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Frank Njugi | Black boys are volatile

Black Boys Are Volatile

In a bleak midwinter, a boy masquerades his indifference

as only as a slight melancholy tinge, 

                                                –lied to by poets

whose names are now lost in history

that he is all the colours of the world in one full brightness.     

The chords of his primal scream become the allegory

                                                 –for humans

that take his freckles to be the affirmative proof of insolence.

So to truncate this laundering of his soul & faith

                                                –he becomes true to two.

Now take a guess, does he wind down on his flaws

or does he upsell his affinity for drowning in adequacies?



I become forthright with my weaknesses
–as there is an art to flaws becoming freckles
& I am Michelangelo.

I carry grief with a verisimilitude
– that men whose name I carry were devoid of
Ritwa Ni Mbukio, Gutiri Ritangikuria Mwana”,
I am a rarity – a diamond in the rough,
I wear mine only like a hideous cardigan.

I also question,
is it sage for broken people to embrace their brokenness?

& for the world rewards most of my impulses,
I am realised to be a figure of light, an Erithi poet.


Poems: Frank Njugi
Image: Microsoft Co-Pilot AI Pixabay remix

Frank Njugi
Frank Njugi
Frank Njugi is a Kenyan self-taught Writer, Page Poet, Culture Journalist and Critic. He has had his poetry published/forthcoming in platforms such as Down River Road KE, Brittle Paper, Akewi Magazine, 20.35 Africa, Shallow Tales Review, Konya Shamsrumi, Roi Feineant press, Olney magazine, Kalahari Review, African Writer magazine, The Standard Kenya Newspaper and others. He has also written on arts and literary culture for platforms such as Debunk Media, Afrocritik, Sinema Focus, Culture Africa, Wakilisha Africa, The Moveee, Africa in Dialogue and Salamander ink Magazine. A 2023 Pushcart Prize Nominee, Frank Njugi was named runners-up in the 2023 ILS - Fence Fellowship seminar and has previously been Longlisted for the Akachi Chukwuemeka prize for literature 2023 and won a Sevhage-Agema Founder's Prize in 2023 as well. He was also a Sondeka Awards nominee 2023. An alumni of the Nairobi Writing Academy, he currently serves as the managing editor for Salamander ink Magazine and a poetry editor at Fiery Scribe Review. He tweets as @franknjugi.

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