Marxist. Trade Unionist. Socialist-feminist. Author. Poet. Speaker. Tutor. RMT ex-Exec. Workers' Liberty. Autie. Bi. PUFC fan.

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

Sitting in your Citroen

Submitted by Janine on 31 July 2023 at 22:06

There's room for snacks and Doom Bar cans
flirting, fun and future plans
For you are my adventure gringo
side by side in your Berlingo

There's room for friends and kids and all
There's room for creatures great and small
a spaniel and a sort-of dingo
hitch a ride in your Berlingo

Forty. New. Hospitals.

Submitted by Janine on 30 May 2023 at 20:59

Who knew
that new need not actually mean new?
It might mean refurbished or extended,
repurposed or pretended?
Who knew?

Who'd have thought it,
that forty need not actually mean forty?
That's rather naughty
It ought to, surely?
I'd have thought

Pledge of Allegiance

Submitted by Janine on 06 May 2023 at 17:38

I pledge allegiance to my sons
to witty jokes and dreadful puns

I pledge allegiance to Aussie soaps
to chasing all my dreams and hopes

I pledge my allegiance to the Borough boys
to Lewes FC, to making noise

I pledge allegiance to classic scooters
I pledge to battle persecutors

to fight injustice till it's gone
I pledge to keep on keeping on

Nah, You're Alright

Submitted by Janine on 06 May 2023 at 17:16

I'd rather do a highland fling
Or tie my nipples up with string
Impale my buttock on a spring
I'd rather do most anything
Than pledge allegiance to a king

I'd risk the wrath of Merciless Ming
Or face what fierce tornados bring
I'd rather drape myself in bling
Or swallow insects on the wing
Than pledge allegiance to a king

The Match and the Patch

Submitted by Janine on 06 May 2023 at 16:48

Football fans

from Northern towns

hit the capital city

Sharp-dressed, pretty


sure to take the opportunity

to take in a record shop

and rifle through vinyl

score a winner

reach the final


Make their way to Covent Garden

Soul City stocks lots

of what they're after

Not the latest but the dateless


Submitted by Janine on 22 March 2023 at 19:58

Opposing imaginary ribaldry
Detestable protests at a library
Serious, stern of jaw and dour
Objecting to Drag Queen Story Hour
Reckoning kids are groomed and primed -
But why don't they protest at pantomimes?

Hush on the Bus

Submitted by Janine on 15 March 2023 at 10:42

You can't say that on the 333

Believe you me

The inspector will check

and kick you off the upper deck

I heard some dude once said it and he

had his card well marked for all to see

He had to flee

So you can't say that on the 333


You'd get away with it on the 159

That'd be fine

That's a much more tolerant line

Tonight I Went to Heaven

Submitted by Janine on 22 February 2023 at 22:17

Tonight I went to Heaven
after months of pain
My friends held my hands,
the man at the not-exactly-pearly gate checked my bag
and the siren on the stage brought her dead pals
to Heaven with her

Tonight I went back to Heaven
I’d been on Earth, not in Hell,
maybe in Purgatory
I booked my ticket by
doing good, going without
and working hard