Poetry by Frank Njugi

/ Senegal – May 17, 2022 ; Three arrests after alleged homophobic
attack on foreigner ( africanews.com ) /


                                                            So it is better to speak remembering
                                                                      we were never meant to survive
                                                                           – A litany for survival , Audre Lorde


I take a photograph of my body as it performs
a requiem for a cousin whose accent makes

a cottonmouth sound like an iguana. What do
you call a skin peeled like a sardine, for loving

a fellow man, if not the reeving of a history;
if not a nautical seatback in a sea that reaves

kin of acumen. That’s why the picture is a
rear-view to my autoportrait as an indemnity

of a resistance; & my pores sing to the echo
of my zeroing in towards home….





/ SEATTLE – October 23, 2008 – A man was convicted in Seattle, USA
for stabbing his Kenyan girlfriend to death ( Capital News ) /


                                                            A river killed a man I loved,
                                                                 I love that river still
                                                                      —María Meléndez


When an otter is domesticated with
the sentimentality of a feline,

that might imply the fraught sauntering
of our history as we squirm

amidst lumbar pains from carrying
the depths of a failed mortality.

So we read Emma Lazarus,
recite with valour ‘The New Colossus’

& flaunt our bereavement as the ekphrasis of a
caustic drop whose end is a trampoline of grief;

for there is a defamilarization from geography
that deceives a body in stasis of its elitism….


Frank Njugi (He/Him) is a poet, writer who writes from Kenya. He is a member of the editorial team at Salamander Ink Magazine and his work has appeared on platforms such as Roi Feineant press, 20.35 Africa, Kalahari Review, Konya Shamrusmi, Olney Magazine , Ibua Journal and others. He tweets as @franknjugi.

He loves reading hard books, listening to music, and scooping inspiration from the stream of mundane activities. He enjoys playing with street photography, graphic designing, and photo editing.