Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “future

Just As You Left It


your shoes are just as you left them:
asymmetrical,
grass caught in creases of the soles,
laces untied,
scent of foot sweat–
subtle, not overpowering;
appearance neat.

inanimate objects imitate life
between these walls,

for my heart is just as you left it:
asymmetrical,
with one chamber heavier than the others;
unspoken words caught in creases of my soul,
future plans untied,
scent of body sweat caught in my bed–
subtle, not overpowering;
appearance neat.

intimate objects imitate love
between these walls.


Insomnia Haikus


explored the future;
caught back up with the present–
sleepless and tired.

i got all dressed up
in my birthday suit and yawn.
sleep forgot to come.

under my eyelids,
dreams are ready to be born;
no contractions yet.


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


Contingency


i find myself not living
in the now
but the “when. “
the “When A happens then B
and I will be happy.”

so instead of looking next to me,
my eyes turn glassy
as i envision the moment when
certain events will happen
that my contentment is
contingent upon:

“When I move to a better place,”
“When I get a better job,”
“When I have more money,”
“When I get that ring,”
“When I get married,”
“When I get free”
and other hypothetical statements
fill my mouth while
my future overflows with intangible dreams.

maybe when i hold them in my hands
they’ll feel real.
or maybe when
i stop living in when,
i can live in now
and appreciate what i have
now.
even if
“when”
never shows up
or decides to be tardy
(as it often tends to be).


Dice Rollin


i’m happy you’re my baby.
you got me feeling lucky–
no snake eyes with these dice,
all i’m rolling is sevens.
who thought a rainy day
could still feel like heaven?
you had me open since day 11
minus the one on the end.
when i looked in your eyes,
i saw the future as more than just friends.
i never thought i’d feel this way again,
never thought i’d not have to pretend
or sway in the wind
of scar-filled memories.
with you i have new leaves
and they’re greener than the greenest green.
i’m higher than when i smoke marijuana trees
this relationship is so obsene,
so serene,
more beautiful than 1,000 sunsets
next to the sea of bliss in which we’re swimming
and this is only the beginning.


Healthy Bulimia


fresh acid burning in the back of my throat,
darkening my teeth
and freeing that stabbing feeling
in the pit of my stomach,
i purge all that is negative
out of me.
i used to look at bitterness and anger and self loathing
and pain and pity
and say desperately, “feed me”
but i’ve found new food today.
tears of joy and peace as toxins release
and when i breathe,
i am a new person.

the world is so different now.

i didn’t know i was viewing life through dirty eyeglasses,
mistaking danger for greener pastures.
now i see what i was missing.
i am emptying,
slowly but surely
and in the future,
i see me happy
and dancing like no one is looking,
living like everyone is looking,
and free
to not care either way.


Pyrophobiac


there are some people who honestly believe that
if they focus intently enough,
they can make the flame of a candle
rise and fall with their thoughts.
much too often, i have been a fool,
played the fool for that same trap,
thinking that i can create sparks in acquainted hearts,
mistaking kindness for interest
and my loneliness for the possibility of love.
once a pyromaniac,
i now flee from fire,
keep an extinguisher on my back
and with it, i aim and fire
at possibilities,
the potential for romantic stories,
trapped in the fog of my history,
chest burning too painfully to see reality.
i no longer even attempt to stare,
have substituted my gaze for a blank empty glare
like a blind woman who has miraculously regained her sight
but still wears sunglasses because
she’s used to not opening her eyes.

is my fear that the future is too bright
or that all will be white?
absence of color,
absence of hope,
no patience to stare at fire,
seeking another foolish hobby
like solitude.


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.


This Moment in History


i used to think the phrase,
“you can do anything you set your mind to”
was a cliche
until today.
on more days than i could count,
i politely asked God to take me out,
to remove misery from my life
and leave me to die.
today i rejoice because
i am not history,
but here to witness a moment
that is so much bigger than me.
my heart beats out of my chest,
not for the prospect of the future,
but the reality of today.
i thank God for waking me up once more
to see history before me,
for proving cliches right
and for giving me this night
where it was proved to me
that it might be the truth
that whatever it is i set to accomplish,
i can do.

this-moment-in-history


A Rethinking of Wrinkles


dear Elizabeth,

as i close my eyes and imagine an age
that seems so far away
(which in actuality
is not so),
i realize that my youthful thoughts
fail to hold
all the meaning and significance
of wisdom.

wrinkles are evidence of freedom
because they show that the wearer of them
broke down heavy barriers and walls, saw
many rainy nights and wind-whipping days,
but survived all of them
like war-heroes who wear medals of age
on their faces and skin.

i pray i will make it to that time
and that i will celebrate when my smile lines
sink in to the corners of my eyes
and when the veins in my hands rise
like mountains to show my strength.
i’ve almost died so many times
that life almost seems too unkind
to allow me to see look into my future
without hope being jaded and blind.

i equate age with loneliness
because as i have grown older,
i’ve looked to my left and my right
and find that old friends have dropped by the wayside
and this is when i’m in my prime!
so when i’m just an odd number
that can be divided into many factors,
i wonder what amount of so-called compadres
will remember my birthday;
how many will be there to rejoice in my victories
and to console me when all i have
is tears to wash over me.

it’s a scary and curious thing,
and in my age of questioning,
i can’t help but wonder and appreciate
a wrinkly old woman who has changed
my perspective,
shown me that there’s more than one route
to approaching life
and that there is value
in the poems i write.

thank you…


Idle Moments


sometimes in my idle moments
that rarely come,
i wonder if
the frequent idle moments
that will surely come
when I’m a wrinkly old woman
will be spent alone.

i’m too busy for love–
glued to my goals
but will the future success mean as much
if i live in an empty home?
right now i don’t know
and i hope i won’t have to find out.
i hope these questions won’t come across my mind
at idle times
because the thoughts on my mind
will be characterized by love and happiness
rather than the prospect
of loneliness.


Close Call


i live a life of close calls,
wondering if the line that connects me to this world
will one day get cut off.
i am a cat who falls far distances
but always lands on her feet.
each time my soles touch the ground,
something in my soul feels incomplete
and i can’t help but ask God,
“Why in the world did you save me?”
others in same situations or those less severe
had lives that ended too quickly,
became blurbs on the evening news,
so why am i still here?
i tear up to think of how careless i was and still am–
waking up in the nick of time as my car crosses the median,
doing 360s on I-95 during rush hour and surviving to breathe again,
learning i’m HIV-negative instead of positive again and again.
it doesn’t make sense
but my sight only rests on now and yesterday,
not knowing what the future holds for me.
i only know of lessons hard learned
and times i’ve been burned by mistakes
and ponder just what situation it will finally take
for my close-call life to be cut from God’s phone line
and what exactly will happen on that day
when this life is no longer mine.


The Diameter


in the circle of life
i hear whispered tones of the past
bumping into the waves of the future.
the breeze blows along the water
that makes up my system
while being expelled out of my eyes.
all is spherical,
parabolic,
hyperbolic
with the equation being to find
the meaning of i.