Sunday, August 25, 2013

Joe Pye Weed

Fanghui 1082

Climb Yellow Tower

Gaze to Huangzhou;
To Huangzhou you gaze but cannot see,
below the Tower water eastward flows,
Water Flows, how can it be stayed?
Floating clouds, even more far reaching.
Wounded at heart, a traveler by the marshes,
haggard in Chu Eupatorium autumn.

From Stuart Howard Sargent's "Poetry of He Zhu (1052-1125)

Even in 1082
and on the other side
of the world
someone was extolling
Joe Pye Weed.
Ok.. so that particular poem
is a Googlized stretch,
and there are certainly more
glorious verses that speak
of it's beauty and majesty,
but 1082!? Wow.
I think Joe Pye may be my favorite wildflower.
It grows in profusion in my beloved
mountain home.
Stretching tall above old,
forgotten fertile fields and sipping from
cool, clear streams.
Side by side with Ironweed,
it's lavender heads bobbing to
the tune of the breeze heralds
the coming of Autumn.
It offers a last rich nectar
for the bees and butterflies
before the sun lowers
and the cool nights
bring out the first of the sweaters.
But it has greater uses than just bringing me joy.
I think of Eupatorium fistulosum as a mover.
It moves blood around,
taking fevers from the inside
out to the skin to promote sweating and
the breaking of the heat.
I keep a jar of tincture on the pantry
just in case.
But no one around here has had a fever in quite
a while now.
It moves blood into areas when applied topically,
warming and loosening stiff joints.
And that is how I use it the most.
It is wonderful in my Achy Bones salve.
And I went harvesting this morning.
The butterflies were all over the big blossoms,
so I had to take the pics above.
The air is crisp after a wet, muggy,
soggy drippy summer and the
first tinge of Fall is on the breeze.
It's a little earlier and that is disconcerting,
but it is what it is.
So I am in a gathering frenzy.
While the sun is out and the air is finally dry
I can gather with the best results.
And isn't it just lovely all jarred up in oil?
I didn't leave it in the bright sun,
but I couldn't resist a little glimpse.
In a month or two it will go into
more salve to warm achy bones,
bringing a little late summer warmth
into the cold winter.


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