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Idle Notions, Stood In Line -or- Standing in Line and Listening-In

Queer, awful, busy, dour dopes -
Wet – whine, near ire.
We queued for soup absurdly -
In the rain, we were.

Droplets dripped upon us all -
Loneliest-taled, good:
Trollops supple and dried-up,
Old gentle-ladies too;

Desperadoes, a burp-wit
Ned, flashier truant, warm-blooded sexist
(At our beards we sipped);
Nostrils flared, heads bowed, an utter mix.

The soup was downed: cold, stale.
Deathlike mud belittles self-will;
Each wad tossed down pollutes,
But still, it eked small life we held,

Scabbing – and… congenial, okay?
Outdated as man’s warts, his table –
Cabbagey, and lacking onions –
But at least was moist, and shared.

© armadillozenith / Graham Peter King 2010

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Idle Notions, Stood In Line -or- Standing in Line and Listening-In by 


This is a poem evoked by images of civilian populations brought to destitution but also, within that, to a social levelling and even camaraderie.

It is made up wholly of anagrams.

-In any one verse, lines 1 and 3 use the same set of letters rearranged, and lines 2 and 4 also share a (different) set;
-Each of the alternative titles is made up of two anagrammatic parts, that is, halves having the same letters re-ordered.

‘Ned’ is used here not as the proper name but as the Scottish slang term (now dictionary-accepted) meaning a petty criminal or hooligan.

You can see me recite this poem in two different accents…

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