John Barleycorn’s Daughter
She peels off her summer dress
and empties a jug of water over her head.
The day smoulders like a smoking wick.
She can feel the dying grass
beneath her feet; a single bead dripping
slowly between her shoulder-blades
down to the small of her back.
Pale blossoms curl, shrink to a cinder.
Now follows the scent of fireweed, honeysuckle
and dark peppery nettles. From tall trees
a sudden flint-spark of birdsong
threatens this whole valley with flame.
She smiles. An idle finger teases cirrus-clouds
from a tender seam of blue sky.
She never wants you to stop watching.
Siegfried Baber was born in Devon in 1989 and his poetry has featured in a variety of publications including Under The Radar, The Interpreter’s House, Butcher’s Dog Magazine, online with The Compass Magazine and Ink, Sweat and Tears, and as part of the Bath Literature Festival. His debut pamphlet When Love Came To The Cartoon Kid was published by Telltale Press, with its title poem nominated for the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. In 2019, he published London Road West, an ebook of poems and photographs. A debut collection, The Twice-Turned Earth, is forthcoming.