Between the Wars

Indigo blue
Inky canvas
One eye open
The other protesting
The estate slumbers
Another day of lockdown
A neighbourhood painted
In shades of apathy
As the world mourns
Its sorry dead

Beryl wakes at the crow
Of the cockerel
Says hello to her husband
Enjoying a pint in Heaven
For the last twenty years
Says a prayer to the virgin Mary
And asks Jesus to save her soul
From the coronavirus
God is her insurance policy
As she ain’t finished yet
In this heathen world

It reminds her of the war
But the bombs don’t fall
And the men aren’t swallowed
Into certain suicide
She would cower inside the
Air raid shelter
As the Luftwaffe played
Russian roulette
Missiles raining down
Picking off saints and sinners alike
And she prayed to Jesus
And he did good

Now the bombs are silent
Yet the killer is stealth-like
Stealing souls
Like a pandemic shoplifter
Light fingered Kelly
Is in good company
Though I’m sure the virus
Ain’t interested in Maybelline
Or L’oreal

Churchill led the nation
Now we have the Tories
No let up from fear mongering
As the media perform
In their catastrophic circus
And the BBC peddle tragedy
Like Boris Johnson is MacBeth
Whilst the government deny
Their role
In digging mass graves
To herd the old
And vulnerable in

She tucks into her egg
And Tetley’s
Another day of inane daytime TV
She heard that people Facetime
But she has no tribe
Jesus is her saviour
And God is her father
And the Virgin Mary
Sheds a tear
For the children
She lost

©2020 Sarah Drury

Halo

Inspired by a trip to the beach:

You wore your halo
Of curls
That day
Sea salt kissing sun slick air
Working the art of
Not giving a fuck
Kiss or tell
Truth or dare
Sugar spun promises
Devil don’t care
Luring tastes of tantalising
Tooth-fuck treats

Kiss me quick
Before the sun pays heed to
Your blindly dazzled senses
Kiss me like
I scry in a mirror
With eyes wide shut
Cos soon I wear defences
It is not for I
My nemesis of beauty

You chose a plastic sword
You had inclinations
To be
Archangel Michael
Porcelain fingers in china hand
Gold spun tresses
Pedalling a lunar cycle
Proud sword raised
To heaven’s gate
They don’t give a shit
The angels
A plastic prayer’s
A curse to keep
Faithless
Masquerading faithful
It will be
Choking up the
English Channel
Tomorrow

©2020 Sarah Drury

Medal of Honour

My grandfather, who was 92 when he died, 9 years ago, was a very brave man. One day, he was walking through the centre of Hull when he saw a gang of lads attacking a guy with learning disabilities. With no hesitation, he waded in, pinned the ringleader to the ground, the other lads ran off, and he got another member of the public to ring the police. He managed to hold the bully down until the police arrived.
For this he received a bravery award from Humberside police. I was SOOOO proud of him! Here’s a poem dedicated to him…

Medal of honour

All we have is a fading photograph
Proud old man
In tan leather shoes
Polished into mirrors
Of army reflections
Standing on principles
Of selfless bravery
Heels as sturdy roots
Sucking up the echoes
Of classless courage
From an Earth
Sodden with the blood
Of cowardice
of cruelty
of discrimination.

All we have is a photograph
Proud old man
In weathered wool coat
Threads laid bare by age
Your seventy-five years
Hold you not to turn a blind eye
To turn the other cheek
Once an army boxer
Punches never left you
But attack in defence
Working class fists
Infused with the legacy
Of world war hardship

Fist to floor
Floor the enemy
Enemy a prisoner
Prisoner of war
War crime
Crime for a cheap dime
Don’t mess with him
Non nonsense banker
Pennies for punches
Pounds for penitence.

All we have is a photograph
Proud old man
In memories now you’re gone
Proud to call you grandad
Proud

©2020 Sarah Drury

The Angels Took Your Last Breath

My husband was in the Freeman Hospital waiting for a heart transplant. The days and hours I sat by his bedside, hope in my heart, waiting for a miracle…

The Angels Took Your Last Breath

I sit here
Your still hand in my hand of warmth and hope
And wish that I could feel a movement
A random twitch
A palm around my warm blooded hand
I sit here like an ostrich, hopes in unrealistic dreams
Burying my head in the sand
Wishing for days away, in the car, music blaring on the radio
Blasting out our favourite band
Sharing our joy and passion,
Carefree, equinamity,
And

I sit here
Bleep bleep
Alarming sounds
Nurses do their rounds
My heart thumps, my head pounds
It was my last reserve but I found
Strength in adversity
This bed so high tech
Machines calling all the shots
Taking your precious breath
And for all the dreams about death
I cling to my last thread of knowing you are somewhere
Out of your broken body
Maybe watching over me
Maybe you can see
My devotion
Maybe this was meant to be

And the stars aligned
A universe, a spiritual decree
Maybe you are far away
Maybe I will never get you back
For you are too far gone to stay
The days of joy, the days that we would lay
On rumpled sheets
Smiles on our blissful faces
All I want to do is play
Is play
With you
But now the thing I have to do

Is sit here
God try and get me through
This unknowing
This clinging onto maybe you’ll get well
Amidst the machines and tubes and wires
Amidst this technological death knell
And I love you so much
I long for your touch
On my face
A stroke of the palm
A never ending embrace
And I love you
But this feels like a race
And we are coming last

I sit here
Nurses telling me its time
You’re not here
Your heart was your final crime
And I sit amid the sorrow
The alarms which bleep, the monitors which chime
And then silence
A breath stolen from a beautiful man
A heartbeat that I never again can
Feel
Warmth drifts slowly away
Welcomed by the bitter cold of death
I’ll never forget when the machine took your last breath.
And I hold your hand
I take in your face
I cannot bear to take a huge embrace
We lost my darling,
We lost the race of life
And now a widow
But forever your loving wife
Forever your loving wife.

©2020 Sarah Drury