Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris



i never thought i’d throw your picture
in the trash.
i kept negatives of each developed set
of disposable camera film
just in case
some disaster like
excessive heat in my un-airconditioned childhood bedroom
or a flood from bursting of rusted pipes
crept into the shoe box under my bed
and ruined the images of

i still don’t know for sure
if photo negatives can withstand the elements,
never understood their permanence.
i look at tiny distorted thumbnails
and i can’t even recognize the moments,
just like i can’t put my finger on
what made you stop calling me your friend.

you discarded me in the worst way,
left me living smudged in your life’s wastebasket
when i thought i still sat pretty in speed dial–
what denial!
i wish i could say i don’t miss you.
i wish i could say i haven’t shed tears over this loss.
i wish our friendship lasted
as long as the negatives that now live under my adult bed,
the ones i keep in case i one day regret
throwing your picture
and my hope for closeness
in the trash.


How Big Poems Are

is there room for honesty?
maybe in a poem.
in poems,
apartments don’t exist
and clutter has a chance to breathe.
normally compartmentalized minds
finally get time to spread out,
lay down and just be.

maybe poems have room for honesty,
living rooms for me to confess my shyness and sexuality,
dining rooms for verbal gluttony
and plush couches for me to sit and talk
about what’s bothering me.

poems have room for honesty–
bedrooms for me to whisper my innermost thoughts
when i can’t sleep
and basements that coax out
the parts of me nobody sees.

since poems have room for honesty,
will you pack a suitcase
and come stay with me?
there is space for all of our
and not only that–
there is a kitchen where you and i
can cook new possibilities.

poems have room
and hopefully one day
the rest of the world will catch on,
receive one another with open arms,
tearing their clothes of judgment
til we are all naked and free–
til we all have room
for honesty.

I’m Back!

Hello everyone,

I’ve been gone for a while for a number of reasons–one being family emergencies and me being wrapped up in my one-woman show, “So Do You Love Me Yet?”

But starting today, I am committing to writing a poem every day again. I hope you will visit regularly to see what new words I have up my sleeve and in my heart.



Um…What’s going on?

Hi everyone,

For those of you who are still faithful to my blog, you may be wondering why I haven’t been posting lately.  The answer is…I have been swamped!!!

I have been dealing with family emergencies, performing with my collective, The Saartjie Project, in our last show called “R/evolution: Deconstructing the Myth of the Booty”, getting cast in a production of “Native Son” (by Richard Wright), and trying to figure out life in my quarter-century year.

News-wise, my one-woman show has been accepted into the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C.!  I’m so excited!  The show will feature much of my poetry.  More details will follow as the festival approaches, but it will be from July 9-26th in Washington, D.C.

“So what does all that have to do with Pearls from Pain?” you may ask…I will still write poems and post, but I can no longer guarantee that it will be daily.  Bear with me.  Inspiration is all around me and hopefully it makes it on here as often as possible.  Thanks to everyone who has ever visited, commented, etc.  You are appreciated and I hope that the site will still be worthwhile to you.

Peace and love,



Hi all–

I make an effort to only post poems on this blog, but I wanted to let you all know that I have updated my “About” section to include more information about myself.  Check it out.