The city in the sun

By Gloria Mwaniga.

In a far away land,

to the east of Nairobi,

There lies a strange city in the sun.

An old and ageless city.

Where girls abandon their clothes.

And men stay in the water like fish

The sun rays burn brightly and heat up the city.

The water is salty and warm,

Madafu is the drink that sells in that old city.

Where soil is white and sandy,

And the beaches filled with locals and tourists

The buildings tell tales,

of Vasco Dagama and merchants,

Who traversed the land in the early years.

Drinking spiced teas and biriani at Eid.

They say that the water carries mysteries,

of jinni women and queens of the sea.

And the shells carry voices,

of lovelorn lovers lost in the vast waters.

The locals sit under coconut trees,

The shirts abandoned to keep the heat off.

They tell tales of sea travelers,

Who brought with them strange cultures,

and foods and goods

To the sea city of Mombasa.

I once loved a sailor from that old city,

Who, though generous, couldn’t return my love.

He left one morn and sailed off in the tides,

And never returned to the old town again.

They said he was bewitched by the queen of the sea.

And that he was swallowed by the vast waters.

I hear his voice sometimes,

Whenever I visit the old city.


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