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

Sonnets

A classic poetic form, consisting of fourteen lines of iambic pentameter. The two most usual rhyme schemes are ababcdcd-efefgg (English/Shakespearean) and abbaabba-cdecde or abbaabba-cdcdcd (Italian/Petrarchan). The move from the first eight lines (the octave) to the remaining six lines (the sestet) often sees a turn in the theme or the 'argument' of the poem. Dialectical, innit?
Mind you, this section contains some fourteen-liners that are not strictly sonnets.

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

Get Out Of Here

Submitted by Janine on 11 November 2019 at 19:10

I’d like to get out but the lift doesn’t work
And my knees are too weak for the stairs

I meant to get out but the telly keeps telling me
People like me should be scared

I was going to get out but the place that I’d go to
Has signs saying 'closed' on the door

I’d still have got out but the lady who went with me
Doesn’t come round any more

Rosa and the Water Buffalo

Submitted by Janine on 12 December 2018 at 22:28

When Rosa gazed through prison bars to street
She saw the water buffalo which drove
The heavy coated cart on cloven feet
And when they could not pull their weighty load
Their master turned his whip and beat and strapped
Until they bled and flinched and hauled and strained
The final yards, their last resources sapped
And stood, defeated, bloodied, sad and pained

Hettie Gets Out

Submitted by Janine on 12 December 2017 at 19:33

She’s safely shut in and yet Hettie gets out
And she goes to the places she cares most about

Hettie gets out under cover of dark
And she pushes the kids on the swings in the park

Hettie meets Beryl who moved out last June
And they chat about old times and tap out a tune
And then Hettie tells Bel she’ll be joining her soon

Another Country

Submitted by Janine on 12 December 2016 at 15:36

The NHS is not another country
Going to clinic's not a trip abroad
Its purpose is for treating not for hunting
No frontiers from reception to the ward
I have to cross the town not cross the oceans
A hospital's no tourist trap now, is it?
Rather than the needles, stitches, lotions
So many other sites I'd rather visit
Not smuggling drugs nor medicines nor pills in
The staff are healers, they're not border guards
I've nothing to declare except my illness
I don't send postcards, I get Get Well cards
- They treat my sickness not my shade of skin
- Why should I need a passport to get in?

Halloween Underground

Submitted by Janine on 11 November 2016 at 18:56

Blood sprayed across the ticket hall floor
Capes caught and torn in moving rails
Horns and scales and devils’ tails
Make-up smudged some hours before
Biting, fighting, broken jaw
Cuts and slashes, tears and gashes
Blades and bottles, glints and flashes
Of steel, red handprint on the door
Claws and punches, noses broken
Howls and screams and curses spoken

How to Cover Up the Evidence

Submitted by Janine on 6 June 2016 at 16:35

Concealer hides the redness and the bruises
Long sleeves disguise the marks along her arm
A bangle covers twisted wrist contusions
A bandage shields her fractured thumb from harm
Dark glasses screen her puffy eyes and tears
Uncertain smile conceals the broken tooth
The scent he bought her drowns the smell of fear
A well-told story masks the brutal truth
The curtains shut out busybody neighbours
Just punching her emotions leaves no mark
His patronage buys sympathy and favours
Control her movements, keep her in the dark
- His hand across her mouth ensures her silence
- His public image veils his private violence

We've Got Something for That

Submitted by Janine on 5 May 2016 at 15:20

Your breathlessness feels like asphyxiation
You've missed a deadline for some bureaucrat
You're sighing, crying, busting with frustration
I'm sure there is a therapy for that

The lights and noise and pressure make you dizzy
The heat is burning up the thermostat
I'm sorry but the therapist is busy
I'm sure there is a medicine for that

A Sonnet for Saga

Submitted by Janine on 12 December 2015 at 16:46

'Sonnet' means 'little song'; Saga Noren is the (autistic) lead character in Swedish/Danish crime drama The Bridge.

A little song across a Bridge to link
A multi-neuro-lingual Tower of Babel
Two tongues, two countries, varied ways to think
On fire not cold, you're different not unstable
Unmentioned spectrum's focus, dedication
Not held up by romantic hero's arms
Your single mind concludes investigation
No need for verbal foreplay, social charms
Embittered colleague, hostile boss and mother
Atypical emotions still run true
The problems you have understanding others
Are no more than their problems knowing you
Subtitle this if our sort still seem foreign:
I think perhaps I love you, Saga Noren