Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “night

Shadows


when i was a little girl,
i was not afraid of the dark,
but of shadows.
cluttered closet in Mama’s room
influenced the curious mind of a girl
too soon scared of the unknown.

i saw witches,
evil ones with big noses
and if i closed my eyes for long enough,
i could kind of hear them cackling.
maybe they concocted brews
and poured them into my orifices
once my restless eyes were rescued by sleep.

that is the only reason i can think of
as to why twenty years later,
shadows in my cluttered bedroom
make me turn on night lights.
shadows turn into figures in my overactive sight
and figures transform into men
lurking on the corners of my memory.
only this night,
i win.
i will sleep.


Fireflies


i wish i could take
the sensuous gravity of this night
in my hands and place it softly inside a clear jar
to keep for our remembrance.
we innocently brush one another like fireflies.
i cautiously beg you to look at my light
and i flicker in ways i thought were shut off.
let’s not let our air supply get cut off.
this jar has holes cut in its lid;
hopefully reality still finds its way in
so that we invite our brains into our hearts’ decisions.
this encasement, although small,
does not feel like prison,
but freedom.
free me as you hold me,
hold me,
hold me,
and when it’s time to let go,
do so
and let me fly
until we meet again,
my more than friend.fireflies


Night Haiku


twilight on my tongue
and stars twinkling in my eyes–
you have made my night.


I Have a Present


where do i put all of this anger?
sometimes i hide it away in my heart
because it seems like the safest place,
but late at night,
it leaks out and keeps me awake.
so where can i put it?
maybe i can wrap it in metallic paper
and hand it off like a surprise gift to a stranger
and just as they’re saying “Thank you!”
i’ll say “See you later!”
and never have to see my soul’s bitterness
again.
but even then,
i think karma would catch up to me.
like right now, i’m running
but when i get tired feet,
i’ll have to rest.
i love the outdoors so i’ll sit on a park bench
enjoying the sun,
look up to observe a seemingly friendly someone
walking toward me bearing
an attractive gift wrapped with a ribbon
that they claim is supposed to be
mine.
and innocently,
i’ll open it
and be shocked to see
one more time
that anger lives
and always finds
a way to come back
to my tumultuous life.


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.

damn.
i miss my friend.


Booty Call


you say that you enjoy my presence in your life,
but for some reason, i can’t figure out why
you only wanna see me
at night.
i prefer nice lunches
and holding hands in the street
but you seem more into
groping hands on my curves
at hours when most people sleep.
i don’t get it–
i look at myself in the mirror
and see pretty staring back at me
but when you stare at me,
all you see is pussy.
i think you need glasses maybe,
bifocals so you can experience more than one type of sight,
so you can really see clearly that my heart is light,
my mind is bright,
and that i am too full of treasures
to only be desired
at night.


December Showers


even though it’s cold outside,
i crave spring-time love.
not out of necessity,
but the pure, simple complexity:
energy rushing through the beats in my chest
and spreading to an extra sway in my hips
and curve in my smile
and spark in my eye.
even though my skin is now dry,
i feel like sticky pre-summer nights that never end,
where the sky stays the same foggy blue for hours
and midnight conversations buzz
and enlighten in my ears
like fireflies.

i wish it could be spring all year…
the beginning of flings and i don’t even care
if they disappear by Labor Day.
but i guess if it weren’t for barren winters
and handsome smiles without words to follow
and today communication that results in
uninterested tomorrows,
i wouldn’t care about the weather.

i want to be seasoned with rain that’s fun to run through
and kisses of potential and hands held for first times
and dances without music.
i’m counting down months until my next season change
and hoping it comes sooner
than when the weather man claims
cuz it might be winter outside of my window
but it can still be warm in my heart.
wind can chill me in climates where i have to wear my coat
but sunshine can fill my throat
and sing the most beautiful songs
(even if they are off-key).

i feel like a spring-time love,
not out of necessity but pure luxury,
boredom, entitlement, fulfillment
and simplicity.
energy rush through me
and change this weather like fall leaves
and leave me satisfied
as summer tip-toes with holes in her socks while
temperatures are increasing
so that like a bear hibernating,
i would have stocked up on enough love
to carry me over to days when the sun
stays up late because even she can’t resist the temptation
of the rush that comes
from spring.


Diary of an Insomniac


i don’t sleep anymore
and i’m scared i’m gonna crack.
my body is slowly decomposing;
my mind is dry, thirsty soil
and my pillow is fertilizer but the smell
keeps me away.

..gotta stay busy…
gotta gotta gotta gotta
get goals accomplished.
who cares if i have been awake so long
that i can no longer focus?
keep working
even though i can no longer see straight.

every time i check the time,
i see that it’s too late
but i can’t seem to get my feet to touch the floor
to walk to bed.
plans rule the insides of my head
and i suffer from unfinished ones.
they are barrels to guns that rub my temples
and trace the outsides of my mouth.
i’m so tired that tears won’t even come out.
they stay in to assist in the caging in
of the insomnia that has overtaken me.
this altered state is pressure-filled
and i don’t know where it’s taking me.
all i know is that i feel verrry verrry sleeeeepy

and it’s already morning.


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.


Incognito


at night, i feel hesitant
about the confines
of tomorrow’s business suit.
i’d rather be barefoot
or better yet swimming,
traveling laps as i count
the waves of the sea.
but we don’t always get what we want,
do we?
my pinstripes are jail stripes
and i wish to break free
but it’s hard to wave goodbye to benefits
with today’s economy.
so to my cubicle cell i report early in the morning,
knowing that the stars will soon come
and i will join my nebulous family
in the galaxy–
we will soar past impossibility,
bursting in the heavenly skies to be seen
by everybody.
right now i am discrete
as to not alert those around
that they have a comet in their midst.
i keep a low profile, smiling politely
all the while knowing that when evening comes
i might be flying…
in my dreams i am climbing,
eyes closed because even i
am not yet adjusted to the shining.
i am stepping on the footstools of regularity,
grabbing onto the rope of extraordinary,
making my home high up in the atmosphere
and saying goodbye to everything
that rests here.


Night Journeys


i learned a long time ago
to not get my hopes up
when i have dreams
about men.
what i see in my sleep
always seems to negate reality,
tricks me into pondering possibilities
of relationships that will never be.
my dreams make a fool of me,
bringing to life my innermost desires,
thoughts that remain unspoken.
they are like gossiping, so-called friends
who pretend
to be confidants
only to get the goods on me.
these night journeys are no good for me.
maybe tonight i’ll move one step ahead
and refuse to go to bed,
let my eyes get heavy with hunger for sleep
while inwardly finally feeling
peace.

Club Confessions


we are the zombies.
we come alive at night.
we are invisible men and women during the day,
but as darkness falls, we get carried away.
we come out dressed in our best,
hoping to locate the missing piece of our puzzle of unrest.
we are zombies
searching for fun,
reaching for fulfillment,
doing the thriller dance on the floor,
allowing our bodies and minds to explore
possibilities…
“Will you come home with me?”
“Will you buy me a drink?”
“Will you remember me and call tomorrow?”
hopefully this drink will drown out my sorrow.
hopefully these clothes will make me look less hollow.
hopefully with my dark shades in this dark place,
no one will be able to see my face
to know that i am a zombie.
i am the walking deceased,
bobbing my head to bass beats,
sweating in the stiff stench of body heat,
trying incessantly to find me.
i look in each corner,
squinting my eyes and searching hard,
trying to discover humanity but all i see is a graveyard
with the risen dead all around.
i’m searching for the sun
but all i see is clouds.
i start running to recover the rest of myself
but i slip on spilled drinks on the ground.
i’m trying to speak and hear my own voice
but it’s drowned out by the sound
of bodies shuffling feet and grinding, rubbing for the feel of romance,
of hip-hop melodies and a DJ yelling loud tellin me to raise my hands
and a population of people participating in each empty-headed, mindless dance
til the point that i can’t stand the fact that
i left home as a human being
and now i’m a zombie.


Her Night


being alone let’s me
hear and see
things I never noticed
were there.
it’s kinda nice
being able to check in with me
and not think about others
for a while,
to feel stillness and my feet on the ground,
observe this life I thought was ugly and horrific
and somehow
see beauty,
to be somewhat
on the road to rediscovering me…
maybe she
is hiding in leaky roofs and buzzing insects
and noisy cars that pass by, or
maybe she is in a white night light
or the bluish purple sky.
i think
i have a chance of finding her
if i sit still enough and observe,
maybe i can feel her if I understand
that me is her
and her hurts
but she still lives
and her has been hustled and abused
but she still gives
and her wants to give up
but she is still here
with her feet on the ground,
observing the sights and sounds
of a night as beautiful as she
wishes she could be
again.


The Peace Eclipse


i saw an orange moon tonight
and something within me got memorized like
the moon symbolized hope.
at first i thought it was the sun,
about to set and disappear into the sky
but when i realized
it was the moon hanging low,
i felt different inside.

something about brightness in the middle of darkness
shows me that even in the darkness
of my mental situation,
even in the instability of my choice of occupation,
even in the fact that i want sunshine and life is still raining,
there is light.

there is peace that surrounds me no matter where i drive.
i look up and it’s in front of me.
i speed off and it’s behind me.
i go left and it’s beside me.
peace that’s eternal, not just nocturnal like the moon,
not here for a few days and then there’s change
like the lunar cycle, but
something in rare form
like actually being present to watch a caterpillar transform
into a butterfly,
like a concert without sound
or like truly making mama proud,
it feels as if the clouds
over my head just dissipated.

i’ve anticipated
peace
for a long time
and perhaps if i could look up
and see an orange moon on a tired night,
maybe peace is not too far away
because i just got a glimpse of what it looks like today.
i just hope it won’t shift like this eclipse,
that it won’t be a singular occurrence
in the pages of my life
or something i can only achieve
in the poems that i write
because i need it in my mind, in my words, and in my thoughts.
i need peace to envelop me like nectar on tree bark,
sticking to my heart
and rubbing off on whoever i touch.

i need peace so much
that you can just call me Middle East,
you can just call me ghetto streets,
you can just call me New York City police.
i only want drama on the stage these days–
i want the inner tragedies, satires and farces to go far away,
for them to be so drastically removed
that i’m naked enough for my skin to touch
the cool calm breeze
accompanied
by a leisurely drive
and an orange moon in the sky
that on this night
equaled
peace.