I wrote this in a few minutes for the staff at Highbury and Islington tube station, who told me tales of rude and unappreciative commuters… They got me to record it and played it over the tannoy every few minutes!
They’re Always There
The gate-keepers
 Early risers,
Not late-sleepers
 From 5AM they’re here
At Highbree n’Is
In their Hi-Vis
Shining clear
So when you ask them for directions,
Or to beep you through a section
Even when late, when huge crowds flank you,
Remember to say please and thank you.

I wrote this in a few minutes for the staff at Highbury and Islington tube station, who told me tales of rude and unappreciative commuters… They got me to record it and played it over the tannoy every few minutes!

They’re Always There

The gate-keepers

 Early risers,

Not late-sleepers

 From 5AM they’re here

At Highbree n’Is

In their Hi-Vis

Shining clear

So when you ask them for directions,

Or to beep you through a section

Even when late, when huge crowds flank you,

Remember to say please and thank you.

travelbetterlondon:

Unseen by Emma Jones, performed at South Kensington Tube station

My video: Unseen

While I’m uploading videos, here’s a link to the film we made last year for Random Acts on Channel 4,  featuring my year 11 GCSE drama class. This was via the wonderful people at Bang said The Gun and The Mob Film company.

Dir. Mark Chaudoir.

This was the original introductory video, by Chris Bevan Lee and Dom Baker.

My TFL #travelbetterlondon poem, “Unseen”. This was filmed at South Kensington tube, in one take and it was the first time I’d performed it! Film by Chris Bevan Lee.

Meet the Poets - Travel Better London - YouTube

This is a video featuring most of the poets working on the TFL travel better London campaign. Some are poets in residence at tube stations, some (like me) are “pop-up” poets appearing at various stations. So far this has involved mad dashes across London, leaving school and popping on my TFL t-shirt in my superhero-style change…

  • This Thursday! Stand Up and Slam. Last week, at the launch, poetry beat comedy. Can we hold onto the title against heavyweight hitters such as Thom Tuck (whose ‘Straight-to-DVD’ show I saw at Edinburgh in 2011; it was hilarious), Sophie Hagen and Prince Abdi? Well, we DO have Tim Clare, unleashing Pub Stuntman and other dark furies, and the disarming, moving Vanessa Kisuule, so it’s gonna be a good fight. PLUS it’s on National Poetry Day.  Ding ding!
  • This Thursday! Stand Up and Slam. Last week, at the launch, poetry beat comedy. Can we hold onto the title against heavyweight hitters such as Thom Tuck (whose ‘Straight-to-DVD’ show I saw at Edinburgh in 2011; it was hilarious), Sophie Hagen and Prince Abdi? Well, we DO have Tim Clare, unleashing Pub Stuntman and other dark furies, and the disarming, moving Vanessa Kisuule, so it’s gonna be a good fight. PLUS it’s on National Poetry Day.  Ding ding!
  • This Thursday! Stand Up and Slam. Last week, at the launch, poetry beat comedy. Can we hold onto the title against heavyweight hitters such as Thom Tuck (whose ‘Straight-to-DVD’ show I saw at Edinburgh in 2011; it was hilarious), Sophie Hagen and Prince Abdi? Well, we DO have Tim Clare, unleashing Pub Stuntman and other dark furies, and the disarming, moving Vanessa Kisuule, so it’s gonna be a good fight. PLUS it’s on National Poetry Day.  Ding ding!

This Thursday! Stand Up and Slam. Last week, at the launch, poetry beat comedy. Can we hold onto the title against heavyweight hitters such as Thom Tuck (whose ‘Straight-to-DVD’ show I saw at Edinburgh in 2011; it was hilarious), Sophie Hagen and Prince Abdi? Well, we DO have Tim Clare, unleashing Pub Stuntman and other dark furies, and the disarming, moving Vanessa Kisuule, so it’s gonna be a good fight. PLUS it’s on National Poetry Day.  Ding ding!

Tonight! Hit The Ode, Birmingham

I’m speeding up to Birmingham for one night only, to perform at Hit The Ode. Pics to follow!

  • Wise Words Festival, Canterbury, 15th September. @VanessaKisuule and @dansimpsonpoet doing their thing.
  • Wise Words Festival, Canterbury, 15th September. @VanessaKisuule and @dansimpsonpoet doing their thing.

Wise Words Festival, Canterbury, 15th September. @VanessaKisuule and @dansimpsonpoet doing their thing.

Look at this for the worst sandwich ever.
A poem about Jamie Oliver- titled, imaginatively, “Jamie”. read in a mockney accent, obvs.

I’ve come a long way since 1998, all

Cocky, little tosser

Really quite hateful

Serving up smugness,

Piled High platefuls

 

With my moped, drum kit, braying friends – a roomful

Sliding down my banister

Slurping up a spoonful

Declaring what I’ve made to be “LOVELY” “BEAUTIFUL”

But as much as you might

Find me really quite detestable

Intolerable, vomitable,

Rich and indigestible

None of you could argue

With the recipes, and best of all

You bought the books, you cooked the stuff

You made me a success an all

 

Easy! Peasy! Bish bash bosh!

Throw it in! LOVELY! (If you’ve got the dosh)

Parmigiano croutons on your butternut squash

I’m from Essex, geezer, so I can’t be posh!

 

ME OLD MUKKA…

LOOK AT THAT, IT’S PUKKA!

 

Suddenly I’m all about the culinree filanfropee

Teach the under-privileged to flambé things in pans, for free!

Soon I’m in the schools

Getting turkey twizzlers banned, and me?

I’m a saviour-crusader, middle class Mum’s fantasy

Yeah, a National Treasure. MBE? Nice one, your majesty

 

Then I press on, sanctimonious, swelled by each new offering,

Poor people- love em! Just can’t help but bother ‘em

Soon I’m meeting single Mums, struggling in Rotherham

Who can’t boil eggs, and yeah

Some people they may scoff at ‘em

But I’ll teach ‘em cook with stuff they can’t afford when we’ve f*cked off again

 

ME OLD MUKKA,

LOOK AT ME! I’M PUKKA!

 

If I’d left it at that, it might’ve been alright yeah,

But my face fills your screens like some fat-tongued puffy nightmare

A Sainsbree’s ad, urging you to buy it, just try it yeah?

I’m whoring out my children for a Christmas show and I dare

To tell you how to live.

My ambition’s naked, like the chef; quite bare

 

My ambitions! Gor, blimey they’re far-reaching,

I suddenly decided that I knew about teaching

Fronted Jamie’s Dream School, David Starkey’s preaching

Cos teaching must be easy! Anyone can do it! Peachy!

 

And my limited interactions with the TV-fodder poor

Have convinced me I’m the one who should front a sort of war

I won’t take on those who make and sell this shitty food; the stores

The corporations, lobbyists, nah, that’d be a bore

It wouldn’t make good TV, and we all know it’s more

Satisfying and delicious to judge the poor and gawp

At the slum-scum eating chips on the living room floor

 

Cos look there! On the wall! They’ve got a massive telly!

You can’t be poor if you’ve got a massive telly!

It’s from BrightHouse? On HP? What does that mean? Sell it!

You could buy a pasta maker from my range at Jamie’s Deli!

 

ME OLD MUKKA…

GET ONE; THEY’RE PUKKA!

 

The poor, they’re just too lazy- d’you know what I mean?

They won’t work an 80 hour week at “fifteen”

I worked hard for this; they should be more like me

Or at least more like the immigrants; desperately keen

Union? Rights? Minimum wage? Haaah, in your dreams!

 

But love me or hate me, you’re stuck with me, whatever

I’m adaptable, a kitchen cockroach, I’ll survive forever

Go with the times, the zeitgeist, the weather

Under Blair

 I was cool Britannia

Things Can Only Get Better

Youthful optimism, aspiration- go-getter

But now in Tory Times

I’m something different altogether

 

Like them, I’m

A millionaire who judges blames and damns

Folks whose lives I cannot seem to possibly understand

Sneering, and spreading fear across the land

Show you’re middle class! Use some parma ham!

There’s a recipe in here, buy it!

Bish, bosh, bam.

E Jones 2013
http://tumblr.com/missjonespoet

Look at this for the worst sandwich ever.


A poem about Jamie Oliver- titled, imaginatively, “Jamie”. read in a mockney accent, obvs.

I’ve come a long way since 1998, all

Cocky, little tosser

Really quite hateful

Serving up smugness,

Piled High platefuls

 

With my moped, drum kit, braying friends – a roomful

Sliding down my banister

Slurping up a spoonful

Declaring what I’ve made to be “LOVELY” “BEAUTIFUL”

But as much as you might

Find me really quite detestable

Intolerable, vomitable,

Rich and indigestible

None of you could argue

With the recipes, and best of all

You bought the books, you cooked the stuff

You made me a success an all

 

Easy! Peasy! Bish bash bosh!

Throw it in! LOVELY! (If you’ve got the dosh)

Parmigiano croutons on your butternut squash

I’m from Essex, geezer, so I can’t be posh!

 

ME OLD MUKKA…

LOOK AT THAT, IT’S PUKKA!

 

Suddenly I’m all about the culinree filanfropee

Teach the under-privileged to flambé things in pans, for free!

Soon I’m in the schools

Getting turkey twizzlers banned, and me?

I’m a saviour-crusader, middle class Mum’s fantasy

Yeah, a National Treasure. MBE? Nice one, your majesty

 

Then I press on, sanctimonious, swelled by each new offering,

Poor people- love em! Just can’t help but bother ‘em

Soon I’m meeting single Mums, struggling in Rotherham

Who can’t boil eggs, and yeah

Some people they may scoff at ‘em

But I’ll teach ‘em cook with stuff they can’t afford when we’ve f*cked off again

 

ME OLD MUKKA,

LOOK AT ME! I’M PUKKA!

 

If I’d left it at that, it might’ve been alright yeah,

But my face fills your screens like some fat-tongued puffy nightmare

A Sainsbree’s ad, urging you to buy it, just try it yeah?

I’m whoring out my children for a Christmas show and I dare

To tell you how to live.

My ambition’s naked, like the chef; quite bare

 

My ambitions! Gor, blimey they’re far-reaching,

I suddenly decided that I knew about teaching

Fronted Jamie’s Dream School, David Starkey’s preaching

Cos teaching must be easy! Anyone can do it! Peachy!

 

And my limited interactions with the TV-fodder poor

Have convinced me I’m the one who should front a sort of war

I won’t take on those who make and sell this shitty food; the stores

The corporations, lobbyists, nah, that’d be a bore

It wouldn’t make good TV, and we all know it’s more

Satisfying and delicious to judge the poor and gawp

At the slum-scum eating chips on the living room floor

 

Cos look there! On the wall! They’ve got a massive telly!

You can’t be poor if you’ve got a massive telly!

It’s from BrightHouse? On HP? What does that mean? Sell it!

You could buy a pasta maker from my range at Jamie’s Deli!

 

ME OLD MUKKA…

GET ONE; THEY’RE PUKKA!

 

The poor, they’re just too lazy- d’you know what I mean?

They won’t work an 80 hour week at “fifteen”

I worked hard for this; they should be more like me

Or at least more like the immigrants; desperately keen

Union? Rights? Minimum wage? Haaah, in your dreams!

 

But love me or hate me, you’re stuck with me, whatever

I’m adaptable, a kitchen cockroach, I’ll survive forever

Go with the times, the zeitgeist, the weather

Under Blair

 I was cool Britannia

Things Can Only Get Better

Youthful optimism, aspiration- go-getter

But now in Tory Times

I’m something different altogether

 

Like them, I’m

A millionaire who judges blames and damns

Folks whose lives I cannot seem to possibly understand

Sneering, and spreading fear across the land

Show you’re middle class! Use some parma ham!

There’s a recipe in here, buy it!

Bish, bosh, bam.

E Jones 2013

http://tumblr.com/missjonespoet

This Thursday: A Very Special Bang.
The launch of the Bang Said The Gun anthology is this Thursday. With Luke Wright, Inua Ellams, Salena Godden, PolarBear, Kate Tempest, John Hegley, Rob Auton, Murray Lachlan Young, Elvis McGonagall, Tim Clare, Hollie McNish, Molly Naylor, John Osborne, Byron Vincent, Peter Hayhoe, Martin Galton and more, it’s a book chock full of the choicest cuts. This promises to be the most banging book launch, well, ever.

This Thursday: A Very Special Bang.
The launch of the Bang Said The Gun anthology is this Thursday. With Luke Wright, Inua Ellams, Salena Godden, PolarBear, Kate Tempest, John Hegley, Rob Auton, Murray Lachlan Young, Elvis McGonagall, Tim Clare, Hollie McNish, Molly Naylor, John Osborne, Byron Vincent, Peter Hayhoe, Martin Galton and more, it’s a book chock full of the choicest cuts. This promises to be the most banging book launch, well, ever.

FREE VERSE: The Poetry Book Fair

Tonight I’ll be at The Square Pig, Holborn, with the Bang Said The Gun, bringing the Poetry Book Fair to a close with a bang! The filthy and beautiful Salena Godden will be there too…

  • At Secret Garden Party 2013, Tax Deductible Theatre Tent. Just awesome. The audiences in this tent were incredible. Finished both performances on a high. Vanessa and Pete absolutely killed it too. (And Vanessa killed her voice.)
Sorry, I know my last two posts have featured lots of superlatives and excitable adjectives but this summer has been SO GOOD! Thanks to Sophie Jeanette Burton and Amy Stratton for this particular pinch of magic, glittering festi-dust.
  • At Secret Garden Party 2013, Tax Deductible Theatre Tent. Just awesome. The audiences in this tent were incredible. Finished both performances on a high. Vanessa and Pete absolutely killed it too. (And Vanessa killed her voice.)
Sorry, I know my last two posts have featured lots of superlatives and excitable adjectives but this summer has been SO GOOD! Thanks to Sophie Jeanette Burton and Amy Stratton for this particular pinch of magic, glittering festi-dust.
  • At Secret Garden Party 2013, Tax Deductible Theatre Tent. Just awesome. The audiences in this tent were incredible. Finished both performances on a high. Vanessa and Pete absolutely killed it too. (And Vanessa killed her voice.)
Sorry, I know my last two posts have featured lots of superlatives and excitable adjectives but this summer has been SO GOOD! Thanks to Sophie Jeanette Burton and Amy Stratton for this particular pinch of magic, glittering festi-dust.

At Secret Garden Party 2013, Tax Deductible Theatre Tent. Just awesome. The audiences in this tent were incredible. Finished both performances on a high. Vanessa and Pete absolutely killed it too. (And Vanessa killed her voice.)

Sorry, I know my last two posts have featured lots of superlatives and excitable adjectives but this summer has been SO GOOD! Thanks to Sophie Jeanette Burton and Amy Stratton for this particular pinch of magic, glittering festi-dust.

At Latitude festival, 2013. Poetry Arena. What a brilliant vibe- and absolutely top-quality poetreee. Amy Acre’s Sunday set was dazzlingly good. I saw an Aussie beatboxer called Tom Thum who was immense. Everyone I caught a bit of was just fantastic. Very, very happy to have been there. 
Photo courtesy of Nana Antwi

At Latitude festival, 2013. Poetry Arena. What a brilliant vibe- and absolutely top-quality poetreee. Amy Acre’s Sunday set was dazzlingly good. I saw an Aussie beatboxer called Tom Thum who was immense. Everyone I caught a bit of was just fantastic. Very, very happy to have been there.
Photo courtesy of Nana Antwi

Shapes And Disfigurements Of Raymond Antrobus: My Words In Evening Standard & GCSE ("Get to the Chicken Shop Early!")

The wonderful Ray Antrobus’ letter to the Evening Standard. He is right.  Though I work my hardest to make sure every one of my students gets their best possible grades, as the poem points out, there is more to life! Education is about far more than the 5 A to Cs both teachers and students are under immense pressure to attain. It is damaging to many students who feel that they have failed if they cannot squeeze into that narrow definition of success. We need to broaden our ideas. Creative engagement, imagination, initiative, confidence, curiosity- none of these life/ workplace skills and qualities are nurtured by the current “exam factory” secondary system.