Essence

the smell

of coconut oil

on locked hair 

sun-kissed

African skin

rare essences

of sweat and musk

sumptuous lips

tasting of sea salt

warmth

and fire;

i am immersed

in the memories

of being surrounded

by these…

and i wonder

” how can i survive 

without such attention–

such meaning?”

walking

from

step to step

greeting,

shopping,

doing the business

of the day

unattended

by the passion

so essential

to life.
Linda Tauhid

©3/2/17

JP

i was free then,

a bit different from now–

when all it was

was sun & wind

and laughter

and bubble gum

and penny candy,

bikes & joy.

it did not matter–

the beauty

of anything but life

and its duties.

not the complex

social order

that i 

would soon meet;

the things

i would come

to want

the boys

i would like.

the dreams i 

would dream;

the realities

that 

would yield…

we are still living

and leaving daily

i see your names

and they evoke

many memories

of who

i thought

you were

and who

i am;

still free,

but different 

from then.
Linda Tauhid

©2/2/17

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

Tu Voz

when i hear

your voice

i remember

all that i

have longed for,

all

that i’ve

never had…

all that i

have thrown away,

rejected,

mistook;

all the pent-up

daytime dreams

and nighttime

realms

in which

i romp;

what I aspire

is

unreachable here

it eludes

the girlish

fantasies

of

my

hopes;

it leaps

and pushes me

to know

that what

is above me

is not solid

but ephemeral

and

what is below me

represents

the gift

of flight.
Linda Tauhid

©12/17/16

Standing Rock

i

am not

afraid today;

i have seen

the force

of people

change a ragged

course,

a tainted destiny;

in action

and presence 

and words

we have not

stood by…

we have summoned

truth seekers

from every

human “tribe”

to bring

the powerful

medicine

that heals

and slays.

it cannot be

denied

it has brought victory

and will continue

to serve us

as we stand

united

on 

this 

rock.
Linda Tauhid

©12/5/16

Reflections on a Sunday Morning

maybe

it’s just

the quiet

of a Sunday morning

with Yusef Lateef

playing…

begun in prayer.

maybe

it’s the holiday-nog

coffee

with cardamom

and nutmeg;

or the sun

and blue skies

lighting

the day;

maybe it’s the gift

of being alive

and loved

or the promise

of shopping

and a walk

that has tears

sprung

behind

my eyes…

or

maybe

it’s the secret

that dwells

within

my heart

that tumbles

forward

filling me

with

joy.
Linda Tauhid

©11/27/16