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.

Anxiety

A stretched-out band's pulled thin and pale with tension
This wretched land is fertile for portension
Its far-fetched plan is born of apprehension
Turns breath-snatched panic past my comprehension
My rough-sketched sanded smile is just pretension
And level-handed mantras get no mention
Anxiety
Is anguish plus society

Queen Vic (Let's Do It)

Today is Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, and the media is awash with fawning coverage. Yesterday, queen of entertainment Victoria Wood died. This is a respectful reworking of Victoria Wood's classic Ballad of Freda and Barry (Let's Do It).

Freda and Barry sat one day
Debating the issues that came their way
Freda thinks equality's the way ahead
But Barry likes Harry and so he said ...

Man in the Border Post

With a nod to The Jam's 'Man in the Corner Shop' ...

Turns the closed sign does the man in the border post
Rejects his last and says goodbye to her
He knows it is a hard life
But he has to follow orders really

Walks back to camp does the last applicant
She's not angry with the man in the border post
She is sick of struggling so hard
She says it must be nice to have a home to go to

Autism Bewareness Month

Welcome to our month of Autism Bewareness
No demands for equal rights or fairness
Reshaping round holes into squareness
You'll miss the point if you are careless

For it's our charity's consensus
That those afflicted are defenceless
We want a cure not independence
Please help us meet our great expenses

Wondering Eyes

When places of worship
​          become places of wonder
Bright-eyed guides
          will tell wide-eyed visitors
You won't believe
          what people used to believe
And then, with downcast eyes
          they will add
And you'll never believe
          what some of them did
          in the name of what they believed

Holiday in Sellafield

One from my 1980s days as The Big J. Windscale nuclear power station had been renamed Sellafield in 1981, as the government sought to rebrand it after a series of safety concerns ...

Forget the Costa Brava, don’t go to Benidorm
They’re full of germs and foreigners, and our camp is just as warm
The air is really bracing, and hidden costs concealed
It really is all good clean fun on holiday in Sellafield.

Who Needs Bosses?

Without us nothing's moved nor made
No building and no bricks
Without us no foundations laid
And nothing broken fixed
Without our labour they've no purpose
No profits, only losses
The bosses always need the workers
But workers don't need bosses

Memento Mori (Gallipoli, 1915/16)

Hopeless force the Dardanelles
Shells, death knells and straits to hell
Terra firma, firmer terror
History puts it down to error
Wounded yet still predatory
Terrorise for territory

Ground of flesh and rocks from bones
Lay out wire for telephones
Cable London, cross terrain
Thousands dead, a few yards gained
Must despatch a good news story
Inched a bit more territory

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