The Bridge to Cambridge

walking across
the bridge to Cambridge
young and singing
a James Taylor song…
“call out my name”
walking across the
bridge to Cambridge
whether to my life or death
i did not know
whether to love or hurt
i almost knew
from all established patterns;
walking on Mass Ave.
‘cross the bridge
passing MIT
coming to a place
unaccompanied,
unsure,
alone
moving to my fate
that you
took so lightly
in
your hands:
singing, sighing, singing: “you’ve
got
a friend”!

Linda Tauhid

4/21/18

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Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela

i have been crying all day;

a memory of a long-forgotten

hymn–

the thought of

a lost love,

my generally piteous state…

but i do mourn

Comrade Winnie

and the ideals

for which she stood.

painfully aware

of the sickness 

of hate and prejudice

that corrupts

on either side

of its hideous fence

and i see that there

is no possible victory,

outside of struggle…

no possible solution

but to continue

to resist complacency,

mediocrity,

idiocy 

violence

and blatant lies–

no matter who

perpetuates such.

so through my tears

i toast the victories 

that we

may never know…

I toast my brief walk through

the streets of Soweto

and Cape Town

and my fleeting South African matronymics:

“Sis Lin” and “Comrade Linda”.

I celebrate the music of her name:

“Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela”

a name tied to strength

and his/her story.

for I am but a minuscule

segment of truth and hope

and struggle.

who still cries

while bathed, fed, and well..

while others search the streets

for scraps

of food and warmth

and lie stolidly

beneath overpasses 

and seek

justice

and

humanity

within these

desiccated systems

and beyond.
Linda Tauhid

©4/14/18

Marjory Stoneman Douglas

do they know who she was?

will her name now only

be associated

with slaughter?

will the children

now touched by death

truly become activists?

will they see the connection 

of causes–expand their advocacy?

will her life be remembered

for the resiliency of her spirit,

her adept management of privilege 

and struggle

her environmental activism.

is her voice speaking to them

through her stories,

her work, her successes.

is she so far from all of us

even in death?

do the students

mourn only their outcome?

can they see around corners,

across city streets

can they hear the choking cries

of others

can they smell the metallic life-blood 

staining America’s soil.

do they know their culpability,

their complicity,

their duty?

–to challenge and confront

to practice social justice

for their lifetimes;

to take this heinous lesson

and abide…

and to learn and remember

their school’s namesake

and let her name be mentioned

as a driver for their courage,

their continuance,

and

their hope.
Linda Tauhid

©4/9/18

Whipoorwill

a whip-poor-will
was serenading
outside my window
this morning;
for a long time
i listened…
what did i do to deserve such
a beautiful song
except awake?
and then curiously
i peeked through the blinds
which frightened her away–
she flew
still singing
across the courtyard–
ah,
the gift of
Spring!