Rigorous
Volume Four, Issue 4



Hiba Rasheed


A Taste of Heaven

She knows,
three months old
eyes speak of untold feats
Conceived one month early
September 11
My neophyte revolutionary

Her torrential presence rains
on the arid terrains of my soul,
Each drop, a caress
to coax lushness within my life
Found and lost- too many times-
in my carnal shroud and clouds of mundaneness

I must have done something good in my life

To have her
in mornings rise
to sunlight dancing on her smile
Her chocolate skin akin
to the magnanimity flourishing
by the banks of the Nile
Her face, a canvas, where her father and I
drew sketches of genealogy,
praying our love and faith
would fill those spaces with vibrant colors,
so she may someday draw her own sketches
and gratefully pray for light in our graves

Beloved child
whose veins throb with ancestral blood
which was spilled, moons ago, on Sudan's streets
where my parents
once marched in protest
for justice and peace
where my aunt (Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim) laid her life on the line
so women can now speak their minds,
and my uncles, now deceased,
published their share of history, poetry and political critique

We named her Hala
which defines all that is sweet and pleasurable,
in defiance of all strife and callousness
pervading our times
First letter of her name ح
does not correlate to any foreign syllable,
so she can wear her Arabic language
with pride on her African hair;
sew Quranic verses in the seams of her heart
where she can always find
solace and warmth in Allah’s embrace

She knows what I am talking about
eight years old now
Eyes still speak of untold feats
yet to come




An Expatriate’s Daydream

Mental stagnation in this nation I call home
Intuition frozen because I feel I don't belong
Ennui high, see I'm not on top of the dome
Life in chrome
Destiny dictates that I'm born to fight this misery on my own
In my dreams, I plot my home on Africa's tanned skin
Drink the Nile's blessings, breathe Nubian essence
Presence of my lost roots on these brown lands
Can I manifest this plan?
The melanin in me lusting for the touch of Sudan's hands



Hiba Rasheed: "I am a UAE-based Sudanese spoken word/slam poet, and three-time winner of the Rooftop Rhythms Slam Poetry Competition in Abu Dhabi. I have performed at a plethora of events such as Breakout DXB 2020 festival, International Pecha Kucha event, Shelter launch party, Adidas/Def Jam Poetry event, Carolina Herrera 212 VIP perfume launch party, 100 Thousand Poets for Change Poetry event, Dubai Cultural Night Market, Maraya Art Center Open Mic event, BreakThrough Mixed Arts event, PUNCH Open Mic and Rooftop Rhythms Open Mic & Slam Competitions.

"My poems have been showcased and published in Sekka online magazine, Celestal Review literary magazine, anaSudani e-magazine, 500 Words online magazine, The Hub SDN exhibition, Kandaka e-magazine, Andariya e-magazine, quint magazine, The Citizen Sudanese newspaper and Gulf News newspaper. I have also collaborated with local rappers and producers – such as the Diligent Thought, The Truth, Feras “Toofless” Ibrahim, Wriggly Scott, Brooklyn Hitz, Brunjes and Nilerhythmik – on many singles.

"I have released two poetry video projects and I am currently working on my third project."




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