Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “breath

Poetic Conversation


Once in a while, I will become engaged in a poetry conversation with a friend (usually initiated by me, lol).  I LOVE when this happens because it keeps me on my toes and allows me  to be inspired by other artists.  I am currently in conversation with a talented brother of mine, Under_Score.  I’m posting my most recent response to him, but you can check it out on his blog (in the comments section) by clicking here.  Enjoy!

helplessly hoping that
the intangibility of nature
will make itself surface as real:
dead skin cells once invisible
appear, shed and reveal
where my eyes have landed,
lived
and created futures imagined–
perfect.
complete.
cool minty breath in summer heat
show water reflections of
growing vulnerability,
still then shaking,
blowing in wind that hugs corners
and causes drafts through doorways
to the flame of my desire.
to be a hair follicle under the skin
of his shaved chin
would bring me close to him
as i sprout out
and get closer to his mouth
through a subtle kiss.
and what of rain?
cloudy skies to mask tears of mine
shed from heartbreak and love,
making my hair and heart curl up,
filling me so love never dries up,
just becomes a well for
mosquitoes
and other life and such.
biting, short-lived
but always breeding,
being, completing
a circle of life lived
rythmically
and beyond my control.


Wishing for a Kiss


wishing for a kiss like
new toys on Christmas
or mom deciding to do the dishes
or a canceled appointment with the dentist.
i’m innocent but womanish,
beaming like a child
yet unable to control the power and magic
that lies in my hips
and these lips
burn sensually
and they’re asking,
“Will you meet me sometime soon
in the place where the full moon
reflects in the corners of our eyes?
Will you stand so close that our breath takes rides
on the same wavelength,
surfing and crashing
until we stop fasting from touching
and surrender to this feeling of something
exploding, wanting,
not yet needing
but enjoying;
not dirty,
but past the point of clean;
somewhere in between
like and want?”

but what are wants but
persistent whispers of the subconscious
with hot breath on our necks
and words of nonsense?
i will listen til they makes sense
or until the sound gets too intense–
whichever comes first.

hopefully i can tell the difference.


I’m Selfish


love me out of my selfishness.
i have been robbed of me more times
than i feel comfortable to speak of
so now i do my best to keep up
with my own well-being.
every decision i make has to pass the litmus test
of how it feels in my gut
and when i’m in an emotional rut,
i cut people off like hangnails,
never mind the details,
just don’t be surprised if you get the voicemail
every time you call me.

i have never met real royalty,
but still i try to treat myself like a queen,
follow the commands of my inner voice
and what makes me happy is the final choice.
i bow to myself in mirrors
and smile so brightly that now my eyes are clearer,
feed myself only the best
and even sacrifice other people’s desire for my company
for quiet moments of rest.

but i know i am selfish
(or self-absorbed to say the least)
so i ask you to love me in a way that will transform me,
show me that i can share,
prove to me that it’s OK to give again,
that if i get hurt again,
i can heal again;
breathe your love into me
until i have enough breath to speak my needs
instead of shutting down;
enough courage to stop what i’m doing
to help others who are down.
love me enough to release the tension in my shoulders and back
that made a home in my body as a shield for what i lack;
fill me, reveal me,
change me for the better
so that one day,
i can love you
in the same unselfish way.


Healthy Bulimia


fresh acid burning in the back of my throat,
darkening my teeth
and freeing that stabbing feeling
in the pit of my stomach,
i purge all that is negative
out of me.
i used to look at bitterness and anger and self loathing
and pain and pity
and say desperately, “feed me”
but i’ve found new food today.
tears of joy and peace as toxins release
and when i breathe,
i am a new person.

the world is so different now.

i didn’t know i was viewing life through dirty eyeglasses,
mistaking danger for greener pastures.
now i see what i was missing.
i am emptying,
slowly but surely
and in the future,
i see me happy
and dancing like no one is looking,
living like everyone is looking,
and free
to not care either way.


Me Chaser


like lost keys,
as soon as i stopped looking,
i breathed
and found me.
always thinking i was scattered,
i searched under pillow cushions and dark corners,
in the bottom of wine glasses and backs of refrigerators,
Googled my full name a thousand times
looking for a sign to point me
in the direction of my identity;
have even spent hours in front of the mirror naked,
examining every inch of my body;
have written freely without censoring,
spoken quickly without listening,
and through all that,
was still wondering who i am,
where i was at.
and somehow,
as simply as possible,
i decided to stop searching so hard for myself
and just be
and just like that,
i found me
and she is amazing.


Tree Hugger


i need a hug.
am i wrong to say that i don’t trust the people around me
to hug me long enough,
to grip me genuinely enough?
i don’t need one of those from-the-side one-arm
“i don’t really feel like hugging you, but it’s the nice thing to do” type hugs.
keep your arms to yourself.
i need chest against chest
until we exchange breaths.
share your burdens with me without talking
and i’ll do the same.
nothing sexual, just being humane,
relational as we were meant to be.
even a tree stretches its branches away from itself
despite being climbed on,
arms being chopped off, sometimes broken by storms.
it keeps growing, stretching, pushing past comfort zones
until its undying effort is seen even in shadows.
we should be more like trees–
reach out even we are tired,
grow closer to others even if our hearts are solid as wood.
let nature guide us,
honor what’s inside us,
love often,
honestly, desperately, generously,
physically…
hug me.

tree-hugger


The Power of “Yes”


your eyes reveal as you look down at me
that with your shy politeness,
you could give me
my “yes” back.
my “no” has been ignored in the past,
pushed down so far that screams turned into gasps
and fight melted into surrender,
but for some reason,
i don’t feel like fighting when i see you.
i feel like saying “yes”
and enjoying the way it comes off of my tongue,
how the middle of it raises to the roof of my mouth
to make the “y” sound
and how i have to open my teeth
and let a piece of you in for the “e”
and how my “s” turns to a smile
when you’re around.
yes,
i may let you in and
yes,
the spark in my eye was born when i saw you
and yes,
maybe one day i’ll whisper sweet somethings in your ear
and yes,
i might be silly and imagining that a connection is even here
for you to even ask a question
that would require a positive affirmation
but just in case you do,
my breath, my mouth and my soul
will be ready.