what does it do

to the soul

when day meets night?

when their term is equal?

when the winter-tired body

finally sees light–

senses the hint of warmth.

when the heart feels hope

and remembrance of love

girlhood notions, long dispelled.

how have the great stars


to make these changes

that went on long before us;

that will continue

even in our absence.

there are more questions than answers;

the general inquiry

of life

and Spring–

it’s joy,

it’s hope…

and time–so short;

and what will be

or not be

in each day.
Linda Tauhid


In the Spirit: https://youtu.be/5m2HN2y0yV8


Old Faces

i saw
some of
the old faces tonight.
the faces that spoke
the words
that turned the tides
and that kept
the candle
of freedom lit.
for free-dome
is what most
really seek…
a breath of air,
a ray of sun
an unfettered thought
to the good.
the ability to walk
in the world
without fear
or shame;
I still feel the fire
even after so long–
it is a cold flame
it does not warm
my aging bones.
it freezes
as well as scorches.
because time itself
has been juxtaposed
the decades
that we
have trod.
yet none of us
are ready for finality.
we live
and will not die.
our children’s children
speak our names;
our students remember
our lessons.
our words gleam
from dried yellow pages,
and books without covers
that never close,
they course the realms
of cyberspace.
our story is unending
our footprints lead
like a blue note
from Wayne Shorter’s
like a piano chord
from ‘Maiden Voyage’
like a star
Creator’s sky.


Linda Tauhid



Coach Jackson

Coach Jackson

planned the gathering

and he asked me to speak

my piece

in a park on a January day.

…and Najiyyah came with a friend

and we had a ceremony

and loosed balloons 

into the receiving sky.

and we were all serious


rehearsing a man

and a cause

important to us all.

sometimes I am too easy

in not guarding valuable associations

but we are of the black

and brilliant

and thus we are not safe.

working at the time

with the unteachable,

working for

the unreachable.

as they continued to perpetuate


through harassment 

and censure.

but I am sure that

wherever you are

Coach Jackson,

that you are still carrying

that tattered Bible

you used to carry

daily into the school.

and i know that this day

you are observing



has landed


and with




accorded you

in full compliment

to The Dream.
Linda Tauhid


Isabella–A Living Tribute

Note: Dear reader- I realize that this is a “living tribute” and thus will grow and change. I have added a second section in honor of this exceptional women and all women in Women’s History Month.

i never understood

how much

she taught me…

how she saw me

and recognized me.

in this world

where it is too hard

to even get

a second look.

she groomed me

and honored my talents.

sometime we would sing

side by side

holding either end

of a hymnal.

her voice of a special


with faith beyond

my understanding.

“Angels watching over me,

my Lord.”

by her support

she empowered me

to speak in truth


in a multitude

of forums.

she was

a mother,

a teacher,

a minister’s wife

and beyond.

she was a leader

a mentor

who walked

with love

and purpose.

can i in some way

honor her,

say her name to the world?





Isabella Ravenell.

she taught us

about Africa: Ghana

i heard it as ‘Garner’
but was always happy

to recount

my insignificant knowledge

with pride;

and she dressed one of the girls

in cultural dress

for one of our programs;

it was many years

later that

I visited that place (Ghana)

lost in its magic

resurrected in its

familiarity and love

that we learned around

and while creating

spatter painted


and trips to Norumbega Park

and Mrs. Jack (Isabella’s) Gardner’s (Palace) Museum

that she led

with Mrs. Johnson


Girl Scout troop


Linda Tauhid


Section II


“The Boy is Doing it!”–Tribute to South African Trumpeter Hugh Masekela

Reposted from 2013. The loss of this great musician and human rights activist has touched my heart. Rest with the ancestors Bra Hugh Masekela.

I have been listening to and following jazz, funk, soul artist Hugh Masekela since my early college years. I used to go see him annually at a club just outside of Boston. One of my student-colleague’s parents used to take us to the club because we were not of club age at that time. I remember the ambience created by Mr. Masekela’s soul enhancing music while we were ‘Grazing Through the Grass’ of the sixties and seventies. I’ve never been without this music.

The music followed me and us through the anti-apartheid activities that ultimately help lead to the end of that heinous system of separation and disenfranchisement in Mr. Masekela’s native land, South Africa. Actually, Bra Masekela, as he is affectionately called by his countrymen and admirers, played a key role internationally in actively resisting the apartheid system.

I had the opportunity to visit South Africa in 1996. I traveled to both Cape Town and Johannesburg where among other things I was hosted for an evening by a family in Johannesburg’s Soweto, Township. One thing I found during my short stay in South Africa is that the people there appreciate the role of the African American in the world struggle for justice and inclusion. I was honored there as a ‘comrade’ and sister on every front being called by the moniker Sis Lin during my stay. The night that I stayed with my Soweto family was one of the coldest nights that I had ever spent. We wrapped up in blankets in the heatless 1 degree Celsius night and waited for morning. In the morning the Mama heated some water for me to bathe with and I left for the airport thanking my hosts with a small tithe to their local church.

One time when I was living and working in Nairobi, Kenya in the late nineties, a group of my professional colleagues and I were walking in downtown Nairobi after enjoying a dinner out. We heard someone saying “cousins!” We were momentarily informed by a gentleman that we were being greeted by the great Mr. Hugh Masekela. Mr. Masekela was in town for a gig he was playing in Nairobi. Being a group of African American music enthusiasts, we were all familiar with Mr. Masekela’s music and we stopped to tease and chat a bit. Anything can happen in Africa.

A couple of years back I saw Hugh Masekela’s performance at Houston’s International Festival. A group of friends and I danced uninhibitedly to the music that has even gained in texture and maturity throughout Mr. Masekela’s many years in the business. His entourage created an African-like scenario on a world music platform that educated as well as entertained. Mr. Masekela, terms himself a griot. I definitely concur with this title. His music and lyrical stories weave his experience and insights through the lens of his birthplace and home.

I remember feeling somewhat sad when Mr. Masekela’s performance was over. I felt like a family friend was leaving without an embrace. This is the magic of Bra Hugh Masekela’s presence and his music. I am still listening and following him as he continues his work at age 73 and counting. “The Boy Is Doing It!”
©2013 Linda Tauhid for Linda Tauhid’s Journal

Linda Tauhid is a Houston-based writer, poet and griot.


i remember that day

in April

when we heard

of his death

and all i could do     

was walk outside

in frustrated anger   

and mourning.

surrounded by the brick-high

buildings of the housing project

we called home.

what had i hoped for?

what dream had been lost?

what affront was this to bear?

i did not know of icons,

only of hope…

and despair

that rocked the streets of Boston

and tore into the thread 

of contrived sanity

and security

well placed.

and in intervening times

i have lived purposefully,

spoken boldly

and often been sactioned.

but temporarily out-skirting

the final sanction

of death;

that interrupts

and nullifies

the actions

but never destroys

the purpose


the cause. 
Linda Tauhid


“Goodnight!”–for my Nana Dora


it was the only ‘expletive’

i ever heard her utter.

in furious impatience

at her granddaughter

or some other worthy 


she, a woman of The Book

from the Carolinas.

while in my worst moments

i speak to rival sailors

drawing heinous comparisons

shocking all listeners.

who cannot imagine

how a such a ‘diminutive’

ostensibly ‘holy’ woman

can turn

like the tides. 

i apologize

to my sons who spent some times

the subjects of such tirades…

and one of these nominates me the best/worst curser of all times.

but i am indeed well reserved,

until i read the news

or try to drive on this city’s roads

where people do not signal

or follow any rational means of order–

even frustrating a Boston driver;

or when someone does not treat me

in the manner that i deserve:

Linda Tauhid