Infinity Line

Written whilst waiting for the bus on my council estate. I love people-watching, its great poetry inspiration.

INFINITY LINE

A blancmange of a woman:
Lycra lathered onto
Pinkened, porcine flesh; 
Today’s special
On the estate –
Succulent and free range, 
Farm fresh.

Choc-slathered toddler
Whined, beside her. 
All sluggy, grubby fingertips
And muted by the 
Volume of
A clackety, gossipy,
Cheap-lipped mother. 
She had been trying,
She said,
To get through to the doctor,
And obviously was (not) the
Introverted type,
As her mobile phone sang 
Dead tones
On loudspeaker. 
The bus came,
And I sat miles away,
As I was out of caffeine…
And valium.
Think the GP’s have infinity lines.
Phones which swallow
Their own screams,
And feign ignorance,
On a perpetual loop 
Digital evangelists,
Preaching promises
Of forever
To those who barely
Have the time.

©️ Sarah Drury 2021

Two Wonky Wheels

I grew up on a council estate in a deprived area. We didn’t have much, but we were happy, and we made the best of what we had. I had a wonky old bike which I thought was the business! It inspired me to write this spoken word poem.

Two Wonky Wheels

Two wonky wheels,
clattering over dirty pavements.
Muck covered, muck covered.
Grimy hands,
grimy knees,
grimy faces,
market clothes,
kids in droves,
snotty nose,
Ken Loach prose,
playing on the council close
with their car boot sale toys.

Two wonky wheels.
Buckled like my affluence as a kid.
Fags in the gutter, fags in the gutter.
But I didn’t give a shit.
What you don’t know,
isn’t in the conscious show.
We weren’t fancy.
But the wheels kept turning,
the kids kept learning,
the loans kept sharking,
and I wasn’t yearning,
for a life I didn’t know.

Two wonky wheels,
and no iPads, no iPads;
no posing lads
on Instagram.
No girls with fancy iPhones,
no parents taking extortionate loans
for their little darlings’ Xmas.
No Facebook,
no Instagram,
no Twitter,
no Tik Tok;
no screen time ending
when the clock
said two hours up,
now knock it off,
or I’ll ban it.

Two wonky wheels,
and we fought over marbles;
Action man, Action man;
Kiss chase AND –
the odd fumble behind the
derelict land
on the building site.
Giz a fag,
don’t tell yer ma,
have a polo
you nicked from the spa;
you came in when the streetlights
danced with the stars
and you travelled by foot
and not by car,
for your parents weren’t
minted.

Two wonky wheels,
two tired legs.
Oily ankles, oily ankles;
Didn’t matter to me
that my street was the dregs
of my council estate.
Cos we were content.
All the comics I lent,
all the cops who were bent,
all the errands I was sent
for my parents;
twenty Benson and Hedges
and a bottle of pop
to keep the kids happy.

And we WERE happy.

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

I have seen

I have seen

Fifty years I have lived and breathed
And walked and talked and loved and
Questioned whether there was a God above
And seen and seen and seen

I grew up without a silver spoon in my mouth
A well turned out kid in a street where
Dinner on the table was an uncertainty
Curtains didn’t match the carpets
And Father Christmas shopped at the charity shop.
We were posh in a place where the houses
Were havens for people who didn’t even know
That poverty was a noun.
That they were a figure of speech.

I have seen, I have seen, I have seen

I have seen things that would shock off your socks
And things that would delight to a height that would dizzy your sight.
Miners striking, pits closing, men protesting
Industry collapsing
Thatcher in her ivory tower that was really made of bullshit
Snatching the milk out of the mouths of kids
Whose parents voted to sell off the council houses
Then wondered why their pregnant daughter couldn’t get on the council list.

I have seen Manchester bursting into life
Like the book of Genesis
But better than the Bible.
I have worn the flares of days gone by and diced with death by flammable shellsuits
Worn the doc Marten’s and felt tough as fuck
Worn the poodle perm, read trashy slag mags
Stood in the bike sheds behind school smoking wacky baccy fags.

I have seen, I have seen, I have seen

I have seen countries torn by war
People of Britain standing side by side with Bob Geldof
Feeding the world
Then telling the refugees
To fuck off out of our country
They say that every female Muslim that covers her head is downtrodden
and every Muslim man with a beard is on a suicide mission.
Bollocks.
They say they are stealing our houses and benefits and polluting our culture
But who the fuck would want to live in Syria?
And who the fuck would want to live in Scunthorpe?

I have seen Hull the city of Culture
Exploding in a riot of art and music
Proud of the city in which I was born
And that Banksy blessed us with his talent
Even if the Grafitti fuckwits have to piss on the blessing.

I have seen men with the young held in their trust
Men of the silver screen
Singing of two little boys with their toys
Or promising ‘Jim’ll Fix It’
When all that needs to be fixed is their fucked up minds.
Show us a picture, Rolf, of your prison cell
And sign your autograph on that sex offenders list.

I have seen, I have seen, I have seen

Days gone by, we lived in an analogue world
Then genius minds brought to life an epiphany
And the digital era was born.
No more hanging around at the phonebox
Freezing off yer tits to ring your mum when you were too pissed to get in a taxi.
No more 4 channels on the tv
and taping the top 40 on your shit recorder on a Sunday after your roast tea.
Society turning from an analogue three dimension into a digital rendition
Where friends become profile pictures on an app
People are only there when the power button is on
and your life is only one tweet away from fame or rejection
and within one facebook post you can encapsulate your life in a timeline collection.

I have seen 5 decades of change
5 decades of things never getting better, just different
Of technological advancement but societal decline
And racists still shout fuck off at skin that is different
And men pretend women are equal but are really indifferent
And we say the disabled are welcome but the size of the doors are no different
And the mentally ill need to talk but government funding’s no different.
And the divisions between wealth, greed, health and need are no different.

So I have changed.
And the world has changed
But I have seen that people never change. Not really.
People will always fear change and fear those who are not like them.
For they hold on to their fragile egos dearly.
And don’t see as clearly as

I have seen
I have seen.

 

©2019 Sarah Drury