Thursday, 9 June 2011


Recently I “bumped into” (okay, I know, no need for the “fingers” thing) someone I used to “work with” (this is getting cryptic now) who once asked me, ‘What’s with the phone-boxes?’ – or words to that effect. I never got round to answering her question, so I took the opportunity to direct her to this year’s bloggage. 
Around the time of that unanswered question, she sent me a load of phone-box pictures, one of which adorns my desktop. God knows where it came from: consider it pilfered.

This month’s poem is about another friend with whom I lost contact. I cannot post the picture in question – that would not be fair – but I think the above picture sums it up.

Don Giovanni and the Phone Box

Somewhere in a farmer’s field
in deepest Devon this one stood,
a little battered, tattered paint
and tractor-spattered with mud,
but the panes were all in place.
One caught a glint of January glare.

It was just another in a long line of photo
Opportunities. You said it was too scruffy,
but I insisted, and you stopped the car.
Of the many boxes I have shot, I have
lost count. But of un-numbered
female friends you pilfered, I would
put the count at one too many.

Testament to our friendship, I let you
pose beside it – even though I like
my phone-box photographs au naturelle
much like you prefer your women –
one in particular, to whom I can’t refer.

She was just another in a long string
of women I unwittingly provided.
Leporello to your concupiscent Don,
each village that we drove through;
every town, I took a phone-box while you,
driven by testosterone or libido, or both,
took whatever you could chat up or talk to.

I was never sure, my former friend,
exactly what you were trying to prove.
My heart was like that phone-booth:
slightly battered, but unbroken, red,
and still receiving in-coming calls.
Yours was shattered; devoid of love,
awaiting disconnection or removal.