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

Effluenza

Our public sewage industry
was sold to private bidders
Who don't dispose of putrid waste
but dump it in the rivers

They take responsibility
and flush it down the loo
For building up the affluent
builds effluence up too

The Tories' excremental sale
saw treatment work neglected
As income goes to bonuses
so beaches are infected

Be Streetwise

Police commissioner urged to resign over 'streetwise' comment

Be streetwise, girls, be streetwise
and you won't get false-arrested
Look out for cuffs and meat knives
Be streetwise, girls, be streetwise
and memorise our treatise
on what to do when pestered
Be streetwise, girls, be streetwise
and you won't be false-arrested

We Slept Here

We Slept Here

 

We slept here
on Waverley Bridge
under the shadow of a granite ridge

Next to the only station
named for a novel -
our open-air waiting room, no place to travel

Just along from the Spoons and the bars
by the pools of piss and broken jars
under the sober moon and stars

They swept beer.
A gull crept near.
We slept here.

Everybody Needs Good Strikers

Ramsay Street

Bring out the braziers on Ramsay Street,
close down the kitchen and turn up the heat
No more exploitation of the workers' labours -
the staff are going on strike in Neighbours!

The ranks of the workers' movement swell
as the comrades at Lassiters Hotel
flex their muscles and show some clout
by downing tools and walking out

Anti-Vax Parallax

Covid

Blocking folk from getting jabs
Harassing working people 
Spouting endless bafflegab
While calling others sheeple

Sharing psychobabble memes 
Spurning free protection
This is off so many beams
This isn't insurrection

I too don't trust authority
I want to smash the system
But this is not a just minority
This is not resisting

Run

cricketer

Her cover drive and how she ran
are now haram
under the rule of the Taliban

Can she stay in? For sure she can
She can't be out without a man
in ancient, new Afghanistan

She'd tackle assumptions and she'd score
but won't be playing any more
She's fallen foul of holy law

Dinah Murray 1946-2021

Dr Dinah Murray

A nature lover, mushroom finder,
activist and fighter
against oppression, for our future,
thinker, speaker, writer

Always radical, always left,
sometime Green and Labour,
A friend, a comrade, partner, mum,
a new-found Scottish neighbour

An organiser, platform builder,
amplifier of others
There's light at the end of the attention tunnel
thanks to your endeavours

Praise Without Pay's ...

A century ago, in August 1921, Labour Councillor Jack Wooster told crowds demonstrating in support of Poplar's rebel councillors that "Sympathy without relief [the name back then for welfare benefits] is like mustard without beef".

----

Sympathy without relief
is like mustard without beef
or lettuce without leaf

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