Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “grief

Newborn Baby Tears for My Old Self


sometimes i still cry for the old me
and i feel guilty cuz
the new me is
happy.

but i miss the old me’s extremes–
blind faith and concrete
black and white ideals
until evil jet black pushed into petrified pink
surprisingly, painfully.

suffering isn’t ideal.
neither are tears and grief
for a version of myself
mummified by cries that came so often
that when tears ran out,
a new woman appeared:

tougher skin,
sharper words,
deeper melancholy buried in
soft soil of smiles
and brutal honesty.
she is beauty all while
crying internally,
confused at her existence:
a newborn baby
with a 25-year-old body.

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Blankety Blank


blank slate,
blank page,
blank mind,
blank heart
full of blank grief,
empty sorrow.
who cares about tomorrow?
it’s blank too
like the response to a question
that’s inappropriate and uncomfortable.
blank rest,
blank nest
full of love, often too much.
i need some air
so my blank lungs can breathe here,
share the earth with blank eyes,
blank souls
just like mine
in a world that is both blank and divine
and be full.


Sexual Freedom


for reasons unanticipated and uninvited,
sexual freedom has become
an oxymoron to me.
perhaps because i am locked in a cage
of celibacy.
or more truthfully,
because the freeing of this pleasure
ended with a nightmare turned memory.
it’s nearly impossible to enjoy events
that are now associated with pain.
one who loses a loved one on a holiday
always feels bittersweet feelings–
birthdays and thanksgiving are not the same.
and that’s how i feel.
passion runs through me
but the thoughts of actually releasing it
die before conception.
my body is no longer aroused
and sour memories are housed
in the roof of my mouth
and the flesh of my heart.
i understand how i arrived at this ending
and it pains me to think of my start:
daring to be curious,
thriving off of taking chances,
naive without worries
and most of all,
trusting.
the possibility of trust
now cuts my brain.
my warning alarms go off
and my eyes sprinkle rain.
i watch others who claim to be free
and shake my head in sadness
and reminisce on when
they used to be
me.


The Frailty


when did life get so fragile?

i’ve walked holding this package
haphazardly,
forgetting its delicate contents
and shaking it up
whenever the mood hit me,
carrying it upside down
and placing it down
in areas i don’t even inspect
because part of me expects
that no matter what the climate or environment,
my life is a contractual agreement
not to be voided until i say so.

when did life get so fragile?

areas of my social web
crafted so beautifully and symmetrically
suddenly
have holes.
people i have walked with, laughed with,
and with whom i have accomplished feats
fall through
and i’m sitting here looking at my feet
wondering when the thin material under me
will break
and why it hasn’t done so already
cuz when i look at my mistakes
i see that nothing separates
me from the fallen.

but until that moment when i’ve fallen,
i’ll keep crawling
around the shaky and slippery surface,
praying to God that i won’t be too nervous
or scared to enjoy the journey.
i turn around to look at fellow travelers,
those who started with me
only to discover that some have disappeared
while others dodge the gaps in the road,
breathing in fear
and hoping that with the next rising of the sun,
they’ll still be here.
we all stop to shed tears
for those who only exist now
in memories of smiles,
and ask the question

when did life get so fragile?

(RIP Jennifer)


Place of Belonging


i do not belong here in this world.
there is no real place for me.
if there is one, it is probably in between
the cracks of a brick building
where no one could see
and i feel pressure coming
from all sides.
i have so much brewing on my insides
that i could open up a factory
and produce emotions unknown to most
on an assembly line of mundane days
and fake smiles
and going to sleep with the hope
that tomorrow will not be as sad
and waking up the next day disappointed that
it is.

i do not know where i belong–
perhaps in an ocean where waves crash and hit me
so that i can wake up swimming and feeling
alive,
so my bruised and atrophied
muscle of a heart can beat
with some sort of energy,
so that numbness will no longer be
a defining factor of me.
i am out of place in this atmosphere where daily
i walk around without my body.
i do not wish to exist in the spirit realm
where the shell of me is lying and trying
to convince others that she
is whole.

i do not belong in a world where
i constantly have to control
my moods and curb
my frustration
and cry
silently
and smile
automatically
and fail
miserably
at being
happy.

i do not belong in this mental state
and i am hoping that one day
i will find my spot where life feels safe,
where grief and hiding abates
and i can finally step
forward
and look in the mirror
at my own face and see
that there is purpose to this pain
and i do
belong
in this world.