Watching the Ripples Radiate.
Author: marshalg

Chapter 52


The stink of fish on earthen streets

A hot wind blows from ochre hills

Black faces shine with brilliant teeth

Street market hooch doth cure all ills.

Redness in her plaited hair

Rhythm in her steady tread

A harmony of balance, she carries

Water jars on her head.

A market girl is singing

As she sits among bananas

The drama in her music

Is as dusty as the street,

It fills the air with magic

As it lilts above street chatter

In the atmosphere of Africa

Where new and ancient meet.



The goat boy herds his docile flock

Through camel trains and bales

The steamer tethered at the dock

Announces that she sails

With billowed steam and mournful wail

It echoes through the town

And the planter and his agent

Bargain with a harried frown.

The bleating of the goat herd

And the stench of fish and dung

Is as ordinary as Africa

In the searing mid day sun.



Zanzibar is spices, Zanzibar is Stone.

Club Zanzibar is whiskey on the rocks

Consumed alone

Or shared upon the balcony

In the shadow of a palm

With the turquoise Indian ocean

Reaching out beyond the arm.

Do you see the dhows are sailing?

Do you see the fishing nets?

Do you hear the oarsmen chanting?

Did you see black muscle flex?

Have you watched the dripping sweat

Cascade on alabaster brow?

Have you inhaled the scent of Africa

And allowed it to allow?



Colobus monkeys in the treetops

Narrow lanes in the bazaar

Dull white walls adorn stone buildings

And the rupee is by far

The favorite tenure of the Island

Since the days when slaves were sold

By Arab camel caravaners

Who traded coin for young black gold.

East and west collide in concert

Africa and Asia blend

The Sultan's mix of race and spice

In Zanzibar, beyond lands end.

Mangere Bridge
3rd June 2008


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