The nettles grow thickly where man has been,

Lapping the walls with an ocean of green;

Nodding and rustling in summer’s breeze,

Covering the roots of the sycamore trees.


Dark are their depths and pointed their teeth,

Hiding the tins and the refuse beneath.

Growing unwanted, triumphantly bold,

Claiming their share of the life-giving mould.


Beautiful not, but owning the grace

Of verdant life, with their headdress of lace.

Rich with a blessing if handled with care;

Sudden to punish the hands unaware.


They have sharp tongues for the timid and meek,

Yet of nature’s providence eternally speak;

And when man in his folly the world has defaced

The loom of the nettles will carpet the waste.


Mona’s Herald     21.5.63