Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh
on TV again.
Real people with
real lives.
Devoted husbands,
unemployed,
brewing tea
for working class wives.

The air is dark,
darker, darkest,
coaxing thinner, thinnest, thick.
Undercurrents
swimming like
revelations from an
emotionless brick.
Rich in mundane complexity.
Painting simplest simplicity slick,

with connotation.
Rare to see a
privileged education,
rattling amongst the
state school accents.
Real people,
real lives.
Car crash fortunes,
Scripted accidents.

Mike Leigh
on TV
again.
Real people with
real lives.
Living for the
in your face
realism.
Peddling pain
with the blades
of blunt knives.

Real people.
Real lives.

Sarah Drury. 2021

Poppies

With respect to those who have served our country in the armed forces, especially those who have given their lives.

Today is Remembrance Sunday here in the UK. Poppies are laid at the Cenotaphs around the country to remember the fallen.

My son, who is autistic, stood beside me holding my hand, in a rare moment, and respected the dead and those in service. I was so proud. I wrote this poem…

Poppies

Our two hands, entwined.
You don’t often grace me with your silence.
But today, ten million poppies bleed.
As they died,
these heroes of men.
In fields of fortitude and flowers.
With wives and mothers.
Sisters and brothers.
Children.
Lovers.

Today,
scarlet paints a promise
on our hearts.
You stand there,
in the image of your soldier father.
All gallantry and valiance.
And my heart defies my eyes.

I never asked you to stand beside me.
‘respect the dead’, you said.
And you did.
And I wept.

Our two hands, entwined.
You don’t often grace me with your silence.
But today, ten million poppies bleed.

Sarah Drury 2020

Second Wave

So, we’ve been
in Lockdown
since March 23rd
Stay Home, Stay Safe
Government preaching
the word
Following ‘The Science’
Controlling the R
Social Distancing
Facetiming our parents
from afar
People in isolation
Looking out
at the world
from a pandemic
glass jar
Can’t see our parents
Can’t see our friends
Can’t see our kids
Can’t see our
way out
of this shit

Boris spouting his
propaganda
How we’ve kept
the death rate down
How we’ve reduced
the strain
on the NHS
Fucking hell
I know 32,000 dead
who wouldn’t agree
It’s the Science
It’s the Science
And what about
herd immunity
And you weren’t
one of the immune
Boris

Now restrictions are
being lifted
We can’t go out
but we can
We shouldn’t wear
masks but
we should
We can stand
in a park
with one friend
two metres apart
Jesus, the outdoors
Who’s going to
implement that then?
The police trading in
their truncheons
for tape measures?
What the fuck is
going on
at number 10?

Work at home
but go to work
Walk, walk, walk
I can’t get my
fat arse on a bike
Two cheeks fighting
It would be like
a punch up
in M & S pants
Does he think
that England
will know the steps
to his exit dance
Kids back at school
How the fuck
they gonna implement
the social distancing
rule
Pick their noses
Scratch their arses
Bite their Nailsies
Coronaviruses
The Critical Care beds
may be empty
But that sea’s
a coming
and it’s an enormous
Second
Fucking
Wave

Hairless

These lockdown times! I bet by the end of it, half of us will look like we never set foot in a hairdressers or beauty salon in our lives. My razor sits untouched on the sink, it’s been there for weeks. But you know, I just don’t care. Being stuck within four walls, with limited social contact, I haven’t felt the need to be primping and preening every day. It makes me think, jus who are we doing it for? Us? Are we shamed into believing that we are not ‘normal’ if we don’t render ourselves hairless? Or not beautiful? Do we live our lives constantly feeding into media hype on the standards of beauty? Are we afraid of ridicule and rejection?

A poem:

Hairless

The razor sits there
On the sink
Looking forlorn
Day after day
Like a predator
of feminine power
reborn

Lockdown lethargy
Won’t be seeing a lover
Can always cover
my stubble
But why the fuck
should I?
I don’t need self isolation
to prove myself
to another

Smooth armpits
Smooth legs
Smooth fannies
Smooth chins
Smooth moustaches
Red lips
Killer false eyelashes
Supermarket dashes
for razors
and baby lotion

That razor’s been
sitting there a
very long time
Since I was a girl
and the magazines
said I would be pretty
if I was hairless
Look at me now
My fanny’s a big hairy mess
my cheese grater legs
don’t give a fuck
I don’t care
I don’t want to caress
anyone who cares less
of me
because I won’t dress
my body
in false aspirations

Who feels the need
for pretty?
Is it me?
Do I look in that mirror
and see
a monster
created by the media
fuelled by misogyny
I’m not a fucking fairy
on a Christmas tree

So, fuck you, razor
Fuck you!

©2020 Sarah Drury

Between the Wars

Indigo blue
Inky canvas
One eye open
The other protesting
The estate slumbers
Another day of lockdown
A neighbourhood painted
In shades of apathy
As the world mourns
Its sorry dead

Beryl wakes at the crow
Of the cockerel
Says hello to her husband
Enjoying a pint in Heaven
For the last twenty years
Says a prayer to the virgin Mary
And asks Jesus to save her soul
From the coronavirus
God is her insurance policy
As she ain’t finished yet
In this heathen world

It reminds her of the war
But the bombs don’t fall
And the men aren’t swallowed
Into certain suicide
She would cower inside the
Air raid shelter
As the Luftwaffe played
Russian roulette
Missiles raining down
Picking off saints and sinners alike
And she prayed to Jesus
And he did good

Now the bombs are silent
Yet the killer is stealth-like
Stealing souls
Like a pandemic shoplifter
Light fingered Kelly
Is in good company
Though I’m sure the virus
Ain’t interested in Maybelline
Or L’oreal

Churchill led the nation
Now we have the Tories
No let up from fear mongering
As the media perform
In their catastrophic circus
And the BBC peddle tragedy
Like Boris Johnson is MacBeth
Whilst the government deny
Their role
In digging mass graves
To herd the old
And vulnerable in

She tucks into her egg
And Tetley’s
Another day of inane daytime TV
She heard that people Facetime
But she has no tribe
Jesus is her saviour
And God is her father
And the Virgin Mary
Sheds a tear
For the children
She lost

©2020 Sarah Drury