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

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

Flogging

This was inspired by my old neighbour who used to sell her wares on street corners.

WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE

Red hair blazing
Like a fuck me beacon
A barber’s pole but throbbing in male pants
Face a dot to dot of drug induced acne
Parading your heroin chic
Decency don’t mean shit

You never keep your legs shut
Self employment makes it rather draughty
And as a small business you should
Protect your assets
But you can’t get insurance
On gynaecology

Hanging around on seedy corners
Perverts cruising, risking a bruising
Chancing chancers
You don’t know, you don’t know
Flogging your fanny today
Digging your grave when the sun
Mourns your demise
And the dealers
Mourn their suicide pockets

A fuck for the addiction of heroin culture
Shame when your fanny is a currency
You pay in dirty needles
And white powder lines of escapism
For a few moments you’re out of here
Shooting up in Nirvana
Profits in your greedy veins
Coke up your wannabe Beyonce nose

I wish I could help
And the churches say that
No one is beyond redemption
But you’re lost to the devil now
You sold your soul for a moment of heaven
And found your sanctity
In the arms of an addictive addiction
Bride of a heroin fix

©2020 Sarah Drury

Concrete and Pebbledash

Planted seeds today
On our ample shamble council balcony
A dash of bright, a splash of pink
Not that the fucking neighbours can see
But we can
Concrete walls see our story
Pebbledash completes the gaudy signs of glory
We may live in a council house
But we take pride in our humility
We don’t give a shit

Little mucky fingers
Grimed up, manky nails
Bathtime is a certainty
Sowing tiny seeds
In pots of pink prosperity
Maybe together we can
Take tender care
Without killing
The poor bastards
Like all the times you
Came home
With bloody nits crawling in your hair
Dedication

Maybe we can make a meadow
In our concrete world
Maybe we can make a smile
In our hostile world
Maybe we can paint away
The fucking awful grey
Maybe we can start a revolution
Chelsea flower show down our way
Folk round here don’t want no fancy
Fags, beer and a bacon butty
But don’t worry
We can pick flowers
For the dead

Little hearts don’t know they’re falling
Home is home
No matter how appalling
Pride is nothing my son knows
And I don’t keep
Copies of Good Housekeeping
On my cheap wooden table
Why should my son be constantly able
To see that children have gardens

Planted seeds today
A splash of pink, a splash of blue
Soon we’ll have a concrete garden
Take our minds away from being
Last in the queue
But beauty blossoms in
Most humble places
And all hearts need colour
Seeing rainbows breaking through
Concrete and pebbledash
Even if there’re only a few
Butterflies
We need
That shit

©2020 Sarah Drury

Childline Lockdown

With the Coronavirus lockdown, children are at even greater risk of abuse. This could be emotional, mental, sexual or physical, but a lot of the reports the NSPCC are getting are related to emotional abuse. It is proving harder for social workers to gain access to homes due to lack of personal protective equipment, social distancing and lack of staffing.

NSPCC can be contacted here:0808 800 5000 or via help@nspcc.org.uk

Here’s a poem I wrote through the eyes of a victim.

Childline Lockdown

I don’t know what
I did wrong
Cooped up
24 hours a day
Radio blaring
Incessantly
Happy people singing
Bullshit songs
To people in
Their bullshit lives
Abusive husbands
Battered wives
Shit scared kids
As tempers fry
And swift fists fly
And I swallow all
My tears
Cos if I cry
He will get angry
Again I’m
In enough
Fucking pain

I have a friend
I call him Ted
He’s been with me
Since I was two
Keeps the monsters
Out from under
The bed
Soaks up the blood
When my dad
Sees red
But it’s the monsters
In the daytime
I’m really scared of
I call them dad
And mum

Social workers
Knocking on the door
But mum knows how
To play it
Long sleeves
Hide the bruises
Walked into the door
Hit my head
On the table
So careless
One day I’d probably
End up dead
Social worker suspicious
But dad always says
I was clumsy

Ted understands me
I can tell him
Anything
When dad is
Screaming
Temper raging
Ted helps me to sing
Over the Rainbow
If I had a phone
Then I would ring
Childline
But it’s the fists
I fear

And it’s a long time
Till I am sixteen
Then I will tell
Them all
To fuck themselves
That day I’ll
Be queen
In my own kingdom
And there’ll be no
Fists for bombs
No ‘what did I do
So fucking wrong?’
And I will shine
That day
Like a
Rainbow

©2020 Sarah Drury

Notions of Class

CAUTION: ADULT CONTENT

I had a very mixed childhood. My father, who died when I was seven, was a chartered accountant, and my mother had to do a variety of jobs to make ends meet, working her fingers to the bone. I wanted a better life, I wanted to be Middle Class. I studied at uni, wore the clothes, honed the accent, got a top notch teaching job, sang with professional choir. But mental illness got the better of me and my nicey nicey world came tumbling down. I have dropped my pretensions and am proud of my roots.

I tried to up myself
To better myself
To stick my nose in the air
I didn’t really care
Back then
About my poor, arthritic mother
Packing crisps down the factory
Or living in council shitholes
Because my mum’s wages
Were unsatisfactory
Single parent, widowed mother
One step from the shitheap
My story was just like another
And another
On our estate.

I never quite understood
The wine thing
Was it red with meat
And white with fish?
It had always been a case of
Just getting pissed
On any old cheapo plonk
I was a classless pisshead
Had to step up my game
Didn’t want my shameful roots
To catch me out again
So fucking sick of
Being related to the woman
Who cleaned up the pile of puke
So fucking sick of it

I thought a silk Monsoon dress
And a Cheadle postcode
Made me one
Of the elite
Talking like a village vicar
But fucking the men
Beneath the sodden sheets
Within the sordid walls
Not the epitome of discrete
And the milk man
Never noticed
The skulking, adulterous feet
Seeking silence
Betwixt the dawn chorus

Mental illness
Had no bounds
I was ebbing my life away
Behind bars in
Psychiatric compounds
Swapping my Monsoon frocks
For electric shocks
Lithium, Valium
Straight jackets worn like
psychosis condoms
On men’s misogynist cocks
Sanity took years
Craziness is
Classless

I am proud
Now
To be called working class
I’m proud to hold my head high
As I walk upon the needle littered grass
In this steel town hometown
Keeping my vowels plain and flat
And minimising my metaphors
Like I’m waltzing on broken glass
Don’t want my neighbours
To think
I’ve got
Pretentious
Notions
Of
Class

© 2020 Sarah Drury

Tattoo

WARNING: SWEARING

A tragic love story from round our way. Can I state this a character study, a piece of social commentary. I DO NOT condone domestic violence in ANY WAY!

They’d hit six months
Fuck knows how
He raised his fist
With each and every
surly, burly
Tempestuous row
Didn’t she deserve it
Off her tits
The nagging
Interfering cow
But they were
Sort of happy

Her hair was greasy
Bleached
Candy floss damaged
With liquorice roots
She saw no evil
Heard no evil
Spoke primeval
And he didn’t give
Two pissed up hoots
Any woman who’s
Game for a dirty shag
He woos
He screws
He shoots

He’d bought her
A tattoo
To celebrate
He’d brought her
To a tacky parlour
Where the going rate
Was cheap
And his bird
Was cheaper
He thought his love
Could go no deeper
Than the needle
Of his other love
Smack
Get his benefits
Splash out on
A bag
Shoot up for dinner
Sex for a snack
No desserts
Diabetic

They nearly had a kid
Once
She was fat and round
Full of child
He hit her around
Thought it was just mild
Purple bruises styled
But he was sorry
And the law didn’t
Give a fuck
Raging, wild
And the kid
Didn’t stand a chance
He bought
Purple tulips
Two lips
Bruised lips
He loves me
He loves me not

Now
She’s got a tattoo
All badly drawn
Talentless
Bragging
Over her left breast
Sworn
That
Love is forever
Til she dares
To disagree
Junked up lover
Show him your tits
Cos his love
Like his smack
Don’t come for
Fucking
Free

© 2020 Sarah Drury