This poem is taken from a sequence called, ‘Weaving a World’. ‘October’ and ‘April’ in the poem refer to the uprisings in Sudan, in 1964 and 1985, respectively, against the dictatorships of General Abood and General Numairy. It was originally in Arabic.
Out of reach, stripped bare, orphaned,
betrayed by the secret fires
that October ignited,
I set about searching, searching
for a consoling guide like the moon: for a woman
also stripped bare, in a distant field,
whose fingers might cradle, whose body
might shelter, whose breast
might nurture this aching for home.
I had somehow to hide
the frail, blood-stained shoots of April
inside me; I had to allow the crimson night-sky
its majesty; I had
to learn how to stain
the space of the present
with what seeps from a forgotten wound.