Using Soft Rush

Using Soft Rush
Juncus effusus

Rush bends to every touch
bright green smooth stems
children plait to make bracelets

Pliant, woven into beeskeps
twisted into simmans cord
or a rush-rope to fetch a pony

The saddle-bags made from floss
the rushes strewn on the floor
or made into mats or chair-seats

It’s August for harvesting rushes
pulled rather than cut
for the basket-maker

Rush bows to every change
we’re peeling the stems for
the one white continuous pith

to make into rush-wick lights
held in a rush-nip holder
burning with a soft flame

Green grow the rashes O!

photograph: Waulkmill, Orkney, March