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

The Queen Came to Live in My Street Last Week

The queen came to live in my street

The queen came to live in my street last week
The queen came to live in my street.
The Royal family were forced from their luxury pad
For their opulence made the public hopping mad
They were going to send them to Stalingrad
But now they’re slumming in a council flat
And they think that they’re hip and they think that they’re rad
But they’re not.

The queen came to live in my street last week
The queen came to live in my street.
When she goes to the shop on the corner with Raj
And she takes out her Visa for a tub of marge
And he says “under a fiver there is a fixed charge”
And the card is declined cos her debt is too large
And her bank is demanding a stellar surcharge
Now she is proletariat, not one of the stars
No she isn’t.

The queen came to live in my street last week
The queen came to live in my street.
The kids down the street make fun of her accent
And they think she’s a snob and they pisstake and torment
She tries not to cry though her patience is spent
By these little poor shits whose mums don’t pay the rent
And once upon a time they’d have had an accident
At the hands of the FBI who a cover would invent
Yes they would.

The queen came to live in my street last week
The queen came to live in my street.
She downgraded from a palace to a two bed flat
Instead of ten corgis she has a hundred rats
And the garden is stinking from the shit of cats
Whilst the neighbours smoke weed in their habitats
And they act like dickheads, not diplomats
Yes they do.

The queen came to live in my street last week
The queen came to live in my street.
She’s learning the lingo, the wankers and fucks
Soon she’ll be fluent, well fuck a duck
And Margaret Thatcher would be thunderstruck
With a profane gob like a garbage truck
Soon the hash cupcakes she’ll be learning to cook
Yes she will.

The queen came to live in my street last week
The queen came to live in my street.
She’s living off payments of government handouts
She’s nicking the caviar and dodging the checkouts
She’s eating baked beans then having a blowout
She don’t care about her hair and her perm is a washout
She’s loitering round the Gala bingo hangout
Yes she is.

The queen came to live in my street last week
The queen came to live in my street.

And she’s settled in rather well….

© Sarah Drury 2019

5 a.m.

I live on a council estate where there is a lot of poverty. I love it here and the people inspire me to write social commentary poetry. Here’s a poem I wrote about my street.

5 a.m.
The street is peaceful,
Sleeping
Dreaming of
Collecting their benefits
Buying a six pack of Carling
Having a flutter on the horses
And buying that winning ticket
For Saturday night’s Bonus Ball.
Drug dealers
Have finished their night shift,
Peddling a death sentence
To the addicted and those
Pleading not guilty
To the fact that
The smack will bring about
A premature demise.
The steelworks turn the dirty air
Into toxic poison
Orange plumes of acrid steam
Billowing into air
Putrid with the stench
Of poverty
Seeping into the lungs
Of a tired people
Already cancer-ridden
With the
Tumors of hopeless resignation.
Soon the hungry children will arise
From their comfortless beds
Like another soulless brick
In a Pink Floyd Wall
Throwing themselves
Into crumpled school clothes
Grey shrunken school shirts
Once as white as the
Paper on which they
Ink their reluctant prose
And denying all knowledge of
The smooth glide
Of a Russell Hobbs iron.
Mothers
Stressed by the news
That the DWP has sanctioned
Their Universal Credit
And the scattered fathers
Of their offspring
Have refused to pay
Maintenance
Yet again
For their screaming,
matted haired child.
Contemplating a trip to town
To sell their gold
To the pawn sharks
sell their body to the punters
sell their soul to
the crack pipe
or powder white coke.
For life is like that
On my little patch of Google Maps
The satellite can’t see
The no entry signs
For hope and benevolence
And street view
Doesn’t show
The bare footed toddlers
Wandering the streets
Feral and alone
The huddled gangs of teens
With nowhere else to go
But the prospect of the dole queue
Or break at the pleasure of Her Majesties
Prison.
The harangued mothers
In the Primark tracksuits
And knock-off Adidas
Gathering at the bus stop
With their benefit babies.
Bitching about Sandra down the road
With her Bastard kids
The bravado matcho dads
Loitering around scrapped out cars
Cans of Stella in their pudgy hands
Dreaming of the day when
There will stand,
In their driveway,
A golden Lamborghini
Complete with a bikini clad
Sexist dream.
Laviciously judging
Passing by women
With a catcall or a jeer.
But I live on these streets
And I love these streets
And I love these people
Like Lowry loved his matchstick men
The place I call my home.
The place where my heart
Is resting
For a while
Until I am free
To fly to
The city.

© Sarah Drury 2019