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


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,


melting quickly away

before it can trouble


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


our daily scope.

Linda Tauhid


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 


and their places.

i returned to Nairobi

bearing a live rooster–

a gift from the mother

of his bride.
Linda Tauhid



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



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

Linda Tauhid

The Winds

they form

off the coast

of Mother Africa


rising winds

and fury


the transatlantic


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–


angering nature

and man

and risking



and limb.
Linda Tauhid