a touch of yellow

“Yellow is capable of charming God.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

“Yellow Teapot” by John Hubbard Rich
by Sharon Lask Munson

When she relocated to her new home
I gave my darling niece a teapot,
bestowed lifelong advice --
every home needs a touch of yellow.

Days later, a friend wrote
she was wearing the butter-yellow sweater
I gave her on a blustery day.

There have been other yellows --
first daffodils of spring,
summer sunflowers,
my citron slicker,
daisies -- he loves me, he loves me not,
the gold ring on my finger.

I slice fresh lemon for tea,
spread local honey on toast,
sing "My Only Sunshine."
I admire the canary a friend
keeps in her kitchen,
the melody of his song.

I remember Dagwood and Blondie
in the Sunday funnies,
snap up Atlantic Avenue
and Marvin Gardens playing Monopoly,
watch out for children
as yellow school buses pull up to the curb.

I bake lemon meringue pies,
buy butter to spread on sweet corn,
make goldenrod toast
for Sunday night suppers,
center the table with beeswax candles,
keep curtains open as the moon rises.


Just a touch of yellow, even a tiny bit, brings joy, sunshine, radiance, optimism, vitality, freshness, hope.

It’s almost impossible to be sad once yellow flutters in.

One Christmas when I was 10 or 11, I received a yellow cardigan — it had pretty scalloped trim around the collar, sleeves, and hem — and yarn covered buttons! How I loved it, even though it was usually too warm to wear it. The important thing is that it came from a favorite aunt who had excellent taste in all things. Her gift made such an impression on me that I’m still thinking about it over 50 years later.

Like Munson, I, too, rejoice at those first spring daffodils (the only flowers we have that are deer proof), and I love all things butter, baking delectable treats with it, melting it over popcorn, spreading it on warm biscuits or toast. It simply makes everything taste better. Hello, beautiful butter, my lifelong friend. You can make me ecstatic with a single pat.

This poem also made me think of my parents. My dad’s favorite pie was lemon meringue, and though there were no sunflowers in our yard, we had cheery oncidium orchids and an abundance of yellow plumeria thanks to my mom’s green thumb. Yellow plumeria lei for May Day and Aloha Week — such good memories!

How do I love thee, Yellow? Let me count the ways.

Here, there and everywhere, you always make me smile.

I love Curious George and have always had a thing for the man with the yellow hat. 🙂

Whenever I see a yellow umbrella, I think of the late Amy Krouse Rosenthal, whose books continue to bring such joy and light to readers everywhere.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal lost her battle with ovarian cancer in March 2017.
Peanut Butter Blossoms were Amy’s favorite cookie.
Click to read my interview with Jane Dyer, who illustrated Amy’s “cookie” books.

Yellow is also the color of remembrance and support for our troops.

And the best rock band of all time certainly embraced the power of yellow.

Getting back to food (yes, please!), in addition to butter, I love all things LEMON. At Alphabet Soup, we’ve shared recipes for Linda McCartney’s Lemon Drizzle Cake, Susan Branch’s Lemon Butter Cookies, and Lakeland Lemon Bread from The Beatrix Potter Country Cookbook (click each photo for recipe). Nothing more delicious than puckering up, waiting for that uplifting fresh zing that only lemons can bring. I wonder if yellow knows how good it tastes?

Linda’s Lemon Drizzle Cake
Susan Branch’s Lemon Butter Cookies
Lakeland Lemon Bread

Oh, and did I mention a certain British actor who can rock the yellow whenever he wants? 🙂

Hope you’ve enjoyed this spot of yellow on a winter’s day. Please tell me about some of your favorite yellow things, and always remember that if you’re searching for happiness, there is one road you may wish to follow . . .


Kat is cheerily hosting the Roundup at Kathryn Apel. Skip on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared around the blogosphere this week. Enjoy your weekend (why not bake up some lemon bread or cookies?)!


“Here Comes the Sun” by Ron Campbell

The Beatles are here to play us out (pure gold). Have a sunshiny day (may the yellow be with you)!


*Copyright © 2021 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

43 thoughts on “a touch of yellow

  1. Jama, I’m reading your post as the sun is peeking over the horizon. What a delightful meal of yellow! Yes to the positive, sun-shiny, smiling feeling yellow can give us. Your photo collages are wonderful. I was looking at the one of all the little yellow items including pez and gold coins. I’m so drawn to what’s “told” in arrangements of anything these days. It makes my brain happy to see that photo. And, yes to the yellow umbrella! What a wonderful way to begin my day. Thank you so very much!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, you read this post at precisely the right time. I haven’t seen the sun rise in ages! Glad this post brought you some happiness to start off the day. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


  2. Serve up a cup of sunshine, comfort and warmth for breakfast (or any time, really) with a turmeric latte. Why would you drink coffee when you could cradle a cup of joy? But I do have to say that even Colin Firth in a yellow sweater, when paired with brown slacks – and brown everything – is drab. Not joyful. Though It did make me laugh, because YOU!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL. I have to agree that yellow is not Colin’s color (he doesn’t look happy wearing that sweater either). But of course I had to include him in this post so I wouldn’t hurt his feelings. There are remarkably few photos of Colin wearing yellow (and now we know why). Haven’t heard of turmeric lattes! But then, I’m not a coffee drinker.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this blog. You make us all happy. One of my favorite yellow things this week was the big yellow Snow Moon that I spied in Brooklyn last Saturday while visiting my grandson! I also love the yellow and flowery “little free library” we passed on the way to the park. My favorite yellow foods are corn on the cob, corn muffins, and some beautiful yellow polenta smothered in tomato sauce! Happy weekend!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much for sharing all your yellow goodness, Joanne. Love all of them — how cool to see that big Snow Moon and the free library. Of course now I’m craving corn muffins and corn on the cob. I haven’t had polenta with tomato sauce and now I want to try some.


  4. YOU have a way of making things sunnier, dear Jama! The year I did ArtSpeak: HAPPY, the vast majority of the art I selected featured yellow. And yellow makes me think of my sister, who is a daffodil, and of the actual daffodils dancing in our ditches this very moment. Thank you! xo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love your ArtSpeak posts!! You always find the best art and write fantastic poems for them. How lovely to have a daffodil sister 🙂 From my office window I can see a few daffodils just beginning to sprout by the big tree out back. Won’t be long now.


  5. There is nothing mellow about the yellow in this post, Jama! Bright, cheerful, and a sunny disposition, just like YOU! I’m glad you gave a nod to Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and her yellow umbrella picture. She is my PB idol, may she RIP. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Didn’t know Amy was your idol. She passed way too soon but did leave a fabulous legacy with all her books. I was so impressed with her “Beckoning of Lovely” social experiments.


  6. Amy Krause Rosenthal’s yellow umbrella & her beautiful books continue to be favorites, Jama. The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life kept me and my students so inspired when it came out. I love your sunshiney post, love those bears with yellow jackets, & lemon bars are favorite cookie at my house! Your line “It’s almost impossible to be sad once yellow flutters in.” is a poem to me today! Sunshine returns after our rainy day yesterday! Happy Weekend & thanks for the sunshine smiles all the way through.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You’ve lightened my heart on a gray day here in Washington state. Lovely, Jama, you reach inside and bloom for us. We see and remember with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So cheery! I love that deer hate daffodils—I wish they hated tulips. This past week, I’ll catch myself smiling and realize it’s because the sun came out after a lot of gray days. I look terrible in yellow clothes, but my office has soft buttery yellow walls because it lifts my spirits and feels warm and loving. And yes, butter is a wonderful thing. Another great yellow: black-eyed susans! Thanks, Jama.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yellow isn’t an easy color to wear for many people, but I do remember a favorite yellow corduroy jumper I had in high school which I loved. I’m picturing your yellow walls — I’d love to paint our kitchen a soft buttery yellow. 🙂


  9. OH—I love the wildflower field in the Beetles video!!! I was ready to mention “Here Comes the Sun” and there you had it, saving it for the piéce de résistance… And I’ve been singing it in the shower this last week, thinking about sharing it. Fab post Jama-love all this yellow—poem, joy, melancholy, and the plumeria are lovely, what a treat, thanks! And I paint with yellows, ochres, and oranges on a regular basis, also love the yellow swallowtail, zinnias, marigolds, and on…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We must be psychic — with “Here Comes the Sun” on the brain. It really is uplifting to see the sun after many consecutive gray days. Definitely something to sing about! I love seeing your watercolors no matter what paint colors you use — but yellow is a favorite. 🙂


  10. Let’s not forget Amanda Gorman! Not only can that girl rock spoken word poetry, she wears yellow like no other!

    Thanks for this cheery post, just what I needed. Now, I’m off to toast an English muffin for half BUTTER and half LEMON CURD!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought of Amanda Gorman yesterday (this post was written before the inauguration). I have to agree — yellow is her color — it is so striking on her.


  11. Love this sunny yellow dip into spring – hope it comes here soon!

    For a yellow celebration at the opposite equinox, I love Lauren Stringer’s picture book YELLOW TIME about the leaves of the ash trees.

    Year round yellows!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for this bright and cheery post filled with bright glimpses of yellow. I have enjoyed lots of yellow sunshine this week and am looking forward to some yellow daffodil blooms soon. Right now there are the smallest of green shoots poking up, promising yellow to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My favorite color is yellow, so not surprising my first car was a bright yellow Ford Pinto. And for 25 years our kitchen boasted bright yellow counter tops. Thank you for sharing all things yellow today! And I love the poem “Yellow Butterflies Bring Happiness.” So did this post!


  14. Lemon is just about my favorite taste, and you have made me think about how its color yellow is so important to appreciating it. Your beautiful yellow images are just great.

    You mentioned many lemon-flavored sweets, but there are also many great savory dishes with lemon. In fact, this evening we ate roasted potatoes and eggplant with lemon zest, lemon juice, and Korean pepper seasoning. Very nice!

    be well… mae at maefood.blogspot.com


  15. Wow, what a cheery, yellowy post, Jama. Is it terrible that my favorite of all these beautiful pics is the one of Kerry butter? Hehe. Love the one of AKR in front of the Bean, too…Thanks for all the loveliness!


    1. LOL. I hear you on the Kerry butter — so much goodness in a small block. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I must think of something to make with it. 🙂


  16. I’m swooning. I adore yellow. I painted my kitchen cupboards yellow a few years back and it still makes me happy every time I walk into the kitchen. 🙂

    And the Beatles singing Here Comes the Sun is always a boost. One day, a lot of years ago, I was having a terrible day, coming off a terrible time of grieving, and as I was driving, I felt something begin to shift. Then, Here Comes the Sun came on the radio. I felt I’d received a small but precious gift. 🙂


  17. What a lovely bright and sunny post – thank you. Enjoy the James Herriot books, they are some of my favourites and I have read them many times over.


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