes any sense to me! I like how you’ve described the individuals here and their interaction (or not) with each other.


  5. hypercryptical says:

    I love people watching and letting my imagination run wild but do wonder what people think when they’re watching me!

    Anna :o]


  6. Mohana says:

    people watching…i love it!


  7. claudia says:

    i like the little snapshots here…it reads much like someone moving his camera around at a busy train station and snapshots the people just for a few seconds before moving on…interesting characters all…


  8. I love your last three lines. 🙂


  9. Very interesting people watching! The herringbone man sounds a bit alarming!


  10. danadampier says:

    Great poem! I’m wondering what the dude was talking about!


  11. I wonder what he was on too. A white lady begins to separate in the middle. Strange.


  12. Mary says:

    Enjoyed the details here, Viv. You are a good people watcher.


  13. brian miller says:

    ha i love how this all spins arounf the fragments of this guys conversation that seem rather cryptic…or out there…you introduce a litle characters though as well ina few short lines…like i am casting my eyes about the moment…he should pay attention to her as well..the cell will wait…


  14. I don’t see this as sour at all, Viv. In a haiku sort of way you’ve reproduced the scene with clarity. Thanks for joining.


  15. I’m not sure what that herringbone chap meant either, but it makes for a good line. Nice job, as was said, on combining the two prompts; the American sentence is a fun one to do.


  16. markwindham says:

    I like it. THe fact that you managed to combine those prompts makes me a bit envious. I like Victoria’s prompt, just the idea of ‘Americanizing’ the haiku format has appeal; have not found a subject matter yet. Struggled with Joseph’s as usual, but did mange something for this one (Cannot even wrap my head around the current one).

    All good character studies (why must they were pink, my daughter will not now that she can choose). Really enjoyed.


  17. Tilly Bud says:

    Wonderful observations, Viv, especially the man ignoring his beauty.

    Suggest you find another word for ‘dusky’, as ‘dusky beauty’ is a cliche – unless that’s what you were going for? That these same people can be found on any station platform, anywhere? That works.


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