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

Night Tube (Covid-19 remix)

Night Tube Covid

It's just like any other Saturday night
but without the vomit and with no-one to fight

It's just like Night Tube but nobody's pissed and
the two people here are socially distant

It's just like every other morning after
but without the bleary eyes and laughter

There's no-one to beg from, no tickets to tout
because staying at home is the new going out

Clap for Carers

Clap

Claps at windows
Claps at doors
Claps with power and verve
Wave on wave
of loud applause
our care workers deserve

Applause spread fast
round our estate
Applause saw us unite
Applause lets us
appreciate
the ones who lead this fight

Wherefore Art Thou, Capitalism?

Milton Friedman

No-one’s saying leave it to the markets
No-one’s claiming competition’s key
That stockbrokers will lead us from the darkness
None are sneering now at stuff for free

No-one says that laissez-faire will sort it
No-one argues we’ll be saved by greed
None declare just those who can afford it
Should get the test or get the care they need

Stay The Fuck Home

Stay The Fuck Home

Stay the fuck home, they yelled
at a grey-haired man in the supermarket
that they were also in

Stay the fuck home, they insisted -
Follow government advice!
(which is not for everyone to Stay the fuck home)

Stay the fuck home, they typed,
logged on to the company account
working from home on full pay

Save The Super-Rich!

Virgin Atlantic

Thoughts and prayers for Richard Branson!
Urgent aid for billionaires!
Don't let the sick hold us to ransom!
Vaccinate our stocks and shares!

Public funds for Virgin's business!
Workers must take unpaid leave!
Poor old Richard's worried witless!
What handouts will his brand receive?

Dispensible Other

Covid-19

Accept our rule and stop this hue and cry
Some loved ones have to go before their time
It's just the weak and sick and old who'll die

We have a theory here to justify
Our nudging unit thinks it's just sublime
Accept our rule and stop this hue and cry

No need to test or rest or notify
Our British stock is mostly in its prime
It's just the weak and sick and old who'll die

Unskilled

Unskilled

You have no skills – you’re just a carer,
labourer and apron-wearer,
You smear on cream and dish out pills –
you don’t have skills.

You have no skills, you just wipe arses,
the underside of the underclasses,
You wipe up drool, make tea and chat –
Where’s the skill in that?!

What a Croc

Morning Star anti-trans cartoon

A response to an appallingly bigoted cartoon (pictured) which appeared in the Morning Star.




An oversight has come to light
our usual process
transgressed, broke apart

and through the cracks
crept a carnivorous
cold-blooded cartoon

a hand-drawn saurian,
fawning, crawling, stalking
readers bravely pleading for safety.

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