... with a nod to W.H.Auden's The Night Train ...
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.
I'd rather go to prison or be given a huge fine
Or have cosmetic surgery from Doctor Frankenstein
Sit through a boring lecture on interior design
Yes, I’d rather do most anything than cross a picket line
Based on a true incident ...
Paula was tired from a day out protesting
Paula was on her way home, needed resting
She slumped on the train and
She winced against pain and
She thought, "Days like this one are testing"
It didn't go right for the right
Which left the left
Laughing but left the right bereft
So when the left left
The right put it right
By writing a new rule to remove left members' rights
So that people who'd joined had actually left
Which left things right again, right?
We're trying a coup but our tactics were busted
The more we manoevre, the more they're disgusted
The rules can be broken and figures adjusted
The members?! There's no way those oiks can be trusted.
We need a new leader, more Theresa than May
But the bloody trade unions won't do what we say
We can't have a vote cos they'll vote the wrong way
So we'll write for The Sun and we'll go and make hay
I'll be with you though peaceful options haven't been exhausted
I will be with you crushing life with military forces
I'm with you, George, through desert, storm and flood
I'm with you to the final drop of someone else's blood
Oh George, be sure I have your back, we'll raze the land together
Dear George, know I will be with you whatever
Smile. Lock eyes.
Not ticked but starred.
Soft skills are hard.
You sob for love lost from the labouring class
With a heart that's so heavy, so bitter your tears
But the love was not lost in the ten months just past
But was lost in the previous twenty-odd years
With a heavy heart you jump overboard
With a heavy heart you buckle
With a heavy heart you draw your sword
And clench your dusted knuckle
Too many heavy hearts in the House
Too many guns for hire
But not enough bleeding hearts to douse
Those hearts that still catch fire
R.I.P. Jo Cox MP
Hummer and groaner
Deranged and estranged
He's a stabber, a shooter
Overly obsessed with his computer
He's nothing to do with us, you see
No link to white supremacy
Not our responsibility
We're pillars of civility
Not killers, no culpability