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

Capitalism and Greed

headling greed is good
The loose-tongued Prime Minister
claimed that capitalism and greed
made the vaccine succeed.
 
Really?
 
I don't remember
selecting my injection
from the many assembled
on a free-market stall.
Not at all.

Locked Up and Down

figure behind prison bars

If you're locked down with books
and a partner who cooks
better than you
Then you'll probably get through

If you're locked down with a garden
it might not be so hard and
with a nice glass of wine
You'll probably be fine

If you're locked down with games
and people who play them
and plenty of space
You can probably face it

Hostile Architecture

anti-homeless spikes

This stinking subway,
piss-soaked flags,
cold stone ground,
discarded fags
is way too good for them.

Install steel spikes,
bayonet their bodies off the floor
and out of doorways,
It's allowed,
or so the law says.

For sure these spears were ordered
from some lordly, comfy quarters
by people with a home to go to
when the deed was done.
Out of sight.

Credit Where It's Due

twenty pounds

Some people know what it is worth.

Some people can now buy fresh fruit.
Or keep the heating on for another hour.
Some people can get a decent present
for the kiddo's birthday.
Or a coat when winter comes in.
Some people don't always have to make an excuse
when their mate invites them out.

The Roadmap Ahead

Fear

What if I can't stand the train
without the carriage to myself?
What if I can't stretch and strain
to reach up to the luggage shelf?

What if all the outside seats
are taken and the queue's too long?
And I don't recognise the streets
and can't see left or right or wrong?

Favourite Things (Lewes Remix)

Sound of Music

Frost-polished gardens and cold hands in mittens
Cute, cobbled alleyways, steep, narrow twittens
Playgrounds with climbing frames, ropewalks and swings -
Lewes is full of my favourite things

A walk up the Down to see windmills and horses
Vegan pub lunches with gluten-free sauces
Blue cheese and celery, smoked tofu wings -
Lewes has loads of my favourite things

Leaving by Degrees

goodbye

The first gestation period was nine months
The second nineteen years

Friends of a certain age
post restrained emotions on their page
or wall. No, those aren't tears at all

All we can do is wind you up
Point you forward and set you on your way 

I haven't wiped your backside for many years 
And you don't have to wipe my tears

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