Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

All of Me


Sometimes my fellow poetry bloggers will write something so thought-provoking or inspiring, that I can’t help but respond in poetry. One poet I admire, Malcolm James Furst, did so yesterday (see my About section) and caused me to write the poem you see below. I’ve decided to call it “All of Me”:

Mr. Furst,

if i could be half on stage
what i am on page,
i am not sure if i would have the need
for poems.

you see, the true me is so scary,
a sight not to be looked at with unprotected eyes,
like Moses staring at God for the first time;
so instead of revealing my true self in person,
i write.
and in that writing,
there is so much room and space to be me
that my honesty starts dancing
without caring who’s looking.

i mean,
i get into a groove
to an ever-changing beat in my own head–
forget two-stepping!
i move in free verses still i start sweatin,
til my permed hair starts thickening
or my afro starts shrinking
or my weave starts frizzing;
til the winding of my waist becomes dizzying;
til i’m the last one on the floor
and lights are being turned out
and janitors start mopping around my feet
and even the wetness of the soapy water inspires me.

and all that is left is poetry.
and reality.
and all of me.

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5 responses

  1. Very nice…I could see you dancing!

    May 3, 2010 at 5:43 pm

  2. Christina

    Farah, I smiled while reading this from start to finish. For me, this poem captures how scary it is to be vulnerable. Here, on a blank screen, you don’t have to deal with the awkwardness of opening up, the rejection, or people just not knowing how the HELL to respond! Here you can be Farah, just Farah.

    “the true me is so scary,
    a sight not to be looked at with unprotected eyes,
    like Moses staring at God for the first time”

    I felt this one mama. Beautiful.

    May 3, 2010 at 9:46 pm

  3. Thank you both!

    May 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm

  4. malcolmjames

    You are so beautiful. I see myself, or aspects of myself in you and what you wrote here, but I honestly, honestly, honestly wonder if I might let the world see who I really am one day, with no fear, no hesitation. Some friends catch glimpses, but few have seen
    ALL
    of me.
    It’s for their own good, or so I think.
    Muchissimas Gracias!

    May 5, 2010 at 9:39 pm

  5. “til i’m the last one on the floor
    and lights are being turned out
    and janitors start mopping around my feet”

    what a beautiful poem. just happened to stumble upon it and was amazed. such raw honesty mixed with vivid imagery. wow (:

    May 31, 2010 at 8:08 am

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