The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Sayed Gouda: 3 Poems Published

Poems by Sayed Gouda (Egypt/Hong Kong)

Artwork by Mamdouh Kessifi (Egypt)

Published in The Ofi Press issue 46

Prophet of The Poets


Every letter i wrote

in my notebook

told me about a coming time,

about lingering darkness,

an approaching dawn,

about rain

becoming green wheat,


becoming homes for demons,

about the suffering of the noble souls,

unwilling to bow,

unwilling to chew hypocrisy

like immoral women,

who sinfully chew lust.



every letter i wrote

in my notebook

was not inspired by the jinni of my poetry.

i am the poet of the prophets,

and for poets, i am a truthful prophet.

i fear you, my letters,

inspired by God,

i fear you.

The shiver of revelation overwhelms me

upon writing a letter,

and the letter is an arrow

that drops me every day many times.


Have mercy on this heart of mine,

in which the birds die

and get resurrected every morning,

fearing the lines that you write.

O my pen—

a messenger of God,

and my pain!





Every day at dawn,

seagulls call me,

i follow them.


i tame the proud sea,

and print on the lips of waves

a star's kiss to the virgin darkness.


i sleep on the carpet of waves like a prophet;

i collect the universe in my eyes

and become a blue wave.


Every day at dawn,

seagulls call me,

i follow them.

At the End of the Night




Maybe the one who came

rushing at the end of the night

to knock on our door, humble,

begging for a piece of bread,

a mouthful of water,

and a woollen shawl

to protect himself from the biting cold

was a jinni,

carrying in his pocket

the spell of our coming curse.


Maybe the one who came

at the end of the night

was like a windstorm,

coming to warn us of birds

that would carry us

on wings we don’t see

to a land, faraway,


in which the present are absent,

the absent are present,

and the bemused cry at its door.


Maybe the one who came

at the end of the night

was none other but him,

coming to laugh at my pride,

coming to announce that soon

i would roam the streets alone,

to knock on a stranger's door,

begging for a piece of bread,

a mouthful of water,

and a woollen shawl

on one of the winter's nights.


Maybe the one who came to us

-in spite of disguise-

was me!



About the Poet

Sayed Gouda was born in Cairo and moved to Hong Kong in 1992 where he currently resides. He did his undergraduate studies in Egypt and China, majoring in Chinese, and received his PhD in comparative literary studies from the City University of Hong Kong in 2014. His research interests include comparative poetics, comparative literature, comparative cultural studies, and prosody studies. Gouda is a published poet, novelist, and translator. His works and translations have appeared in Arabic, English, Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Macedonian, Uzbek, Romanian, and Mongolian.He is the editor of a literary website called Nadwahthat features five languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, and German ( From 2004 to 2010, he organised a monthly literary salon in Hong Kong. He has also participated in many international poetry festivals and academic conferences around the world. In 1990, Gouda won first prize in poetry from the Faculty of Languages (al-Alsun), Ain Shams University. In addition, in 2012, he was awarded the Enchanting Poet Award by The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, and in 2014, an honorary prize for his poem ‘Night Train’ from Shijie huawen shibao 世界華文詩報 (Journal of Chinese World Poetry).