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, Rising and TenFootCity; and in anthologies Spies4Life, Poems for Jeremy Corbyn and (forthcoming) Dark Bones.

Royals In Need

The Palace ceiling's showing cracks
The servants' quarters may collapse
They can't afford the Bedroom Tax
Please help our Royals In Need

On screen a choked-up millionaire
Is holding tight to Pudsey Bear
Defy their pleadings if you dare
Dig deep for Royals In Need

Thick Racists

They’re backward, stupid, racist, sexist
They voted Trump, they voted Brexit
They must be mental, mad or sick
They’re racist and they’re thick

Good people didn’t vote this way
Bad people don’t do what we say
They don’t accept the politic
They’re racist and they’re thick

The Coral's Grief

The warming of oceans by greenhouse gases emitted by human activity has caused large-scale death of coral reefs. A hat tip to Dylan Thomas' 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Dark Night', as I nicked his villanelle refrain.

Do not concede the gentle coral's grief
Attend the lessons nature has to teach
Rage, rage against the dying of the reef

Great oceans flow too warm and not too brief
So polyps spit out algae, turn to bleach
And gentle corals fade to death-white grief

Kids in Crates

They keep children in containers
Crate them and detain them
Gate them and restrain them

No watering or feeding
The potted, planted seedlings
In readiness for weeding

They'll live but they won't grow
Goaded, loaded, shipped to go
With winter whipping in the snow

It's probably for the best
To centres to be processed
The furthest and the closest

BoJo Logic

Boris arms the Saudis
They use those arms to kill
He says if we don't arm them
Then other countries will

So when I next see Boris
His nuts will meet my knee
And if I get arrested
Then this will be my plea:

Oh officer, I claim my act
Was for the greater good
And if I hadn't done it
Some other fucker would

Babyface

You don't look small and cute enough
Your upper lip has grown some fluff
You look quite tall and rather tough
You show the scars of sleeping rough
You look so foreign, feral, wild
You don't look like a child

Tests on My Breasts

Take this basket into this stall
Waist upwards: off with it all
On with the gown
(No, the other way round)
This is what we're going to do
OK with you?

Into the room, off with the gown
Lift your breast and lay it down
​On this plate, stand like this
Shoulder back, hand on hip
​This might squeeze a little bit

Rude Words

When Donald Trump said
"Grab them by the pussy"
The objectionable word
was not "pussy"
It was "grab"
His words were not "lewd"
They were violent

Tumour Humour: Titter Ye Not

They're big and they're flopsy
They had a biopsy

Wore a gown like a nightie
My clothes in the lockers
Some people like me
But I do have my knockers

Tubes in my boobs
Making maps of my baps
Taking bits of my tits
Then I got the answer
It's cancer
Oh shit

Next appointment
They will be pointing
Their surgical pistols
Straight at my Bristols

From Alex, 6 Years Old

On 21 September, the White House published a letter that President Obama had received from six-year-old New Yorker Alex, offering a home to Omran, the Syrian boy whose photo had circulated widely.

Please tell the boy in the ambulance
To come and live at ours
And we will greet him in the street
With flags, balloons and flowers

Beneath that dust I know he must
Be frightened as can be
But when he's washed the bloodstains off
I think he'll look like me

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