Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “sleep

Long Time No Poetry

i resisted you for a while
and now that i’m letting you back in,
you seem to flood and nourish my insides
like much-needed rain.
old tricks no longer put me to sleep–
fingers can get sticky
and room can begin to fill with
aromatic citrus sweet musk;
body can relax,
but mind and heart fills up
with words.

Insomnia Haikus

explored the future;
caught back up with the present–
sleepless and tired.

i got all dressed up
in my birthday suit and yawn.
sleep forgot to come.

under my eyelids,
dreams are ready to be born;
no contractions yet.

Thought Terrorism

i do not want to be alone
with my own
they imprison me,
rape my day-to-day and invade
the wall of normalcy
that i build around me;
they kick the backs of my eyes
until tears start to form;
they tap dance in my throat
and tie knots too difficult to loosen
with my little tense fingers;
they hijack my trains of current thoughts
just when i am speaking midsentence, smiling
and talking on the surface
about surface topics
like my weekend.

what if i escaped them?
closed my eyes and locked
them out of my
brain so that i could
sleep soundly at night
and wake up feeling relaxed
and go about my days calmly;
so i could spend a day liesurely
without having a list of what i should be doing
appear before me;
so that i could smile and mean it,
live each moment honestly
and be free from what once controlled me.

Midnight Eyes

midnight eyes with dew on lashes
wish for love in the daylight–
a reason to burst with emotion
other than anger or tantrum.
if love were a tantrum,
how would it express its youth?
would it stomp hearts and scream obscenities such as
“Don’t leave me!” or “I need you?”
or would it just stream down tears of joy
and sit in a corner of the world known by most
but frowned upon
once left?

midnight eyes dream of stories in books
transformed into reality
so that days become pages
turned slowly and dog-eared for later reference,
an experience that good.
“That’s good,”
midnight eyes whisper when viewing
movies with method actors using realism
to display fantasy only realized in screens.

midnight eyes want to become alive,
want fiction to turn real–
not “keep it real” real,
but “blood pouring out of feet when glass is stepped on” real;
undeniable like the hour when yawns take over energy
and eyes get droopy until morning.

midnight eyes do not want to wake
until full moons shine too bright
and stars sink into sight lines without effort.
until then, midnight eyes stay closed
until sunrise.


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.

Love Experience Part 1

when i sleep,
i drool enough to keep a goldfish alive for the night.
one morning, i awoke
with my wet cheek attached to the bare chest
of my man holding me tight.
he opened his eyes and looked down,
then took one hand,
wiped the drool off,
kissed me on my forehead
and went back to sleep.

and i felt love.

The Politics of Need

i love hard so
to know this is true,
i’ll need you to love me
more than i love you,
to hold me tight
and let me breathe
and treat me right
and show me things.
i am vivid dreamer so
i will need you to see me in your sleep
more than i see you,
to picture me flying without falling
and beautiful in the midst of nonsense.
i am needy so
i’m gonna need you to stand on your own two,
to inspire me to walk instead of crawl
and when i fall, to pull me toward you.
even though i don’t need you
i’mma need you to need to
love me
and hold me
and need me
and teach me
to need me