Stuff about the city where I live!
A Petrarchan sonnet (yes, really) on getting a night bus to catch an international train ...
I used to but I haven't missed this bus
At 5a.m., a half-full cart to take
The staff who clean and guard before you wake
Who start the engines 'fore the rest of us
From brief repose unwilling exodus
Hold open half-mast eyes on work-worn faces
Resignedly wishing they weren't going places
No chat, no caucus, nothing to discuss
But then I disembark and change my routes
And switch dimensions through a boarding gate
Some two hours later morning, bright debate
White, coffee-charged commuters sporting suits
While most of those on night bus 38
Were black and wearing hi-vis, smocks and boots
In 1921, thirty Labour Councillors in Poplar went to prison to protest at an unfair rating system that penalised poor boroughs. They eventually won their fight. Here are the parting messages from the Councillors (well, most of them, anyway) as printed in the Daily Herald on 1st September 1921, the date that arrests began.
(Swearing appropriate to the tone of the verse)
Why the fuck did you nick my bike?
What have I ever done to you?
Since Eighteen Ninety
In all of its finery
Stood Gibbons the furniture sellers
London’s last such attraction
With cash-only transaction
Until plastic caught up with the fellas
They eventually gave in
To modernity’s whim
With a sign saying ‘We accept Visa’
Through bombings and raids
Gibbons still stayed
Hackney’s very own Tower of Pisa
Janine speaks at a fringe meeting at the National Education Union (NEU) conference. All welcome, whether you are attending the conference or not.
Venue: The Victory, 6 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AH
A public meeting/discussion, organised by Lewisham Workers' Liberty
North London supporters of The Clarion magazine are hosting a meeting with RMT and Hackney Labour activist Janine Booth, author of Guilty and Proud of it! Poplar’s Rebel Councillors and Guardians 1919-1925 (Merlin Press, 2009)
Janine is one of fifty poets who has contributed to this anthology of verse about the Grenfell Tower fire.
Join us at this launch event. Venue: Seven Dials Club, 42 Earlham St, WC2H 9LA.
Poets reading their work: Pat Winslow, Tom McColl, George Szirtes, Neil Reeder, Andrew Dixon, S.O. Fasrus, Peter A. Kelly, Gillian Laker, Caroline Maldonado, Janine Booth, Kevin Higgins, Nick Moss, Myra Schneider, Lindy Newns