Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Idle Moments

sometimes in my idle moments
that rarely come,
i wonder if
the frequent idle moments
that will surely come
when I’m a wrinkly old woman
will be spent alone.

i’m too busy for love–
glued to my goals
but will the future success mean as much
if i live in an empty home?
right now i don’t know
and i hope i won’t have to find out.
i hope these questions won’t come across my mind
at idle times
because the thoughts on my mind
will be characterized by love and happiness
rather than the prospect
of loneliness.


5 responses

  1. Dear Farah,

    I am that wrinkly
    old woman of whom
    you speak, am reaching
    back to tell you that
    I find joy in the voice
    you are learning,
    making words that
    burn with meaning,
    leaning into this time
    that is prime for one
    such as you.

    Loneliness is an ugly
    thing that can break
    you, make you something
    you don’t want to be.
    Chain those wings
    you are growing, stop
    whatever knowing is
    opening up before you.

    The fear of it is even
    worse, a curse that
    attends us, bends us
    into what we were
    never intended to be.
    Distorted tress that
    cling to dry hard ground
    because unknown wind
    blew them there, where
    they must stay, never
    knowing the choices
    you and I may make.

    Fear of a thing can bring
    it closer. Turn your eyes
    instead in my direction,
    see me standing erect
    holding out my hand
    filled with songs you
    alone can sing. I am
    not idle, nor am I
    lonely but filled with
    words, so many words
    still unwritten.


    October 29, 2008 at 9:37 pm

  2. sorry, the word is trees, not tress, lol, knew I’d mess it up if I went too fast…

    wrinkly old woman

    October 29, 2008 at 10:14 pm

  3. You have inspired me! A new poem in response to yours is on the horizon… 🙂 Thank you!

    October 29, 2008 at 11:17 pm

  4. Susan B,

    am not that
    wrinkled but
    am alone in a house
    that is not mine and yet
    am happy
    am content to live my life
    acording to my whims and needs
    so don’t dispair
    doesn’t mean
    lonely or

    October 30, 2008 at 12:53 am

  5. Mmmm…Through both your response and Elizabeth’s, I have seen that I am equating being alone with being lonely. They are two different things, and I hope one day I will truly know that. Thank you…

    October 30, 2008 at 5:54 pm

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