Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi : Weaving a World مترجمة من العربية

An Image

From the dark spaces of memory

I emerged, rising through a pinprick of light

in the gloom, on all sides the falling

bodies of dead song-birds: these trees

that cast no shadow on their own reflections - I

fashioned them, forging, hammering, working the metal.

And so I found myself, in the wind, fully fledged…


will keep clear a road for me, care

about the solitary journey

I make, torch in hand, in search of home,

or stride towards this body when it's

blackening in the blazing desert heat?


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.


Another Time

Feeling my way through an inner forest, I practised

the art of self-possession: at times my own jokes

had me laughing out loud.

From the dense air

that surrounded me I gathered

the tears that stitch no shroud.

I bequeath to strangers all

I had to say, and the touch of my loves; the cell

or cave of my retreat is the shape of my soul.

What am I there? The light that floats

or the wound that streams or the dark

itself? Can words name it? What am I there?

To walk through day and night, both in time, and on it…



Swaying beneath the ceiling, silent, brooding

on ancestors, all the time longing

to hear

his blood sing -

or for someone to take and guide

his fingers, and sing songs that refute dying…

he likes to think that those who spin

and weave won't die alone. Slowly

he removes a leg from the wall.

Others may live alone, but not spiders as patient,

as industrious as he is.


Close Up

How beautifully you offered

me the moon, as I caressed

away your tears, and you, alight

with love, thrust

at my vitals with a kitchen knife.

Was I here or there?

How one we were!



I got undressed.

I was beyond hunger, obsessed

with the mystery of you.

How, why should I

conceal my longing with senseless

fig-leaves? While I

was naked, you were immortal.



Poem - may you be green

and alive, a world

through which I wander aloft

on wings, with my whole

being. Inspire my tongue

until the tribes that inhabit my voice,

long silent, are fed again.

Poem - alone and sleepless,

I find you are neither green

nor alive, nor a kind master

nor a muse-figure, but an addictive

fusion of delirium and memory!


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