Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “joy

Still Born


i feel frozen,
hard to do anything,
not justified in joy,
stuck in anxiety,
crying while running
because there is no time for stopping.

my mother,
example of strength,
template for beauty,
example of generosity,
standard of selflessness,
feeling of family,
antidote for insanity
is struggling.

my soul is still connected
by an invisible umbilical cord
feeding me medication and hope
and faith and pain
and they course through my veins
as i try to maintain
with a smile on my face
but i’m losing some weight
and my mind can’t erase
how life shouldn’t be this way.

but what do i know?
i am a mere embryo
floating in a world outside of my control,
sharing the same heartbeat as the woman who birthed me,
questioning, wondering, still living,
always praying
that our loud cries make it up to God’s big ears
that can’t possibly be deaf.


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.


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.


If This Is


beauty meets tears
and invites them to a dance with steps
only memorized by the magnificent.
if this is history,
then i wonder what tomorrow will feel like.
if this is reality,
then how peaceful will my dreams be
when i close my eyes tonight?
if this is joy,
then i cannot wait to experience love.
the thought of it gives me goosebumps and fear
because my heart is already swollen
with pride.
it beats louder than ever.
i am alive again.
i didn’t even know i was sleepwalking
until now i have experienced
real life–
the emotion, the struggle, the achievements
and all that could happen
by just believing.
overwhelmed i am
so blessed i am
here i am
free,
breathing, feeling,
being, existing,
growing, changing,
praising.

i thought God was absent
so i could only imagine
how great would His presence would feel like.


Under the Influence


troubles eased
when the world becomes a dense fog
and my windows feel steam
as my brain gets unclogged
and my heart is free
as i hear it beat over all
that is around me.
i am thirsty and sleepy and needy
but satisfied.
if only i
could live like this all the time.
if i could move as smooth
as this state makes me feel;
if i could peel off the layers of boring
and flick the switch on exciting,
a bright bulb that doesn’t end up burning
my joy or my eyes.
it just illuminates the fact that i am alive
or dead,
or maybe both
(whatever that feels like).


Joy in Being Pursued


there’s joy in being pursued.
the prey doesn’t have to convince the predator
that she is food.
and me,
i’m a fine plate
so all who are hungry
better get their minds and their lives straight
before they think about dining on me.
besides, i have too many calories
for those on intelligence diets,
am way too rich for ulcer-ridden men
to stomach me
and too damn sweet
for weak ones with cavities.
i stalk the earth,
or rather walk it simply
and my natural scent attracts
the brave ones to me.
but they can’t get too close too fast
or make too much noise,
for i’ll run off before they even muster up the voice
to express interest.
or if i stay, chances are
i’ll lose interest.
i am flighty to say the least
in this forest of wild beasts,
loving the attention fully,
but still doing me…
i am beautiful prey parading past predator’s territory
without getting painfully pounced upon
until that wild, brave one
who is strong and smart enough
finds his target in just enough
time to conquer me.
trust me,
he will enjoy this dish mightily.


A Different Kind of Lovemaking


i’m so aloof about this love thing.
something has shut off in me–
i only care about sex in this regard:
as a release
and honestly,
i can provide that for myself.
i’m stressed, i play, i release
and then i move on
or go to sleep.
it’s that simple these days.
and if i need to connect,
i phone a friend or watch a good movie,
write a few poems and enjoy being home.
i go outside and breath in nature
and enjoy the softest, gentlest, most loving touch there is.
the air was always there,
but i never noticed.
the flowers and trees were always alive
but went unappreciated.
now i make love to mother earth
as if it were a sin
and it’s more beautiful than whatever it was
that i was doing with men.
and she doesn’t just take,
she gives me gifts back
like beautiful birds and rain
and sunshine and breeze on my back.
i searched for the joy that comes from all of these things
through habits and vices and actions that caused pain,
but after that long journey,
my advise for everybody
is to value the world around you.
hold it close within your reach
and extend yourself to receive it all.
love all
and above all,
love yourself.