A rose at bay

Willowherb sets its face windward.
Cornered colonizer of the wasteland
Drills seed into dust. Dry, virgin dust
An aftermath of fire fringing forest and fen.
Missiles misted London in carmine rain
And railways forged rosy wildflower borders
Like trails of dragon breath.

Rosebay Willowherb is London’s official flower –  known as Fireweed & Bombweed for obvious reasons

Just 44 words for the dVerse quadrille prompt 'Rose' 

32 Comments on “A rose at bay

  1. Love this description of how this official London flower drills its seeds into the dust…your picture brings the last line to life…dragon’s breath. It must create quite a sight in bloom around town.

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    • ubiquitous it may be but always thrilled by these drifts of rose

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    • thank you Walter – so many options for this theme it was hard to choose

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  2. Lovely alliteration, and I didn’t know that background of fireweed… it’s actually quite common here too, especially along railroads, and one name in Swedish is Rallarros which translates to Navvy’s Rose I guess… wonderful poem heavy with history.

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    • Yours is a good name too for this pretty coloniser of disturbed ground – marvellous prompt

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  3. Gosh, this reminds me of my 1970s inner-city childhood, where there were still large gaps of wasteland after World War Two. Rosebay willowherb made these places beautiful. Thank you for evoking this memory so eloquently.

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    • It’s a bit of a habit so thank you for appreciating

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    • A remarkably pretty marker of disturbance – thank you!

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    • So often you add an interesting note to your comments and this is no exception Diana – never imagined something so pink could be edible

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  4. How marvelous to learn more about this beautiful survivor! And the alliteration – most enjoyable in this.

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    • entitled this the rose at bay because deemed a pest in some parts of the world eg Alaska. Regarded as a native here since remains have been found in pre-historic sites though genepool suggests may have since interbred with an american variety!

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  5. A lovely offering specially admiring carmine rain and trails of dragon breath.

    Thanks for joining us and wishing you happy week.

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    • thank you Grace – can’t resist the word carmine!

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  6. Wow! I love learning new things. I don’t think we have fireweed here in PH but I’m starting to love these valiant floret. 🙂

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  7. There is a haunting quality in tone. Beautifully written!

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  8. In the middle of your beautiful posting on a flower that is persistent in its survival you (more than) hint at a virulent war…quite a stunning poem…so enjoyed your masterful creativity.

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    • what a lovely compliment (blush)

      I hope not a virulent future – in the past these wildflowers sprang up in bombsites after the blitz of London

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  9. Such good use of alliteration and, read aloud, the words are just a delight to say.

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    • I appreciate your words Victoria because poems are for reading aloud – I try not to forget this!

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