In A Private Residence
For Reda Mesbah
‘As if my eye met his’
Ahmed Shawki, Majnun Laïla
You will come to me wearing the sweet song of cicadas,
With jasmine blooming in your heart and a soul thronged
With myriads of young stars.
You will arrive cautiously, smiling and treading lightly
As if you held in your hands
A precious crystal goblet.
The tender night breeze
Will breathe life into the candle flame
That flickers on the table laid for guests.
You will fill the room
With those moments of warmth
Which give to sadness
That strange taste
Of unknown happiness.
There, where life has placed you,
There where fate has dictated you should be,
You will accomplish the gesture of divine
And the stolen hours of tenderness
Will pass one by one
From you to me!
Your delicate words will make sounds and senses reel
And reveal in my fingers
The impalpable universe of joy!
This will be the centre of the world,
The celestial axis of Creation
Where the explosion of despair
Will be impossible!
And the air sailing between us will form the invisible bridge
Which joins in a festive meeting
The two banks
Of our distant existences!
Ah, my friend,
Whole kingdoms such as this are hidden in signs!
Traduit en anglais par Norton Hodges