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

Blake's Tiger Revisited

tiger

Tiger, tiger, dying out
Shrinking forests no redoubt
Tell the world to stop and see
Its game, its dismal tyranny

In what cruel economy
Agriculture cuts the tree?
Starving our elusive cat
Bulldozing its habitat?

In what fell society
Rising warmness swells the sea?
Drowns the mangroves, floods the land
Whose the profit, whose the hand?

Breaking The Law

Government admits Brexit plan breaks law in specific and limited way

I'm doing a bit of cash-in-hand work
in a specific and limited way
I’m nicking some pens as a justified perk
in a specific and limited way

I’m short on cash so I won’t pay my bills
in a specific and limited way
I’ll slip in some extras as I go through the tills
in a specific and limited way

Pick For Britain

basket of apples

Britain needs pickers
We have a picking drought
Particularly since we’ve kicked our usual pickers out

So pick yourself up
and dust yourself down
Pick up a lift heading out of your town

Here’s your harvest
basket – fill it!
Harnessing the wartime spirit!

Dig for Britain
saw us through
Let’s pick to fight off Covid too!

Livid Experience

Speaker

Please pipe down in the gallery,
desist from this distraction
We're formultaing policies,
endorsing plans of action
A Green Paper on climate change,
a White Paper on race
A ream of runic regulations
codify your place
We have a full agenda
that we're working our way through
Don't interrupt proceedings when
we're talking about you

Uproot, Depart

Riots in Minneapolis following police murder of George Floyd

"When the looting starts,
the shooting starts."

But when did the executing start?
When did the racist recruiting start?

And when will the prosecuting start?

That will be when the suits will start
elocuting and refuting parts,
disputing and diluting parts

Computing charts
and polluting hearts

Top Fades and Patterns

Man outside barber shop in Manchester

This poem was written in response to this photograph, for a collection of poems inspired by photos taken in Manchester, compiled by Flapjack Press.

 

Standing outside, he is
touting for business
Guys in the doorway
show he'll do it your way
Gradients matter
Top fades and patterns

Beirut, 4 August 2020

Beirut explosion

First came the plume from hangar twelve
Cellphone cameras swung around
and pointed to preserve, for fear
that even worse might happen here

Next there came the second blast
Flattened buildings, shattered glass
raining pain on those not dead already

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