Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “thought

Pyrophobiac


there are some people who honestly believe that
if they focus intently enough,
they can make the flame of a candle
rise and fall with their thoughts.
much too often, i have been a fool,
played the fool for that same trap,
thinking that i can create sparks in acquainted hearts,
mistaking kindness for interest
and my loneliness for the possibility of love.
once a pyromaniac,
i now flee from fire,
keep an extinguisher on my back
and with it, i aim and fire
at possibilities,
the potential for romantic stories,
trapped in the fog of my history,
chest burning too painfully to see reality.
i no longer even attempt to stare,
have substituted my gaze for a blank empty glare
like a blind woman who has miraculously regained her sight
but still wears sunglasses because
she’s used to not opening her eyes.

is my fear that the future is too bright
or that all will be white?
absence of color,
absence of hope,
no patience to stare at fire,
seeking another foolish hobby
like solitude.


Soul Vagabond


sometimes i can’t surpass the thought
that i am incomplete,
that there is something
wrong with me
because as much as i desperately need
and want certain things
in my life i am left with my hands empty.
my mind is full but my soul is hungry,
panhandling for fulfillment,
writing signs for help,
and sleeping in the cold with no avail.
i pray for the day when i won’t fail
to appreciate my personality and life,
when i won’t look as my imperfections as
additions to the list of issues i need to fix,
but that i will embrace them,
wear them proudly
and love them as much as
i want someone to love me.


The Miracle of Inspiration


have you ever been so inspired that your body goes into shock?
like regular thought becomes as difficult as
a mandatory marathon to run right after
stuffing your face at Mickey D’s
and regardless of how hard you lift and drop your feet to
move miles away from the inspiration,
it chases you and reminds you to breathe
in and out the fresh air of new ideas.
ideas are like sewing machines,
systematically stitching together
the ripped up pieces of my life.
it’s simple–
that break-up was a zipper and
that trauma was a button and
graduating from college was a French seam,
a rare kind of luxuruy.

after receiving the aforementioned inspiration,
i came home to find that my diploma arrived that day–
evidence that after 6 years of undergrad,
i finally did graduate.
the diploma sat in a slim cylindirical cardboard cage
tightly locked by metal on both sides like a jail cell,
showing me that the things worth fighting for
are often attained by busting through doors.
my father pried at this almost impossible-to-open container
with a knife barely able to contain
his excitement
to witness firsthand the evidence
of his oldest daughter’s accomplishment.
he noted that he was more anxious than me
and worked carefully,
cutting around the metal circle on what he guessed was the up-side.
when he finally gets it open, he slides
the shiny thick piece of paper rolled up like a poster out
and begins to read each Old English font typed word out
loud.
his eyes tear up when he gets to the name
that he gave me almost 24 years before:
Farah Lolade Lawal,
which literally means
“Joy” “Wealth has come” “The first”
and i stop being stuck on my earlier inspiration.
then i realize that i am his inspiration
and that i am living out dreams he never could.
i too get excited about the piece of paper that was paid for
by thousands of dollars, tears and sleepless nights.
so reading in unison with my Daddy like we did when i was 5,
i begin to appreciate every letter, word, phrase and signature
and i vow on this night
to continue to reach for greatness,
to not only be inspired by others but
to be inspiration.