A tale of two cities

12 Feb

Walk the city streets
Of this chaotic and bustling city
See the dust dance, dangle
And fall on a shoemakers glue,
On a welders glasses, a tourists felafel,
And on the lazy mans Bentley that
Lines Zamalek’s street.

See the sign of Allah’s finger print on
The passing mans forehead – bruised
From all the prayers. “Allah hu Akbar!”
Peer upon the wrinkled forehead of the one
Dressed in suit and pink tie,
Weary from broker calls. “Lets leave it a while Allen.”
And then that other one whose head
Bursts from a night out spent on
Marcel’s Black Label.
Black market scotch, or a black market life?
“Whose market is this anyway?”

Markets for donated clothing?
EU bribes the pockets of the rich
Government official, as the rags
Parade themselves from Tahrir to the 6th of October St.
Lacoste to Missoni, Billa to Carefour.
Sold to the hard earned baksheesh
Workers wife.

Walk on 26 July street have
A chai for 2 pounds or for 20.
Go to Beano’s where even locals
Order in English.
Stroll by the river where the
Colonial style boats
Wade along the Nile shore.

Here those who can afford
Sit in the Imperial Lounge
And down beer costing a
Mans weekly wage. They
Watch the poor man pass
In his motor boat full
Of lights and lively music,
As the sound of one word
“Kitsh” spirals through the smoke
Numb to comprehend the
Determined efforts  to
End his day in enjoyment.

A parallel city, a divided city,
Colonial legacy beats down still.
Escape to the domino and shisha.
Dulled from the dust?
Or from the fear of the feat?
Overthrow the pharaoh once and for all!
Isn’t it time for another Nasser?


One Response to “A tale of two cities”

  1. Nedine February 12, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    Brilliant title! Very Dickens!

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