Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “power

Wishing for a Kiss


wishing for a kiss like
new toys on Christmas
or mom deciding to do the dishes
or a canceled appointment with the dentist.
i’m innocent but womanish,
beaming like a child
yet unable to control the power and magic
that lies in my hips
and these lips
burn sensually
and they’re asking,
“Will you meet me sometime soon
in the place where the full moon
reflects in the corners of our eyes?
Will you stand so close that our breath takes rides
on the same wavelength,
surfing and crashing
until we stop fasting from touching
and surrender to this feeling of something
exploding, wanting,
not yet needing
but enjoying;
not dirty,
but past the point of clean;
somewhere in between
like and want?”

but what are wants but
persistent whispers of the subconscious
with hot breath on our necks
and words of nonsense?
i will listen til they makes sense
or until the sound gets too intense–
whichever comes first.

hopefully i can tell the difference.


The Power of “Yes”


your eyes reveal as you look down at me
that with your shy politeness,
you could give me
my “yes” back.
my “no” has been ignored in the past,
pushed down so far that screams turned into gasps
and fight melted into surrender,
but for some reason,
i don’t feel like fighting when i see you.
i feel like saying “yes”
and enjoying the way it comes off of my tongue,
how the middle of it raises to the roof of my mouth
to make the “y” sound
and how i have to open my teeth
and let a piece of you in for the “e”
and how my “s” turns to a smile
when you’re around.
yes,
i may let you in and
yes,
the spark in my eye was born when i saw you
and yes,
maybe one day i’ll whisper sweet somethings in your ear
and yes,
i might be silly and imagining that a connection is even here
for you to even ask a question
that would require a positive affirmation
but just in case you do,
my breath, my mouth and my soul
will be ready.


Victim vs. Victimizer


i used to be so afraid of you, man.
my biggest fear for so long
was running into you on a dark street,
alone and scared with no one to help me
and no options of what to do;
that i would be forced to be victim once more
to the fleeting whims
you love to succumb to.

but you looked so weak–
more like a house mouse than a dirty rat,
more afraid of me than i am of you.
as you stood staring at me, i smelled that
fear was seeping out of your pores
and your pheromones filled the air,
and just like how you treated me–
they stunk.
but they gave me strength to continue
to stand taller
and feel stronger
as you stared at the woman whose life you ruined
for a little while but whose smile
now lives on.

i have become superhuman.
i am stretching back to the size
i’m supposed to be in this world,
reclaiming my territory
that you so selfishly stole,
and now you have no control.
what you did
has no control.
the pain you caused
has no control.
growing my strength and power
is my ultimate goal
and i am closer to it now
more than ever.

arch nemesis,
i’ve fantasized for many days and nights
of the different ways i could end your life,
but now i laugh at you.
you thought you would ruin me,
tried to take the best of me,
but now if finally see
that God was just preparing me.
where i’m going
i gotta have my powers to know
that whatever blow comes my way,
i’m meant to feel the pain today
so that i can see tomorrow clearly.
tomorrow, i will look at the scars of tears and sorrow
and not repeat the mistakes of yesterday
but fly away without looking back.

thank you for helping me
sprout wings on my back.


Me…It’s What’s For Dinner


SATURN DEVOURING HIS CHILDREN (1824) by Francisco de Goya.

i am a lovely dish
on a porcelain dinner plate.
who has the pleasure of devouring me tonight?
is it lust?
on some nights, that answer would be right,
but this time the diner is one
with a more refined taste.
his name is ambition
and he drools as he stares at my face.
he prefers to eat me raw like oysters on a half shell,
relishes in my taste and puts me through hell.
i wish the roles were reversed–
that i could be sitting in a fine dining establishment
and order plates of ambition to my heart’s content.
i would eat like a glutton and be worry-free,
having taken control of what controls me.
but of course this is just a dream–
ambition bites my head so i can’t concentrate,
then he plays with my body as he scrapes the plate.
is it too late to decide
that i don’t want to be consumed?
or will i forever be confined
to this miserable doom?
i am food,
meant to be chewed and digested
by plans that i myself suggested.
although it hurts to be bitten
by my own brainchild,
there’s no place i’d rather be right now.
i am in a time of transition,
not fully cooked
but attractive enough to be eaten,
strong enough to be on the plate
and not lying in a corner beaten.
i have this plan…
since i taste rather delicious,
once ambition has scarfed me down
and scraped all the dishes,
i will cause a chemical reaction in his insides
and play with the pool
where his stomach acid resides.
i will swim there and cause a riot
until he realizes all too late
that he can’t tolerate me in his diet.
from there he will regurgitate
and i will come out victorious
before it’s too late.
i am not just a lovely dish
on a porcelain dinner plate,
but one who has learned to wait
until the appropriate time and hour to fight.

i am not one to be devoured.
i sit at the table tonight
and i have the power.


Flower Power


i have to love life
because it slips away every day.
there’s no time to be angry at my existence
when each day i awake
a day closer to death.
i am a budding flower.
i was tight with my fulfillment at the beginning,
played everything too close to the chest
and cried over my thorns.
but as my petals unfold
and i become more fragile,
i am beautiful.
i release scents that are unique
and prove to those who ask “what use are flowers?”
that they could find the answer by witnessing me.
my petals fall in the form
of loss of trust and hurt and disappointment
but i widen with acceptance and love
and continue to grow and grow.


This Big Ol’ Booty of Mine


upheld fists in the air no longer capture
all of what is me.
my booty holds the power
in this butt-clenching society.
in a world that is straight and narrow,
my backside is characterized by curves.
it stays full even when i am empty,
keeps me conscious of what’s behind me
as i move forward.

this big ol’ booty of mine,
a source of self-consciousness at one time,
is now where i hold my pride.
each cheek is a container for my accomplishments.
i am woman all the way
as this convex cavern of flesh sits heavily
between the stretch of my hips.
oh the miles we have seen
as we traveled one step at a time
and sometimes sprinted
on journeys of discovery:
stopping to rest on sex
and then rising on beauty,
making trips again and again
to find and redefine my identity.

today this version of me
loves her big ol’ booty.
i embrace it in all of its round glory
and know that i don’t need
affirmation or compliments
to be content.
even when i want to be stiff, it shakes
causing an earthquake that makes heads turn
in the aftershock of my presence.
i used to call it a curse
but now unwrap it like a present.
God put His foot in it when He made me
sweeter than molasses and thick as an oak tree.
each curve on me
represents the hurdles i complete.

one day all women
will turn their necks to look
at what rests between their backs and their legs
and re-awaken that section
that we all at one time
allowed to be dead.
there is power in resurrection
and in the connection to my beautiful body–
my skin, my smile, my hair,
my breasts, my eyes, my hips
and even my belly
but most of all
this big ol’ booty.


I Can Teach People


*Written July 1, 2008*

i’m so scared to open up my mouth and speak
i guess for fear of the responsibility that comes with using my words.
words are so strong and so powerful
and i’m afraid of misusing them, of abusing them
of them being weapons of mass destruction in an effort to just provide instruction
or at least inclusion into the mass of thoughts in my head that run
cuz for real, who am i to be teaching anyone?
my areas of expertise are sheisty at the least:
i can show someone how to fall, get up, and fall again,
i can show others how to lose touch with close friends,
i can teach others to put themselves in dangerous situations
and have to learn things the hard way,
i can teach people how to live with pain,
i can teach people how to run from dreams,
i can teach people to put up fronts to convince others
that they are really as happy as they seem,
i can teach people to be numb,
i can teach people to play dumb,
i can teach people to love,
i can teach people to trust,
i can teach people to express,
i can teach people to digest,
i can teach people to accept tests,
i can teach people that they really are blessed,
after examining this list, maybe i am kind of equipped.
i just want my tongue to be an impetus for growth and not an invitation to diversion.
i want my tongue to be medicine for brokenness and ointment for hurting.
i want my tongue to be an extension of God, evidence of His miracles and truth.
it’s done so much damage in the past–
broken hearts, cut people it claimed to care about
but now i want my tongue to represent a voice that represents my choice
to love, to build, to change, to teach
and to speak.