Recording the Soundlines poets reading their Park Bench poems

Kearsney Interpreted

December 12th 2018 Richard Bundy, who has the Park Bench movie soundtrack commission, recorded the Soundlines poets at his studio in the Alkham Valley.
They were reading the poems they wrote last summer in Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens as part of Dover Arts Development’s Park Bench project.

We had a chance to get a taster of the exciting soundtrack that Richard is creating for the Park Bench Movie that includes some lines from the poems of Jo Field, Trevor Breedon, Gary Studley and a wonderful visual/text piece from Robert Marsh.

Its been a real pleasure to be involved with the Park Bench Project

It was a lovely experience, and please thank Richard again

It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

MANY THANKS to Richard for making the recording process easy & for the BEAUTIFUL recording he’s putting together. Poetry with music is fab. And he made us all feel very welcome. MANY, MANY THANKS to you for all your hard work on this project. Even tbough it is a lovely project, it can’t be easy to coordinate so many people so CONGRATULATIONS!   Could you please pass on my regards to the poet who read my piece in the film – it was lovely.

I  am looking forward to seeing the result of all this good will; such a nice project to be involved in.




Beyond an out-of-bounds moonscape
of cloven earth, after the great dock leaves
and the childrens’ playground shouts,
beside the lake you’ll find the lifebelt
has been removed.

Sitting on a gnarled bench touched with sun
under a crabby pear tree, I’m face to face
with the red stand, vacant but for a label:
In case of damage to or removal
of this life-saving device please contact
Dover 872451.

Like the lifebelt, rain has been absent for a while
and leaves rub together
with the percussive friction of crickets’ legs.
Behind me two young women are basking,
splendid on the dry grass.

Around my feet, among nettles
and desiccated rabbit droppings, thirsty ants
pursue the urgent business of survival
as the wind freshens
and the girls with pink hair put on more clothes
and go away.




Eider ducks float along the Dour
as a summer-kissed girl nets water-lillies.
Sun bursts between cumulus cloaks,
highlights the many-leafed canopy
founded on mature trunks
where hideaway games jostle
while the elderly, infirm and the family.
Gulls parade by the lake’s edge,
where the weir-step of water curls,
carbonates. Kent flint-stone
is baking on the Kearsney walls.
Armed in our piquant flavouring,
we avoid liver fluke and eristalis flies
that hover as we cluster,
blossom in green and white,
in a chalk water home
as our hollow stems sway
in this ancient cressonniere.



From where the vanished mansion stood
the afternoon disputes with the river,
Dour it is not:
families at picnics watch children dip nets in the green lake,
two weathered seadogs carry sleek model yachts,
the envy of a staring boy,
a mongrel roots for secrets in the undergrowth;
from the walls of the nursing home a short procession emerges,
intent on the bridge’s slope,
a woman in a wheelchair clutches memories to her breast
in the shape of a doll.
At the tearooms, all that’s left of the old house,
knives on crockery echo the clack of ivory on ivory.
In its harshness time takes so much,
in its kindness preserves such pleasures.




This is seeing: white swans on water,
A woman in white dress waiting
Indeterminate shapes they make
And reflections light across the ripples shake
B here in the moment as time
stretches towards you.

A dog swims across the pond
Then hesitates as swans line up
Inflating their feathers
At the intruder.
C how they run;
Children quick to kick a ball,
To cross a stream, to climb a tree;
It must be done now –

There is a picture here
Of which you are part:
This afternoon in August,
In Kearnsey Abbey park,
This day is dear, no doubt about it.



One day
when we are friends,
come to the garden with me,
my love,
take the path
down the broken steps,
those without the yellow tape
to warn of risk,
stops us,
tells us
what not to do.

I’ll show you
where the tree’s bent low,
enough to skirt the
breezing pond
and we can sit
in the crook of its back
dibbling walk-hot feet
into cool water,
drip silently onto
the flint white shallows,
laugh at the
expectantly motoring moorhens
you admire so much.

to listen well
to where we are,
we’ll move
shoulder to shoulder,
look out and up
to the filigree light,
or redo that Sandwich river thing,
debate the pros & cons
of bread as special friend or
silent killer,
lean cheek on temple
to read screen,
deride this week’s
Google decider.

At some point,
the accidental graze of knuckle
‘cross back of hand
will bring home
those shivers
we had
and at the moment
when eyes rush in,
dog walkers and passing strangers
the spark that re-awakes,
lips that don’t,
words left dangling –
before the calming
comes amongst us again,
some kind of peace
flooding in.