Making Senses

Brian McCabe

A cloud has given up trying to be
an early nineteenth-century shipwreck.
Below it, smoke from a bonfire of leaves
is queuing up into a question mark:

What, no wind? And it seems to question me:
with these pieces of a black, white and pink
jigsaw, what other picture can you see
but cows? Does the evening stoop to drink

its own shadow, or the beauty queen of trees
tremble, get ready to drop the pretence
of that multicoloured hair-do of leaves?
I am a man and I make my man-sense

of a cloud, the smoke, some cows and a tree.
But no landscape can make sense of my me.

From One Atom to Another (Polygon, 1987)