Second Wave

So, we’ve been
in Lockdown
since March 23rd
Stay Home, Stay Safe
Government preaching
the word
Following ‘The Science’
Controlling the R
Social Distancing
Facetiming our parents
from afar
People in isolation
Looking out
at the world
from a pandemic
glass jar
Can’t see our parents
Can’t see our friends
Can’t see our kids
Can’t see our
way out
of this shit

Boris spouting his
How we’ve kept
the death rate down
How we’ve reduced
the strain
on the NHS
Fucking hell
I know 32,000 dead
who wouldn’t agree
It’s the Science
It’s the Science
And what about
herd immunity
And you weren’t
one of the immune

Now restrictions are
being lifted
We can’t go out
but we can
We shouldn’t wear
masks but
we should
We can stand
in a park
with one friend
two metres apart
Jesus, the outdoors
Who’s going to
implement that then?
The police trading in
their truncheons
for tape measures?
What the fuck is
going on
at number 10?

Work at home
but go to work
Walk, walk, walk
I can’t get my
fat arse on a bike
Two cheeks fighting
It would be like
a punch up
in M & S pants
Does he think
that England
will know the steps
to his exit dance
Kids back at school
How the fuck
they gonna implement
the social distancing
Pick their noses
Scratch their arses
Bite their Nailsies
The Critical Care beds
may be empty
But that sea’s
a coming
and it’s an enormous

Notions of Class


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

I am proud
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

© 2020 Sarah Drury


Here in the UK, DLA (short for Disability Living Allowance) is a benefit given out to people with long term illnesses and disabilities. The assessment and judging criteria are getting ridiculous and there have been many cases of needy people getting deemed ‘fit for work’. DLA has mostly been replaced by PIP (Personal Independence Payment). Having a serious mental illness, this is my own experience…


Come on in, come on in
Take a paltry plastic seat
I’ll be judgemental and discreet
We’ll get your disability claim
Set in concrete
Get these government lies complete.
Can you walk unaided – fifty metres?
A hundred?
Without a walking stick?
Do you wake up and you’ve pissed the bed
Do your psychiatric meds make you sick?
And who does your cooking when you’re alone at home?
Do you cook like that celebrity Gordon Ramsey
Or is it a Chinese takeaway over the telephone?
Is your knee replacement made of chrome?

Do you walk with a pronounced limp?
Do your friends take the piss, do they call you a wimp?
Do you use a motorized wheelchair?
I’m sure you know we really don’t care.
As we watch and we wait in our catch you out lair.
We really don’t give a shit
If your mind is split, if your wrists you’ve slit, if you’ve lost your grit.
We just want to prove you are fit for work
As bitch faced assessor sits there with a demonic smirk.
and the government machine that is full of jerks.

Can you reach the kitchen light?
That’s ten points off, we are always right.
You don’t deserve this benefit handout
We don’t care about your shitty plight
We don’t care that you have to live to fight
Every fucking day and night.
Do you take your crazy meds?
Dd you hear, you faker, what I said?
Do you wake all night or sleep restlessly in your bed?
Can I see inside your lying, denying head?

Because we will catch you out
We will surely catch you out
And we will bring down the weight of our wrath
And you will suffer, you will go without.
Are you crazy all the time?
Is your mind out of line
With reality and is your grasp on sanity fine?
Because you’re wasting your precious time and mine
If you think the insane deserve a quality of life
Living your life on the edge of a serrated knife
Causing society lunatic bullshit and strife.

We don’t give handouts to manic depressives
We don’t give handouts to anyone
Who doesn’t fit into our point scoring criteria.
We just fuck them off and send them to monetary Siberia.
And show us the scores on the doors Irene
And you don’t score the Jackpot, not today, drama queen!
We are the DWP
We don’t give our dosh to any old blagger
It’s never you but always me, me, me
Our purse is full of bullshit not sickness money
Whatever you say falls on deaf ears and granite hearts
You will see

So, take your precious health
It’s not a passport to cushy wealth
You are the scourge of society
In this life nothing is free
Nothing is fucking free.

© Sarah Drury 2019