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

Hitler

My Great Grandmother suffered from mental illness after seeing both her boyfriend and her husband killed in tragic circumstances. She had a breakdown during world war II and thought the Germans would come and steal her daughter (my grandmother). As a result she was taken into an asylum for many years and my grandmother was shunted from pillar to post. Here’s a tribute…

Hitler

I thought
I heard
The Germans
Advancing
Upon
My doorstep

I cower
Eyes peeled
For an
Aryan invasion

Blonde child
Running wild
They’ll
snatch her away
I say

Terrors drip off
My fearful tongue
Stagnant puddles
Of hysteria
Seep into
The cracks
Of my
Disintegration
Psychological
Photosynthesis

No wonder the
Psychosis
Paints a Jackson Pollock
Within my
Fucked up mind
Red the colour
Of dead
My hands I wring
And snap necks
Enemies falling
Like pigeon shit

And Hitler
Can
Kiss my
English ass.

© 2020 Sarah Drury

Iceland

I wrote this poem as a spoken word piece, in response to this coronavirus pandemic, through the eyes of an elderly person who has lived through world war two.

Five hundred quid
Worked all my life for five hundred quid
Ooo, these Tena ladies are on offer
Worked my hands to the bone and my back to the knackers yard, I did
Funny times we live in, funny times
Corona-whatsit rampant, country in lockdown
Just like the war
Our big grown prime minister falling to the floor
Sick people in and out the revolving doors
Crying and dying on hospital floors
People telling me to stay indoors
Only so much of Piers Morgan I can take
And I’m bleeding sick of doing chores
Ooo look, choccy digestives, two for one fifty
Just like the war
But not living on a lump of cheese, a tin of spam and a packet of dried egg
Bring back rationing, it should be the law
All these feckin crazy people
Strippin shelves bare
Hoarding the toilet roll like they don’t care
About how others fare
Oh, I’ll have some of those
Rice pudding, fifty pence a tin
Its strange times, its mad times we’re in
Can’t even go down the bingo
Can’t remember the last time I had a win
Hair like a Brillo pad, legs like scourers
Can’t remember the last time I plucked the hairs on my chin
It does this to you
All this social isolation
Wrapping clingfilm around a rebellious nation
And the government have this mental expectation
That we will be sheep
Clothed in the wool of allegation
Don’t go out
Wash your hands
Keep two metres between you
Do as we say, or we’ll impose a curfew
It’s just like the war
Except you don’t have to don your guns
And kill a visible enemy
We’re fighting something global we can’t even see
All we have to do is stay inside and watch the death tolls on TV
And I pray every day that one of those intensive care beds won’t be me.
Ooo loo roll
I’ll need that
Back in the war I’d wipe my bum with newspaper
The stories of the day plastered over my derriere
My neighbour popping by to see if I had some spare
And the air raid sirens would scream
And we’d be woken from our dreams
Of victory
Playing hide and seek with the bombs that rained down
Dot to dot on the roofs of the houses of our little town
Taking refuge in the shelters
Taking refuge in the neighbours
Taking refuge in the strangers
And though we were fighting for freedom
We were still free
Oh, tinned fruit cocktail
Will do for my trifle
Put it in my cupboard full
Of empty shelves
In my kitchen of a lonely life.
Better go home now
Better go home.

©2020 Sarah Drury

Brave

A tribute to my grandfather..

Brave

Old gnarled hands
Lifetime etched between two palms
Hands that served a nation
Praising life, not singing psalms
Two hands that fought a war
That fought in peace when death was calm.

Never forgetting your working class roots
Never afraid of dirty hands
Or the perspiration that came with graft
or the wars you fought in foreign lands.
Never denying you came
From an era when men were the powerful ocean
And women were the shifting sands.

Toil upon soil, your hands spoiled
Hops in Kent, corpses in the fields of France
Never failing, never curtailing
Life a canvas, sometimes bloody, you took your chance.
You never knew what was coming,
But you knew that death comes in advance.

Old gnarled hands
Lifetime etched between two palms
Hands that served a nation
Praising life, not singing psalms.

©2019 Sarah Drury