Familiar grass, its panicles silver-grey, showy,
quivering in the breeze, flashing light-rays
from glossy glumes, airy and glittering, rising
out of hassocks, rough caps, growing in any soil,
can even tolerate spoil heaps near heavy metals.
Yes by a burn in Achnagairn woods
the gleam that lives among the leaves
silvers our land, lights luminous globes,
lamps that shine in the darkest weather.
Admired by all grass-lovers
in full flower takes over road verges
swiftest among grasses
sprints across waste ground
takes over slopes and screes
its panicles glisten in the sun
with metallic lustre green and lilac
long thin stems round and shining
most suitable for hay.
images: Inverted photograms of Tufted Hair-grass / Greater Wood-rush / False Oat-grass
photographs: Greater Wood-rush Luzula sylvatica, Achnagairn, Kirkhill, Inverness-shire, May