Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “Jesus

Fake Lovers

we are fake lovers,
spinning on a broken record
that’s our jam
that causes us to dance
when we jump out of our crazy,
lonely lives to listen
to each other breathe into phone receivers
and wish for more.

we had more, baby.
we were Bonnie and Clyde
speeding down a highway
where reality chased
and there was no damn way
we were stepping on the brakes.
we were the Red Sea before
Moses lifted his staff to separate,
but now we live on two different sides–
there is dry land in between the wetness
that once lived in laughter that birthed tears
and bodies that danced in sheets without any cares
in the world but which one of us
will cum first.
“us” had come to an end
with no satisfaction
and now i wish i could wrap back then
in saran wrap or a silk napkin
and save the memories for when i am hungry.
i would eat them crumb by crumb for every night
i have to sleep alone with no one
beside me
or watch romantic movies
and end up sentimental and crying
or ponder the reasons
why love always seems to be dying
and dine on the times
when you and me were “we” thriving.

our love was alive like
Lazarus after Jesus wept
and we took steps
on a spiraling staircase that never seemed to end
until we tried to climb to future heights
and fell down to hell.
now shit is fire and i think you’re a liar
but even though you burned me
you’re still the best i’ve seen
with my near-sighted eyes
and i wish i could feel once more what we had.
and i wish we didn’t move so fast
from strangers to lovers to soul mates
to exes to strangers
to this phase
of sporadic late night phone calls
and empty promises
and reminiscing of good night kissing
instead of hanging up with uncertainty
of when we’ll speak again.

i miss my friend.


this poem won’t be remembered.
i guarantee it won’t be a masterpiece
but it very well may be
the most honest piece
of writing i have yet to complete.

there’s a passion burning in me
so strong and fiery
that i can’t do daily activities
because my fingers are singed with third degree burns
of what God whispered to me.
i would do it for free,
scour the streets looking for pennies to sustain me
and eat crumbs that fall from heaven
if that was all there was to feed me…

the truth is that my pride consumes me
as does fear.
i lack faith that i will ever do any better
than what exists here
and can’t trust that which i don’t see.
does that make me faithless?
or more frankly,
i lost trust in a God that i loved because
He disappointed me
and i can’t help but think that if He,
all knowing and loving
let me face such pain and anguish,
that life can’t get any better
than it is now.

i am Atlas,
pushing a boulder that threatens to crush me.
i am Jonah,
stuck in the belly of a whale of irresponsibility.
i wish i could be Jesus
but sacrifice seems just too much for me.
the passion burns me
and i possess the hose to put myself out
but don’t believe the water will really shoot out.
so i walk with half empty buckets
held by a broomstick across my back
and earn splinters in my shoulders and neglect that causes death
all because i am too scared to live.

what kind of punishment is this?
what kind of nonsense is this?
ruled by fear,
ignited by dreams
that seem too far away to touch
because i am afraid to reach.

The Peculiarity of Potential

i have the potential
to be Johnny Travolta in Saturday Night Fever
but i’m cool and stuck on Wednesday.

i have the potential
to be like Stella and get my groove ba–
but i lost the “ck”.

in the end,
is nothing,
a mere statement of what should be
but is not.
potential is more illogical than faith
because it leans on the negative,
the “i wish” that sits
on the tips of our lips
but betrays us as badly
as the kiss of Judas.

but where is Jesus?
His magical garment has ripped
as i, the woman with issues
pulled so tight that facts got mixed
with potential,
trying to make Him fit who they say He is,
forgetting the reality that He does exist
inside of me,
only highlighting my individuality
rather than participating in the accusatory
proclamations that prick the insides of me,
pointing begrudgingly at only
what i have the
to be.

I’d Like to Propose a Toast

this goes out to
respectful gestures and silly conversation
and innocent flirtation
that tickles my smile and soul
without fingers.
words permeate the room reminding me of who
i am, the bare minimum
(or “essence” as i like to call it in artist-speak).
i feel like once again i am finding myself,
naked from being stripped
from falsehood of contrived personality
and feeling free from releasing
what is already in me.

this goes out to
attraction not yet acted upon,
fun without expectation,
feeling good all over without penetration,
for the exploration of friendship.
i appreciate these moments like
gifts on birthdays, like
compliments on my worst days, like
kool-aid when i’m thirsty
and to be truthful,
i was.
my throat was dry from crying over
those not worth shedding tears over,
but who had rolled the boulder
away from the cave of my emotions
and when i looked in,
my identity was missing
and all that was left
was the clothes i was last seen in.

these moments,
so small and effortless,
resurrect me
and i feel like it’s Sunday.
this goes out to this one day
where i am left unable to compare
this experience to one that was bitter
and instead enjoy the bubbly
that i feel here here–


Even Jesus Wept

people who don’t cry make me uncomfortable.
i view them as narcissists or at best, con artists
who try to lure other people into believing
that they possess superhuman strength,
powers that allow them to contain
unbearable amounts of pain
without ever exploding.
what fools they are.
they are not aware that the shedding of tears
is a gift.
even Jesus wept
before raising Lazarus from the dead.
the shedding of tears is a blessing.
the shedding of tears precedes a blessing,
connecting the pain that is felt
to God himself
and when these two powerful forces come together,
miracles happen.

what if we looked at every tear as a miracle?
maybe we wouldn’t wipe them away so hastily
but let them rest on our skin to warm our insides
one pore at a time.
how beautiful would pain be then?
perhaps too magnificent to even look at it
for too long,
so we would have to peer through holes in cups
like we learned to do at eclipses
because the power of the catalyst to tears
is too much to fathom,
too profound to “ooh” and “ahh” at
so the wise ones accept as fact
that times of tears will come.

but those who refuse to cry
miss out on the magic that they possess inside.
the holding in of tears precedes the curse
of never being able to witness and experience
the miracle of connection,
the beauty of suffering,
and the pleasure of release.
even Jesus wept
before raising Lazarus from the dead.
the shedding of tears is a blessing.

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

Confused Mind

*Written July 1, 2008*

i promised myself that i would write everyday
but i see that positive habits are hard to make
and negative habits are hard to break.
somehow living with addiction is the only way some can be consistent.
i bet if i was a porn addict, i wouldn’t skip a beat–
i would tune in to the action,
rub myself for satisfaction as if my life depended on it.
if i was a crack addict i would be on the corner like clockwork,
searching for my dealer for the prescription to heal
the screams underneath my skin that influence my brain
to make my feet walk to where i need to get a fix before i go insane.
but somehow a positive habit doesn’t become an addiction.
it turns into a hobby at the least,
or that thing that you say you’re supposed to do but never get to.
like prayer;
talking to God becomes an afterthought
and somehow important questions like where you’re gonna go when you die
become items on the to-do list with a priority of 5
when number 1 is get money, call this person, pay this bill, send this email.
now don’t think i’m in any way being accusatory
because i am simply using this poem to tell my own story,
a confession of my confused mind that would prefer to stay stagnant.
i don’t want to face the serious questions, the doubt in my heart
because somehow i feel like knowledge would tear my world apart.
ignorance is bliss, ignorance is this
freaking existence.
wisdom is in the distance and i wave at it like a kite flying in the sky.
ain’t it pretty? too bad i don’t possess it.
oh well…maybe tomorrow.
i’ll tap that into my palm pilot and even program a reminder
so that i can remember to find the
answers to the questions that plague me
like God, are all people who don’t accept your Son going to hell,
even the good ones?
cuz in my mind it don’t make sense to think that
Anne Frank, Ghandi, members of my family, Rumi, Kuti, and countless others
who possessed enough power to change the world You created
are burning in hell, and if they are, then well…
is it that bad a place?
God forgive my blasphemy, i’m just a little g and next to you i’m so small.
next to you i have no knowledge at all.
next to you i feel safe, but at the same time lost in this place.
forgive me for my sins and even voicing what lives inside
but this is only an attempt to invite you to permanently reside
in this confused Christian’s mind.

Too Much Lil Wayne

*Written June 19, 2008*

i told a friend today that
too much Lil Wayne kills the brain
now i’d be a liar
if i said i didn’t think the boy spit hot fire
like Chappelle playin Dylan
but while i bob my head to
“she lick-lick-lick-lick-lick me like a lollipop”
something feels wrong
i mean when the self-proclaimed promethazine fiend
who mixes prescription cough syrup with weed
and raps about how it makes his eyes bleed,
Mr. Carter, Birdman Junior, Mr. Get High Rule the World,
has reached a point of exposure
that he reaches little black boys and girls more than
something just don’t feel right.
his mic sounds nice
check one
the flow sounds right
check two
he’s controlling people’s minds
who knew?
are you a victim of the infiltration?
me too!


*Written June 18, 2008*

he was a poet and i didn’t even know it
would end up this way
i thought a man so careful with words,
so meticulous with phrases
so introspective with thoughts
would have at least valued
he called me his queen
loved the fact that i was chocolate
even made me walk farthest away from the street
but he couldn’t keep his
i was a queen
i was
i was a queen of sorrow
queen of suffering
queen of sacrifice
and the last royalty i knew
to go down like that
was Jesus.

my garden of Gethsemane
happened to be the driver’s seat
and i pleaded
as tears of blood rolled down my forehead
and stung my eyes
take this cup from me
take this violation from me
take this night from me
take this life from me
but not like this.
those assigned to watch over me
were sleeping
eyes closed, minds closed
as i was forced
as my life and privacy
was widened
as my body
was no longer mine to keep.