Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “leaves

You Ruined Nature

you ruined nature for me.
when we met,
it was the beginning of spring
when the rain smelled sweet
and the daytime breeze was something else…
i released breath with the same synchronicity
as the sun beaming and the birds singing.
and then when it was storming!
no one sent me a warning
that mother nature would be raped.

months later, as the leaves change colors and die
and the Fahrenheit scales are no longer high,
i walk outside and the sky is gray,
cold is the sweetheart of rain,
the flowers aren’t even bright
and five o’clock holds hands with the darkness of night
and i still can’t believe
that you ruined nature for me.

i climbed into a hollowed-out sideways tree
that was like a cubby hole in the children’s library
and finally i felt like i could breathe.
confined by rough bark and mud all around me,
i saw the beauty
of creations that are unaffected by my emotional hurricanes.
they weather storms because life is part of the forecast
and i could learn a lesson or two
from that philosophy.

you didn’t actually ruin nature for me,
but instead helped see its resiliency
which provides for me
an example for me of natural beauty
that accompanies strength and willpower.
April showers didn’t bring May flowers,
but instead hours upon hours of pain
that transformed into days
which have now become months .
i want to be free like the trees
that i now see differently–
change colors like the leaves
and blow wherever the wind takes me,
lighthearted and free
despite what you did to me.

Family Tree

my green-white-green flag superimposes with
red, white, and blue on
dark brown skin,
white teeth,
shining black eyes filled with pride.
i am a rainbow inside and outside
with clouds that try to block my sight
but i still manage to shine.
my heart beat is drum beats
and every time i move my feet,
i commune with the deepest part of me.

i am a little branch on a strong,
deep-rooted tree that has seen centuries
in the same manner i have seen weeks.
i blow in the wind and sometimes
get scared i’ll break away,
that i’ll lose my foundation and be
a lost and scrawny twig,
but stronger portions of my wooden family keep me
hanging on.

my family, wrinkled rings spread out
makes me proud.
i only know the branch on which i rest,
disconnected from the rest,
but estimate that we all share the same breaths,
releasing oxygen from our leaves
and giving life just by living,
turning brighter as seasons alter and get colder,
increasing in strength and resilience as we get older,
stretching ourselves and embedding ourselves into society
by growing from a fragile sapling
into a full-grown tree.

Fall of woMan

i forgot i was alive
until i got goosebumps.
i used to believe that my vitality was at its peak
when hot anger massaged my insides.
but summer has said farewell
and fall poisons my life.
when seasons change,
so do i.
sunshine slips away
and night outlives day.

how i get so much pleasure
from darkness now,
find such softness
in solitude.

parts of me fall off deep-rooted trees
before the leaves
as if we were racing…
“Who can grow the brightest, then die the quickest?”
..I WIN!!!
(at least for now this is true).

however, even in my sunken,
unpredictable moods,
i carry beautiful hues–
colors i never knew existed.
they tint my existence
through that which i exist for,
the craving in me i just can’t ignore.
i HAVE perform.

i need my art like Jimi needed his guitar
and i will play it every which way it allows me to,
turn it upside down and defy convention,
let it pour from all orifices of my body
beginning with my mouth.
i will open it so the blessings of God can spill out.

in case you didn’t know,
the beauty comes from He, not me.
me is a mess and He is complete.
through my work, He strengthens me.
and in His absence, He stretches me
to believe that what He
whispered to me faintly
one night as i wept
will elevate into a shout
that rings infinity decibels loud
so all around
will have to cover their ears.

my transformation is homeless,
but it will find its residence as i
float between lives,
i see beyond eyes,
and when
i won’t need clocks
to know
that it is my time.