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

From Your Lips Young Mum

New poem…’From Your Lips Young Mum’

WARNING: explicit language

From your lips young mum

My universal credit comes today
A takeaway from the Chinese
Fake Adidas trainers
Blow some money on Primark tat
A bit of this, a bit of that
A bit of baccy, a bit of blow
Nappies for the wee ‘un
The tenner I owe Pat
Fill the cupboards
tins and convenience food
Money’s gone
That will be that
And can you see this bruise on my arm
My bloke went ballistic
Battered me black and blue
But I love him
and know deep down he meant me no harm
We had a good shag to make up
Hide the bruises
There’s no need for alarm
And did you see that slag Becky
Love bites on her neck
Think she’s shagging that drug dealer
The one with the Merc who owns that discotheque
Susie Walker
Five kids with five different dads
Flogging her fanny
Flaunting her tits round the back of the pub
for a bit of a grope with the lads.
Missed my soaps last night
Hey, what happened in Corrie?
Was there any scandal
Me and Tyson were having a fight
He smashed the TV then smashed my jaw
The kids came down
Screaming Mummy Mummy
So he kicked the kitchen door
Then fucked off
And I cried some more
And I feel broken
But I know he loves me really
And I’ll hold on to him dearly
And he’ll bring me chocolates and flowers in the morning.
Managed to nick some make up from Boots today
Will flog it round the estate
Should buy some blow
Should keep us ay okay
Barry brought some dodgy chicken
Off the back of a lorry
But three for a fiver
Dinner for three days
And the kids won’t be sorry
Did you see that Jason
From the flats?
Dating that fifteen year old
What a pervy twat
Should be locked up
What are her parents thinking?
They don’t really give a shit
They’re too busy out drinking
Tyson’ll be home in a few minutes
Better go back home
He’ll be on the phone
Checking I’m not tongue wagging
Telling sorry tales about his anger issues
Or I’ll take a beating
And no amount of Kleenex tissues
Will soothe my broken nose.
Better go back home.

©2020 Sarah Drury

New book – Hitting Hard

My new book, Hitting Hard, is a collection of raw, gritty poetry, written for spoken word, that depicts the realities of my working class world. From Britain’s Breadline Kids, to Skinny Culture, this collection comes from a Northern girl’s poetic heart.

But it here: http://mybook.to/hittinghard

Downtrodden

I write for the downtrodden
For those who haven’t found their place in this eat you up and spit you out cut throat world
I write for those who need a helping hand to crawl out of their pit of ‘you are shit’
Where misfortune throws the meek, the weak, the ‘I can’t cope’
The afflicted, the convicted, the souls who pray without a hope.
The metaphorical cup of tea with those judged dregs by our heartless society
The folk who wear their labels ‘pray for me, pray for me’.

I write for the homeless
For those who brave the streets of danger, invisible to every stranger
Who passes in their swathes of indifference and cloaks of ignorance
Homeless, human, sentient, despondent, waiting for a caring soul to be respondent
Even an ‘are you hungry, love’ can humanise
Not every person walking along side will pass by and despise, dehumanise.
When will society prioritise these needy?
Why is it ok for people to sleep on the streets, or is it the rich are too greedy?
They sleep in their goose feather duvets of opulence whilst the homeless slumber in piss stinking doorways of petulance.
How many geese have died for your decadent dreams and how many homeless have died in their demonic, hellish nightmares?

I write for the poor
For those who haven’t a pot to piss in
For those who can’t decide between beans for tea or £5 in the leccy
For those who live in mouldy homes, their children chesty
Who stretch their universal credit but they still can’t feed the kids
Who go to foodbanks to fill their bellies till they can win on the lottery and make a few quid
Who apply for jobs but there are so many people fighting for employment and they don’t have any GCSE’s
And they’ve wasted £10 for an outfit in Primani and even begged the job centre, on their knees.
But they’re despondent
Always waiting, always waiting, for the bad news, for that rejection letter.

I write for the downtrodden youth
Hanging in packs like lost souls
Futile at a future that holds no future,
Like characters lost in a video game, battling almost impossible challenges
Obstacles looming, crime rates booming, defiance fuelling dissonance and hatred
Parental roles imbalanced, authority losing their controlling stance
No youth clubs, no activities, no respect, no inspiration, no inclination
To succeed
No hopeful dreams to be freed
From this

I write for the mentally afflicted
My brothers, my sisters in psychiatric hell, conflicted
By ruthless cuts in provisions
No psychiatrists, no nurses, unless you’re ‘severely’ ill
Gp’s telling the depressed ‘try these’ they will soothe your sadness,
It’s only a bloody pill
But pills are not the only answer, pills are like a bandage
They soak up all the tears but you’re still left with the fear, the pain, the psychological damage.
Where are all the psychologists? Where are all the counsellors and where are all the hospital beds?!

I write for the downtrodden
And I know I am not far from the bottom of the heap
I know I am one pill shot of the psych ward
But I have my dreams
I have my dreams.

©2020 Sarah Drury