Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “world

How Big Poems Are


is there room for honesty?
maybe in a poem.
in poems,
apartments don’t exist
and clutter has a chance to breathe.
normally compartmentalized minds
finally get time to spread out,
lay down and just be.

maybe poems have room for honesty,
living rooms for me to confess my shyness and sexuality,
dining rooms for verbal gluttony
and plush couches for me to sit and talk
about what’s bothering me.

poems have room for honesty–
bedrooms for me to whisper my innermost thoughts
when i can’t sleep
and basements that coax out
the parts of me nobody sees.

since poems have room for honesty,
will you pack a suitcase
and come stay with me?
there is space for all of our
insecurities.
and not only that–
there is a kitchen where you and i
can cook new possibilities.

poems have room
and hopefully one day
the rest of the world will catch on,
receive one another with open arms,
tearing their clothes of judgment
til we are all naked and free–
til we all have room
for honesty.


Visions of Grandeur


if i had boots that were big enough,
i would put them on,
walk through bright pink paint
and stomp on the earth
to leave my footprints.

i’d want the world to remember me
and maybe i’m obnoxious
for wanting to stain it with my favorite color,
but i don’t want to just be
another broke down wannabe artist
too afraid to start shit
and content with mediocrity.
i want to be a visionary
pushing up against obstacles
and daring opposition to conquer me;
i want to be too big for my britches,
for my heart to be so huge that
i bust out of the constraints of stitches;
i want people to forget my real name
and call me “The Dreamer”
with the middle name “Doer”
and the last name “Believer,”
one who used to be an underachiever
til she looked in the mirror
and saw who she really was.

i lost who i really was,
hypnotizing myself to be content with 9-5 consistency
of knowing how much my checks will be.
depending on direct deposit every two weeks
never matches the sensation of expressing the true me
through this art that consumes me.

without art,
who is me?
just a big heart,
tongue stuck in dry mouth,
words afraid to come out,
soul waiting to talk,
and feet too small to even walk.


The Beauty of Now


regardless of how things might end up,
i’m thankful for now;
for my smile and the awakening
in my soul and body,
body and soul;
for jazz tones traveling up my spine
and dancing out of my mouth
through colorful, raucous laughter.

the world becomes pink and blue
as energy mingles together
in a soft purple violet
thriving, but
needing to be watered.


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.


Healthy Bulimia


fresh acid burning in the back of my throat,
darkening my teeth
and freeing that stabbing feeling
in the pit of my stomach,
i purge all that is negative
out of me.
i used to look at bitterness and anger and self loathing
and pain and pity
and say desperately, “feed me”
but i’ve found new food today.
tears of joy and peace as toxins release
and when i breathe,
i am a new person.

the world is so different now.

i didn’t know i was viewing life through dirty eyeglasses,
mistaking danger for greener pastures.
now i see what i was missing.
i am emptying,
slowly but surely
and in the future,
i see me happy
and dancing like no one is looking,
living like everyone is looking,
and free
to not care either way.


This Ain’t About You


man, how do i write about you without
writing about you?
i feel like poems are special,
and though i suspect you’re just that,
i’m not ready to admit that.
words are powerful and when they are teamed up
to make melodies that melt souls and water eyes
and wet tongues and underwear,
they can take over the world.
but i suppose if i had to succumb to anything,
it would be the pleasure of this feeling,
the curiosity that i’m keeling over with
like a cat drunk from exploration.
if anything should kill me,
let it be my quest to find out why my chest gets warm
from my heart jogging back and forth.
not feeling the burn yet,
just a little bead of sweat
starting in the middle of my forehead
and slowly falling to the top of my lips
and into my mouth as i smile
widely and honestly,
gently but guarded.

look at what you’ve started.


Little Girl, Big Shoes


little-girl-big-shoes

i feel like a fake adult,
like how i did when i was a little girl
and put on daddy’s shoes and flopped around
trying to fill them,
but grateful that i was too small
to make them fit.
now i’m tired of this,
ungrateful for being so tight with my youth
that people think we’re best friends who refuse
to separate.
i am the siamese twin
whose head is split between two entities
and now i have to choose surgery to free my energy
from being drained between home and me.

i love my family
but still have so much farther to go
before i fully know me,
outside of the identity
i created with them.
who will i be without
the ones who care to listen
to the boring details of my day
or who can look in my tear-filled eyes
and assure me that it’ll be okay
and have me actually believe them?
who will i be outside of my environment,
my comfortable element,
my indigenous habitat where i roam kind of free?
i’m scared i’ll become extinct
or act like an unknown species,
a mix of good family values and broken pieces
of the world i tried to put together on my own
but clumsily slipped out of my hands.

maybe my hands aren’t strong enough
to carry the weight that has been on my shoulders
and in my heart
but unless i start testing how much i can hold,
i will never really know.