My Poems

Having written and performed as The Big J in the 1980s, Janine started again in 2014, after a brief interlude of around a quarter of a century.

Froms sonnets to villanelles, limericks to ballads, the occasional rap and plenty of straightforward rants, serious and humorous and sometimes both, here is Janine's verse.

Disaffected Middle-aged Women

A new sociological category to scare the establishment ...

Somewhat like the angry youth
But rather longer in the tooth
We're gobby, feisty, loud, uncouth
We're Disaffected Middle-aged Women

Kicking our feet against the wall
Plotting in the shopping mall
Go tell them we're not playing ball
We're Disaffected Middle-aged Women

Warming His Coals

My entry to the Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition run by the Cookham Festival, celebrating its 50th anniversary and Spencer's 125th. It is about Spencer's 'Shipbuilding' paintings.

 

Frank was the Furnace Man, earnest and warm
The firebox of Shipbuilding, heat where there’s cold
He’s Chalmers by name and embraced for his charm
Stoking the fire made him strong in the arm
His gift to his workmates whatever their roles
Was letting them dry with a seat on his coals

What We Want

I thought the pay
Was quite OK
When I first came through the door
Then I paid my rent
And it was spent
And now I want some more

The company's board
Say they can't afford
They've got no more to give
But like Olly Twist
More than subsist
I want enough to live

Cuckoo?

Bird sings at midnight
Climate change, light pollution 
Or just a daft cock?

Rachel

In memory of a young friend ...

There's chaos at the centre of the classroom
a big huddle, loud voices
Teenagers talking politics
Rachel making choices
Labour member, Corbynista
Feminist fighter, socialist sister
Equality champion, bigotry battler
Opposing racism, Black Lives Matter
Canvasser and whistle-blower
Demonstrator, meeting-goer

How Leonard Learned

The true story of how Leonard Cohen learned his guitar style ...

Leonard walked in Murray Hill Park 
And heard a young man play
Circled by listeners and courting them
In some mysterious way

With black hair and acoustic guitar
By the tennis courts stood he
Picking out a lonely-sounding
Spanish melody

#TubeStrike

I proper hate those Tube strikers
  they've well messed up my day
I'm late for tea at City Hall
  I walked most of the way
And then found out the CEO
  had nicked my parking bay

On every other day I don't
  give them a second thought
They work to run the railway safely?
  Nothing of the sort!
I know they're lazy bastards 'cos
  I saw the news report

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