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

Red-Hearted Man

For Brian Munro, 1968-2014

How are you feeling today, my friend?
"Pretty shit", you said
And how do you feel at another year's end?
"Now I feel nothing - I'm dead"

You said you'd be molecules when you're gone
To the earth and the sky wide and far
You left us your words and your memory fires on
Your loved ones just look to the stars

Once Upon a Tory Time

Despite our crusade to screw the low-paid
And the jobless and sick in our midst
They're parading their crimes in our nursery rhymes
And in fairy tales told to our kids

We just can not pander to this vile propaganda
So my job as benefits minister
Is to go through each rhyme, taking one at a time
And eliminate anything sinister

The King Is Dead

A poem on the occasion of the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

Royal flag at half-mast flies
Forgotten victim sadly sighs
Only another despot cries
When a bloody tyrant dies

The great and good will eulogise
Sing loud his praise to blood-red skies
Soft-wrap his crimes in sweet disguise
When a bloody tyrant dies

Peaceful Haven

Guernsey’s International Poetry Competition describes the island as ‘a peaceful haven, not only for finance but also for writers’. 

Does finance need a place to flee?
An economic refugee?
Come seeking solace by the sea?
A safe-sound island sanctuary?

B104-82

When an officer was killed in World War One, the British Army told his next of kin by telegram. Lower-ranked men’s deaths were reported on Form B104-82. ‘Calamity’ is a poem by E.H. Visiak. Private Ted was my great uncle.

 

Visiak’s Calamity once said
From heart to heart grief’s wireless sped
No officer, this Hoxton lad
No telegram to mum and dad
Grief’s letters only slowly plod
Five weeks through Flanders’ shell-churned sod
’Til death’s cold-morning cockerel crowed
Outside a house on Edgware Road
Five weeks false hope for Private Ted
At last they learned their son was dead

Merry Christmas, City Link

Merry Christmas, City Link
Your idea of goodwill stinks
Write your cards in poison ink
Merry Christmas, City Link

Asset-stripped and all wrapped up
Bought a firm, sold us a pup
Paid a quid then cut and run
Once your profiteering's done

Punch for workers, Christmas crack
Gave out gifts, got Santa's sack
Hope your workforce occupies - 
Raise the call to nationalise!

No News Today

There's no news today, not a thing's taken place
It seems rather strange, but it's really the case
The sport's uneventful, the weather is grey
The travel goes smoothly, there's no news today

The autocue's empty, the bulletin's blank
No rising inflation, no run on the bank
And UKIP's pet gobshites have nothing to say 
Apologies, listeners - there's no news today

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