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

Widening Roads

widening road

Widening roads
parking lorries
carrying loads
of no-deal worries

Laying Tarmac
digging ditches
making car parks
burning bridges

Office holder
riding high on 
a hard Brexit shoulder
to pull over and cry on

Sailing boats away
laying mines
widening motorways
narrowing minds

 

 

Not OK

I saw a poster the other day
that said it's OK
to not be OK

I was sitting in a waiting room
while others sit
or just exist
on a waiting list
for months or years
Worsening trauma, growing fears
Not serious enough to jump the queue
or get what's good for you
Bide your time
stand in line
wait your turn
And as you wait, maybe you'll learn
to be more resilient
that would be brilliant
Parity of esteem?
in your dreams
The stuff of inspriation memes
Buzz words
fuzz words
nothing does words
Set targets
trust the market
It will decide
and it will provide
for those who pay

A Warm Hand

I wanted to clap at the funeral today
But I think that is seen as poor taste
I longed to applaud such a brilliant speech
But I feared it would seem out of place

I wanted to shout 'Hear! Hear!' when you said
Deceased was a wonderful chap
The whole of me knew this was so very true
I was craving to let out a clap

Revise the System

Work hard, be conscientious, be afraid
Your life won't be worth living if you fail
The only thing that matters is your grade

Feel guilty for each error you have made
Learn quotes by rote and don't stop to exhale
Work hard, be conscientious, be afraid

Of falling short of A-star accolade
Don't eat, don't sleep, travail your skin to pale
The only thing that matters is your grade

Product Displacement

I peeled back the adverts and found
a beautiful town

Waiting at the bus stop
I stilled the rotating displays
and pasted timetables and useful information
in their place

I restored all the lamp posts
to their role as posts bearing lamps
rather than gallows
from which buy-me banners hang

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