Ode to that bloody awful music you get when you ring the DWP! And the way they compartmentalise our disabled kids!

Your timeless beauty sounds so ugly
In its incessant, perpetual monotony
On the end of this goddamn phone
Streamed into had-enough ears
As I wait
As I wait
As I wait
My last thread of patience almost gone
My son a statistic
As you sit in your ivory tower offices
Ticking criteria boxes
Playing God but Godless
Not giving a flying fuck
That my kid is a human being
Not some faceless scrounger
Not some work shy loser
Not some benefit fraudster
Just a child.

Never had perfection
Sounded so brash, so annoying
Like salt rubbed into raw, bleeding wounds
Waiting for a ‘how can I help you?’
Waiting for the punchline to the joke
The pretence
The ‘we care’ rhetoric
But in their defence
They deal with pounds and pence
Not hearts.

Whilst my child can walk, can talk
What the fuck do you know?
He eats, he sleeps, his mind is set on go slow
He has a learning disability
He tries, his mind denies him
Of a ‘normal’ life
His condition a serrated knife
With jagged aspirations.
But he can walk, he can talk
He eats, he sleeps
That is all you need
You do not see him
Yet your protocol has agreed
To reduce his benefits.
Like some germinated seed
Who is yanked from the ground
And tossed into the gutter
To save a pound
While the voice of my spirit resounds
In futile, hostile whispers.

I hope one day you know what it is like
To have a child with a disability
To raise a soul with a differing ability
So that you develop empathy
Where there was apathy
So that sympathy spreads its comforting palms
Around torn, worn parents
So that understanding spews from mouths
Of those invested in the system
So that disabled kids are not pawns
In austerity
So that politics are not a mitigating factor
In this cancer we call an equal, enabling society.

©2020 Sarah Drury

‘Am I a Poet’ & ‘Working Tax Credits’ live performance

Here is my live performance of my poems ‘Am I a Poet?’ and ‘Working Tax Credit’, at Away With Words open mic night, November 21st, Off the Road Live Lounge, Hull.


Here in the UK, DLA (short for Disability Living Allowance) is a benefit given out to people with long term illnesses and disabilities. The assessment and judging criteria are getting ridiculous and there have been many cases of needy people getting deemed ‘fit for work’. DLA has mostly been replaced by PIP (Personal Independence Payment). Having a serious mental illness, this is my own experience…


Come on in, come on in
Take a paltry plastic seat
I’ll be judgemental and discreet
We’ll get your disability claim
Set in concrete
Get these government lies complete.
Can you walk unaided – fifty metres?
A hundred?
Without a walking stick?
Do you wake up and you’ve pissed the bed
Do your psychiatric meds make you sick?
And who does your cooking when you’re alone at home?
Do you cook like that celebrity Gordon Ramsey
Or is it a Chinese takeaway over the telephone?
Is your knee replacement made of chrome?

Do you walk with a pronounced limp?
Do your friends take the piss, do they call you a wimp?
Do you use a motorized wheelchair?
I’m sure you know we really don’t care.
As we watch and we wait in our catch you out lair.
We really don’t give a shit
If your mind is split, if your wrists you’ve slit, if you’ve lost your grit.
We just want to prove you are fit for work
As bitch faced assessor sits there with a demonic smirk.
and the government machine that is full of jerks.

Can you reach the kitchen light?
That’s ten points off, we are always right.
You don’t deserve this benefit handout
We don’t care about your shitty plight
We don’t care that you have to live to fight
Every fucking day and night.
Do you take your crazy meds?
Dd you hear, you faker, what I said?
Do you wake all night or sleep restlessly in your bed?
Can I see inside your lying, denying head?

Because we will catch you out
We will surely catch you out
And we will bring down the weight of our wrath
And you will suffer, you will go without.
Are you crazy all the time?
Is your mind out of line
With reality and is your grasp on sanity fine?
Because you’re wasting your precious time and mine
If you think the insane deserve a quality of life
Living your life on the edge of a serrated knife
Causing society lunatic bullshit and strife.

We don’t give handouts to manic depressives
We don’t give handouts to anyone
Who doesn’t fit into our point scoring criteria.
We just fuck them off and send them to monetary Siberia.
And show us the scores on the doors Irene
And you don’t score the Jackpot, not today, drama queen!
We are the DWP
We don’t give our dosh to any old blagger
It’s never you but always me, me, me
Our purse is full of bullshit not sickness money
Whatever you say falls on deaf ears and granite hearts
You will see

So, take your precious health
It’s not a passport to cushy wealth
You are the scourge of society
In this life nothing is free
Nothing is fucking free.

© Sarah Drury 2019

Am I a Poet/ Working Tax Credit Live

Last night I traipsed over to Hull to my friend’s open mic night ‘Away With Words’. It was a brilliant night, with lots of interesting poetry and prose and some amazing people, including my favourite, a rapping granny.

Here’s my performances of ‘Am I a Poet?’ and ‘Working Tax Credit’.