Leon (for Leon Russell)

you

left quietly 

just like

a true Saint…

no fanfare

or marching bands

not even a nighttime

flutter

through my heart.

i knew that you

were coming

to Houston

a farewell, i supposed

but i knew

i would not see you.

you are 

a brother

of my soul;

a lover

an unclaimed husband.

i see you there

as here

dressed in white

with white hair

and white top hat.

i throw you

a bouquet of lilies

dusted

in

patchouli.
Linda Tauhid

 1/19/17

Happy New Year(s)

Prologue 
i thought that

it was just

a dialectical

phenomenon 

when Black people

greet each other

“Happy New Years”.

but then I realized

that

it’s so easy

to deny

the subtle wisdom

of such

a wrongfully

maligned culture.

i have seen many

new years 

and I am thankful

and well educated 

by each…

places,

states–

these are the

nourishing tools

of life.

some are given

a short and easy

route.

but most travel on that long

road with steep

and treacherous hills.

…and who

would seek

for less?

for in struggle

there lies hope

and ultimate purification.

within the years

new and old

is resounding Grace

and healing (Shifa)

and Wisdom

enough

to meet

each

challenge

with dignity

and

with hope.
I. that warm

new

year

when i walked the

coastal waters

of the Indian Ocean

in a borrowed kanga.

and i was Joseph’s guest

warm in the sun

alone and far

in another home.

and the year 

was set off to sparklers

over the water

and i was safe

in the bosom

of destiny

walking

unassumingly

through my days.
II. that new year

when

my baby girl

was with me

and she was still

young enough

to love

without care.

and we went out

for New Year’s coffee

and played walking games.

and ‘giant steps’.

she is all but lost

to me now,

newly collegiate 

and refined;

deterred from my love

by the lies

of the jealous,

but still

quite central

to

my heart.
III. new year

2017

“There is significance

In Black and more”…

so says my friend Kamau.

and I will keep this

in mind

while navigating

the complex

waters of

our time.

i would prefer

to be ‘colorless’

(not soul-less or non-ethnic)

but i am driven

by the 

flawed default

of now.

thus, i must think and speak

of ‘color’

and it’s constructs

that have been abused

and not

held equal

in this human milieux 

in which 

we dwell.
Linda Tauhid

©1/1/17