Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “depression

Accidental Epiphany


on a sunny summer day
at one of my lowest points,
i walked alongside a river
and casually considered jumping in
as a way to end my pain.

i stopped moving for a moment
and took notice of the beauty
that coursed through everything around me.
the water danced in ripples back and forth,
and in it, ducks swam.
they were so precious and careless and abundant.

it occurred to me
that if God could create this life-giving body of water
that flowed before me,
and could take care of creatures so much smaller than me,
then of course,
he would watch over and provide for me.

an epiphany–
when overused cliche words
finally became real
all because of pain
i didn’t want to feel.

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I May Get Lonely Sometimes


i may get lonely sometimes,
question the love of those around me,
long for the feeling of arms around me–
circling, grasping, speaking in the form of squeezing
and making me feel safe in this dangerous world.
but i’m not alone.

i have known alone,
moved into a room in her home,
making my bed every morning
until i was evicted by joy,
pulled out kicking and screaming by love,
and left on the street disappointed by the affirmation
that at times,
i will be lonely
even when i am surrounded by love
from those around me.

you see,
loneliness doesn’t depend on the outside conditions.
loneliness is birthed when a piece of your heart is missing.
beats don’t occur at the same time rhythm
and if you stay there long enough,
you become a victim.

i may get lonely sometimes,
even cry sometimes
and i’ve wept sometimes
and i’ve wanted to die sometimes
but the love that i feel at times
make all those feelings a waste of time,
make me feel like if i just had some time
to count all the times
where i received love i didn’t deserve,
was reminded of my self-worth,
succeeded when life didn’t seem to work
and healed beautifully from pain that hurt me,
then lonely wouldn’t even be
an issue.

i may get lonely sometimes,
but i am filled with love that pushes out emotion
and shines light on truth like
being lonely gives me time to think
and being lonely lets me discover me
and being lonely makes me appreciate company
and laughter and life and love
even more.

so here is to my lonely sometimes.
you will not hold me down this time.
love will prevail
and so will i.


Unwanted Guest


i thought this stress was
over
but it seems to be
busting into the seams of my skin
without permission.
i thought it packed a bag and traveled
far away
but today i question if it ever left.
this feels like death
or maybe just illness to the happiness
that i had so much missed
because i was depressed.
but i won’t allow this stress
to control me.
love is so much more
powerful,
so much stronger,
so i’ll dwell in houses of affection
until my heart no longer hurts,
til my body no longer rejects
foreign objects to which i’m familiar,
til there comes a time when God
heals the wounds,
the frustration, the hurt,
wiping away my tears,
calming my fears,
and whispering in my ear
that stress no longer lives
here.


Grave Robber


i woke up one day and threw my dreams away–
packed them in a suitcase and saved them for a rainy day.
i figured that since my life was filled with depression
then i had learned my lesson…
to never aspire.
hanging on the wires of memory, i buried my destiny in fresh soil,
watered the grave with my soul and didn’t know what to do next.
there was no way for me to express when fantasies had turned to death.
but now after my grieving time, i’ve decided to go after mine
so i’m digging…call me a grave-robber cuz i’m stealing
what i had to bury to find–
what i needed to pack away until i gathered my mind
but now that i’m healing, i’m fully embracing,
loving, facing, and chasing
these dreams of mine.


I am Running


as much as i run from it, i can’t escape it,
this sacred obligation assigned to me
by the deity i choose to follow.
sometimes i don’t want to follow,
thinking that i can be exempt because
to put things simply,
my life is hollow.
a path that used to be full of hopes and dreams
is cut off and dammed up by confusion and screams.
hate has caused my levees to break but
my flood of tears is tired of trying to release itself by crying
so instead i shake
and run.

this obligation used to be fun,
used to be my number one choice
but how can i share stories if i have no voice?
my course has been interrupted because my throat is hoarse
and don’t you dare tell me to just drink water,
don’t hand me your suggestions
because you can’t answer the questions in my mind,
you can’t pull away and hide the remote from God and press rewind
to revert back to my past.
my dreams were so vast and wide and now
they are locked in the prison of my insides,
banging on my chest,
burning behind my eyes,
building bars to barricade my heart,
bringing lumps in my throat and those
inmates keep me up at night.
they want to escape,
they want to be free
but they can’t since i’m still trying to pick up the pieces of me,
pick up the pieces that he
may have scattered inadvertently,
still trying to hide the signs of stress and the fact that i’m depressed
from showing.

i am running,
dodging, sprinting from my calling,
trying to rise up, yet still i keep falling
and somehow through all this i still hear God calling
but i’ve reached a point in this race where i just want to push “Reject,”
turn off myself and send all calls to voice mail cuz this female
is busy moving her feet on a track that never ends
and it’s hard to carry genuine ties when i live having to pretend
so my God and my dreams sit on the sidelines
until the day when i cross that finish line
and by that clocked time,
i pray that i’m not too late to reclaim the mission of mine
that i painfully left behind
because i searched and tried and the only solution i could find
was to keep
running.


The Yielding Point


at what point does
the healing come?
my scars don’t ever seal,
they just build
and incarcerate emotions
to conceal
what is really going on with me.
if you look closely
at my eyes, you’ll see
that something has disappeared,
you’ll see
that i’m not really here,
that there’s
emptiness behind my stare.
but no one really wants to look anymore.
people get tired of wakes of sadness,
they get weary
of the unhealed.
so my eyes stand alone
while knives stab at my torso,
driven through my flesh
by invisible assassins so i don’t even know
which way to look
to shield myself.
i just want to smile again
and mean it but
i feel low like
my ribcage surrounding my heart is
squeezing and sucking
all the life out of me.

at what point does life become
too much?
what is the yielding point to give up?
the only thing keeping me here is curiosity
because i have not gone through all this
just to rob myself and not see
the reward,
if there even is one.
it feels like my life is ending,
but maybe it’s just begun,
like this is day number one
and i have a whole new sequence of years to live,
that i have a clear
mind free of confusion
and a healthy
heart where hurt does not exist yet
and a soul unburdened by
regret.