Fireweed: Pause and Ponder Reflection

Fr La’s weekly ‘Pause and Ponder’ from along the Pilgrim Path at Lough Derg. This week’s reflection – ‘Fireweed’.


Wild wet weather these past two weeks

has taken its toll on the Rosebay Willow-herb

or Fireweed, as it is commonly called.

At its full it is simply a splendid sight:

great banks of bloom five feet tall

towering to right and left of the Path.


From early July the flowers unfold

offering food to a myriad of insects.

The bloom moves upwards and the seedpods follow;

rank upon rank they take their place,

until ready and ripe they begin to burst

in a fluffy plume of downy seed

awaiting the wind that will bear them away.


After World War II all across Europe

they took special delight in transforming bombsites

bringing vibrant colour where all was bare.

Here thank God they have no such task

but they lift my heart, as long as they last.


Fr La Flynn

9 August 2021


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