Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “running

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.


Happy Medium


is there a happy medium between
fully following God
and running away from him,
fleeing desperately in the opposite direction?
if there is,
i think it is called
“life”.


The Race


my friend said
that if things don’t go right with this election,
he’ll be the one
to start the revolution.
he’s tired of runnin.
being born with non-caucasian skin
in this country
is like putting a number on your front and back
and running a triathlon for a gold medal
you’ll never get.
the cops shoot the gun
to tell us when to lift our feet and focus our attention.
some runners get shot while others get spat on
without the option of joining in the competition.
and some get murked while they
sit on the side tying their shoes and stretching to prepare.
they were doing so well,
but now they’re not here.
what would the revolution consist of?
i don’t know but if it happens,
at least i’ll be moving, running,
no longer stuck in a cardboard box
that will really be too hot
if things don’t go right.
tonight i will prepare myself for the possibility of
having to move my feet,
staying hopeful but contemplating carefully
the revolution that could be sparked
in a moment of defeat.


Relationship Counseling (Revised 7-23-08)


there’s so much for me to learn
and i just feel like there’s never enough
time.
time escapes me–
it is a fugitive prisoner in my life, running
and running,
and i get tired of chasing.
i’m not used to keeping up with time.
it’s a sprinter
and i’m not trained for speed.
i prefer to walk
when time dodges me.
it’s used to escaping the best,
putting people who consider themselves athletes
to a true, nearly impossible test.
time i wish existed solely in my mind
but it is a reality, leaving me
in the dust choking.

where did my time go?
did it disappear into thin air like smoke or
is it fogging my eyes, clouding my mind, stinging my brain?
i wish i could contain
the seconds, subdue
the minutes, force
the hours
to submit to my command.
i wish i could make friends with time and hold its hand–
walk in friendship and feel like we’re in this
together, me and time,
the best of buddies in rain or shine,
but then reality sets in
and i look around and realize
that me and time are no longer companions walking freely.
time has run away,
moved on to the next thing
and i’m looking for what direction it went in,
searching the ground for footprints,
for some sort of sign.

where did you go, time?
did i offend you? did i misuse you
and now you’re staying away from me for a while?
look, i’m sorry i abused you.
i didn’t mean to neglect you
for things that seemed,
well, more
urgent.
i thought you would always be there,
waiting in the wings, a constant in my life.
i didn’t know that you would grow weary,
get old and even one day perish.
people say you fly but instead you
die,
falling down never to be revived
moving on to those who consider you alive.
resurrect, please,
let me do with you what I should have done
and make a commitment for you to be my husband.
time, i will love you if you come back.
spend my focus figuring out how to make me and you
more effective,
work on our relationship and communicate with you
so that you will be a positive factor in all that i do.

time, i want to love you, but it is so difficult
because you’re always rushing,
never around for as long as i want you to be.
i look up from my sleep and you are gone
and i am late for work.
i look up from my selfishness and there you are,
walking away with my loved one.
i look up from my procrastination and
you are jumping out of the window with my goals.
time, you are control.
tell me what you it is,
what i’m supposed to be doing right now.
i’m a novice at dealing with you
and i need your guidance because i feel you
disappearing,
i don’t know you anymore
and all i see is your shadow fading in the opposite direction.
i’m hoping i see you tomorrow because you’re disintegrating today.

oh my,
time
just slipped away.


Wild is the Wind


*Written June 30, 2008*

i remember rain,
summer shower at dusk.
there were feet running,
people trying to get out of the downpour for cover.
but i stood out in the rain searching for love,
hoping the drops on my head
would translate into love in my heart,
that the water would quench the yearning.
but the more it rained, the more i was thirsty, the more i felt lost.
a monsoon is what i wanted.
i wanted the rain to wash away my past
but instead it took over my future.

now i can’t stand the smell.
summer rain on warm sidewalks and i want to run for cover.
i feel like i got washed away too
like somehow along with my makeup and wet kisses and my pearl earring,
my mind ran out of my ears and into the storm drain.

i just wanted love
or at least the feeling.
false love turned to shivers,
leisure to running, moaning to screaming,
fun to anger, passion to fear.
i lost myself…
and all the time i thought i knew me
but all i knew was the wind,
the wind blowing past covering me with what i thought i wanted.

it wasn’t love.
it was just a storm.
i mistook the sound of thunder for my heartbeat.
i mistook my fear for the wind
and when the winds calmed, i shivered and could not stop.
now i shiver even when it’s not raining.