Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “life

It’s Funny


it’s funny how
people mirror us more than we ever know;
it’s funny how
if we don’t ever cry, our spirits die and we don’t grow.
it’s funny how
our words to some act as seeds;
it’s funny how
what we want differs from what we need.
it’s funny how
friends you think will always be there sometimes disappear;
it’s funny how
when you’re at your lowest, your family is near.
it’s funny how
you can go from being so happy to being sad;
it’s funny how
people leaving your life isn’t always bad.


Writer’s Wish


i wish i could write for days,
then write some more.
only stop to eat words
and drink metaphors.
bathe in poetry,
lather with lines laden with alliteration
and life-giving meaning,
rinse with prose
(because as a writer, i’m supposed to be well-rounded),
and lay down in free-verse
and have words be my lullabies.

i wish i could take the time to be dumbfounded by life,
pause for a few moments to enjoy what i like,
stop running and just
write.
free myself and others.
or maybe just myself.
and others could read and listen if they like,
but if they don’t,
i’ll still write,
laugh a little,
cry when truth is revealed,
heal.


From the Day We Met (Haikus)


from the day we met,

God has grown closer to me

indefinitely.

 

from the day we met,

past pain doesn’t feel so bad;

smiles have replaced tears.

 

from the day we met,

“more than i ever prayed for”

is how i see life.

 

from the day we met,

i lose myself in laughter

and love feels so good.

 

from the day we met,

each time i look in your eyes,

my heart skips a beat.

 

from the day we met,

my life hasn’t been the same.

i’ll never look back!


Aunt Sarah’s Chirren


Photo by Brandon Allen Photography

what are my chirren’s names?
i done had so many,
seen lives blow through wind like ragweed, mm hmm.
my woman-parts at one time were like
a train station–
men whistlin’, comin’ and leavin’.
i never loved the ones who came,
but the ones who left?
chiiiillle,
they carry pieces of my heart with them in their pockets,
pull me out of their wallets like crisp dollar bills at the liquor sto’
and roll me and smoke me in their funny cigarettes.
baby, i am like ash,
shakin’ free,
black and grayish-white,
once on fire
but lookin closer to death than life.


Unsettled (for Jarronn)


there is something unsettling
about young life lost in its prime
like all sugar sinking to bottom of lemonade glass
or shredded gritty leaves escaping tea bags,
sneaking on tongue;
like a bitter horse pill too hard to swallow on first attempt,
resulting in lingering taste
water won’t wash away.

looking at an older face of the dead,
although deeply sad,
still sometimes provides the comfort of knowing
that they at least had the chance to live a full life:
to experience highs and lows,
to birth children and watch them grow,
to fail and still have years to bounce back,
have a chance to fail again,
suffer consequence, repent
and change for better.

but looking at a picture of a young face–
an image captured shortly before spirit slipped away
is like having a dream of losing all one’ s teeth
and waking up to discover
that they’re actually cracked and gone;
a reminder that one day we’ll all be gone,
that no one’s time on this earth is too long
and that for many,
it’s too short,
lost at an age
too young.


The Time of the Month Blues


pain, cramping, bloating;
blood clots, tear drops, emoting;
gas pain, headache, egg waste.

void of child and patience;
one more month of freedom;
emotional clock still works
(strong batteries run in my family).

caged body, sweaty forehead, foreign smell;
gross-feeling, penis-envying, horny as hell;
quiet, reflective, sensitive.

28 days are not long enough.
7 days are just too much.
but at least I’m still young enough–
either that or life has a slow way of catching up.

whatever it is,
whenever it is this time of the month,
my heavy breasts make my heart sink a little;
each body part that once was little
grows before my eyes
as my capacity to deal with it all shrinks.

potential life exits
only to recreate its possibility
again and again.


Sincerity


on my birthday,

i got a long voicemail from a friend.

midnight approached as i lay in my bed listening.

in the message, one thing she said was:

“I’m happy you’re alive…”

to my surprise came unexpected tears.

maybe it was how her voice cracked when she said it,

showing her sincerity

or just that

when someone who knows exactly how

close

you’ve been to death

acknowledges just how

far

you’ve come

simply by still being here,

life seems even more

extraordinary.