Six Weeks

It’s the six week school holidays here in the UK. I know the kids have been off school for months, but this is what it is usually like where I live. I don’t live in a fancy area. People round here don’t have much money, but they make the best of what they’ve got.

Six Weeks

And the panic sets in.
Six weeks.
No school.
No routine.
No rules.
Kids decorating public spaces.
Grown ups fighting
over seaside parking spaces.
Fists flying in fury.
Mums antagonised,
dads are lairy.
Kids are weary,
praying to the toilet fairy.

Making ends meet.
Poor kids playing out on the street.
Bit of Kerby,
game of footy.
Pulling scabs off knees
and
grans whose eyes can’t see
who broke their bloody window.
Finding 50p on the floor,
wanting an ice-cream
but needing 50p more.
But yer mum’s a tight cow.

Nice kids might get summer breaks
in Mallorca or Ibiza.
That kid from the posh estate that
thinks you are beneath her.
She might wear fancy trainers
and her hairstyle might be neater
but you have your freedom.
You have your street cred.

Mum doesn’t care
if you’re on your Xbox every day.
She’s given up trying to
get you off your arse to play
with the rat pack,
who own the streets.
With their knock off phones,
and their reproduction Dr Beats
headphones.

Beans on toast again today.
No fancy dinners this six weeks,
no free school meals for the holiday.
But burgers are fine,
and chips are fine,
and pizza is fine,
and sausages are fine.
And if they’re lucky,
mum will buy choc ices
from Iceland.

Teenagers loitering in shady spots.
Girls slobbering over which boy’s hot
whilst boys parade their sexual prowess.
Who’s shagged who,
which girls are sluts who
don’t care less.
And there’re the strong and the weak.
And the bullies rule the hierarchy.
And the meek and the weak,
and the quiet and the timid seek
refuge.

We live on social media
in these days of no routine.
Posting pics of our little lives
and checking if you’ve seen
and liked
that pic of our imaginary happiness.
Likes are love but
self esteem and ego rest
on the ultimate test
of those little love hearts
and smiley emojis.

It’s six weeks.
Six weeks.
Six bleeding weeks!
Mantra: I AM STRONG

Sarah Drury

The Lobby

We’ve had a bit of a problem in our block of flats. People keep getting in the communal entrance (which is supposed to be locked) and smoking drugs. The other night (at midnight) it was so bad the thick smoke set the fire alarm off! It inspired this poem…

Another night on my ramshackle estate
As the moon laments this shitty, bitty, gritty town
Its silver veil a smokescreen for the shady underworld
The illicit drugs, the criminals doing their small town dealing
affirming the government statistics
that the wounds that aren’t healing, the budget stealing
in this festering underworld, doing good isn’t appealing.
They said it was safe and secure, my second floor flat
But I beg to differ
With the random riff raff gathered in the foyer below
Smoking, choking themselves into silver plumes of dead aspirations
Coiling around the redundant dreams
Of unrealistic YouTube celebrity expectations
Picking up chicks and pseudo sexual conversations
A sad perpetuation of the failures and fuck ups of generations
Each puff inhaled, the deadening of a painful sensation.

They don’t make much noise, these kids
Maybe their empty voices have little of value to say
Or maybe they’ve learnt that their vacant words are as meaningless as a drug free day
That their song is suicidal, that their record is one that will never play
That the language they speak doesn’t have any colours, just black, white and grey.
And what happened to you, long lost kiddo?
What tattered, shit hand did life deal you so young?
With your fucks and your shits and wankers and twats
And your profanities dripping off your streetwise tongue
An opera in the gangsta hood gone unsung
An invasive cancer on a no hope, blackened, smoke-stained lung.

Playing games with the tragic three little pigs
And the big bad bullshit wolf
I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow
And they forgot the house as the blow made their minds slow
As the smoke curls elegantly upwards and flows
And their feelings of detachment grow
And the seeds of futlity and hostility and disability they sow
And where will it all lead, where will it all go?

Another night on my ramshackle estate
With the spliff head kids, always high, always low.

©2020 Sarah Drury

Twagger

*If you don’t know what a ‘twagger’ is, it means a truant.

Giz a fag, Sarah, giz a fag
A single prize possession from the time when you
Could go into a corner shop
And ask for just one solitary piece of heaven.
10p please, 10p,
For we don’t care if you are a Jackie reading twelve year old
And you have lovely, sweet, bubblegum pink lungs
And we are an exploitive catalyst
In your future nicotine addiction.

We strike the solitary Swan brand match,
Huddled in a gaggle of expectant, excited girly girls
Feeling hard for a few minutes, feeling tough as shit
And saying fuck you to the rotten institution
Saying fuck you to our proletariat parents, our dog-tired teachers
Defiance as we inhale our teen rebellion
And exhale the gradual death of childish innocence.

It feels bloody good
To escape the concrete prison walls
To dice with the flaky establishment
To fuck with the rules, to stick two proverbial fingers
Up at the big, red brick, heart sick wall
To embrace the philosophy of Pink Floyd
To break the mould, to smash the expectation
To be a precise square peg in a chaotic round hole.

Giz a fag, Sarah, giz a fag
Giz a fag.

© Sarah Drury 2019