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.

What We Want

I thought the pay
Was quite OK
When I first came through the door
Then I paid my rent
And it was spent
And now I want some more

The company's board
Say they can't afford
They've got no more to give
But like Olly Twist
More than subsist
I want enough to live

Rachel

In memory of a young friend ...

There's chaos at the centre of the classroom
a big huddle, loud voices
Teenagers talking politics
Rachel making choices
Labour member, Corbynista
Feminist fighter, socialist sister
Equality champion, bigotry battler
Opposing racism, Black Lives Matter
Canvasser and whistle-blower
Demonstrator, meeting-goer

How Leonard Learned

The true story of how Leonard Cohen learned his guitar style ...

Leonard walked in Murray Hill Park 
And heard a young man play
Circled by listeners and courting them
In some mysterious way

With black hair and acoustic guitar
By the tennis courts stood he
Picking out a lonely-sounding
Spanish melody

#TubeStrike

I proper hate those Tube strikers
  they've well messed up my day
I'm late for tea at City Hall
  I walked most of the way
And then found out the CEO
  had nicked my parking bay

On every other day I don't
  give them a second thought
They work to run the railway safely?
  Nothing of the sort!
I know they're lazy bastards 'cos
  I saw the news report

Battle Scars

Penicillin
is killing
the infection.
Inspection
revealed
it's healed.
I brandish
the bandage
removed
from the wound.
My breast
undressed.

Clue

1 down
Disordered file's easy,
Begs us around about
Those little things that make us happy
(4'1, 6, 9)

Plain and quick
Or painful and cryptic
Make my mind tick
Flicking pen, click

1 down
Fifty-one iron's
Limp as super eels
Troubled by those small sources of cheer
(4'1, 6, 9)

Brain ache
Coffee break
Come back later
Procrastinator

Winter of Love

Rather to my surprise, this little poem of mine won a place as a 'featured entry' on Hour of Writes for the theme Winter of Love, and will be published in its magazine, Ephemera:

'Tis the season for reckless folly
To deck Mr Hall from Accounts
For showing you how his sausage rolls

'Tis the season for making out
You've a large and loving family
With perhaps the odd eccentric

Liberation

An acrostic poem ie. one in which the first letters of each line spell out the key word:

Looks like this, does it, liberation?
Isolated from supplies, routes closed, blown from the skies
Barrel bombs bowled along alleys
Enclaved civilians tweet from their graves, farewells from beneath
Rubble, the stones where their homes used to be
Aleppo cries, crumbles, defeated, they see
Tyranny returning, triumphant, burning
Inhabitants gathered, culled, or running for their lives
Out of the city, fleeing as they wouldn't if they had actually been freed
No, this is not what liberation looks like.

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