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

Formal poetry

Villanelles, sonnets, haiku, limericks and more ... Not all Janine's poems follow strict forms, but these ones do ...

Us and Them

Submitted by Janine on 1 January 2022 at 08:09

A golden shovel based on the final stanza of The Mask of Anarchy by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

They hold us down but still we rise,
deference dies, we bite them down to size. Like
Jayaben roars, we are the lions,
Mr Manager, you'll do no more damage after
we've dealt with you. Stretching from slumber,

Flexing our muscle, exercising our minds, in
readiness for when they find that they are not unvanquishable
as they thought. They bought power but we have number.

Be Streetwise

Submitted by Janine on 10 October 2021 at 12:53

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

History Lessons

Submitted by Janine on 2 February 2021 at 14:38

after Eventide by the Faith Brothers

At the first opportunity, I dropped history -
lists of dates of kings, queens and gilded greats, handed
out from books by teachers who looked just as down
about it as we felt. It spelt boredom. But I like
it now. Dig, and history is more broad and big
than that. Now I seek out my sisters' and brothers'
stories, walk their streets and wear their clothes

Ribbons of Scarlet

Submitted by Janine on 2 February 2021 at 10:09

- a golden shovel after 'Scarlet Ribbons', for Cush

At the peal of the bell, they don’t tell you there’s
a field that not everyone comes back from. The survivor’s been
fearing that he’ll never stop hearing the gunfire
even when the bunfight has stopped. And there’s
a sight you don’t come back from. He’s been
seeing his mate in pieces and only the drinking
At the peal of the bell, they don’t tell you there’s
a field that not everyone comes back from. The survivor’s been
fearing that he’ll never stop hearing the gunfire
even when the bunfight has stopped. And there’s
a sight you don’t come back from. He’s been
seeing his mate in pieces and only the drinking

Self-Isolation in a Single Hostel Room

Submitted by Janine on 2 February 2021 at 17:43

Day 1 confined to room - no going out

Day 2 do push-ups, Netflix, clean the floor

Day 3 phone friends and scrub the tiling grout

Day 4 a breakfast bag outside the door

Day 5 phone friends and tell them how I'm feeling

Day 6 lean out the window for some air

Day 7 sit-ups, Netflix, clean the ceiling

Day 8 phone friends to tell them I still care