While calling Glasgow

see– usually
it happens in a phone box
(mostly in the red ones that they have in England),
doesn’t really matter whom you call,
there’s this moment of electric energy,
loading from the hair roots to your teeth,
a wave– you’re gone &
wake again

to the screeching of the birds,
ocean licking at your trouser seams
(& depending on how long you’re lying there,
already sunburnt)

i was on the highway after work,
just one exit early–
think the music on the radio sidetracked me,
and when i woke, my
mobile was pressed against my ear,
Prague or Moscow on the other end, or
was it Glasgow– i

hear the wind &

you stand knee-deep in the waves,
ash still clinging to your fingers,
in the deep pools of your eyes
relief of letting go–

the way back isn’t half as easy–

mostly through dark tunnels,
never saw a phone box, any color
in such places–
but they tear at you with salty fingertips
while your blazer pockets fill with sand

& the mobile’s running empty–

they will turn away,
always do, they’re used to it–
& think i caught a fragment of your smile
as i walk naked to the sea–


the above pic is by Walter W Smith and used with his permission via dVerse where Sheila Moore has prepared a prompt, inspired by Walter’s photography… gates open 3pm EST and you will find some of his photos to choose from– and to each of them he lets us in on the background a bit..


46 responses to “While calling Glasgow

  1. smiles…love the end of this claudia….that wild abandon a bit…and i like being transported like that..kinda like a day dream, somewhere else at times…ah if only the sand and the waves lasted sometimes….also i love phone booths too…esp the red ones…

    hope you brought a towel…and if not that the sun is warm in its drying…

  2. As I read this I thought of all the charm lost with the replacement of those red boxes with mobiles pressed hard against the head…cannot even go to the beach to escape some of those needless conversations.

  3. Lovely, evocative, including the thought of red phone boxes and walking naked to the sea! And the thought of ‘confusing’ Moscow with Glasgow, fascinating, especially in this over-communicative world brimming over with mobiles. Nice choice of image, too.

  4. This one seems very sad to me actually. Maybe it’s my own mindset but I find a lot of loss there–death–sort of like Full Fathom Five at the opening of the Tempest–k.

  5. Whisk a soul away, Claudia…I think we all wish we could just walk into the waves, from time to time. Let the sea rise up around us, and the world disappear beyond the foam…

  6. I’ve seen those red phoneboxes when I was briefly in England, never called anyone on it though- guess I missed out:) I like the direction you took from and the inspiration you found in this piece of walter’s art. The tangents of thought are used very effectively here,probably one of my favorite things about your writing and as usual your stories are a well painted read. thanks.

  7. i got a sense of it being so cold there, and then suddenly you were naked!! oh my!!! such chills all over…and the water even colder…

  8. Love these lines especially, Claudia:

    “ash still clinging to your fingers,
    in the deep pools of your eyes”

    “& think i caught a fragment of your smile
    as i walk naked to the sea–”

  9. taking us back and forth between the daydream and reality is surreal. goes very well with the mood of the art. thanks, claudia.

  10. What a fabulous trip! I’ve used many, many of those red phone boxes in my time. some stinking of stale pee too…Yuck!
    Another gorgeous write from you Claudia full of vivid imagery which made me wish our spring would hurry up and get here!

  11. A very diverse writing , to me it sounds like a crossing over from imagination to nostagic reflections culminating in forlorn loss of someone from the past
    Enjoyable in a sad way

  12. I like the idea of getting sidetracked from the highway and ending up in the sea and getting lost in its waves.

    In this case, you can forget what you are wearing 😉

  13. Kind of reminds me of times that I am driving and my mind transports me somewhere else, and when I get back to where I’m going…I have no idea how I got there.

  14. beautiful claudia… i miss the old phone boxes… a mobile can’t replace the chink of coins in the box and the threat that the voice on the other could drop out at any time…

  15. enjoyed how you played with the image and the capture of different elements, lovely write Claudia! Send you all my well my friend ❤ ~ Rose

  16. “you stand knee-deep in the waves,
    ash still clinging to your fingers,
    in the deep pools of your eyes
    relief of letting go–

    the way back isn’t half as easy–”

    Claudia, I think hits the mark, expressing the moment of release.

  17. OK- here’s what this made me think. It made me think about all the times I’ve drifted off, daydreaming, whilst being at work. I know I’m taking your poem quite literally- but it really spoke to me about those places we visit when whenever we want to- the places in our minds- the places no one can take away- the places we would rather be.

    I think I do this every day when I’m sat at my desk

    Nice work- and same as Mr B Miller – I’m so jealous as to how you capture that ‘flow’, that train of thought

  18. Phone booths are history. Those public phones that still dangle at the Mall walls are also going. Mobile cellphone is a revolution. Great write, smooth flow throughout.


  19. “you stand knee-deep in the waves,
    ash still clinging to your fingers,
    in the deep pools of your eyes
    relief of letting go–”

    I love that.

  20. wonderful words …thematic writing requires experienced eyes…to see past the face value and allow a heart to explore and expose…the melancholy tone is buffeted with pleasant imagery here

    Peace ☮

  21. mmmm, such lyrical drifting “just one exit early” –

    and esp

    “but they tear at you with salty fingertips
    while your blazer pockets fill with sand”

    glad it ended with that last stanza, the fragment smile caught on naked skin to sea, mmm mmm mmmm

  22. What a journey Claudia!! I really enjoyed reading this poem although I have to admit that I don’t understand it entirely, but maybe that’s its charm? Thanks once again for sharing your writing:)

  23. This really touched me. I love going to the beach, sometimes suddenly taking an exit too early, or later, just to feel the sand. You really captured such feelings beautifully.

  24. Wonderfully evocative, as always…leaves some mystery and a question mark….I love the alliteration and flow, and the ending is beautiful ..Sigh…. 🙂

  25. The way you fuse disparate elements of time/space into a tonal texture is well on display in this poem. Like a collagist you entice us into reflecting on the fragmented nature of reality where we begin to formulate an energized vision of what is. That doesn’t mean that you don’t command the material, for ypu do, but you never do it in such a way that we can dance in the whirlwind with you.

  26. Read this yesterday, and today again. Yesterday I got sidetracked and didn’t comment. My sidetrack was not quite as romantic as yours, going to the seashore, enjoying the sand, a memory invented or real and lovely just the same.

    Love it as always. Enjoy your Sunday too.

  27. Beautiful work…the relief of letting go. That’s a haunting line which reminds me of the task I have before me. Walking to the sea. Naked and newborn. A renewing of the mind or killing of the old self…wonderful.

  28. From calling Glasgow(from a phone booth – haven’t seen one in a long time) to walking naked into the sea, what an interesting journey your words took us on in this poem, Claudia.

  29. Love those old phone boxes…love the relief of letting go…can feel it in the ending of your poem, walking into the sea, naked, baptised? Lovely. Thank you.

  30. What a journey-of-the-imagination this is. I absolutely loved it, all of it. Actually, it is one of my favorite poems of yours. (Poetry is your “calling!”)