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.

Sugar-Coated Sonnet

A sonnet written on the occasion of Lord Alan Sugar's resignation form the Labour Party:

So who invited that spiv to the party?
No, we don't want his cut-throat sort round here
His anti-social manners are so nasty
He's nicking all the food and selling beer
He's telling all my mates that they are fired
And acting like he bloody owns the place
His snotty, bossy, snobbery is tired
I'm losing friends who hate this public face
He came in with another party crasher
And now he's gone but not cleared up his rubble
He's got a better offer - somewhere flasher?
And now we're spared the need to take the trouble
- To turf Lord Cuckoo out of Labour's nest
- Which leaves the task of turfing out the rest

Silver Linings

Written on the day that the Conservatives won the 2015 UK General Election:

A search for silver lining
Is a needle-haystack quest
Fear grows and hope declining
Greed wins and stuff the rest 
McVey and Farage splendid fall
But barely dulls the pain 
The silverest lining of them all:
We live to fight again

Pedestal Nor Pity

I am not "inspirational"
I need neither pedestal nor pity
Why put barriers in my path
Then call me "inspirational" for getting over them?
I am your equal not your mascot
I want rights not awards
I am not "inspirational"
I am disabled
By crap like this.

We, The Undersigned

I'm going to add my name to two petitions
My sense of right and justice is inflamed
I usually have no time for politicians
But those who keep their silence should be shamed
There comes a time to stand up and be counted
To put one's name to causes good and strong
Sometimes the moral high ground must be mounted
And bold lines clearly drawn twixt right and wrong

Syllabary

I try to move from A to B
But I may have to wait and see
That bloke don't cause me jeopardy
'E'll burn my flamin' effigy
Hey chum, I'm not a popinjay
And I don't want no grief, OK?
A lemon opal fruit, ten p?
These queues are stressful, I want tea
You see that rubbish on TV?
Double your excess - why, chimpanzee?

Charity Ad

ONLY YOU can save this kid
ONLY YOU and your three quid
- But think how many kids we'd save
- If all that unpaid tax were paid

Methane Burps

A poem about the Curiosity rover detecting a methane burp - a possible indication of life - on Mars:

A methane burp
A gaseous gurgle
A bacterial belch of life suggestion
Surfacing from Mars' digestion

No little green men
No Clangers, no Borg
No rich man, no poor man struggling 'neath that rose sky
No sign of a lawman beating up the wrong guy

Klass Struggle

Myleene Klass and Griff Rhys Jones
Like living in enormous homes

But Griff Rhys Jones and Myleene Klass
Don't want to pay a mansion tax

If Labour wins they'll emigrate
They've helped me to at last locate

A decent reason to vote Labour -
Feck off and do us all a favour

Stop Fucking Swearing

One of Peter Pinkney's first decisions when he became RMT National President in 2013 was to ban members of the national executive (which included me at the time) from swearing in meetings ...

When Pinkney won the President
We knew he would be daring
We weren't expecting this one though -
He banned us fucking swearing!

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