Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “dead

Why Cry?


when i
consider the amount of potential
that lives in my insides
and then wake up and see
what is really outside,
tears well up in my eyes
and i cry.

when i
think about all of the uncured disease
and all the money that’s made in pharmacies
and the people who live off of painkillers
instead of cures,
tears well up in my eyes
and i cry.

when i
think about how the boys in blue
are supposed to protect me and you
but when i needed them,
they treated me like i was the criminal
and my assailant walks the streets
and breathes the same air as me,
tears well up in my eyes
and i cry.

there is so much to cry about
and some days,
i have to search for laughter.
i have to remind myself
of other chapters in my life,
the dog-eared pages of past stages
when life was sweet
and love was constant
and happiness was not a long-lost friend
but something that lived in my pocket
that has now slipped away as easily as lint
in a pair of pants
that are too tight for me now.

some days i can’t even cry
like i have some strange infirmity
from all the fucked up things i have seen,
like my eyes no longer produce tears
so when fear mounts, i shout instead
with a poetic voice loud enough to wake the dead.
the dead live in my head.
their corpses rot in their tiny grave plots
and their headstones read:
INSECURITY,
JEALOUSY,
HEARTBREAK,
DATE RAPE,
MISTAKES,
and FEAR.
the soil is soft and pretty flowers live here
and sometimes their scents break through with pollen
that causes tears
and i cry
and cry.
and cry
until there is no more inside
and until i feel alive
and the frustration subsides
and then i can finally breathe
and finally see
that crying was a necessity
to move past all that is upsetting me
and live on.


Under the Influence


troubles eased
when the world becomes a dense fog
and my windows feel steam
as my brain gets unclogged
and my heart is free
as i hear it beat over all
that is around me.
i am thirsty and sleepy and needy
but satisfied.
if only i
could live like this all the time.
if i could move as smooth
as this state makes me feel;
if i could peel off the layers of boring
and flick the switch on exciting,
a bright bulb that doesn’t end up burning
my joy or my eyes.
it just illuminates the fact that i am alive
or dead,
or maybe both
(whatever that feels like).


Free Dead


dead people are free.

living in fear is a crime

like being buried alive in a public space–

the air diminishes and the breath quickens

and darkness closes in.

but the new victims don’t have the same

liberties as those with closed cases

because they wake up to see

that their worst fear

is intangible–but still they have to face it

and they are alive to live it daily

and not free

like the dead.


Club Confessions


we are the zombies.
we come alive at night.
we are invisible men and women during the day,
but as darkness falls, we get carried away.
we come out dressed in our best,
hoping to locate the missing piece of our puzzle of unrest.
we are zombies
searching for fun,
reaching for fulfillment,
doing the thriller dance on the floor,
allowing our bodies and minds to explore
possibilities…
“Will you come home with me?”
“Will you buy me a drink?”
“Will you remember me and call tomorrow?”
hopefully this drink will drown out my sorrow.
hopefully these clothes will make me look less hollow.
hopefully with my dark shades in this dark place,
no one will be able to see my face
to know that i am a zombie.
i am the walking deceased,
bobbing my head to bass beats,
sweating in the stiff stench of body heat,
trying incessantly to find me.
i look in each corner,
squinting my eyes and searching hard,
trying to discover humanity but all i see is a graveyard
with the risen dead all around.
i’m searching for the sun
but all i see is clouds.
i start running to recover the rest of myself
but i slip on spilled drinks on the ground.
i’m trying to speak and hear my own voice
but it’s drowned out by the sound
of bodies shuffling feet and grinding, rubbing for the feel of romance,
of hip-hop melodies and a DJ yelling loud tellin me to raise my hands
and a population of people participating in each empty-headed, mindless dance
til the point that i can’t stand the fact that
i left home as a human being
and now i’m a zombie.


I Feel


*Written July 3, 2008*

i find myself trying to curb my feelings,
telling myself to STOP
being so sensitive,
stop being so excited,
stop being so happy,
stop being disappointed.
but then it occurred to me that feelings are a part of life,
evidence that i am here
and breathing and experiencing the world around me.
to feel is what separates me from the dead
because the dead no longer have senses.
the dead stay stationary and their time to feel is
done.
their last feelings of
pain, relief, regret, sadness, joy,
anguish, fear, shaking, crashing,
accidents, birth, gunshots, stabbing,
life, laughter, reaching, grabbing,
desperation, depression, elation, and happy,
“I wish I had more time,”
“This is right on time,”
“God it’s about time!”
inhale, exhale, in between,
noise, silence, and then more silence
is what carried them between this world and the next.
whereas i reside on this side of the universe,
whereas i am an alive, growing, living, breathing being,
i declare that today,
i feel.