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

Lucky Me

four-leafed clover

What a lucky fucker am I
that when that firework hit my eye
I didn't die

And who even knew
that although you're better off with two
that just one eye will do
just fine, you see
Lucky, lucky me

And when I got a killer disease
I got the sort they can cure with ease
if you please

Surgery
Urgently
Blackcurrant jam on toast with tea
Lucky, lucky me

Affordable Home

house make of cash

Apartments and unfurnished
Flats rented or retailed for a small
Fortune, unfortunately unaffordable
Out of the price range, out of
Reach of those who need a place to call 'fixed abode'
Dictionary defines 'affordable'
Adjective: within one's financial means; not
Beyond the budget; not so dear that
Landed gentry and lottery lucksters only need apply for
Extensive, expensive accommodation eloquently extolled as 'affordable': adjective

'Having a cost that is not too high', too
Opulent, over-the-top, off-the-scale, or obviously obscene
Market-mangled meaning strangles
English language

Hackney Gardens, London E8

Homeless man sleeps under Luxury Apartment hoarding

This site was a nursery
next to the municipal mortuary
Council care from the cradle to the grave
with alphabets and sing-alongs and rhymes
Once upon a time

Then they closed it.

Next it became a unit where the students
the schools had driven up the walls
were taken to be straightened out
or at least kept away from trouble

Then they closed it. And sold the site.

We Had To Let Them Go

Ever wondered why only 16% of autistic adults have a full-time job?

He worked alone, not a team player
Not a keeper or a stayer
Didn’t fit in, not really our sort
Talked about boring stuff not sport
We had to let him go

Rosa and the Water Buffalo

Rosa Luxemburg and water buffalo

When Rosa gazed through prison bars to street
She saw the water buffalo which drove
The heavy coated cart on cloven feet
And when they could not pull their weighty load
Their master turned his whip and beat and strapped
Until they bled and flinched and hauled and strained
The final yards, their last resources sapped
And stood, defeated, bloodied, sad and pained

From Martin to Ada

Ada Hegerberg

Referring to this.

You've won the Women's Ballon d'Or
You dribble, tackle, shoot and score
But do you twerk?

You strike a hard and well-aimed ball
Around a wide defensive wall
But do you twerk?

Top scorer in the Champions League
But one thing fills me with intrigue:
Do you twerk?

Homage to Hospitals

All hail to public hospitals
Which treat us at no cost at all
Come forth and heed the homage call
Give thanks and praise

Admire their shiny corridors
The wonder drugs in well-stocked stores
And colour-coded wings and floors
And curtained bays

Where patients' injuries are healed
By specialists in every field
Equipment-laden trolleys wheeled
In urgency

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