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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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:
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