The Winds of Change

Here is the poem I wrote when my father died.

James C. Goodwin

The Winds of Change

The winds of change were blowing

Caught up in the balance of life and death

I claimed Fierce Grace

to send my Father home

The winds of change were blowing

Creating order out of Chaos

Providing divine intervention

The right people, words, songs and prayers

The winds of change were blowing

Moment by moment

Time moved fast

Time stood still

The winds of change were blowing

Scents of sage

Coffee, tears helped life staying

And supported life leaving

The winds of change sent the sun in

And in one swift last breath

They picked up my father

And blew him in to heaven


The winds of change rested

They felt like

Butterfly kisses on our cheeks

We cried

Because we knew

That Dad was in that wind

The winds of change rested

With a freedom song

And a million love beads

Providing energy

To send him upward

And the pure light within him

Carried him home

In the wind of change

© Leah Goodwin | April 14, 2013

My Father, My Legacy (work in progress)

In My Father, My Legacy I share a historical journey through the story and legacy of my family. It begins with my grandmother Ruby Berkeley Goodwin’s achievements in publicity, film and writing and chronicles my father’s accomplishments as a Tuskegee Airman and administrator for Cal Berkeley. My hope is that readers will discover how it felt to be a bi-racial child of a Polish Jewish mother and an African American father who met at Cal Berkeley on the debate team in the 1950s. There were challenges on both sides of the family; worry from the African Americans and expulsion from the Jewish family. Through my words, I show how my family’s life and love changed the hearts and minds of so many, then how their shared accomplishments affected the community. This journey culminates in Jim Goodwin (my father) accepting an invitation to attend the inauguration of United States President Barack Obama with his daughter (me) by his side.


My Father, My Legacy
(title poem)

My Father, My Legacy

A living part of history,

A young Tuskegee fighter pilot

Who graduated from Cal Berkeley,

Then worked in the community

Organizing with Dr. King.

My Father, My Legacy

A fighter for peace

A lover of nature

An eloquent speaker;

He could have been a

Beautiful actor like Sydney Poitier,

Instead he chose to change minds and open doors  

Working in minority affairs at Cal

My Father, My Legacy

He taught me so many things

The fine arts

The golden rule

The meaning of love

How music can make the soul sing

My Father, My Legacy

He means the world to me

He has seen so many changes in this great nation

And soon he will witness Obama’s inauguration

My Father, My Legacy

There is no place I would rather be

Than right by his side

Still his little girl

Hoping that maybe

A piece of his greatness
will spring alive in me

© Leah Goodwin | 2008