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.

Janine's poems have been published in numerous poetry and other journals and websites, including Algebra of Owls, South Bank Poetry, the Daily Mirror, PUSH, Confluence Medway, Screaming Violets, Poetry24, Solidarity, Stand Up and Spit, Hastings Independent, Freedom, Women’s Fightback, Rising and TenFootCity; and in anthologies Spies4Life, Poems for Jeremy Corbyn and (forthcoming) Dark Bones.

This Poem is Sponsored

This stanza is sponsored
by a weekend bonanza
of two-for-one deals
on our easy-cook meals
from the town's happy eater
which has paid for its meter

All of its sponsors
have generously given
a big wodge of dosh
for their brand on its rhythm

A local disk jockey
has sponsored a trochee
(That's a tum-tee-tum beat
with some well-branded feet)

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 (unsuccessful) entry to the 2017 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

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

Battle Scars

Penicillin
is killing
the infection.
Inspection
revealed
it's healed.
I brandish
the bandage
removed
from the wound.
My breast
undressed.

Clue

1 down
Disordered file's easy,
Begs us around about
Those little things that make us happy
(4'1, 6, 9)

Plain and quick
Or painful and cryptic
Make my mind tick
Flicking pen, click

1 down
Fifty-one iron's
Limp as super eels
Troubled by those small sources of cheer
(4'1, 6, 9)

Brain ache
Coffee break
Come back later
Procrastinator

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