Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “emotion

Midnight Eyes


midnight eyes with dew on lashes
wish for love in the daylight–
a reason to burst with emotion
other than anger or tantrum.
if love were a tantrum,
how would it express its youth?
would it stomp hearts and scream obscenities such as
“Don’t leave me!” or “I need you?”
or would it just stream down tears of joy
and sit in a corner of the world known by most
but frowned upon
once left?

midnight eyes dream of stories in books
transformed into reality
so that days become pages
turned slowly and dog-eared for later reference,
an experience that good.
“That’s good,”
midnight eyes whisper when viewing
movies with method actors using realism
to display fantasy only realized in screens.

midnight eyes want to become alive,
want fiction to turn real–
not “keep it real” real,
but “blood pouring out of feet when glass is stepped on” real;
undeniable like the hour when yawns take over energy
and eyes get droopy until morning.

midnight eyes do not want to wake
until full moons shine too bright
and stars sink into sight lines without effort.
until then, midnight eyes stay closed
until sunrise.


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.


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.


Which One Am I?


why do fools fall in love?
and since i refuse to do the above,
does that make me wise?

if so, at times i wish i would be brave enough
to be a fool again,
to take risks with the chance of falling on my face,
to have another opportunity to make beautiful mistakes
and memories that keep me awake
because sleep could never compete
with the dream i’d be living.

why do fools fall in love?
and since i refuse to do the above,
does that make me wise?

perhaps if wise also means burned
and fearful
and doubtful of the possibility.
i will be wise for the rest of my life
it means no one could hurt me;
even if it leaves me solitary,
gaining excitement solely from following stars in the night,
pushing me toward what i know is right
and ignoring all that might
take me out of my knowledge
and consume me with the most nonsensical emotion
to ever exist.

i’m too young to be wise
yet too hurt to be a fool;
too scared to be in love,
yet too optimistic to be cynical.
i am neither of the two–
swimming between both islands of maturity,
hoping that by the time the land touches my feet,
i will be comfortable where i am
and just be.


You Ruined Nature


you ruined nature for me.
when we met,
it was the beginning of spring
when the rain smelled sweet
and the daytime breeze was something else…
i released breath with the same synchronicity
as the sun beaming and the birds singing.
and then when it was storming!
no one sent me a warning
that mother nature would be raped.

months later, as the leaves change colors and die
and the Fahrenheit scales are no longer high,
i walk outside and the sky is gray,
cold is the sweetheart of rain,
the flowers aren’t even bright
and five o’clock holds hands with the darkness of night
and i still can’t believe
that you ruined nature for me.

i climbed into a hollowed-out sideways tree
that was like a cubby hole in the children’s library
and finally i felt like i could breathe.
confined by rough bark and mud all around me,
i saw the beauty
of creations that are unaffected by my emotional hurricanes.
they weather storms because life is part of the forecast
and i could learn a lesson or two
from that philosophy.

you didn’t actually ruin nature for me,
but instead helped see its resiliency
which provides for me
an example for me of natural beauty
that accompanies strength and willpower.
April showers didn’t bring May flowers,
but instead hours upon hours of pain
that transformed into days
which have now become months .
i want to be free like the trees
that i now see differently–
change colors like the leaves
and blow wherever the wind takes me,
lighthearted and free
despite what you did to me.


A Prayer For The Stranger Who is My Husband


God, i pray for my husband–
that he will be logical
and strong enough
to handle
me.
sometimes i operate so emotionally
that i treat my heart with irresponsibility,
not only wearing it on my sleeve
but throwing it at the back of a man’s head
in moments of distress,
hoping that once it bounces off
and leaves a knot,
i will feel at rest.
i will need a husband
whose skull will be hard enough
to counter mine,
who will pick up my heart after it’s been thrown,
brush the dust off with gentle hands
and place it back in my chest
to beat calmly again;
one who possesses
a gentle enough face
for me to feel a twinge of guilt
for wanting to make him pay
unjustly for my
distorted perceptions of the truth;
a husband who
will love me out of the habit
of abusing the most crucial organ in my body
and give a long enough embrace
to keep my restored heart
in its proper place,
and pull me out of the way
of thinking that tells me
that violence is a way to be heard,
show me the true meaning of love
that in today’s society seems absurd.
i pray that he is a teacher,
a fighter,
a healer,
a lover,
a meditator,
a mediator,
a thinker
and a son
who like a piece of clay,
You have molded and shaped
into a pot
that even in my emotional states,
i am unable
to break.


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.