Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “emotions

It’s Funny

it’s funny how
people mirror us more than we ever know;
it’s funny how
if we don’t ever cry, our spirits die and we don’t grow.
it’s funny how
our words to some act as seeds;
it’s funny how
what we want differs from what we need.
it’s funny how
friends you think will always be there sometimes disappear;
it’s funny how
when you’re at your lowest, your family is near.
it’s funny how
you can go from being so happy to being sad;
it’s funny how
people leaving your life isn’t always bad.


Video of Me Performing “My Wedding Day”

Hi everyone!  Here is a video of me performing my poem, “My Wedding Day” (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!

Life Swimmer

i am floating…
back and forth
sometimes drowning
but ultimately

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

What if I

*Written July 8, 2008*

what if i
promoted him like my favorite rapper,
quoted him to fit every situation,
tried to convince others to tune in
when people talk about him on radio stations,
said day in and day out that he’s the best alive and his words are so hot
and that they should listen and try to give him a shot?

what if i
talked about him like he was a new man
who surprisingly made my life so great that i can’t complain?
what if i rubbed him in the faces of everyone around me
so that they would be all too familiar with how his love is insane,
so much so that they don’t even have to ask why i’m smiling,
they just say “There she goes again with whats-his-name”?

what if i
wore him like a fly outfit
that i wanted everyone to see,
purposely walking past perfect strangers three times with him on
just so they could note the beauty that is he,
and how he looks just oh-so-great on me
like an expensive pair of jeans that make my shape look oh-so-right,
that they could all benefit from if they’re willing to pay the price?

what if
i just kept him all to myself and hid him away?
i think that is what i do because every time i begin to feel unashamed,
i face different setbacks and life pushes me astray–
my pride, my doubt inside, and my emotions all cloud my view
so that by the time i think of mentioning him,
the time has passed and conversations are through…

i no longer want to be a fake fan, a false lover, or perpetrator…
i wanna shout out my love for Him to every friend, family member, and hater
promote him like he’s sunshine after seven days of raining,
wear him on my heart, stop hiding and start proclaiming
that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life
and maybe if i stop keeping him secret
more people will want to give Him their life
and maybe if i speak up
i can truly honor the one who changed my life
and maybe if i share what He’s done for me
people could find purpose in their life
and maybe if i just open up my mouth and share
they can know

To Paint Humanity

*Written July 6, 2008*

i had a dream that God told me to paint humanity–
take my life and use it as an instrument
to capture all the colors of his children,
so i start this mission with me:
i explore the deepest blacks of my people,
the darkness of drum beats and culture coursing through my veins,
the brown of skin that is smooth and strong,
the purple of pride from my ancestors that in me remains,
the blue of depression, lost plans, loneliness, and failure,
the green of envy, peace, hunger for money, and nature,
the yellow of the consistent sun, joy, and energy,
the orange of the warmth that only comes from family,
the red of blood, passion, and rage,
the white of the oppressors who tried to kill my race.
my life is a paintbrush
searching the in-between hues of personalities,
the value of words,
the pigment of emotions,
dipping into the water of my tears
until everything becomes one color and runs together…
truth, lies, joy, sadness, laughter, confusion
all co-mingle in the bucket of my body
mixing with one another so that at times, i forget what i’m painting.
i realize that all of my colors are interconnected,
deriving from the same three primaries
while i’m a painter staring at a blank canvas
trying my hardest to determine
the formula of documenting and sharing,
of composing and communicating just what it is that makes