If Kublai Khan, Then So Can Newport by Pam Cocchiara

If Kublai Khan, Then So Can Newport

          In Newport Gwent the Council did

A retail pleasure dome decree,

To be constructed with financial aid from Queensbury;

Proposed to be a miracle of rare device,

Thought by the Council well worth the mighty price.


Where, through mud banks measureless to man,

The River Usk past plastic bags and shopping trolleys ran,

Flowing with a tidal motion towards the channel then the ocean,

A busker with a microphone in the underpass I saw,

Not this time wailing for her demon lover

But warning all of what had been uncovered.


With flashing eyes and floating hair,

The song she sang, “Beware! Beware!

The tower NCP did found will be dynamited to the ground.

The Chartist mural all enjoyed will be bulldozed and destroyed.

The Council have all this agreed.”


But passers-by paid her no heed.

“Had too much ale,” they did surmise,

Or maybe, “Smoked the spliff of paradise”.


But now in this square mile of reclaimed ground

A wealth of shops and restaurants abound,

And of those who by those lures are there enticed,

Few will remember John Frost’s sacrifice.


Pam Cocchiara










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