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, the Morning Star, Rising and TenFootCity; and in anthologies Spies4Life, Poems for Jeremy Corbyn, Justice: Poems for Grenfell Tower.and Ashes to Activists

Ban the Booth!

Ban the Booths campaign logo

Inside a cell three-walled in fears
kept separated from their peers
A throwback to the Dickens years
the pride and joy of Wackford Squeers
Victorian values raw in tooth
So Tories, damn you - ban the booth!

Recommend Acceptance

white flag

Every year we send our tribunes
to knock upon the golden door
and take our just demands there with them - 
place our claim, our case for more

The masters let them ask and close
their eyes and sigh that times are tough -
They can't afford to share with those
who made their wealth; there's not enough

Rootless Cosmopolitan

Jewdas Rootless Cosmopolitan

Edward lived in Hoxton
boxed in
Stitching boots
digging roots
Labouring his load
on the neighbouring road
to new arrivals
migrated for survival 
from Poland, from Russia
to the holy crush of London
Under the same sky
came together, made ties
meeting in the streets
Tars and bars and beats
tasting gifts and eats
More than metropolitan

Middle Aged Woman Starter Pack

Starter Pack

Clothes in colours other than beige
A Railcard for the middle-aged
A T-shirt saying 'Mind Your Own Business'
An entry form for TV quizzes
Quiet and peace for channel hopping
Someone else to do the shopping
A Fit Bit and a healthy snack
In my Middle Aged Woman Starter Pack

The Interpretation of Dreams

The interpretation of dreams

I dreamed last night of being chased
By enemies I could not see
I opened throttle as I raced
They kept on throwing things at me

I swerved round potholes, filled with dread
And drove as quickly as I could
Ensured my son was safe ahead
Rode three times round the neighbourhood

Planet Pantoum

Extinction Rebellion

Bring the cities to a standstill
We have to save the planet
Put apathy in landfill
Take fracking back and ban it

We have to save the planet
Speak urgently and clear
Take fracking back and ban it
Disarm the profiteers

Speak urgently and clear
For carbon-burn reduction
Disarm the profiteers
Let people run production

Narrative Verdict

I rise to call my first dead witness
Counsel may contest his fitness
for his part to testify
to tell you how he came to die
He leads a host of souls to tell
their stories from a bitter well
of negligence and ignorance
of culpable indifference
An inquest has been held for each
but now this hearing must impeach
the system which we'll hear has let them

Coffee Stop

coffee cup

This café is definitely aimed at the older consumer 
It's just up the road from the streamside retirement apartments
And over the street, the mobility vehicle shop.

And it's called Cosy Corner.

When you open the door, it knocks a small bell which ting-tings
And everyone there turns their head round and looks straight at you
When somebody leaves, every person there says a goodbye.

Thoughts and Prayers

Thoughts and Prayers

Racist terror
thoughts and prayers
Basest error
thoughts and prayers
Crossing, drowning
thoughts and prayers
Solemn, frowning
thoughts and prayers

Thoughts and prayers
and sad reactions
Thoughts and prayers
but rarely actions

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