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.



About Merrill Farnsworth

Merrill was declared a poet in 6th grade by Sister Mary McDonald and kept writing. In addition to being named an ASCAP songwriter of the year for her work with Michelle Tumes on the single, Heaven’s Heart, she has written lyrics for various artists, worked on animation projects for Sony Wonder and Columbia Pictures and written numerous stage, video and radio scripts. Her current project is a collection of stories and paintings titled Jezebel’s got the Blues…and other works of imagination (slated to be published in 2012). This work has been performed several times with an outstanding cast that includes performances by Chip Arnold, Bonnie Keen, Nan Gurley, Robert Kiefer, Jon Royal and features the blues guitar of Phil Madeira. She collaborated with Phil on his new project Mercyland, which features artists Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, Shawn Mullins, The Civil Wars and others. She is also in the early stages of working with writer and actor Chip Arnold on a new musical. Along the way, Merrill has discovered the healing power of art in her own life and now integrates the arts into her work as a therapist. After earning a graduate degree in developmental psychology from Vanderbilt University in 2000, She has created Writing Circles to help others discover the healing power within their own authentic voices. Merrill has worked as a therapist in corporate, clinical and educational settings. She currently has a private practice on 21st Avenue near Hillsboro village, where she works with groups and individuals. For more information contact her at merrill.lpc@gmail.com or visit www.writingcircle.org -- Merrill Farnsworth, LPC, MHSP Convent Place (formerly St. Bernard's Convent) 2021 21st Avenue South, 430 Nashville, TN 37212
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