An invitation to a place of more understanding and less fear 

An invitation to a place of more understanding and less fear
A Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta (UUCA) talk about Islam by Rev Dr. M’ellen Kennedy

…We are being whipped up into fear of Muslims. And when we are afraid…. we’re operating out of just that reptilian part of our brain…. When we are afraid we don’t have access to our higher functionings, our whole self, the power of the knowledge in our hearts, our whole being, resigned to a small place of living. ….People are afraid of what they don’t understand, so my hope today is to share with you a little bit about what I love about Islam, in order to invite you to a place of more understanding and less fear….”

— Rev Dr. M’ellen Kennedy

UUCA Talk on Islam by Rev Dr. M’ellen Kennedy


At the 05:30 mark, the Reverend speaker demonstrated a portion of the Islamic prayer. This is the Qur’anic set of verses recited during this segment:


بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ


The short prayer, called The Opening (Al-Fatihah), is the first chapter of the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book. Below is an English translation. Further below is a transliteration, in case you wish to recite the verses in Arabic:

The Opening 

In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds,
The Beneficent, the Merciful.
Master of the Day of Judgment,
You (alone) we worship; You (alone) we ask for help.
Show us the straight path,
The path of those whom You bestow Your favors; not of those who earn Your displeasure, nor of those who go astray.

Al Fatihah 

Bismi Allahi arrahmani arraheem
Alhamdu lillahi rabbi alAAalameen
Arrahmani arraheem
Maliki yawmi addeen
Iyyaka naAAbudu wa-iyyaka nastaAAeen
Ihdina assirata almustaqeem
Sirata allatheena anAAamta AAalayhim ghayri almaghdoobi AAalayhim wala addalleen 






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mashed up from images of www_slon_pics and geralt: here, here and here


come brother and feel this pulse
rhyming with the flowing red.
its presence is evidence
that i have a heart like yours.

reach closer now and feel me breathe:
this chest heaves
with the warmth of the sunshine
in the morning chill,
it rages in the sultry air of
the noonday heat,
it freezes with the swelling
of the midnight breeze,
its essence is with the sameness
we inhale and exhale.

we rhyme in a flux of energy
bounded only by our imaginations.
feel this life if you must
that you may know
you are living in me,
dissect me and dissect yourself
if only to find out that we are of
the same chemistry:
we are one and our death
shall not be in vain.

–  © said sadain 2019


This is not exactly new material. This poem had been lying among old notes, unrefined, unpublished, faded and forgotten, except for the sad thoughts with which they were written during the conflicted times of my younger years. Nothing much has changed with the world since then, despite the angels & demons in the details of technological advances or the warming climate.  Just slightly modified.

— Said, 5 April 2019




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the seeds



a collage of the Christchurch community’s memorial for the 15 Mar. 2019 Al-Noor Mosque shooting victims, images lifted from various internet photos and videos

the seeds

the world is shrinking as we shake
from all the swelling and the aches
the hours are shorter, distances near
for all the borders we hold dear,
and as the world shrinks and squeezes us in
its membranes wrapped over our skins
we grasp for the haka of souls and spirits
to break through the sheaths, to let us breathe.

–  © said sadain 2019

Related links: 

“…hate will be undone, and love will redeem us.”
‘Broken-hearted but not broken’: Al Noor imam’s Christchurch speech in full     

New Zealand students honor shooting victims with haka dances

Haka – History

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talking to the sun


image is a mashup of photos by Leo Cardelli and Cristiano Bizzinotto, both @

talking to the sun

the cars stop at red, a momentary block,
as the gaunt but big-boned man
— with sun-baked face and arms,
hair and beard dangling wiry, crinkled
like loose threads of his faded-violet
duffel bag slung on a towering shoulder,
dressed in tattered flowing brown robe
that had long lost its sleeves —
crosses our part of the street on to the middle island
to teeter beneath the traffic light that worries about
the man dancing round its weather-beaten pole.

the man’s fierce eyes tell me
not to open my side windows,
as he, a soul from the middle island, shaded
by the red-eye traffic lamp,
raises his hands high to the sky
looking up directly to the morning sun,
alternately shaking his pointy fingers of doom
to shoot down the cosmic glare,
or opening up his fists into a graven cup,
to beseech the sun and his many moons
to come rest in his palms.

and with a sweep of one hand and his glowing eyes,
he addresses the cars idling on the road,
holding them as hostage to his pithy and rage,
and stretches the other hand to reach
into his weary duffel bag.
i hold my breath as he struggles
to pull something heavy out of the bag
— would it be a rock or a bottle,
a missile, an incendiary cocktail? —-
while the traffic lamp keeps its red eye peeled
unblinking, unbreathing, unyielding.

and the man addresses the sun again,
as he now pulls up a thick,
heavily-frayed book to shake at the sky,
his mouth frothing, his eyes intent
to part the clouds that gather.
and just as suddenly as he had made his way
to the middle island, he darts
to the other side of the far street,
lilting and prancing, disappearing into
the din of onrushing cars,
and pensively plodding pedestrians.

and in the interval between his coming and going,
in the wait to return back to my own journey,
a baby is born in a hospital ward not too far from where
a dying man, as he breathes his last, hears the baby cry.
in a forest, a pale sprout turns green to smile at the sun,
while unheard, a tree in all its glorious foliage falls
cursing to the ground,
and the many tensions of growth and decay
that span the breadth between heaven and earth
promise the same beyond, but remain reticent
to let me in on their arcane wisdom and deep secrets.

–  © said sadain 2019


photo by pexels @



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photo of a signboard displayed at a borders store in Selangor, Malaysia. photography by ssj, 2019

‘nice to see, nice to hold,
once broken, considered sold.’  

— anonymously printed on a signboard at a borders store  

spells to sell

modern magic spells,
flasks of fortune to dispense
ancient human greed

stir up the cauldron,
lift the urns into the air,
there are no borders

longer than your smile,
wider than your appetite,
these spells are for sale.


–  © ssj 2019 


signboard displayed at a borders store in Selangor, Malaysia – no filters. photography by ssj, 2019



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still lost in time at the 10:10

when the 10:10 strikes



@ the center court of the Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dec. 2018. photography by SSJ

the public is
normally a band of
toy soldiers for 
mainstream and
social media to
play with.  

what will you be 
when at 10:10
the clock strikes?  

© ssj 2018


Lifted from a postcard that I came across on Messenger, but most specially from my heart to yours:  here’s wishing you all a relaxed mind, a peaceful soul, a joyful spirit, a healthy body and a heart full of love this holiday season and always.

As you can surmise, I remain lost at the 10:10, and will probably not be able to blog regularly for some more time. And if you are wondering, why the 10:10?, here’s a few fun links to get you going after the 10:10, for whatever good it will do to your part of the multiverse:

Why is 10:10 the Default Setting for Clocks and Watches?

4 Reasons Why You Are Seeing 10:10 – The Meaning of 1010

Those ones and zeros might not look like anything to you, but in binary code the numbers are actually saying… 

The Ten Codes 

— SSJ, 31 Dec. 2018

Disclaimer:  The poster above is not earning me any commission fees, neither from the image’s watch watchmaker, nor from any of the Suria KLCC businesses that you may encounter in some of the links on this page.

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splitting seconds


Image is a mashup of photos by Jaymantri @ and Trinck @ The imagery employs some amount of Gaussian blur combined with a zooming effect. Neither of the original photos is anywhere near 71st Sinaiyah.

splitting seconds

this is what a WTD moment
on 71st Sinaiyah at my 10:
10:00 AM looks like from
the driver’s seat:

narrow asphalt lanes
no longer than a mile
going and coming empty
but for the single file of sad cars
illegally parked along the curbs
— but only illegal for stray 
traffic cops to say —
withering dull or glossy
under the desert sun on
either side of 10:09:58 AM,
twin solid yellow lines solemnly mark
separation at the middle of the world
promising a robust paradise
at the foreseeable future bend,
when from the corner of an eye
a red ocher car whips up to life:
an arabian horse that bolts
head-on to my 10:09:59 AM
to slice the yellow lines
that breath with me
like a gaussian asymmetry
of thunder flash that grips
the blood vessels to preach
a lesson on the oscillation
of a school of souls
from head to soles and back,
through gaps of teeth
through blinding sight
as one wonders at 10:10:01 AM
where all the air has gone.

© said sadain, jr.  2018


WTD is a modest substitute for WTF as the poem is meant to be read by poetry lovers of all ages with no need for any elderly supervision.

You do not need to understand what a Gaussian function is to appreciate a Gaussian asymmetry. Just feel it stir up from within your core, warming your veins, and flowing into your poetry.

— ssj, 24 november 2018

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