A sounds poem by Ben Dunk first published in 1978 by Troubadour Press, The Troubadour, 265 Old Brompton Road, London, SW5, in an anthology of poetry and prose entitled ‘On The Streets.’

 

Sounds Poetry was prevalent in London during the late 70’s. Poets were, for example, performing with pianos, drums, guitars and voice-sounds. At the same time there were poets who were experimenting with the beginnings of a Rap form. As well as The Troubadour every Monday evening; public performances were given by such exponents in Battersea Town Hall, Hackney Theatre and numerous public house events, sometimes during the intermission of Punk-New-Wave rock performance. “Oxy and The Morons” the Hackney Wick group, was one such that The Troubadour  and Hassett Road, Hackney Wick poets had gigs with. Their music for “Slam Dancing” caused a sensational reaction among the dancers! My own medium was voice sounds and my Second World War composition was well received. Something similar may have been happening in New York because one evening, a poet from there, visited The Troubadour, wore an elaborate chicken head and then made chicken sounds to accompany his poem. Some other British poets at that time period with sound accompaniment were: Frank Bangay playing his self-trained piano music: in particular his poem :“Lifefight”, Giles Denmark playing academically trained piano music with his poem: “Goldfish Swim By Hammersmith Broadway”, Ferenc Aszmann; poem: “The Fool In The U.K.” with unique voice intonations and the Swedish poet Jane Weiss on guitar with poem: “You Wake Me Up You Bird of Dawn”

 

A sounds poem by: Ben Dunk: during a late summer evening seated on a secluded wall, overlooking The English Channel at Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex, Southern England.

 

SUSSEX SEA SHORE SCENE ON A SUMMER’S NIGHT.

Audience may participate in the:                                                                       SOUNDS AND EFFECTS

 

Shussh, ssscud, ssslomp. (slow voice)                                                             

Throbs the sea shore.                                                                                         Nightingale singing-whistling

Like strong winds soughing the foliage of a tree.

Ceaseless sounds falling and rising.

Onshore breezes smoothing continuous-cascades of currents splashing.         NB: Audience may participate

White surf ribbons on sands crashing.                                                                       with abandon in the sounds

Ending their relentless journeying across an ocean spotted with

twinkling lights on silent ships passing.

 

Shussh, ssscud, ssslomp     (slow voice)

Look!  A shooting star:

Leaving a trail of paper-dart sparkle  -  gone in a flash.                                   Sea bird whistle-call

Shusssssssss-sh.

South western lightning rosily blanketing the clamouring cumuli.

Heralding trembling thunder rumble.                                                                Thunder noise

Then, five young girls, giggling, tumble from an old motor car on to               Lightning flashes.

shingle .                                                                                                               Girls giggling.

One fully clothed, the other’s naked,

Single, bellies tight, white in the dark light.                                                      Girls giggling

bounding for a bathe together.                                                                            Running on shingle sounds

No pause to savour the sky, or,

 sonorous sounds, or, odours free.                                                                      Various girls cries

Only skin-tingling winds, salty lips

 and goose pimple hips.

Shusssh, sssscud, sssslomp. (very slow voice)                                                     Nightingale singing-whistling