In Praise of Rosebay Willowherb

Wasteland and railway banks
are aflame with rangy ranks

of fireweeds. Neon pink spikes
light up ditches and dykes,

seducing moths and bees,
releasing clouds of fluffy seeds

from ostentatious spires,
spreading beauty in windborne fires.

All the while their creeping roots
and rhizomes advance like troops,

leafy shoots invade gardens, giving rise
to cerise fireworks exploding in the sky.

Kim M. Russell, 28th March 2023

Image by Heather Wilde on Unsplash

This Tuesday, Sarah welcomes us to Poetics at the dVerse Poets Pub on National Weed Appreciation Day. She says that we can celebrate whatever weeds we like, but officially, this is a day to celebrate garden weeds: wild plants growing in places where they’re not wanted, such as dandelions in the vegetable patch and daisies in the lawn.

Sarah explains that she couldn’t find out why 28th March was chosen, or who chose it, or where this day came from. She also talks a bit about rewilding and letting verges grow wild, providing support and food for bees and other insects.

She has also given found poems about weeds by John Masefield, Walt Whitman and James McKean, to inspire us to showcase their resilience, their subtle beauty, their cussedness.


23 thoughts on “In Praise of Rosebay Willowherb

    1. Thanks Brendan! Weeds are such a wild and wonderful inspiration. They’re starting to run rampant again over here, especially after all the rain we’ve had this week.


  1. Very nice to read, I like the moths and the bees, I should have added them to mine. We have Rabbits, squirrels, and aligators as animals as well. Maybe a rat or two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jim! We have all sorts but no alligators! There is a large rat, a healthy-looking, tan-coloured one with a pale belly, that keeps raiding the fat balls my husband puts out for the birds.


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