Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris


there are some people who honestly believe that
if they focus intently enough,
they can make the flame of a candle
rise and fall with their thoughts.
much too often, i have been a fool,
played the fool for that same trap,
thinking that i can create sparks in acquainted hearts,
mistaking kindness for interest
and my loneliness for the possibility of love.
once a pyromaniac,
i now flee from fire,
keep an extinguisher on my back
and with it, i aim and fire
at possibilities,
the potential for romantic stories,
trapped in the fog of my history,
chest burning too painfully to see reality.
i no longer even attempt to stare,
have substituted my gaze for a blank empty glare
like a blind woman who has miraculously regained her sight
but still wears sunglasses because
she’s used to not opening her eyes.

is my fear that the future is too bright
or that all will be white?
absence of color,
absence of hope,
no patience to stare at fire,
seeking another foolish hobby
like solitude.

4 responses

  1. mmmm i like this. pyrophobiac. an interesting concept.

    my favorite lines: “thinking that i can create sparks in acquainted hearts” and “keep an extinguisher on my back/and with it, i aim and fire/at possibilities”

    January 24, 2009 at 12:53 am

  2. Thank you!

    January 24, 2009 at 1:27 am

  3. malcolmjames

    Oooh. Wow. Compared with kindling love, lighting candles with your mind is easy. Have you found the instruction manual? If you have, please post it online ASAP, and be sure to tell me if it’s a universal manual, or if it only works for some models.

    January 25, 2009 at 10:41 am

  4. I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I find it 🙂

    January 27, 2009 at 7:41 pm

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