South Coast (Mombasa 2)

i took the ferry

to the south coast

of Mombasa.

it was New Year’s Eve.

i heard that there

was music there;

the place was open-air

right on the water

and as i entered

the nyabingi rhythms

engulfed the atmosphere.

there was nothing

but to dance…

swaying with such

a beat;

the dance floor filled

with chanters

and New Year’s


and up walked Joseph

he began matching my sway–

a beauty 

of unequaled



with a smile

of heaven.

he made sure


was not 

alone again.

he lived in a small 

thatched roof hut

up the road,

just by the 

Indian Ocean;

fitted out with 

a banging stereo system

powered by

a car battery.

he borrowed a khanga*

from a neighbor lady

for me to wear

and left a key

by the door

in a coconut shell

so that i could

come and go

as i pleased.

i spent New Years Day


in the ocean


a warm sun

thinking about

what my people at home

might be doing…

and thinking


no one

knew where i was


The Creator



Linda Tauhid

*khanga–a piece of fabric used as a wrap “skirt” worn by both women and men in Kenya and other East African and Asian countries.

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