South Coast (Mombasa 2)

i took the ferry

to the south coast

of Mombasa.

it was New Year’s Eve.

i heard that there

was music there;

the place was open-air

right on the water

and as i entered

the nyabingi rhythms

engulfed the atmosphere.

there was nothing

but to dance…

swaying with such

a beat;

the dance floor filled

with chanters

and New Year’s

revelers.

and up walked Joseph

he began matching my sway–

a beauty 

of unequaled

charm.

dread-locked,

with a smile

of heaven.

he made sure

that

was not 

alone again.

he lived in a small 

thatched roof hut

up the road,

just by the 

Indian Ocean;

fitted out with 

a banging stereo system

powered by

a car battery.

he borrowed a khanga*

from a neighbor lady

for me to wear

and left a key

by the door

in a coconut shell

so that i could

come and go

as i pleased.

i spent New Years Day

bathing

in the ocean

under 

a warm sun

thinking about

what my people at home

might be doing…

and thinking

that 

no one

knew where i was

but

The Creator

and

me.

Linda Tauhid

©5/26/20
*khanga–a piece of fabric used as a wrap “skirt” worn by both women and men in Kenya and other East African and Asian countries.

Half Moon Bay

i used to 

walk the beach

at Half Moon Bay

on Sundays…

i always loved

the cool air

of Northern California.

and i’d spend time

just relaxing

in the sun

and reveling

in my life,

and

the sense

of freedom

that i felt.

and later

i would stop in

at the Miramar Beach Inn

for calamari;

and if there was

afternoon music

i would always

get tapped

for

a

dance.
Linda Tauhid

©5/19/20

LATIFA

elegance and grace

of spirit

has built

this soul

within;

‘a delicate

perception

reveals

the subtleties

of things’*

and this

combined

with faith

and love

has called

a mighty

being forth.

to change,

to give,

to express

in delicate

times.

daughter

of my friend;

friend,

daughter;

working

and speaking

with Qahhar*

to elicit

a perfect

balance

of divine

attributes

housed

in the power

of feminine

form.
Linda Tauhid

©5/18/20

*The Beautiful Names of Allah

wahiduddin.net
*Qahhar–ever-dominating, overpowering

wahiduddin.net

Reflections on a Ramadan Night

you

don’t know

from

how far

back

i

am…

my

maiden voyage

was long ago

in a

qualified

city

where people 

thought

and learned

with

adjacent

citadels

established

for such.

I walked

the paths

and side streets

that brought

me here…

writing

on

a Ramadan night…

silently

rejoicing in life

and the pursuit

of faith

and the happiness

it brings…

pursuing returns

that accrue

in spiritual

rewards

and savoring

aloneness

as well

as company

as i keep

with grace

and space

and knowing

on earth

there is

no place

that can

confine

the limitless

notion

of

Love.
©Linda Tauhid

6/7/16

Reprinted from 2016

Linda Tauhid’s Journal


life without you…

i

have lived

an entire

lifetime

without 

you.

long walks

around

Lake Merritt,

warm Sunday mornings

of brunch

and jazz;

five-dollar

movie matinees

filled

with popcorn

and soda.

Saturday nights

of PBS Midsommer Murders.

walks along Galveston seawall.

stops in Amsterdam,

Paris,

Tel Aviv.

fights in the streets

of Ocho Rios

and Montego Bay.

girls nights

of laughter,

music,

and song.

Etta James

at Great American Music Hall;

Houston-hot summers

Cape Town-cold winters

in June.

long floral dresses

of summer

combat boots

and leather jackets

of fall.

kisses in Nairobi

love

in Accra;

lay-over

in Lagos.

blue skies,

rain,

endless clouds

laughter,

pain.

I have lived

my whole life

without

you.
Linda Tauhid

©5/9/20

Senegal Part 1

there are no drums…

the silence of Ramadan

fills the air;

the heat is brilliant

and our calendar 

packed

with meetings.

the daily business

of Dakar

hums amidst

the taxi radios

that play

the Quran.

until

evening falls.

on the darkened streets

the coffee vendors

pour their delicious drink.

the bakeries selling french pastries

are open.

i break fast

with a local family

we pray the night prayers.

the food is exquisite

oily red rice

and other succulent choices

eaten from

a common platter.

they tell me

“This is your country” 

you

are welcome.

i leave my travel group

to go to Touba.

the buses are hot

and crowded.

we visit and greet

the Great Mosque.

my travel guide

is weary and short

of patience.

he keeps asking me

‘if i will keep the fast’.

I am suffering

no discomfort

so i say ‘yes’.

not understanding

that he is seeking permission

to take the travel dispensation

to break the fast.

back in Dakar

i rejoin my travel group.

for more business meetings.

i have been invited

to Friday prayers

in Kaolak 

by Shaykh Hassan Cisse, ra

i travel there

with an African American

expatriot

who tells me stories

of is conversion

and his previous life

in New York.

in Kaolak

i am greeted

by one of the Shaykh’s wives

she sets me up in a comfortable guest room.

at the call of Jumah prayer

we walk to the mosque.

the air is abuzz

with whispers

about the guest (me)

and who she is.

after Jumah

i am invited

to the shaykh’s mother’s place.

the women are gathered there.

she greets me and has me

sit next to her

on the bed–i am honored.

we visit and then

i return

to my room 

until Maghrib.

at Maghrib

we walk to the mosque.

the shaykh

sends us some dates

for iftar.

we break the fast and pray.

at the evening meal/feast

there are many participants

we sit on the ground

a sumptuous feast

is spread, 

the Shaykh invites me

to eat first as the guest

(oh honor?)

i don’t

know where to start

when i say so

the

the men laugh with

good humor.
Linda Tauhid

©5/6/20

 

Dar

why have i

not written

about Dar
(es Salaam)?

the city of humid

warmth

and mild Indian Ocean breezes

and calm people

going about their business.

working in a crowded

business district

or market places.

the crabs crawling from

the ocean

into the hotel–

it is part of their domain.

and a short ride

across the water,

the island of Zanzibar

stands.

with its spice trails

and ornamental doors

and muezzin calls

and narrow streets…

the spiritual energy

high enough

to rearrange items

in a room.

and to inspire

occupants

to seek calm

in realization, meditation

and prayer.

and beach walks

and a night on the town…

then back to Dar

(es Salaam)

the “City

of Peace”.
Linda Tauhid

©5/4/20