Welcome to Hong Kong!

Welcome to Hong Kong!
A futuristic society
Hyper IT reality,
“That barren rock”
Of imperial stock
Quoth Lord Palmerston
In eighteen hundred and forty one;
Three thousand people living on land
And two thousand floating on sampans,
Confucian, Buddhist, Taoist,
Just part of the cultural list
Cowed by the British gun,
Watching the moon and sun
And living side by side
With the diurnal tide,
But welcome to Hong Kong!
Land of fragrant harbours
And leafy perfumed arbours
Where considered imperial opium wars
Open the gates but close the doors
To China’s infinite perception,
For this opiate inception
Fills London’s coffers with tawdry gold
As opium is bought and sold;
So welcome to Hong Kong!
Then around the world in eighty days
With Kowloon’s lights now all ablaze,
Where train and tram and gas and steam
Make the Jubilee a dream,
For Victoria’s globe is painted red
‘Till Europe’s no-mans-land’s bled dead;
Then Chiang Kai Shek and Mao Tse Tung,
And then Japan’s imperial sun
Rising over Hong Kong’s fields
Where the Union Jack is forced to kneel,
But welcome to Hong Kong!
A new millennium
Seven million
Where every building
Is a laser steeple,
With bird song in the mulberry trees
And twenty thousand cruising taxis
Touting for custom by bougainvillea flowers
While traffic jams pass on the hours
While multi freeways ride the waves
With high rise blocks on bamboo staves
Where artisans clean traffic cones
And burial grounds have millions of bones
In a vertical-landscape mountain-rock
And high rise urban tower block
For families with cramped living space
And where no inch of space is waste
Where islands become airports
Where mountain sides are sold and bought
Where banana trees and vegetable plots
Soften any uncultivated spot
And where no litter
Any public space
Despite the race
For success
And escape from stress
On Hong Kong’s flying highways
And where Feng Shui’s
Iridescent water falls
Run through the latest shopping malls
And all the finance housing banks
And all those serried polite ranks
Of hustling, bustling workers,
None of which I know are shirkers
In a can-do world of modernity
That stares out negativity
But also respects old tradition
Where Taoist tradition can marry Mammon,
So welcome to Hong Kong!
With Football Focus in the streets
On giant public high rise screens
With Tiger Economy back on its feet
An occasional beggar making ends meet
Bent double in supplication
Unlike Britain’s multiplication
Of beggars scoring smack
And the kids now smoking crack cocaine
Under grey sky drizzling British rain
As Britannia reinvents itself
In the global battle to create more wealth,
So welcome to Hong Kong!
Where the tertiary economy
Stretches its ecology
Where land is taken from the ocean
Where global warming is a notion
That is viewed as occidental thinking,
And while Bangladesh is slowly sinking
Into the Pacific Rim,
See how Hong Kong’s vim
Continues to ride the waves,
So leaving Europe in a daze,
So welcome to Hong Kong!
Dynamic land of contradiction
Where any job or situation
Is rarely ever vacant,
An air-conditioned city latent
With optimism, money and wealth
Where education is just like health
An admired responsibility
Where ambition is universal and free
And where anyone can be Mr Lee,
Rich and powerful and famous
But behind the scene, anonymous,
So farewell admired Hong Kong!

Apologies – I’ve just been on a study visit – but there is a one line football reference.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/news/2004/11/01/welcome-to-hong-kong/