Pontypool Carnival 2011

Mike Church Pontypool

Over 50 people were involved in contributing to an exciting new Community Poem exploring history and current matters at Pontypool Carnival on Saturday 9 July 2011.

Poet, Mike Church encouraged people visiting the Carnival and from the local area to compose a few lines to add to the Community Poem.

Alliteration, rhyme and rhythm were employed by all involved to create a stunning composition exploring the history and current views about Pontypool.

Pontypool Carnival 2011

The Carnival Queen
Surveys her empire
Of balloons and bouncy castles,
Her attentive Salvation Army
Permanently mobilised
As the town awaits regeneration
With every passing year.
Rumours of God in the park
Are as real
As the inflatable loan sharks
And bubble guns
Of the Credit Union
Engaged in life changing encounters,
While some friends of the earth
Contest the concrete corridor to Cwmbran
‘It’s just Ponty init!’

Gone are the mines, the brickworks
And stretches of shop-soiled-streets shrink
And suffocate under the pedestrian parade
That relives a once busy, bustling market
Brimming with business.
Gone are the queues outside Woollies,
The three cinema’s full of smoke,
The hub of the pubs
That reflected a roaring right to work
As Torfaen teeters towards tumbleweed.
Now traders trade streamers and bunting
For flickering hope
Down the slope
Towards the long gone front row,
Where people go
For a revivalist summer meeting
By the beating heart of the Leisure Centre
The newest mentor for a changing crowd
That chases canvassing jobs in Newport’s big smoke
And is offered camouflaged careers
Caught in the net of the British Army’s
Inglorious Afghan adventures.
‘It’s just Ponty init!’

The Carnival Queen
Surveys her empire
Of anoraks and pushchairs
Of grinning face painted tigers
Holding dogs on leads
Of trapeze artists and sing-a-long fitness fanatics
Up to their knees
In the Ponty puddle
And in those muddied waters
A reflection of spirit
And grace
A community spirit,
A Carnival spirit
Where people look out
For one another’s shared history
And on the number 15 bus
Everyone talks to each other as one
Forgetting the college tutors
Who fail to pick up the accent of youth
The town centre may have died
But when the Carnival Queen has gone
The community lives on
‘It’s just Ponty init!’.