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The Soul of Zanzibar

A 20,000 year old home to humans
The Persians, Arabs and Indians
Ah 'karibu' to Zanzibar
The Africa you've only heard of from afar

The Arabs of Oman the locals liked
Imperial Europeans the brave-hearts despised
A history of slave trade surmised
Pride in Masa'ai culture has since survived

Here flourishes the sacred Jozani forest
Where green mambas, antelopes and red monkeys rest
'Hakuna matata' sings our guide
He regales us with tales of mangroves as we ride

On a boat over choppy waters to Prison Island
Sold to a British Lord by an Omani Sultan
Never as a prison, but used as a quarantine
The turquoise sea views from here are mighty pristine

Adorning Stone Town are carved Indian doors
Coral walls, Arabesque interiors - all treasure troves
The markets aromatic with peppers and cloves
Just where once were auctioned slaves in droves

Birthplace of Freddie, Queen's front man
Strange few locals know of his jam
Africa, the keeper of Dr. Livingstone's heart
It was here, in abolishing slavery, he played his part

The diamond studded Zanzibari sky
Its display of stars so stunning
Like a live planetarium screening
A constellation ceiling, seeing is believing

A twilight walk by the crystal beach
Hopping over sand crabs the color of peach
Hunting seashells, exquisite with sheen
Here, it's the busiest you've ever been

Feast on nourishing crustaceans
That boast flavors of the oceans
Relish the fresh tropical fruits and juice
Savor the moment, there's nothing to lose

Peace-loving people, they have no qualms
They fight with words, no weapons, no arms
These innocent local folk smile from teeth to teeth
Betraying the daily struggles they face beneath

'You're welcome' in Swahili they say
Before we can even thank them with a simple 'asante'
This is my ode to Zanzibar
The Africa you now know from reading my ode thus far


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