The Hoopoe’s Eye

By Mark Carson
ISBN 978-1-9999728-4-4
Price £5

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These poems respond to what can only be described as a domestic disaster, the dramatic flood which engulfed the poet’s house in Spain. But what is so remarkable here is the upbeat and optimistic tone with which he describes the Herculean task of cleaning up. So these are not disaster poems after all, but examples of the triumph of the mind in coping with and, indeed, enjoying what is flung its way regardless. Mark Carson exhibits an easy and fluent way with words and strong descriptive powers. As an engineer he obviously delights in the processes and the things of this world, while as a poet he is able to turn the task of reclamation into something to celebrate.

Nothing prepares you

for the gap-toothed river bank
the fig tree swept aside
the quince trees piled
on top of the pear
nor for the windows swinging
loose behind their grilles
the shutters gone
turning the house to a hovel
nor for the garden shed
the tools canes poles
piled like spillikins
the buckets slopping over
nor for the terraces
smothered in sludge
and the sausage factory’s
grease excretions.
Push on the doors
they’re jammed
with god knows what
tumbled behind.
You’re forced to force
an entrance.
Something gives,
something cracks.

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