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.

Haiku Series: From a London Bus

This is what happens
When I spend my bus journey
Composing haiku

​You don't often see
A bull in a china shop
Ordering spring rolls

Eavesdrop on buses
Poetry manuals suggest
But no-one's talking

​Hands-free mobile plus:
You can now get away with
Talking to yourself

If The Jam had sung
'In the City of London'
A thousand things crashed

Not Like Us

They're not like us
They spit in the street
They fish for the plate
And you can't tell what they're saying
They're not like us.

They're not the same as you and me
Their food is bland
They shout in public
They have mobile phones and expensive-looking trainers
Not like us.

Tell Me Jeremy

Tell me Jeremy, with lives at stake
Aren't doctors safer when they're awake?
Would you have surgery from a doc
Who's been on duty round the clock?

Tell me Jeremy, tell me why
You seem to think that you can buy
Our doctors' lives, and their assent
For pieces of silver, a few per cent?

Rachman's Heirs

In January 2016, Conservative MPs voted down a Labour MP's Bill that would require landlords to ensure that homes to rent were fit for human habitation. Yes, really.

How very dare these bloody reds
Propose a law that homes I let
Be fit for folk to lay their heads
They should be glad of what they get
So come and view my latest rental -
Compact, bijou, great location
Fit for nowt but very central
Fit for human habitation

Missing

How, my heart, can it be true
I mourn a man I never knew?
Though he was gone before I came
I love and miss him all the same
I did not know but can't forget him
I mourn the fact I never met him

Pro Patria Mori

Dulce et decorum est
As Owen wrote, the ancient lie
Inscribed upon the soldier's breast
And told to men when sent to die
But tell me, for commemoration
Below the flag that's raised to fool us
Did they really die for nation
Or rather for the nation's rulers?

Photo: Wilfred Owen

Sandbags and Gladrags

These are the banks that need to be propped up
These the square miles that could do with some bailing out
This is the high street where floating stocks are mopped up
Defences that fail when they're cut and left flailing about
Those on the ground floor as always will suffer the worst
While one level up they look downwards in trepidation
But those in the penthouse were safe when the banks were burst

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - My Poems