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

Run

cricketer

Her cover drive and how she ran
are now haram
under the rule of the Taliban

Can she stay in? For sure she can
She can't be out without a man
in ancient, new Afghanistan

She'd tackle assumptions and she'd score
but won't be playing any more
She's fallen foul of holy law

Dinah Murray 1946-2021

Dr Dinah Murray

A nature lover, mushroom finder,
activist and fighter
against oppression, for our future,
thinker, speaker, writer

Always radical, always left,
sometime Green and Labour,
A friend, a comrade, partner, mum,
a new-found Scottish neighbour

An organiser, platform builder,
amplifier of others
There's light at the end of the attention tunnel
thanks to your endeavours

Praise Without Pay's ...

A century ago, in August 1921, Labour Councillor Jack Wooster told crowds demonstrating in support of Poplar's rebel councillors that "Sympathy without relief [the name back then for welfare benefits] is like mustard without beef".

----

Sympathy without relief
is like mustard without beef
or lettuce without leaf

Hancock's Last Hour

Tony Hancock

A classic of Great British humour
Slapstick, slap-and-tickle,
caught on candid camera

And everyone likes to see
the bad guy get his comeuppance,
don't they?

But there is something of
the gangster genre
about it too

where Al Capone is brought down
for his dishonest affairs
not for the cruel and unnecessary deaths on his watch

Down and Up with the Mighty Posh

Posh going up

We only needed a draw.
We didn't even need to score
unless we let one in.
We didn't even need to win,

Just make sure they didn't.
The point the draw would have given
and the two it would take away
from the rivals we happened to be playing that day

would have been enough.
Surely an ask that's not too tough.
Surely a task even we couldn't fluff.

I've Got Your Number

money in pocket

My profit margin's wracked with doubt
My tax demands encumber
I think I know a good way out -
Now, where is Johnson's number?

I manufacture hoovers, mate,
but with a bit of luck
I'm sure I'll make them ventilate
and blow instead of suck

I'll slip the goods through Pirate Bay
and ship them up the Humber
While Customs look the other way -
Now, pass me Johnson's number

Capitalism and Greed

headling greed is good
The loose-tongued Prime Minister
claimed that capitalism and greed
made the vaccine succeed.
 
Really?
 
I don't remember
selecting my injection
from the many assembled
on a free-market stall.
Not at all.

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