Meg Barton

Meg 3

Meg Barton works in publishing and lives in Oxford.  She joined Jenny’s poetry workshops in September 2011.  So far she has been published in ‘The Interpreter’s House’ and shortlisted in the 2013 Poetry Kit summer competition, and has read at several poetry events in Oxford.

First Single

The first few revolutions of the turning disc
Bring forth dark crackling only, like the sound
Of messages to space where nothing is
Or will be, and where silence is profound
And everlasting. But then – beyond all doubt
A voice. And filled with longing like my own.
My generation claims me, reaching out
From all the circling emptiness I’ve known.
And calling, asks me if I understand
“I Want To Hold Your Hand”.

I play it fifteen times without a break
Until parental voices from below
Demand ‘Turn that thing off, for goodness sake’,
But all too late – I’m lost to them, I’ve grown.
Full of a secret knowledge, I no longer care.
I know there’s life out there.

First published in The Interpreter’s House October 2012.

Please don’t send me home from Ikea

Please don’t send me home from Ikea
I want to stay here in the light
And live in my dreamy cool kitchen
With everything working just right.
Where the whispering drawers glide so softly
Beneath worktops that stretch out of sight
And nothing is sticky, not even a crumb,
No tottering piles of the dishes undone
Oh let me stay here in the light.

Please don’t send me home from Ikea
Oh let me stay here in the glow.
My husband is blond and athletic
Like me – though his spectacles show
He’s also quite witty and clever,
His name, maybe, Bjorn – or Sven,
And under our modern art duvet
We do it again and again.
Our orgasms – all simultaneous
Our lovemaking naughty but nice
We like to do things quite spontaneous
On our ‘Poangs’ or ‘Lacks’ to add spice.
And we never prefer just to sleep in our bed
Or stay up and watch the new “Borgen” instead.
Oh let me stay here in the glow.

Please don’t send me home from Ikea
Please let me stay here in the dream
Our colourful boisterous children
Their hair sweetly tousled, but clean
Sleep safe in their pirate-themed bedrooms,
Each cupboard a box of delights,
A few wooden toys on the shelving,
All lit by a Nordic night light.
And no headless Barbies are sprawled in a heap,
And no broken lego bites into your feet.
Oh let me stay here in the dream.

Please don’t send me home from Ikea
Where everything’s happy and bright
Our friends are all coming to dinner
The kitchen’s transformed for the night
We are feasting on meatballs and herring
To the blaze of a hundred tea lights.
The talk will be liberal, funny,
Well informed and poetic and smart
And no one will laugh at my cooking
Or say ‘When does the X-Factor start?’
We’ll never decide just to give it a miss
Invite them some time when we’ve got the house fixed.
Oh let me be happy and bright.

Please don’t send me home from Ikea
I want to stay here on the path
With the big friendly arrows to show you the way
So I’ll never get lost in the dark.
Please don’t send me down to the carpark
With the dreariness, concrete, and rain,
And the big cardboard packs, with their hundred small tacks,
And the wordless instructions, and pain,
And the bits that won’t fit, or are missing or lost,
And the swearing ‘God, never again’.
Don’t make me go home, don’t leave me alone
To the stare of the cold allen key.
Please let me stay here in Ikea
With the Ikea version of me.

Copyright of the material on this page remains with the author.