Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “truth

Defiance


i know the rules,
but i don’t care.
i have memorized the stipulations of life,
studied them to find out why they apply
but at the end of the day,
i just want things my way.

is that wrong?
what does your reply matter anyway?
i hate to be rude or hurt feelings
but i’ve finally reached a point
where i can decipher my feelings from fact,
can tell the difference between myself
and how i’ve been told i should act
and i only have enough energy to pretend on stage.

truth hurts others
but to me, it is freeing.
come smile at the sunshine with me,
who smiles for the self that was too scared
to even look out the window,
let alone step outside
to stare at the sky.


I May Get Lonely Sometimes


i may get lonely sometimes,
question the love of those around me,
long for the feeling of arms around me–
circling, grasping, speaking in the form of squeezing
and making me feel safe in this dangerous world.
but i’m not alone.

i have known alone,
moved into a room in her home,
making my bed every morning
until i was evicted by joy,
pulled out kicking and screaming by love,
and left on the street disappointed by the affirmation
that at times,
i will be lonely
even when i am surrounded by love
from those around me.

you see,
loneliness doesn’t depend on the outside conditions.
loneliness is birthed when a piece of your heart is missing.
beats don’t occur at the same time rhythm
and if you stay there long enough,
you become a victim.

i may get lonely sometimes,
even cry sometimes
and i’ve wept sometimes
and i’ve wanted to die sometimes
but the love that i feel at times
make all those feelings a waste of time,
make me feel like if i just had some time
to count all the times
where i received love i didn’t deserve,
was reminded of my self-worth,
succeeded when life didn’t seem to work
and healed beautifully from pain that hurt me,
then lonely wouldn’t even be
an issue.

i may get lonely sometimes,
but i am filled with love that pushes out emotion
and shines light on truth like
being lonely gives me time to think
and being lonely lets me discover me
and being lonely makes me appreciate company
and laughter and life and love
even more.

so here is to my lonely sometimes.
you will not hold me down this time.
love will prevail
and so will i.


Ambulatory Announcement


one day i’m gonna walk away from it all.
leave squeaky chair spinning in cubicle
and pictures on the wall
and expectations of success
and bill collector calls
and dreams that are too far to reach
and grab them as if all
that mattered
was honoring me.

i’m gonna walk away,
maybe even run,
not caring if i break the heels on my black leather pumps
or get runs in itchy stockings that were never met to fit me.
i won’t answer phones politely,
won’t smile without meaning,
will cry when i feel like it
and speak the truth as if
life still depended on it.

i’m not happy.

i feel like walking,
jogging, or maybe even driving
til i run out of gas
and can no longer recognize the surroundings
outside of the glass
that separates me from reality.
one day i’m gonna walk instead of sit,
act instead of talk,
speak instead of staying quiet,
scream instead of staying silent,
stop living so publicly and
respect myself enough to be private.

tiptoes are all they see now
but in my soul
i am walking,
even climbing,
drowning but surviving,
heart faint but still thriving
and growing despite being
the uprooted plant that i am.

i don’t want to wait for “one day”
so maybe i’ll just
put one foot in front of the other today
and see what happens.
movement is innate
and i’m spiraling back to my own nature
and the essence of my humanity
beyond infancy,
crawling, crying, standing,
losing balance and falling
but taking that final leap
and walking.


Un-Masterpiece


this poem won’t be remembered.
i guarantee it won’t be a masterpiece
but it very well may be
the most honest piece
of writing i have yet to complete.

there’s a passion burning in me
so strong and fiery
that i can’t do daily activities
because my fingers are singed with third degree burns
of what God whispered to me.
i would do it for free,
scour the streets looking for pennies to sustain me
and eat crumbs that fall from heaven
if that was all there was to feed me…
hypothetically.

the truth is that my pride consumes me
as does fear.
i lack faith that i will ever do any better
than what exists here
and can’t trust that which i don’t see.
does that make me faithless?
maybe,
possibly,
or more frankly,
certainly.
i lost trust in a God that i loved because
He disappointed me
and i can’t help but think that if He,
all knowing and loving
let me face such pain and anguish,
that life can’t get any better
than it is now.

i am Atlas,
pushing a boulder that threatens to crush me.
i am Jonah,
stuck in the belly of a whale of irresponsibility.
i wish i could be Jesus
but sacrifice seems just too much for me.
the passion burns me
and i possess the hose to put myself out
but don’t believe the water will really shoot out.
so i walk with half empty buckets
held by a broomstick across my back
and earn splinters in my shoulders and neglect that causes death
all because i am too scared to live.

what kind of punishment is this?
self-inflicted.
what kind of nonsense is this?
ruled by fear,
ignited by dreams
that seem too far away to touch
because i am afraid to reach.


Throw Shoes


i wish i was brave enough to throw shoes
and yell out the truth.
i am a quiet soldier,
one who wears a uniforms with ribbons of
unknown significance.
one who marches and stomps loudly
only when among comrades
but when in enemy territory, holds back,
fearing that people might get mad and attack.
i have guns that i don’t know how to use,
and am still too scared to throw shoes,
bullets i am scared to load
and fingers that are too shaky to pull triggers.
i get smaller as fear gets bigger.
i shrink and my mind deadens
and my heart slows and the next thing you know,
i am not even a fighter at all,
would be exaggerating to even call myself
a soldier.


Note of Confession


i am by no means perfect.
if i wanted to be fair i would
write out a list of my flaws
and hand it to all who wish to get involved
in any shape or fashion
with me.

i want to guard my heart but
feel i should be straight up–
stop eager and expecting souls
from getting their hopes up,
shrink their enthusiasm
so it can’t change to disappointment
as they wait for phones to ring
and emails to be answered
and schedules to clear up
and get disappointed
like a teenager waiting up
for Santa Claus.

i wear a costume of love,
the cape of the concerned
and my powers are proving to be ineffective.
i want to care
but i am stretched in so many ways
that my strength is diluted.
my mind is polluted
with thoughts of me and what i need
and when i see how many times i have hurt others,
my eyes bleed.
i apply the hydrogen peroxide of pride
and keep it moving;
regret leaves me stuck on dance floors
but i keep on grooving,
two-stepping toward a brighter tomorrow.

maybe next week, i’ll be able to balance my life
and the hearts i have borrowed
and forgotten to return
like old library books
whose fees are increasing.
i feel the urgency caused by time decreasing
and life depleting
and relationships screaming for attention.

i write notes to confess to them:
the individuals i have hurt
and those who haven’t felt it yet
and somehow when they are read,
the ones who truly care
love me no less.

maybe there is hope.


Candy Store Love


my big sis who i admire
laughingly told me that she’s thankful
God married her off early
because truth be told,
if He didn’t, she would be
a hoe and a half.

then i laughingly, but honestly told her
that it’s better God didn’t marry me off early
because if He did, i would be
a headache and a half.
and not only that, but also
a cheater.
i’m halfway ashamed to admit that,
to confess that i still view life as a candy store
and every day my tastes change:

sometimes i want chocolate, lots of it….
smooth, rich and soft.
the kind so delicious
that i let it melt in my hands on purpose
so i can lick it off
my fingers then let it live on
my tongue
right before i lay down to sleep
so that when i wake up, i still taste the
flavor in the morning;
darkness so attractive and velvety and sweet
to the point that it kind of hurts my teeth
when i bite into it.
i sometimes want love so strong
that i get in fights with my dentist
because each time i visit,
i have more cavities and he keeps warning me
to slow down as to not rot my teeth
with the indulgence of one
who is just too much for me.

then other days,
i’m in the mood for bubble gum.
the kind that is yummy and fruity
when i first taste it,
but after it gets stale in a little while,
i can without reservation
just spit it out
and unwrap a new piece.
no commitment because each taste
is just a piece
of a sequence of satisfaction
ruled by the cravings of me.
i can hang on a little longer than necessary
if i want
or discard the love i have chewed up
while multitasking
and not even have to listen
when he is asking
why our love has dried up.

i want my love to be sweet and colorful,
sugary and tangy,
different with every taste.
so the idea of marriage at this time
sounds like kind of a waste.
i do not by any means
view this type of union
as absurd or senseless
for one day, i want to be a Mrs.
rather than an M-I-S-S
but as i grow to know me,
i see that less and less
do i want to be held down
by having the same dessert daily.
i want love to entertain me
like a court jester where i am the queen
who can yell “Off with his head!”
whenever the excitement is dead.

i am selfish and a little gluttonous,
kind of greedy
and hate the monotonous
but slowly, i am maturing,
hoping that i will surpass the days
when i am a little girl
with eyes bigger than her stomach
and care about my diet–
cut out the unnecessary sugar
and focus on nutrients,
feed myself on what is good for me
and only have time for what nourishes me
and treat those i encounter
as humans
rather than distractions on a counter
of a life that i have not even begun to live yet
and still have a little room
for chocolate.

candy-store-love