By Eiman Abbas El-Nour
My niece’s wedding was supposed to take place today. My daughter’s final exams were scheduled for tomorrow morning; she and her cousin were preparing their bridesmaids’ outfits and carefully planning the time they would spend at the party in order not to interfere with their final revision.
I had everything planned, thought about everything except what has actually taken place.
Our beloved homeland is burning!
Behind this nightmare is a long political farce.
The family is now scattered all over the world. Stories of harrowing ordeals at the border crossing, loss of worldly possessions, and an unimaginable degree of stress and fear.
And we are constantly reminded that we are among the lucky ones!
Though safely distant from the fray, perpetually tied to our phones, grasping for any scrap of news from home; from our loved ones on scrambled lines with poor reception.
Two Gazelles from Home
You dance inside my glass mug
Turning the water crimson
I inhale your vapour and taste home
I tell my stories to the date palms
I write my songs to the sun
Hiding in your water
White, Blue, and hot orange
A carnival of harmony
I cross the bridge on foot
And walk through the marketplace
The place and space is mine
Since my first breath of life
I greet everyone by name
Wave to our old neighbour
On his deck chair
Guided by the aroma
Of the fenugreek pudding on the stove
I reach my port of call
When I can’t see your beaming face on the horizon
How can I mend my soul?
What should a girl do
When she cannot swim
And the bridge is blocked?
When the confluence is a memory
How can I find my compass?
Farewell to Everything Green
I stretch my hand to reach you
I feel you near
I smell your sweetness
My heartbeats are painfully racing
Is it because my brain is running?
Ah! How cruel are the moments
When they are filled with thorns
My roses are dead
My gardenia breathed its last kiss in the air
And succumbed to its fate
Even the resilient cactus
Scared to live alone in the vast emptiness
I am trying to talk to you like I used to
When the evening creeps in with a smile
When I couldn’t tell from your giggly eyes
If you needed a drink
Do you hear me now?
Or the sounds of war have
Deafened you forever
Maybe if I read my calming verse
And curse the devil
A thousand times
I open my eyes
To find all this the union of all my nightmares
 Referring to a popular Sudanese tea brand (Al-Gazaltain Tea / شاي الغزالتين)
Eiman El-Nour is Associate Professor in English Literature at Neelain University and Ahfad University. She is also Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. She specialises in teaching African Literature and her main research themes include African women’s writing, Sudanese literature and Sudanese orality.