Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “desire

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,
and created futures imagined–
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
and other life and such.
biting, short-lived
but always breeding,
being, completing
a circle of life lived
and beyond my control.

Wanted Ad

i’m seeking new employment.
i’d appreciate any leads.
i am looking for a position that
would be a great fit for a
hardworking, free-spirited
actress and poet
who is unable to compromise on
what she believes.

and it would be great if i could
come in around 11 or 12 every morning
and no one would look at me crazy.
and if it was a place where
i could put my iPod down and play my music out loud
and my coworkers will sing and dance with me
as we knock down cubicle walls
and other barriers that separate humans from
making genuine connections with each other.

i’m seeking new employment
that‘s not just about me.
you see,
i really want to help people.
i want a job where people
walk in one way
and leave out another,
where i influence lives for the better.

i want a job where i go home better.
and one that pays me well enough to
live nicely
and not worry about if i’ll have enough
for groceries
and keeping up with student loan payments.

i want a job that makes me feel like
all my student loans were worth it,
like my debt has meaning.
and i want my employment there
to have meaning.
i swear,
i’m dying for meaning.
and passion.
and sincerity.
and money.
and better credit.
and less time staring at a computer screen.
and more time expanding as a human being.
and no time losing me.

Ignorant Bliss

i was swept away,
not knowing that such feelings could exist;
not knowing that there is even a difference
between knowing and feeling,
between love and that feeling
that sears the inside of my hips
and burns and sticks
to the bottom of the pot of my desires.

i never knew about fire.
my gas stove at home only has hues of blue
and sometimes orange
but my lust is red.
come join me in my bed.
let’s learn about the things we did not know
i hope this time lasts forever
or until the point when Never no longer matters
and Maybe grows up because she’s having a baby
and If turns into a kiss and decides to be definitive
for once in her life.

sweep me away from this life
and into a land where
love makes sense.
i see its definition in the distance:
not Webster’s but life’s encyclopedia-thesaurus-dictionary experience
viewed in first person.
we are in motion–
picture it with me:
you and me.

let our union open up our blind eyes to see
the mystery of love
through our own history;
the misery of love
through our own synergy.
sing with me,
dance with me,
melt with me,
exchange heart beats until we are both free,
never forgetting,
and loving.

That’s The Way Love Goes…Revisited

like a crackhead to the pipe,
burned by the fire,
i hate romance and crave it…
on what day did God create desire?

that’s how my heart goes…

Selling Myself

sometimes i have the urge to sell myself.
not on a dusty shelf
to be picked over during the holidays,
but to be on the market in such a way
that i take the time to explain the reasons why
someone should love me.

i am so far from perfection that it scares me,
but my soul makes up for it.
i can be difficult to deal with at times,
but my smile makes up for it.
occasionally, i’m beyond reckless,
but my heart makes up for it.
i ask a lot,
but my love makes up for it.
there are plenty of other women out there,
but i make up for it,
so much so
that i shouldn’t have to sell my treasure,
yell like an auctioneer for the highest bidder
because truth be told,
there is no dollar amount high enough
to satisfy the desire that lies inside of me.

inside i am rich, exotic,
exquisite, flagrant,
generous, Godly,
and last but not least
sometimes i let these qualities spill out of my body
and cover the shy nakedness i walk around with,
hoping that someone will see
that i’m no longer streaking
and uncontrollably grab hold of me.
but i’m learning
to hold on to myself,
to use my heart as a gate rather than an open door,
one that can only be unlocked with a special key
that is not for sale,
but destined to one day
find me
and fit perfectly.

Like a Fool

you call me in my nightmares
and i answer,
fearing that this will be the last time
i get to hear your voice.
i thought the last “i love you”
would be the last i thought of you,
but fear haunts my insides
and hikes on all sides of my brain.
what would happen if i never heard from you again?
i say that’s what i want
and the full truth is that i want
you to be alive, well, and happy
and that i place so much importance on my presence
that i almost think you can’t
survive without me.

i’m so vain,
i actually thought your life was about me,
i’m so vain,
i actually thought that you’d die without me
without me…
out me….

out of the sorrow of my heart
comes the desire to run to you
out of the sorrow of my heart
comes the knowledge to stay away from you
but like a fool,
i draw close to you.

I Have a Secret

i have a secret, but don’t tell nobody.
i want you to…

kiss me.

maybe it was the spark in your eye
or the fact that night was crawling upon us,
tickling the side of my neck,
but as i glanced at you,
i wished i could be honest
and reach over and speak to you
with my lip language
to find out if you were fluent.

but maybe you know more than me.
open up your classroom and i’ll be your student,
the one who knows everything and nothing
at the same time.
i will be first in line
to register for your class and sit in the front
every Monday thru Friday
and pass notes with drawn hearts connecting
your name and my name
and raise my hand always
so you can look my way.

i have a secret, but don’t tell nobody.
those who know me well know
that i don’t like to be controlled
or told what to do,
but i want you to…

take me.

do with me what you wish to
as long as i get to…

kiss you,

connect my sense of touch
with the mental satisfaction you’ve thus
provided so far because
so far,
you’ve pulled my desire like a shoe string
and i’m secretly hoping
that the next time i see you,
you’ll see through
what my eyes try to hide
and honor me for just one time
and promise that this secret
will be yours and mine
and our lips combined
will be…


Tipsy Honesty

at a dinner for my job,
after 4 glasses of Pinot Noir,
i wonder in my tipsy honesty
what exactly it is that is stopping me
from cutting out the unnecessary and pursuing my dreams.
what is it that keeps me pretending
to be happy where i am?
waiter, put another drink in this girl’s hand
as she stands in the place she never thought she would be
too afraid to run after what she wants
because of insecurity.
numbness and buzzes are easy to achieve
through the laughter and smiles and stability
but my real future and true desires
keep calling me.

Chocolate Woman


he wants to unwrap me like
because my skin reminds him
of a dessert kind of like
luxurious, smooth texture
and expensive enough
that not everyone can afford
the opportunity to touch.
just what is it about me
that causes him to look so longingly?
why does he desire me?
maybe it’s the mystery,
not knowing what surprises lie inside–
if i’m smooth and sticky-sweet like caramel
or rough and nutty like the lover from hell.
only time will tell
as he stares so hard at my wrapper
that i start to melt
and i have to remind myself
that i am the desired
and even though his sweet tooth feels like it requires
a taste, i must maintain
my posture as a sweet delicacy,
wrapped in a shiny teasing wrapper of celibacy
but still quietly
wishing he’d
envelop me
with his…

Video of Me Performing “Exotic Beauty”

Hi everyone!  Here is another video of me performing.  This is my poem, “Exotic Beauty” (click here to read the poem) at an event in Washington, D.C. I did last week called “Women, Words, and Power!” (done in association with The Essential Theatre).  I was one of nine female spoken word artists who performed.

I’ll warn you that the video quality isn’t great, but hey… 🙂 Enjoy!

My Wedding Day

up until recently, thoughts of marriage
consumed me.
in my head i would plan my wedding while
the face of the groom would always be
but my emotions would be so full…
longing, wanting, obsessing over
the details:
what my dress would look like,
my hairstyle,
holding back tears,
daddy walking me down the aisle.
i wanted this day so bad
that i refused to let my mind rest
on fantasies for too long
even though i knew exactly what song
would play for my first dance
with my husband.
my wedding day
was a moment that privately talked to me
in my idle mind
and yelled at me
each and every time
i found out that a peer of mine
was leaving the single life behind.
water filled my eyes and envy washed over me
and what overruled happiness for my friends
was jealousy.

but something has changed–
that desire i had now seems childish.
don’t get me wrong–
of course i still want this
fantasy, for prince charming
to sweep me off my feet
and to have the most beautiful ceremony.
but now in my maturity,
i realize,
readjust my eyes
to see far away.
in my naivete, i equated marriage to just
my wedding day.
how easily i can give up 24 hours,
the breath to say memorized vows,
countless cheek-aching smiles
for flashing lights
but the thought of giving up
my life
makes me want to walk–
correction: RUN
the other way.
i still have more to accomplish today
so my focus is on tomorrow,
not dreams of yesterday
that no longer serve me.

so now when bouquets get thrown my way,
i clasp my fingers tight
and when handsome gents feed me with compliments,
i grasp my heart right.
this might be selfish but this just might be
the only time in my life i have
to focus on what
lately i get choked up over goals,
dress for success instead of dates,
wish against love coming this way,
but if it happens, then hey…
maybe my girlhood wants will return
and maybe my heart will cool down
from the steam of getting burned
and maybe one day i will meet the man who will turn
my idea of marriage
into something truthful and new…
the joining of one
who used to be two.

Tug of Love

unfathomable, but still so real.
undeniable but still i feel
the need to push myself away
from that which tugs on my heart so hard that it hurts
to fall down on my knees and pray.
so risking is an action that i don’t wanna do,
whoever you are,
i’m afraid to get close to you.
still desiring to notice you and as you pass by,
for my image to knock on your heart
and cause a twinkle in your eye…oh my,
i’m such an contradiction, full of oxymorons,
not smart, kind of a moron
when it comes to interpreting love signals…
they get fuzzy as i intercept them–
so that i see kind gestures and still have more to question
and more to find answers to,
more to look forward to
when really things are just on the surface, only topical.
i thirst for deepness but i can’t swim;
i’m hungry for love but i’ve noticed that i can’t win…
i bid and lose all my chips and have to start all over again,
and in the end, i never cash in…
and when i leave the casino, i drive too fast
and run out of gas before i can reach the station–
it’s always the same equation–
me times man equals zero
and nobody knows, so many friends tell me that i’m they’re hero.
but maybe it’s true
because i look at Batman, Spiderman
and though i’m Black Woman,
we all something in common–
we stay up at night, wake up alone,
and never feel at home,
although our minds roam
with images of happiness, fantasies of love,
but perhaps it’s all madness..
unfathomable, but still so real,
undeniable but still i feel
the need to push myself away
from that which tugs on my heart so hard
that it hurts to fall down on my knees and pray,
but still i rise up and walk with the hope of brighter days
and a love will make me float away,
one that is permanent,
and not just stuck
in yesterday.

Exotic Beauty

handsome white guy
with the nice smile and brown eyes–
oh how you surprised me
when you told me
you liked my my body.
you explained to me how you’d
never been with a black girl sexually
and asked if you could get down with me
and i was like…

you want me
not for me
but what i represent:
exotic beauty.
so after our conversation
(which ended abruptly after your sexual solicitation),
i wondered what would have become of our relations
if i would have succumbed to your fantasy
and thought for a moment that it’d be kind of fun to become
what it is you want of me.

i am your exotic beauty.
my eyes are precious stones for you to appraise
with the magnifying glass of your mind.
lose yourself in the kinks of my hair
as you try to count the innumerable strands.
then take your hands
and trace the contours of my cheekbones,
moving inward to the peak of my nose
and down to the lusciousness of my lips.
close your eyes and wish for an exotic kiss
from yours truly,
your exotic beauty.
tickle my brown skin softly with the tips of your fingers,
grazing my flesh slowly and allowing your touch to linger
on the abundance of my breasts, the wideness
of my hips, the roundness
of my behind, the thickness
of my thighs
and experience the fullness of my foreignness.
just stop and stare for a while until i
get uncomfortable because i have never been looked at
like that,
never been put on display
in such a way.
i’m used to being an around-the-way girl
and to you, i am something special,
someone to be desired and pursued secretly,
an exotic beauty.
request dances from me
and i’ll sashay my sexy silhouette your way
and spread my smile and my legs with flexibility.
take me, love me,
touch me, see me,
want me.
i am yours–an exotic beauty.
i am no longer human, but property,
a resident in your world of fantasy
that you carefully consider making a reality
just so you can really see how it would be
to conquer me.
my blackness is dangerous and exciting,
scary yet inviting you to
request a piece of my dark meat,
to be honest with me about your curiosity
to the point that in your effort to confess,
you devalue me–
simplifying my existence to mere ideas and notions
and taking for granted that i am a woman,
i have a brain,
i have intelligent thoughts and words to relay
and that my body is not the defining factor
of me.
but to you,
i am only
an exotic beauty.

Breath of Longing

if i inhale deeply enough,
i wonder if i could convince
the scent of you to
live in my system forever.
whenever we are near one another,
i make sure i am connected with
my body so i don’t miss a breath
and a chance of holding you
from each inhale and exhale to the next.
at times i worry because the truth is,
we have nothing in common.
but i sense that if we kiss,
we will have so much in common.
daily life is so commonplace
and my intuition tells me that
if we can stand face to face
and feel each other’s hearts beat,
we can turn in this bleak
existence and exchange it for the
take a chance,
take my hand
and let’s prove our doubts wrong.
let’s hold on
to the present moment,
not contemplating the nearly impossible future.
for a few fleeting minutes, just picture
don’t wonder how
we’re gonna work out or if
we’re gonna make it.
i can’t take it when you’re away.
stay here, let me pull on your eyes
and make ringlets of O’s with the smoke
of words i am afraid to say.
let me cloud my lungs with aborted displays
of affection
and risk terminal cancer for
refusing to honor my connection
to you.
if i inhale deeply enough,
one day i might be brave enough,
bold enough,
fearless enough
to explain the extent to which i wish
to hold you hostage inside of me.
but until then,
i’ll just keep my distance
and breathe.

Poetic Petition

i don’t wanna write another “woe is me” poem.
i don’t want a poem that’ll glorify my pain
or complicatedly complain and explain my emotional angst.
i don’t want a poem that’ll stay stuck in my deepest, darkest thoughts.
i don’t need any more stanzas to express all that i lack and desperately want.
but i will say,

i want a feel-good poem–

a poem that is a prescription for self-wallowing,
a poem that will feature all of the following and more:
phrases that will make me smile so hard that my face gets sore,
letter combinations that will invite me to get on my feet and dance,
concepts that will break past the barriers of pain and romance,
verbs that take me out of this world and onto another plane,
word play so crazy that makes men in asylums appear sane,
along with laughter and lightness.
i want a poem that highlights the brightness
of life, the joy
of living,
a poem that relishes in giving,
offering syllables as gifts and tenses as present
and past frustration as ribbons
to tie all fantasies in a pretty poetry bow.

i want a feel-good poem–

not one about controlling the views of its witnesses.
i want a free poem,
one that inherently contains second chances and forgiveness,
a poem that flies in sun-setting skies
and lands hard but still never dies,
allowing it to beat on…and on.
i want a poem that’s as beautiful as a love song.
i want a poem that is allergic to exclusion–
one that makes every human being know that they belong
and have meaning and value in this world.

i want a feel-good poem–

i want to feel good,
i want a poem,
i don’t want a woe,
i don’t want a “woe is me” poem.
give me a poem that reflects the utopia of life,
give me a poem that eliminates struggle and strife
but i don’t want no poem that reminds me of why
i should be depressed and how i’d be better off if i died.
i don’t want to write another “woe is me” poem
even if woe is me
because i want to feel

i want a feel-good poem–

one that warms like hot cocoa on a snowy day,
one that softly and smoothly takes my breath away,
one sweeter than kisses and hugs after years of loneliness,
one that washes away tears and thoughts of hopelessness,
a poem that alleviates all that has plagued my heart,
a poem that gives me the freedom to fall down and feel free to start
i want a poem that feels so good that i never want it to be over.
i want to write a poem that gets me so high that by the time my buzz wears off,
i will actually be wiser and older
and still feel

no more “woe is me” poems, at least for this moment in time
because through carefully crafted lines and the creativity of words and rhymes
i can beat these troubled times.
but the first step in this fight
is to erase the desire to feed the fire of “woe is me”
so here and now, in the steps to finally becoming free,
i say for the benefit of both you and me:

i want a feel-good poem.

Love Longing

i want love in such a strong way
that i find it hard to be happy
for people who are in love,
i scoff at public displays
of affection, protest
Valentine’s Day,
and my overwhelming desire for it
inevitably turns to scorn.
love is an emotion and action
with the power to incite other actions and feelings:
envy, jealously, depression, joy, and hate
and i wonder if it is my fate
to be without love for this long,
to only express and feel it from
family, close friends, and slow songs.
it’s not enough–where is my lover?
where is that amazing brother
who will sweep me off of my feet?
my toes are tired from staying on the ground,
my heart is bored from regular beats.
my fantasies have even gone on vacation because
they’re tired of working so hard at chasing
my dreams that are so far from reality.
i am tired
and sometimes hopeless
but still wanting,
still desiring that loaded four-letter word,
the overused and abused three-letter phrase,
the intoxicated infatuation-feeling state
that is so different from the life i am living now.
i await the date and time when i will no longer
think of love and be angry,
when i will think of it and smile because it will no longer be a mere
thought or musing,
something intangible, hurtful, and confusing
but a part
of me.

Sleeping Woman

i’m so tired.
i wish i could sleep
for a week straight
and not be interrupted by anyone
knocking on my consciousness’ door,
just get up to pee and eat
and then sleep some more,
watch old movies in my waking moments
and imagine myself in those worlds
because this world
just makes me want to retreat.
i just want to sleep,
let the heaviness in my heart
switch to my eyelids and dream
what is the opposite of life.
in my dreams i would fly,
i would smile, i would
love and feel and experience
so much. i would just
dream and dream until my existence was
no longer a nightmare and i no longer
felt scared
to be in this world,
where i no longer wanted
to just sleep because i can’t stand
being awake.
being up is so hard and
i just want to lay down,
stretch out my limbs and
never have to think about
my pain again.
i want to sleep because
sleep is the cousin of death
and life is too much.
i just want to sleep until my healing comes
and i no longer have to hide behind closed eyes
and a weary mind and the fear of being kind
because mistreated kindness leads to
blindness, which causes the desire to