Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi

(1969 / Omdurman)

In The Company Of Michelangelo - Poem by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi


The kings who have gone
left us the relics of their forgettable names -
like Aleece or Kush

They left us their peculiar crowns
shards of skeletons
unpronounceable words
and eulogies graven in stone

Yet you are
lit up beside me
wherever your throne sets down
Live blood in dead veins -
you truly are unforgettable


You accompany me
to the gates of ancient Rome
reaching the ends of perfection
as you envisage grace threading each tender aperture
as you envisage the faultless line and the perfect circle

Let us be brothers in stone
hand in hand
fingers entwined -
and then,

on the threshold of a bar
we clink our glasses
as you add the last touch
to a face already dreaming its history


Which of us is the key?
Your door or mine?


Silence is bliss
Life is bliss
Creation is bliss
Even though his chair is empty
even though he is gone
darkness is alight
with the presence of his embrace


What is the key?

London, 30 March 2006
Translation: 2008, Sarah Maguire and Sabry Hafez

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 18, 2017

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