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

The Girl from Clapham

Ever wondered what Squeeze's Up The Junction might look like from the woman's point of view?

I never knew it was Gordon
The guy who came from Morden
His face was cute and handsome
So that's when we began some
Adventure most romantic
Impassioned snogging antics
He said I wasn't common
His chat-up lines were rotten

Don't You Want Me, Henry?

You were flirting with a racist in a cocktail bar
When I met you
I picked you up, I turned and you walked out on your wife
It really was quite easy to do
Then two months later on my racist texts were exposed
Embarrassing as fuck for you
But don't forget that UKIP put you where you are now
And they can put you back down too

Requiem for Carillion

Once Thatcher sold our silver for a song
Our telephones, our water, power and steel
The vultures were not satisfied for long
They wanted snacks to follow up their meal

The public body's stripped, its clothes torn off it
So next they chopped its limbs off piece by piece
And tossed them to the hounds that sought to profit
And let the corporate speculators feast

Busted

Carillion’s
Made its billions
Now its debt is so big, its account’s in vermillion
With coldness reptilian
It dumps on civilians
Rides off into sunset; the Tories ride pillion
If it were not so serious, it would be vaudevillian

On Shitholes

A place becomes a shithole
when someone digs a hole and shits in it
Someone like you, Donald Trump,
and all the rulers and raiders
and tin-pot dictators
the speculators and devastators
the extractors and the malefactors

DMWs Driving History

When history tells of mighty kings
Who's working wonders in the wings?
Fighting battles, changing things?
Disaffected Middle-Aged Women!

In 1848 they came
To Seneca Falls to stake their claim
Mature and bolshy, never tame -
Disaffected Middle-aged Women!

A Grenfell Nativity

Expectant families
in temporary digs
waiting for a miracle
Led here by a burning star
and a government demand
to be counted

Drawing the short straw
bedding down in the stalls
Because there's no room
in the inner workings
of the political economy
for them

Watched over by
donkeys and sheep
Interrupted sleep
Silent night
Keeping the light on

Telling Time

My body is a timeline
with every thick and fine line
marking a milestone
time-grown
Each tract and fracture
captured
and preserved
a chapter
in each roll and curve

Hettie Gets Out

She’s safely shut in and yet Hettie gets out
And she goes to the places she cares most about

Hettie gets out under cover of dark
And she pushes the kids on the swings in the park

Hettie meets Beryl who moved out last June
And they chat about old times and tap out a tune
And then Hettie tells Bel she’ll be joining her soon

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