Across a storefront, he peers at the faltering minds
in springtime, & hears low chatters of baritone voices,
from those who walk with high-handed grace. The boy
that holds a cantaloupe, is the prelude of one stuck in
a stereotype, so he sings the hook loudly, “John Brown’s
body lies a-mouldering in the grave; his soul is marching on”
& this might make him the tobacco ash of the starry-eyed
bigots who grow their muscles from weightlifting gales of hate.
When skin is made the strident forerunner of pillage, then
not even the value of trinkets are left to sing of a people’s history.
& this is why the boy sings, “Ye soldiers of Freedom, then strike,
while strike ye may, the death blow of oppression in a better time & way…”
is a Kenyan writer, page poet and literary culture journalist living in Nairobi. He is the author of a Micro chapbook, BENTHIC (forthcoming in Konya Shamsrumi digital editions 2023). Some of his accolades include being a Sondeka Award nominee 2023, longlisted for the Akachi Chukwuemeka prize for literature 2023, shortlisted for the Ibua Journal continental call 2022 and a finalist in the Kikwetu Journal flash fiction prize 2022. He has had work previously featured/forthcoming in platforms such as The Standard Kenya Newspaper, The Kalahari Review, 20.35 Africa, TvoTribe, Afrocritik, African Writer, Roi Feineant Press, Olney Magazine and others. He currently serves in the editorial team of Salamander Ink Magazine, a platform that showcases literary art expressionism and culture. He tweets as @franknjugi.