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

Poets Versus Homelessness

Poets Versus
07/03/2019 - 19:30

Janine joins an array of other poets in an event to support campaigning against homelessness and to raise money for Crisis.

You will also be able to buy the Poets Versus Homelessness anthology, including some of Janine's poems.

31 January 1919: Reading the Riot Act

Battle of George Square, 1919

An historical anecdote from the Clydeside General Strike of 1919 (pictured)

 

In George Square in Glasgow
in Nineteen-nineteen
Sixty thousand red rebels
are striking a scene

The sheriff takes stage
to proclaim the King's words
Required by the Riot Act
order: Disperse!

By Royal decree
clear the square in an hour
On pain of a pounding
of military power

Masterless Men

After the Battle of Waterloo, the British ruling class got in a bit of a panic about unemployed ex-servicemen roaming the country, worried that these 'masterless men' would cause trouble. A similar fear haunted Lloyd George's Liberal-Tory coalition government after the end of the war a century ago.

The masterless men
strike cold fear in the soul
of the masters resolved
that they stay in control

Special Educational Needs

busy classroom

You sit me on a chair that hurts
In a classroom full of noise and light
You put a pen in my wrong hand
And tell me that I have to write

You speak in terms that don't make sense
You write in symbols I can't see
You talk to everyone at once
You talk to everyone but me

Genuine Question

Why do you have to write 'genuine question' to indicate that you are asking a genuine question?
Genuine question.

Why is it not assumed that your question is genuine unless you indicate otherwise?
Genuine question.

Who Do You Blame?

Those who fought it
or those who caused it?

Those who saved sixty-five
or those who cost seventy-two?

Those who did not know the tower was clad in torchwood
or those who chose that cladding because it was cheaper?

Those whose chosen job is to walk into burning buildings to save life
or those whose careers are built on making money by cutting corners?

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