The stink of fish on earthen streets
A hot wind blows from ochre hills
Black faces shine with brilliant teeth
Street market ***** 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.


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