the semicolon

two views about the semicolon, excerpted

unfinished business

the semicolon is unfinished business;
don’t use it if you are not willing to deal
with unfinished businesses;

an invitation you cannot refuse
to take a leap beyond the known
to explore what lies ahead;

a separation that does not divide
but rather bonds
those which are separated;

know that it can become
larger than life and cannot
be bothered even by death;

a flow greater than itself
rolling waves on a quest
to bring us closer home;

–  © said sadain 2019


These days, my weeks and months are seemingly being strung together by a series of semicolons that have taken me to many here and there — mainly occupational work that may not be taxed in this part of the world, but nevertheless, taxes the health; some travels; moving house, or more like shifting furniture than an entire house; welcoming a new, lovely granddaughter; getting past a surveillance audit for the ISO-9001:2015 certification; bonding with more grandkids and the parents who conjured them; while always, always keeping a wary eye on what’s on and over the horizon near and far…. — but rarely near my blog.

I owe many apologies to our community of bloggers for neglecting this spot with nary a warning nor an explanation. But of course you know that this is bound to happen with someone who prides himself as a part-time writer.

So with this post, I bid you welcome and goodbye once more, and leave you with several links to related readings about the semicolon; hopefully, these are enough materials that you can come back to for further reading, until my next post sooner than later. Enjoy the weekend!

— Said Sadain, 19 Oct. 2019

Related Readings

How to Punctuate with Style: Lewis Thomas’s Charming Meditation on the Subtleties of Language

Vonnegut’s Famous Semicolon Advice Was Taken Out of Context

The Virtues of the Semicolon; or, Rebellious Punctuation

Notes on Punctuation by Lewis Thomas

Semicolons: A Love Story

The History Of The Semicolon (And … How To Use It) [An NPR On Point Podcast with Cecelia Watson, author of the book “Semicolon: The Past, Present and Future of a Misunderstood Mark”]

Project Semicolon

Project Semicolon Promotes Suicide Prevention & Mental Health Awareness

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Ramadan Rise. Image is a mashup from photos shared by Engin_Akyurt, Reimund Bertrams and 5hashank @


my world cannot sleep
with the tinnitus of silence,
my 3 am soaked in the rousing scent
of lemon drops and apple cider vinegar
that dress up the onion and watercress
salad for the suhūr meal waiting
in the kitchen, while my wife
naps peacefully for a few more minutes
perhaps again murmuring in her dreams,
her conversation with a washing machine
that launders like the sea
we have not visited since the start
of this ramadan.

we do not mind what we cannot see
the drones stealing in the night
the silence of the tinnitus,
the intercept of ballistic missiles
crashing onto sidewalks and cartops,
we cannot see, except
when wannabe paparazzi decide
to splash the images on social media and
the morning news.

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Picture is a mashup from images contributed by Stefan Keller, Erik Reichenbach & Ulrich B.


oh, to bless the meek,
to inherit the earth,
to drown our hearts
in the raging sea.
to teach a man how to beg
and he will learn how to smile.
to teach a man how to fish
and he will learn how to kill.
and the bottom of our cup
remains fathomless as can be.

–  © said sadain 2019

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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