Monday, February 7, 2022

Yellow Days

There goes a yellow-breasted finch to announce my morning. At least, I think it was or else just a flash of the eastern sun in flight yellowing another golden day in my golden years.

At a certain point one creates his own canvas. My breakfast table is a still-life, yellow with scrambled eggs, banana in the fruit bowl with a brush-stroke of Splenda. When Peggy was here there would have been a vase with yellow tulips bursting from its bulb and likely a number two pencil. 

If a Dutch Master came along with brush and easel, he'd probably paint a fruit fly on a cut lemon signifying, memento mori. Full of years, how can I forget even if I think dying is a colossal waste of time.

My preference would be an abstract impressionist depicting nothing recognizable. Splatters and drips seem apt. Just like the old chaos of the sun as Wallace Stevens saw it. A murmuration of finch wouldn’t hurt except finch don’t know from murmuration. They leave that to starlings.

In a few months gold medallions, aka butter daisies, will pop up between walkers and drivers in West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. One day they are an unremarkable green-leafed tree and the next we see yellow lollipops. They are noted for enduring a high threshold of neglect. 

Which reminds me that order is not something I naturally seek. Humanity is messy and I feel comfortable with a fair measure of disarray. I even make room for the least respected dandelion  asserting its yellow in sidewalk cracks. Same with digressions, irresolution and the open text. Marching, as with soldiers in parade, feels faintly fascistic, unless a flock of yellow-breasted finch flies out of their rifles.

Yellow usually signifies optimism and is therefore risky business. But not always. A Happy Face has a lot of explaining to do in the midst of today's dread, a stain attributed to yellow journalism. Then again, I have a yellow shirt which Peggy loved, naturally. In its wide sweep yellow embodies both our hope and our fall.

Poems, too concluded feel gift-wrapped. There are no portals for entering, no bafflements or quarrels. No nests for goldfinch.

Yellow Days is one of my favorite songs, sung by Tony Bennett. The arc of yellow takes him from the early days of tender brightness to the withering years of echoes and harshness or as Gerard Manley Hopkins put it, of golden groves unleaving.

Don’t blame yellow; it sits there on the spectrum between orange and green waiting inside sweet potatoes. When I want to transit out, with a return ticket, I might travel in that yellow submarine.


  1. Mister Norman, I’ve never even been on a “blog” page before — ( having spent most of my life in the brick-and-mortar worlds of Studios I suppose… ). Your writing is an Honoured to Experience. Thank You for sharing Your Brilliance with those of us who Truly See It and Appreciate It. And Yes, I write this with Tremendous Love to You and Your Beloved Peggy. THAT kind of Love that’s Real, as the Skin Horse once spoke of with a Velveteen Rabbit some time ago. ♥️

  2. Thank you, Ashley, your reception is very important to me.