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

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

Bullshit

I live on a big council estate and some of the youths are having trouble with their social distancing.

This is dedicated to them.

WARNING: SWEARING (for they most definitely don’t speak like the Queen ha!)

Gangs of youths
Balaclavad faces
Trainers choked with mud
From a prohibited space
No one’s gonna force us
To pissing well embrace
This social distancing
Propaganda rat race
It’s all fucking
Bullshit

Wayward teens
Parents don’t give a shit
If we’re lacing up
Another coronavirus hit
Delinquents, wear the face
If it damn well fits
Only give a damn
If your hair is on fleek
It’s all fucking
Bullshit

Loitering around
Pissed and stoned
Fucking around
Making Tik Toks on our phones
Breathing the death air
Spreading toxic with our bones
Ringing out the death knolls
With our knocked off iPhones
It’s all fucking
Bullshit

Best friend’s gone now
Intensive care
Didn’t give a shit
Pissed his chances in the air
Fucking his fate
Over a told you so chair
Just another news story
For the BBC to share
It’s all fucking
Bullshit

©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

Mental

Mental

They say I’m unwell
That I live in a world where my moods
Rule the moon and the sun
And my eyes see in only three hues
Of black, grey and white.

They say I’m unwell
That I live in a world where my senses
Just leave me defenceless
And moments of clarity are priceless
When they come.

They say I’m unwell
That I live in a world where my joy
Is too joyous and sadness too black
And some say there’s no going back
To the follies of youth.

But I say WE’RE not well
We live in a world where we go
Day to day in pretence
That our smiles are not masks
And our tears are just our defence
Against our hoodwinked hearts.

I say WE’RE not well
We live in a world where we
Laugh at our pain and we joke once again
As sorrow is a sin and tears are a stain
On our bravado.

I say WE’RE not well
We live in a world
Where the media paint lies
And society ignores our muted cries
And inside this insane farce
A part of us dies.

And when is it ok not to be ok?
When is it ok to let the tears show
through smeary wet eyes
to unleash our hearts, the pain they bely
Because for every day you hide your tears
Is another day you will cry
And for every person that smites their pain
Another one will die.

Its ok to talk
Its ok to not be ok.

©2019 Sarah Drury