To My Friend Betty Lou ... 


Resettling from distant lands

We meet in docent class

I tell her of my Arabic

She speaks to me of grass, 

Of shrubs and trees in Autumn breeze

At Mason Farm we walk

As naturalist and therapist

From east to west we talk.

I cry Amazon, she sighs Morgan Creek

We banter in our play

She buys my waft, I learn her craft

Our friendship meets midway.

Years pass, I find her at a dance

The setting is cosmic

She smiles and speaks a Sufi name

It sounds like Arabic.

Oh Hakima, what have you done?

I question in surprise

I left that moldy mystic path

But now you sympathize!

Next comes a spell of health concern

I watch her shed long tears

But through it all, comes Khidr’s call

The prophet she reveres.

And then one day his sign appears

A vision bright and green

An anole basking in the sun

Reflecting health and dream.

I now see that she’s growing strong

With Hamid at her side

She fills the shoes of Hakima

As healer, Sufi guide.

So on this sixty-fifth birthday

Green Valentine I send 

For twenty years of path with heart

A tribute to my friend.

February 12, 2011 - Camp New Hope, NC

Photo: Carolina anole