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Poems

Mombasa Magic

Volume 14, Issue 3 | Published 01/02/2018  

Swahili women in black buibuis,
bustling in Biashara Street,
bobber down the lanes of the Old Town,
into the Fish Market,
past Mkanyageni Mosque,
Memon and Bohra ironmongers, tinker, tailor,
Tirthankar Temple, Tononoka, tatarika tatika, tatua taabu;
Haki ya Mungu, chungu ya watu!        

Taciturn and incognito, mysterious masquerade of women:
buibui also baibubi  - cloak of woman, head to foot;
also spider,
spider women in black.

Houses of coral rag,
roofs of tile and palm thatch,
balconies with lattice barriers,
kiss each other over narrow lanes;
intricately carved Lamu doors grace the entrances.

Someone In Africa Loves You

Volume 14, Issue 3 | Published 01/02/2018  

The tall blonde girl didn't come to East Africa on safari,
She was an Oxford student majoring in History
And wanted to see the sites involved in slavery
And the relics of Arab-Portuguese rivalry.
I first spied her walking alone by the swaying sea
And something about her just jumped up and bit me.
I asked her her name and she said, 'Suzanne...with an "e".'

Pictures At Two Exhibitions

Volume 14, Issue 3 | Published 01/02/2018  

I

Real

Nairobi, December 2010

Turkana Village

Turkanas’ Silhouette

Turkanas Around Bonfire

Turkana Women

Turkana Women Walking                                               

Turkana Woman Close Up

Proud Turkana Woman

Turkana Woman and Child

Beautiful Turkana Girl

Turkana Girl Posing

Turkana Boy, Elder and Girls

Turkana Boy in Brown

Turkana Boy in Red

Turkana Child Taking Fish Home

 

II

Imagined

London, December 2010

English Village

Englishmen’s Silhouette

Englishmen around Bonfire

English Women

English Women Walking

English Woman Close Up

Proud English Woman

English Woman and Child

Beautiful English Girl

English Girl Posing

English Boy, Elder and Girls

English Boy in Brown

English Boy in Red

English Child Taking Fish and Chips Home

 

John Sibi-Okumu