Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “big

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
insecurities.
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.

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Visions of Grandeur


if i had boots that were big enough,
i would put them on,
walk through bright pink paint
and stomp on the earth
to leave my footprints.

i’d want the world to remember me
and maybe i’m obnoxious
for wanting to stain it with my favorite color,
but i don’t want to just be
another broke down wannabe artist
too afraid to start shit
and content with mediocrity.
i want to be a visionary
pushing up against obstacles
and daring opposition to conquer me;
i want to be too big for my britches,
for my heart to be so huge that
i bust out of the constraints of stitches;
i want people to forget my real name
and call me “The Dreamer”
with the middle name “Doer”
and the last name “Believer,”
one who used to be an underachiever
til she looked in the mirror
and saw who she really was.

i lost who i really was,
hypnotizing myself to be content with 9-5 consistency
of knowing how much my checks will be.
depending on direct deposit every two weeks
never matches the sensation of expressing the true me
through this art that consumes me.

without art,
who is me?
just a big heart,
tongue stuck in dry mouth,
words afraid to come out,
soul waiting to talk,
and feet too small to even walk.


Little Girl, Big Shoes


little-girl-big-shoes

i feel like a fake adult,
like how i did when i was a little girl
and put on daddy’s shoes and flopped around
trying to fill them,
but grateful that i was too small
to make them fit.
now i’m tired of this,
ungrateful for being so tight with my youth
that people think we’re best friends who refuse
to separate.
i am the siamese twin
whose head is split between two entities
and now i have to choose surgery to free my energy
from being drained between home and me.

i love my family
but still have so much farther to go
before i fully know me,
outside of the identity
i created with them.
who will i be without
the ones who care to listen
to the boring details of my day
or who can look in my tear-filled eyes
and assure me that it’ll be okay
and have me actually believe them?
who will i be outside of my environment,
my comfortable element,
my indigenous habitat where i roam kind of free?
i’m scared i’ll become extinct
or act like an unknown species,
a mix of good family values and broken pieces
of the world i tried to put together on my own
but clumsily slipped out of my hands.

maybe my hands aren’t strong enough
to carry the weight that has been on my shoulders
and in my heart
but unless i start testing how much i can hold,
i will never really know.


This Big Ol’ Booty of Mine


upheld fists in the air no longer capture
all of what is me.
my booty holds the power
in this butt-clenching society.
in a world that is straight and narrow,
my backside is characterized by curves.
it stays full even when i am empty,
keeps me conscious of what’s behind me
as i move forward.

this big ol’ booty of mine,
a source of self-consciousness at one time,
is now where i hold my pride.
each cheek is a container for my accomplishments.
i am woman all the way
as this convex cavern of flesh sits heavily
between the stretch of my hips.
oh the miles we have seen
as we traveled one step at a time
and sometimes sprinted
on journeys of discovery:
stopping to rest on sex
and then rising on beauty,
making trips again and again
to find and redefine my identity.

today this version of me
loves her big ol’ booty.
i embrace it in all of its round glory
and know that i don’t need
affirmation or compliments
to be content.
even when i want to be stiff, it shakes
causing an earthquake that makes heads turn
in the aftershock of my presence.
i used to call it a curse
but now unwrap it like a present.
God put His foot in it when He made me
sweeter than molasses and thick as an oak tree.
each curve on me
represents the hurdles i complete.

one day all women
will turn their necks to look
at what rests between their backs and their legs
and re-awaken that section
that we all at one time
allowed to be dead.
there is power in resurrection
and in the connection to my beautiful body–
my skin, my smile, my hair,
my breasts, my eyes, my hips
and even my belly
but most of all
this big ol’ booty.