Nour is a 21-year-old Sudanese writer and poet born and raised in Qatar and currently living in the Netherlands.
They identify with the third culture experience of being brought up in countries that are not their own, moving to places they didn’t belong & yet making homes out of shared experiences and relating beyond geographical boundaries. Their poetry collection ’emerge(ncy)’ explores the non-linearity of growing up and emerging from the constraints placed on our identity and imagination.
what is all this for?
“poetry is a lost language” “poetry is a dead language”
writing for commercial purposes writing for companies and the mass
writing as long as it’s consumable and fast
because the pace at which we read
does not match the pace at which we dance if only you could see
I would rather a few hum the tune
than a large crowd yell an empty sound
and the great works we hold on to with what focus were they written
and what flow, what beat, what rhythm?
there are no rules but openness the most violent act it seems
the bravest and most compelling but to them the most repelling
don’t you know?
the one we run away from whether person or poem
is the one that brings us home
don’t you know?
that fame is speaking in tongues to strangers
and poetry is speaking truth to the ones we know
I cannot run my life is mine
and mine and mine all those I evolve into this life is mine
I cannot run
not on the Eurostar train
not in the dark alleyways of Amsterdam not in the crowded London underground not at the bottom of a pint in woodhouse not in picture-perfect Utrecht
not on long bus rides out of town not in airports
not in the middle of nowhere not in the kindness of strangers
not in changing faces or new words not in you
not in not you
and never on planes
this heart is mine this blood is mine the rain may be hard
it may flood me till I’m unrecognisable but when I bleed, it is there
it is sand for miles and miles
it is scorching heat and the hymns of dervishes in prayer
it is that, but also a knot in my mouth all the words I want to pronounce
I take all the love of the Nile and its farmland I take all the love I cannot find elsewhere and I build a new home
but I cannot run
not in diaspora poetry
not in the fetishized image of “home country” not in the sweet words about my country
for the fertile ground and endless muse that she is from the way we steal inspiration from her
for the regal way she is here despite that and will not let you forget her
for the surge of magic that is
the passage from desert to Red Sea I take the way time stretches for me when I’m under her sun
but I cannot run away from running
his heart is a blue sea in the middle of winter and I’m a fish
that cuts through the tide
I swim and eat everything in my way I say I love the sea despite,
I fill the sea with red
and it carries my body, dead it brings it to shore
I died here, I say
“yes, and that was your home” now I’m a man
standing on the beach
the sea both my enemy and friend the distant memories in my head I cry by the ocean and
the sea does nothing but make that sound
perhaps we did skip spring and go straight into summer
hurrying to get the year over with idealising strange climates
anyway, you’re still as much relief as the weather you’re like soil, something that’s waiting, constantly being watered
you have to show us at some point what the sun is smiling about
what the leaves are rushing into green for
this metaphor is far too artificial for what you’re going through
you’re the archaic times when nature was the well of similes poets drank from
long before the air was captured and moulded by human hands
frankly I’m worried about our future
and I remedy that with the pool of heaven resting on your cheeks
I wonder about you and me will we really bloom?
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