barren beach

green car near seashore with blue ocean

Photo by Simon Matzinger on

barren beach

it is the ebb it seems:
the tide has left
tiny corals naked
like forever-dancing
pale-faced stuffed
under the glaze of
the midday heat.
the drought is settled
even beside the sea
upon this empty reach.

the sand is a desert
where i mark the prints
of my waking hours.
but quickly will the wind
blow them away and
scatter them
hopeless in the air
like fallen stardusts
in silver maze
floating in my
dreaming hours.

even the furious phantom
within the empty sand shells
can only howl muffled
and mournful with
the silent sea
in this barren beach:
and the winged heavens
shall caress the ocean
to lull the conscience 
into a dream 
that can forgive. 

© said sadain, jr.  1975
revised in 2018


A shorter version of the poem ‘barren beach’ was published in the Focus Philippines magazine issue of 27 December 1975. The above poem has been revised from the 1975 version, mainly to make the three stanzas equally of 11 lines each, with the addition of the last 5 lines.  The original version had its stanzas with 10, 9 and 6 lines, intended to give the sense of an off-kilter barrenness. Re-reading the verses today, I feel we’ve already suffered more than enough from this punishing imbalance, that it seems too cruel now to further rub salt into the wound. So the revision is an effort, if but minuscule, to restore some semblance of balance, and express a compunction that may already be too late.

— ssj, 11 august 2018 





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the significance of being black or white

the significance of being black or white

black, some people believe,
is the murder of colors
and white, their liberation

while others claim black is
the acceptance of colors
and white, their rejection

but neither black nor white
can tell the whole truth
about the world of colors.

where lies the significance
of being black or white is neither
in the presence nor in the absence

and neither in the absorbed nor
in the reflected, but rather
in the equity that transforms

and plays the colors like harp strings
with the full range of justice of even
the most extreme measures.

© said sadain, jr.  2018 


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blood moon risen


Total lunar eclipse over the Jeddah sky (is that white dot the red planet Mars?). Photo by SSJ, 27 July 2018


Total lunar eclipse over the Jeddah sky (is that white dot really the red planet Mars!?). Photo by SSJ, 27 July 2018

a blood moon risen,
is it blemished with my sins,
wounded with my pains?

© said sadain, jr.  2018 


In case you’d wonder whether I somehow managed to commandeer a Tesla Roadster and managed to drive up beyond the stratosphere into the heavenly lights to take the above shots of yesterday’s total lunar eclipse (the longest this century, they say), I’m sorry to disappoint you: those seemingly unearthly beams of light actually came from the street lamps of Jeddah at past 10:00 pm.

Dear Wife and myself were out driving on the streets around our relatively ‘deserted’ neighborhood — deserted that is, relative to the busier parts of Jeddah at this time of the night — not wishing to get entangled in the night traffic of the Jeddah Corniche by the Red Sea, where we imagined the sight of the red moon (and tiny red Mars) would be more bloody spectacular.

And so we had to content ourselves with occasional shots of the ongoing lunar eclipse using a lousy phone camera that, I can assure you, did not do justice to the beautiful sight that unfolded in our part of the sky for over two hours.

Anyway, a night out with the honey to the moon and back, going in and out of a nearby mall to catch a late-night dinner, is gratifying enough. We hope you enjoy the rest of the night’s photos below 🙂

—- SSJ, 28 July 2018 


“If light is in your streets, you will find your way home” 🙂 — with apologies to the Sufi poet,  Rumi who lovingly penned “If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.” Photo by SSJ, 27 July 2018.


Probably my clearest and sharpest photo of the blood moon. And honestly, it looked bigger with the naked eye! Thiiiiss BIG !!! 🙂 Photo by SSJ, 27 July 2018.


The blood moon over a damas tree. Of course, I could never miss the chance to take this one, considering how ubiquitous the damas trees are along the roadsides of Jeddah. Photo by SSJ, 27 July 2018.


And here’s a Blue Moon at 11:00 pm of the same night, all lit up, rumbling and bustling with the happy shrieks of children, feeling over the moon with their fun rides (inside the Serafi Mall). Photo by SSJ, 27 July 2018


The lunar eclipse is almost over, this time above tall shrubs that have tiny but very fragrant flowers (the plant’s name escapes me for now, but the flowers’ sweet fragrance reminds me of the dama de noche of the Philippines).  Photo by SSJ, 28 July 2018


Here’s a better-lighted view of the jasmine-like shrub with the sweet-scented flowers, the moon (and is that puny white dot Mars?!) in the far distance, almost fully out of earth’s umbra for the night. Photo by SSJ, 28 July 2018

[I’m sorry if you sense my exasperation with that tiny white dot in the sky. If that is Mars, it certainly is not living up to its name as THE Red Planet of the Solar System whose caverns and subterranean floors Elon Musk is thinking of colonizing as a favor to humankind. Boy, is the Elon going to be mad again?! 🙂  — SSJ, 28 July 2018 ]



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the falling ( a love story)

the falling (a love story)

he feels she likes him
she feels he likes her
past iambic convos
their arms brush electric
as armrest fades to clouds
this must be love astir
floating from their bosoms
flutterbies of light

and all 
the light 
to breathe 
to breathe

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elon’s basilisk


Above images are screenshots of some of Elon Musk’s tweets about his cave rescue bid. “Something’s messed up if this is not a good thing.”  — EM

elon’s basilisk

elon musk’s kid-size submarine is a no go
it’s quite too late for the rescue,
he could have been a roadster hero
instead he’s nursing a bruised ego.

he shrugs and smiles at any rate, 
the world is as it should be today.

he rolls up his sleeves above the hype
to pull out more of his rocket tricks,
he surely knows there’s more to life
than craven caves and dropping bricks.

the sun is generous, and powerpacks are rife 
he’ll down the coffee, and defer to the basilisk.   

© said sadain, jr.  2018

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the cave


the cave

darkness yawns to claim
and hold the heart of nations
deep in suspension.

the cave masters

great depths of darkness
can never measure up to
grand spirit of man.

© said sadain, jr.  2018

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has it come to this? a world
that wobbles on its heels
and stands still to try
a futile balancing act.

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