Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “child

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.


Girl-Woman-Child


creature with natural mother and father
thinks that she ought a discover
the outside world before she looks in the mirror
and sees she’s no longer
a girl, but a woman with wrinkles
and not enough experience
to call herself such.
she could have advanced farther,
but she takes risks too much,
throws 100 percent into the basket
like she’s strong rum,
fell in love hard but discovered
he was the wrong one.
or maybe she was just dumb
and if that’s the truth to be told,
where’s the dunce hat that won’t fit over her afro?
people ask her what’s wrong
and why her eyes shine,
but really she don’t know,
she’s unaware of what got her here,
as if pain gagged and blindfolded her,
walked her to the car and made her sit in the rear
and took a long drive
to a place far away and unknown
but traveling is needed to survive
and growth keeps a woman beautiful.
“are we there yet?” she asks
when she sees her heart break;
“are we there yet?” she wonders
when risks turn to mistakes.
“are we there yet?” she yells
when her frustration is replaced by hate
and “are we there yet?” she thinks
when she’s cold inside and outside.

young girl-woman-child,
hold your head high
cuz you’re still alive.


Back in Time (Revised 7-16-08)


why can’t rain be cotton candy
and thunder be gumdrops
and clouds be licorice
and lightning be lollipops?
i just want to stick out my tongue and be pleased
i just want to eat sweets
but i don’t want the rain,
i don’t want the insane and i don’t want
the mundane i just
want.
there’s a blank following that statement
because the blank represents
that which i do not know.
i wish i could grow
as quickly as my hair
but with each five minutes added to blow-drying
i find myself crying
and upset over the same things.
people talk about life and the joy it brings
but all i can think about is me and the song i want to sing.

am i selfish?
if i am, i can’t help it.
i spent so much of my life neglecting me
that sometimes
i walk past mirrors and ask
“who is she?”
and then i look back
and observe parts of myself i never knew were there.
you know those dreams when you’re naked
or standing in your underwear
while everyone around you is covered?
i feel that bare when i’m awake in front of others,
maybe overexposed to past lovers,
or maybe still hurt by betrayal from past brothers
or sisters or friends
but the innocence in me has gone
and it takes a while before i can play pretend again.

i wish i were five, i wish i were truly alive,
not just on auto-pilot like a drunk pilot
who gives announcements without thinking
or considering the lives he’s risking.
let’s pretend!
let’s play on the monkey bars,
let’s even roll in the dirt
and wear down our jeans at the knees.
mama might get mad but she’ll understand
that it’s normal for children to play freeze tag.
chase me without the intent of hurting me.

let’s hide and go seek our identities,
our own persons,
find ourselves and tap them on the shoulder
and shout “you’re it!” to make them real.
let’s engage with our future selves–
stare them in the face and admire the bumps and bruises,
admire the smoothness
in places that are rough now,
and the sagging
in places that are firm now,
and the wisdom
from things that are learned now.

life is kind of serious sometimes
maybe that’s why it’s hard
to locate my childhood mind
i wish i could press rewind
and reverse and stay
back in time.


I Command You


i command you at this exact moment to
cry.
don’t think about it–
just do it…
let the floodgates open
and allow the tears to rush through your eyes
and onto your face
and into the wails of your voice.
don’t think of what to lament for–
just cry until your mind explores
all of the reasons you should shed
tears.

cry for every person who should still be here.
cry because you have full use of your eyes,
cry for every time communication wasn’t clear,
cry for every store that didn’t have your size.
cry
for every child born without a mother or father,
cry for every homeless person you’ve walked past with dollars
in your pocket, and the fact that you didn’t bother
to help.
cry for yourself.
cry for the pursuit of love,
cry for a connection to God above,
cry as if the only way to make it to heaven
was to pour out a blessing
of your own tears.
cry because you are still here.
cry until reality is clear and all that is false
dries
up.

cry for every word you should have said but didn’t.
cry for every hug you should have given,
for every “i love you” that you’ve hidden
in your heart.
cry as if this is the start
of your life and you have just entered this world
naked as the day you were born
and you have just been torn
from the safety of an umbilical cord.
cry as if this is the day you are dying
and you still haven’t figured out what you lived for.

cry.

release all that you have pent up
that has kept you stuck.
it doesn’t matter if you haven’t done it since your were 5,
today i order you to cry.
cry like your dog just died.
cry like your best friend lied
to your face.
cry as if a plane crashed.
cry as if the love of your life just said goodbye
too fast.
cry as if this is the last
possible time in this universe
for you to explode with an expression of your hurt.

and after you’ve poured out so much that
the water doesn’t come any more,
wipe your eyes and your snot,
inhale and exhale and realize
that it’s not the end of the world
just because you took a few moments
to acknowledge what is inside.
realize
that you can’t walk around
with all that frustration in your mind
and not expect it to influence your life.
and after you feel the relaxation from the sensation
of purging all that will be, is, and is gone
and only after you have done
all that you can to fully embrace this moment,

i command you
to move on.


Monkey Babies


*Written July 5, 2008*

i was watching TV the other night and i saw
rich people buying monkeys to raise them as babies.
what ever happened to adoption?
as another black child or baby is in foster care crying or getting abused,
rich white people are buying colorful satin dresses to put on little monkeys with diapers.
they’re “part of the family” and go everywhere with them.
they get fed lollipops and McDonald’s french fries even when they’re bad
and i wonder about that suffering child watching TV wherever they are
and seeing a monkey getting fed fries and
wondering when they’ll get their share.
grabbing at the screen,
they realize too that a monkey is preferable to them,
more desired company,
then they see a three minute commercial about protecting the dog community,
sigh,
and realize that this world has no concern for human beings.