Snow in Houston

i have seen my share of snow

on New England sidewalks

and in Chicago winters

and I used to always wish

for unheard of snow in San Francisco; 

looking out from a pub on Divisadero

in a spirited December.

but snow in Houston

is very rare;

it brings awe

and excitement;

it is temporary,

ephemeral;

melting quickly away

before it can trouble

commuters

or get dirty from daily wear.

it accommodates 

a simple snow ball

when wiped from a car.

almost like snow

in London–

a brief visit

that reminds us

of the magic and beauty

of the time 

and other mysteries

beyond

our daily scope.

Linda Tauhid
©12/8/17

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Tala

he took me

to his family

and taught me a few words

of his language: greetings

and their responses.

he made sure to minimize

my role, but his parents

being aged and wise

still knew.

i sat outside and talked

with his dad

and when i tried to walk away

for propriety, his wife beckoned me back.

a small farm and compound

in a rural town

outside of Nairobi.

they took me to their relations

and showed me picture albums

of their marriage;

we prayed and ate

and talked

while a radio played

in the background with no distraction.

I know now,

it was not about him

it was about the divine opportunity

to be transported as such

and to view and be viewed

by eyes that had seen much

with warmth and love.

and the gift of building

familial relations from unknown 

people 

and their places.

i returned to Nairobi

bearing a live rooster–

a gift from the mother

of his bride.
Linda Tauhid

©12/3/17

Grievance

she sat next to me that day

i had decided to give way

to full mourning–

to experience the bitter sting of death.

and when it seemed that i, a young girl,

had lost my self in the emotions and tears

of grief

she shored me up–saying “brace yourself”.

not since that day have i allowed death

to touch me in that way.

i knew of other ways to face its unweilding presence

to minimize its power over my heart.

so when she died–that strong, beautiful and brilliant lady that had stood next to me 

so many times throughout my life;

my tears were silent

and i spoke of her strongly and proudly.

because she had in her quiet way

taught me strength, forbearance and fortitude.

and she sits beside me now

her daughter that never listened

but still learned.
Linda Tauhid

©12/3/17

Antioch

he said:

“let’s take a walk down to the store

and then a slow walk back…”

and we did.

sipping quietly from glass bottles.

he liked my poetry

and probably me

but i couldn’t see much

at that time;

and now i miss

the dark rich smells

of youth and the texture

of well-oiled course black hair,

and the music we revered

as we grew beyond our worlds.

there has indeed 

been a revolution

not so much what we pictured

but indeed a fantastic change   

of times and events.

and i do not know about him,

but some of us are still here

driven by the Love

that started it all;

biding our time 

and still walking

towards whatever

we must

complete.
Linda Tauhid

The Winds

they form

off the coast

of Mother Africa

generating

rising winds

and fury

following

the transatlantic

path

that the ships

that carried her people

once trod.

they gather strength

and wreak havoc

on ocean and land

they silence the mighty,

confound the rulers

of the lands.

they flood,

they maim,

they kill.

they are never named

for the spirits

that conjure them;

even in destruction

the truly powerful

are hidden…

while the children

of this time ‘play’ 

games of government

and power.

twisting the tongues

of the speakers,

ignoring the great dangers

of reciprocity–

justice;

angering nature

and man

and risking

earth,

life

and limb.
Linda Tauhid

©9/10/17

Keziah

we used to go

to watch animated films

and eat popcorn.

i liked introducing her

to all things new…

fruits that she had 

not tasted:

fresh pineapple, mango, papaya…

the feel of sand on bare feet

and the warmth

of summer Gulf waters.

i dressed her in summer dresses

and scarfs like me

and weakened

her coffee

with lots of milk.

a little companion

of so much joy.

will she remember me

as i remember my grandmothers

each night in prayer?

will she pass through

her premature adolescence

and be fine?

will she be a lady

who wears scarves

and matching hats?

who eats diverse foods

at fine restaurants

and shops madly

for bargains

and womanly things?

has time and distance

diluted my influence,

clouded the love we shared?

who will calm her tantrums,

assure that she is never bored;

make sure she  always knows

that there is something new?

i leave that

to the Master

of time and fate;

while i continue

to sashay around town

frocked in summer dresses,

hats and scarfs…

minus my little girl,

long gone–

my right hand.

Linda Tauhid

9/8/17

Arafah

i long

for that elevated place;

my soul seeks

its redemptive power.

flashes of wrongs

light my memory

and i beg

for forgiveness,

Grace.                                                 

i have been unduly

in error

and i

remain ashamed.

i seek help, pardon;

i have no legs

to walk the blessed

circumference

of faith;

i have no tongue

to speak my words

of sorrow,

repentance;

i am piteously

lost

blinded by ego,

yet remorseful.

i have wronged humans

and life itself;

i have abused,

neglected,

scorned.

i am not fit

to abide.

yet i hunger for life,

continuence–

why?

that i                                            

may be                                     

pardoned      

and walk straight–

that i may 

err less

and forgive…

Linda Tauhid
8/25/17