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, Hour of Writes, Proletarian Poetry, 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.

Change Here

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"

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Cheat 'Em

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 Will Be With You, Whatever

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

Soft Skills

Smile. Lock eyes.
Suppress. Disguise.
Presentation.
Conversation.
Attention payer.
Team player.
Holy grail.
Performance fail.
Not ticked but starred.
Soft skills are hard.

Love's Labour's Lost

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

Crazed Loner

R.I.P. Jo Cox MP

Crazed loner
Stay-at-homer
Helpline phoner
Hummer and groaner
Window licker
Timebomb ticker

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

How to Cover Up the Evidence

Concealer hides the redness and the bruises
Long sleeves disguise the marks along her arm
A bangle covers twisted wrist contusions
A bandage shields her fractured thumb from harm
Dark glasses screen her puffy eyes and tears
Uncertain smile conceals the broken tooth
The scent he bought her drowns the smell of fear
A well-told story masks the brutal truth
The curtains shut out busybody neighbours
Just punching her emotions leaves no mark
His patronage buys sympathy and favours
Control her movements, keep her in the dark
- His hand across her mouth ensures her silence
- His public image veils his private violence

We Are Not Heroes

We are not heroes, not the valiant sort
We let them take us, fell in to survive
The heroes are the ones who stood and fought

Our bodies packed together frail support
The nudging of her foot kept me alive
But we're not heroes, not the valiant sort

Our best fought underground, our martyrs caught
Resistance from the shadows, fire and strive
The heroes are the ones who stayed and fought

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