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 and Justice: Poems for Grenfell Tower.

Revise the System

Work hard, be conscientious, be afraid
Your life won't be worth living if you fail
The only thing that matters is your grade

Feel guilty for each error you have made
Learn quotes by rote and don't stop to exhale
Work hard, be conscientious, be afraid

Of falling short of A-star accolade
Don't eat, don't sleep, travail your skin to pale
The only thing that matters is your grade

Lives Shortened

Sorry?
Is
Jeremy Hunt
for real?

Up to 270 dead is
the toll of that 'glitch'

That is
Hundreds of women gone
unscanned, untreated

Hundreds of women gone

That is
the toll of that 'glitch'
Up to 270 dead is 
for real.

Jeremy Hunt
is
sorry.

 

 

A Bad Night for Ashleigh

Hi there, it's Ashleigh
  from the Daily Mail
I've smelled a story
  I'm on the trail
I want to sound street
  and your tweets are sick, mate
I'm getting desperate
  for some clickbait

Hi there, it's Ashleigh -
  you're at the scene
I'm in my office
  and I'm really keen
To get a tasty
  stabbing quote
About some feral,
  lowlife scroat

This Table Is Reserved

This table is reserved for The Poetry
for this pub and for all who sail on it
A villanelle, pantoum or ballad
or free verse, sestina or sonnet

It's not for a hen night or party
but for words that take note of the times
It's not trying to sell you a dinner
it is ticking out meter and rhyme

Product Displacement

I peeled back the adverts and found
a beautiful town

Waiting at the bus stop
I stilled the rotating displays
and pasted timetables and useful information
in their place

I restored all the lamp posts
to their role as posts bearing lamps
rather than gallows
from which buy-me banners hang

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