• front cover

    The book project that I have last written about here: Peculiar Speed of the 5-7-5s is now more or less completed, and a PDF eBook is being made available to interested readers on this site’s bookshelf.

    As it turns out, it did not develop as initially planned, but nevertheless, developed well enough to encourage me to continue writing and perhaps produce sufficient materials for more books in the future. The Preface page I wrote for the book is posted below to shed some light on how the peculiar 5-7-5s finally came to be this way:



    The first part of this book is a collection of three-line verses in 5-7-5 syllabic constructs, formally known as haiku or, less rigidly, senryu — terminologies that draw weight from their Japanese origins. Some of the senryu are extended into tanka (5-7-5-7-7 constructs) or haibun (5-7-5s embedded in longer free-form verses). I do not have any particular affinity to Japan or anything Japanese, except that in my childhood, because my nickname is Jun, some of my siblings and neighborhood friends were wont to needle me with the rhyming label Jun Jipun (Jun the Japanese) when they could not readily get what they want from me, or when they could not shake me off their backs sooner enough. No fault of cool Japan or the cooler Japanese at all.

    My preference for writing in 5-7-5 syllabic patterns stems from the terse nature of the haiku as tightly measured poetry that packs both eloquence and lightness of being to deliver an image, a message, an emotion, a thought to the reader in an efficient manner. It is no less purposeful and meaningful than the longer forms of poetry, and if it wants to tell a story, it is just as effective as the shortest of flash fiction. It also gives a high degree of assurance that I complete a poem rather than leave it unfinished.

    The rest of the poems in the second part of the book are mostly longer verses, born out of imaginings that I have always wanted to extend into colorful illustrations. After years of trying (since 2017, when I first started compiling and working on the collection), the initial plan of having an artist son or an artist daughter render the illustrations proved too slow as I kept on asking them to revise or redraw the illustrations, while they try their best to lead their busy lives in far away worlds. I figured as much that if I contracted with other artists, these artists might end up calling me Jun Jipun as well. So, I stopped development of the book until the generative artificial intelligence (AI) drawing tools could evolve enough these past two years to offer new ways of imagining images for the poems. The new tools allowed me to happily iterate on the illustrations for as many times as I want with nary a word of complaint nor hint of vexation from the AIs. I kept my peace and patience during the labor of illustrating, most of the time quietly spending hours to digitally edit the AI-generated images into composites and blends, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, alternately sacrificing or celebrating the universe, until I could feel better with the end result.

    Thank you for your interest in this very personal endeavor of mine. If you find some connection or enjoyment reading through its pages, please consider leaving a review at its page, and please consider recommending to your family and friends to get their own copies from the website’s bookshelf. To stay updated on my current and future projects, you can follow me on the site.

    Again, thank you.

    Said Sadain
    9 Novermber 2023

    As for my sins of not looking after this blog for the last four years, I can only say for now I’m sorry for the very long absence, I can’t promise to not be absent again. Hopefully, my subsequent posts can be more telling about my years of unblogging (or as the empire would say, decoupling), as much as these posts could remain creative and enduring, holding out amidst the din of a world that seems bent on getting edgier and edgier as time goes by.

    Said Sadain
    20 November 2023

    back cover
  • 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;

  • ramadan

    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.

  • scoria

    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

  • 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


  • dissection


    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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • enchanted



    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



  • 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.