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.

Seasonal Solidarity

To all the junior doctors
who showed their guts and spine

Picturehouse and Ritzy staff
in unity combine

The posties, drivers, guards and all
who chose to fight not whine

Season's greetings from the poets
on the picket line

 

 

Waiting

Free tea and coffee 
from the volunteers 
today.

Four older folks 
sitting on the row
of chairs along from me 
looking like they'd love
a nice cuppa but might
struggle walking round 
the corner to the main 
waiting room to get it.
So

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

Winter of Love

Rather to my surprise, this little poem of mine won a place as a 'featured entry' on Hour of Writes for the theme Winter of Love, and will be published in its magazine, Ephemera:

'Tis the season for reckless folly
To deck Mr Hall from Accounts
For showing you how his sausage rolls

'Tis the season for making out
You've a large and loving family
With perhaps the odd eccentric

Liberation

An acrostic poem ie. one in which the first letters of each line spell out the key word:

Looks like this, does it, liberation?
Isolated from supplies, routes closed, blown from the skies
Barrel bombs bowled along alleys
Enclaved civilians tweet from their graves, farewells from beneath
Rubble, the stones where their homes used to be
Aleppo cries, crumbles, defeated, they see
Tyranny returning, triumphant, burning
Inhabitants gathered, culled, or running for their lives
Out of the city, fleeing as they wouldn't if they had actually been freed
No, this is not what liberation looks like.

Big Breast Cancer

While identical in its pathology to general breast cancer, Big Breast Cancer has its own peculiar symptoms and foibles.

Big breast cancer:
Basically, biologically, clinically
Bog-standard breast cancer
But brings complications

Bad bastard cells
Build big clumps
Burrowed, buried, concealed
Beneath buxom cover
Before being caught

Another Country

The NHS is not another country
Going to clinic's not a trip abroad
Its purpose is for treating not for hunting
No frontiers from reception to the ward
I have to cross the town not cross the oceans
A hospital's no tourist trap now, is it?
Rather than the needles, stitches, lotions
So many other sites I'd rather visit
Not smuggling drugs nor medicines nor pills in
The staff are healers, they're not border guards
I've nothing to declare except my illness
I don't send postcards, I get Get Well cards
- They treat my sickness not my shade of skin
- Why should I need a passport to get in?

File Under Self-Harm

She's marked her again and the scars will preserve it
​She's causing her pain 'cause she thinks she deserves it
She isn't a file on a case worker's shelf
She isn't self-harming, she's harming herself

Hyphen, inversion may make it sound neater
Straight like the burns from the bars on the heater
She's the subject, the object, the hurter, the hurt
The rejecter, the reject, the victim, the perp

On The Show Today

"If a man ever raised his hand to me
I'd be gone."

Roars and applause from the studio audience
Put the shame-faced guest in her place

And the waves of clapping 
Wash the blame
From him to her

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