Everything by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi

Let the wind blow from a fisherman’s mouth,
from the span of a sail to the shell of a boat,
unlocking the mouth of the river –
So, shout, drowning man, when you founder
in treacherous waters

At dawn, the river embarks in silence
Riverbanks glean suns from the scales of dead fish
Jostled by eddies, the aroma of flotsam and jetsam
bakes in the shade

Becalmed, a breeze freights the stillness
Sails lazily unfurl

They sail all night from afar,
ploughing the river with ritual persistence,
staring darkness straight in the eye

You set sail at dawn,
infused with the tincture of a heart
that had beached your whole life ashore

And yet, another beloved
is offering you heaven on earth in her glance,
demanding only the perfection of poetry – everything!

Note: English translation above by Sarah Maguire and Sabry Hafez.

Everything by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi


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