New Hallelujah

Damn. Chicken Little was right.

The sky fell and all the stars too.

Good. It’s over. Nestle down.

Close your eyes and find

the North Star shining

just below your skin;

a pulsing diamond

tattooed on every cell

sparking with life. Rise.

Sing a new hallelujah

under a weightless sky.

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Easter Musing


Born of a woman


Woman at the well


Woman caught in adultery,

let he who is without sin

cast the first stone.


Woman anointing him with

priceless oils –

let her be lavish


Woman weeping for her son


Woman the first to notice

the tomb is empty and the

tattered death shroud

scattered on the ground.


Shattering the myth

that one creation is worthy

while the other creation is not


walking on water

feeding the hungry

embracing the prodigal


Passion melting my heart with

a borderless embrace


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Winter is the dying time,

take a lesson from the earth

and let go.

Don’t let masks

of dreams gone by

haunt the promise of spring.

If disappointment

has taken root

let it die.

If a cup of cold misery is your

morning beverage

pour it down the drain

and make hot chocolate.

If darkness is what blooms inside you

like a hot house flower

send it outside to build a snowman.

If life is old and dull

bury it in the garden

where it can rise

in shades of brilliant red.

It is winter,

it is the dying time,

you can let go

and be born again.

merrill farnsworth


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Rock a Bye

I lived in a house of dreams

on the edge of a cliff

by the blue-green sea.

Rock a bye, Rock a bye

I opened the door, a tiger sprang forth.

I will eat you up, he said.

Alright, I said.

Rock a bye, Rock a bye

 Come, said the tiger,

his eyes flashing topaz

in the darkening light.

Follow me through the storm,

hold your head high,

growl at the wind,

walk on water.

 Rock a bye, Rock a bye

I danced in the burning flames

of the tiger’s terrible stripes,

swirling in holy rage.

Rock a bye, Rock a bye

So come, knock on my door

I will eat you up –

don’t even ask me not to.

I am wild beauty,

I am the edge of the cliff,

I am the blue-green sea.

Rock a bye, Rock a bye


merrill farnsworth  10/11

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Textures and Hues

Textures and Hues


I did not choose

the texture or the hues

or build the loom

I simply entered the world

and time began weaving

my tapestry.

Fate chose the fabric,

spun from tumble weeds and tornadoes,

carbon black and burnt orange flames from the oil refinery

where my father, a twenty-two year old

with a crisply inked chemical engineering degree,

a new wife,  and a heart full of post war optimism,

worked every day and overtime.

My young mother gifted me with hues of

sun bleached cow skulls, dirt brown horny toads,

amber fire ants  and the soft gray tones of a mockingbird’s feathers

gathered from the land where she once roped wayward calves,

the land where my great grandfather built his ranch,

killed a grizzly bear and chased mountain lions away from his herd,

their tough hides singed  deep with the family brand.

The threads of my tapestry began spinning one December

at 10:30am  in the north Texas panhandle near Amarillo,

where I would see the bright yellow yoke

of an egg frying on the sidewalk in summer,

the halcyon blue of icicles hanging

from cottonwoods in winter,

the storm gathering in my mother’s gaze

as I crossed some invisible line I didn’t understand,

and the longed for light of my father’s smile

as he walked through the door somewhere past five to rescue us all –

my mother with a kiss and a cocktail,

me with a toss in the air and a tickle of the ribs,

my baby sister with a nuzzle to her neck,

my unborn brother with a pat on my mother’s full belly,

my yet to be conceived brother with a twinkle in his eyes,

and himself with the hope that the American Dream

would always trump the evening news.



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storm season


Hot meets cold

twisting the sky inside out

driving toward Memphis

our minds on the past

it’s midnight in mid afternoon.

Fields on fire with lighting strikes,

hail clattering on the windshield,

any minute the rain will come

pouring down like Noah’s flood

and us like all the other sinners

racing for shelter, hearts beating fast.

Wedged between big rigs

we watch a Wonder Bread sign

fly by and we laugh

for the first time in 200 miles.

You and me,

rocked by the wind.

No where to go and nothing to do

but wait it out in this landscape

of delta blues.

merrill farnsworth


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Easter Morning

up at five to catch the sunrise

you packing breakfast supplies

me stumbling for coffee

we drive west on highway 100

turning the wrong way

down a one way road

like we always do

to find our favorite shelter

light shines through the mist at six

a freight train roars by at seven

shouting louder than creation

whoo whoo!  Jesus

already on the road to Emmaus

and us at least ten miles behind

wanting to catch up, we start walking then

you pull out a flask and we stop to break lent

the whiskey feels good burning my throat

just like the Easter sun feels good on my face

just like your eyes feel good looking into mine

then a deer with coffee cup ears appears

staring us down, so we stop, staring back

then somewhere along the road I take your hand

you stop to kiss me, we fall further behind

lucky for us Mercy’s shadow falls

wide and deep across our path

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