Marxist. Trade Unionist. Socialist-feminist. Author. Poet. Speaker. Tutor. RMT ex-Exec. Workers' Liberty. Autie. Bi. PUFC fan.

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

Villanelle: Joint Enterprise

Submitted by Janine on 10 November 2020 at 20:55

The courts prejudge and penalise,
applying law, not playing fair,
convicting of 'joint enterprise'

Two words that catch and criminalise
the skin you're in, the clothes you wear,
they prejudge and they penalise

You're guilty in the system's eyes
and though they know you were elsewhere
convict you of 'joint enterprise'

Triolet: War Is Over

Submitted by Janine on 08 November 2020 at 22:26

She didn’t say the war was won

Instead she said the war was ended

Fall silent now, the bomb and gun

She didn’t say the war was won

There’s future-building to be done

Place and people to be mended

She didn’t say the war was won

Instead she said the war was ended

Cats' Entertainment

Submitted by Janine on 01 November 2020 at 20:58

For my fellow cat-owning Jam fans.

Territorial war and a screaming stand-off
A recent kill and a ripped-up bench seat
Kittens wailing, scared dog howling
The screech for food and sharp claws sinking

Cats’ entertainment, cats’ entertainment

Bristol's Brilliant Bus Boycott (1963)

Submitted by Janine on 27 October 2020 at 10:04

Back before barring blacks became banned
Bristol buses blocked brown-skinned blokes becoming buscrew

But better Bristolians batted back
bit the bullet and boycotted the buses

Bent-backed, booted bipeds bicycled,
as bitter brushes blazed between bile and benevolence

Bands of brave, belligerent banner-bearers
branded the ban biased, barbarous balderdash