What is Yellow?

What Is Yellow? By Mary O’Neil

Yellow is the color of the sun,
the feeling of fun,
the yolk of an egg,
a duck’s bill,
a canary bird
and a daffodil.
Yellow’s sweet corn,
ripe oats,
hummingbirds’ little throats
Summer squash
and Chinese silk
the cream on top
of Jersey milk
dandelions and daisy hearts,
custard pies and lemon tarts.
Yellow blinks on summer nights
in the off and on
of firefly lights.
Yellow’s a topaz,
a candle flame.
Felicity’s a yellow name.
Yellow’s mimosa,
and I guess,
yellow is
the color of happiness.

What is Yellow?

What is Green?

What is Green? By Mary O’Neil

Green is the grass
and the leaves of trees
Green is the smell
of a country breeze.
Green is lettuce
and sometimes the sea.
When green is a feeling
you pronounce it N. V.
Green is a coolness
you get in the shade
of the tall old woods
where the moss is made.
Green is a flutter
that comes in Spring
when frost melts out
of everything.
Green is a grasshopper,
Green is jade
Green is hiding in the shade —
Green is an olive
and a pickle.
The sound of Green
is a water trickle
Green is the world
after the rain,
bathed and beautiful again.
April is green,
peppermint too.
Every elf has one Green shoe.
Under a grape arbor
air is green
with sprinkles of sunlight in between.
Green is the meadow,
Green is the fuzz
that covers up
where winter was
Green is ivy
and honeysuckle vine.
Green is yours,
Green is mine…

What is Green?

What is Pink?

What is Pink? By Mary O’Neil

Pink is the color of a rose.
They come in other colors
but everyone knows
pink is the mother-color of a rose.
Pink is a new baby,
the inside of a shell..
Pink is a cooked shrimp
and a Canterbury bell.
Pink is peachbloom,
gauzy… frail
the wind’s exquisite wedding veil.
Pink is a bonbon,
pink is a blush,
some Easter bunnies
are pink plush.
If you stand in an orchard
In the middle of Spring
and you don’t make a sound
you can hear pink sing,
a darling, whispery song of a thing.
Pink is the beautiful little sister
of red my teacher said,
and a ribbon girls tie
round their head.
Pink is the sash
with the lovely fold
you’ll remember
when you’re old.
Pink is the flower on a lady’s hat
that nods and bows this way and that.

What is Pink?

What is Gray?

What is Gray? By Mary O’Neil

Gray is the color
of an elephant and a mouse
and a falling apart house.
it’s fog and smog,
fine print and lint,
it’s a hush and
the bubbling of oatmeal mush.
Tiredness and oysters,
both are gray,
smoke swirls and
grandmother curls.
So are some spring coats and nannygoats.
Eagles are gray
and a rainy day
the sad look of a slum
and chewing gum
Wood ash and linen crash.
Pussywillows are gray
in a velvety way.
Suits, shoes and
bad news,
beggars’ hats and alley cats,
Skin of a mole
and a worn slipper sole.
Content is gray
and sleepiness, too
they wear gray suede gloves
when they’re touching you…

What is Gray?

What is Brown?

What Is Brown? By Mary O’Neil

Brown is the color
of a country road,
back of a turtle,
back of a toad.
Brown is cinnamon
and morning toast
and the good smell
of the Sunday roast.
Brown is the color of work
and the sound of a river,
Brown is bronze and
a bow and a quiver.
Brown is the house
on the edge of town
where wind is tearing
the shingles down.
Brown is a freckle,
Brown is a mole
Brown is the Earth
when you dig a hole.
Brown is the hair on many a head
Brown is chocolate
and gingerbread.
Brown is a feeling you get inside
when wondering makes
your mind grow wide.
Brown is a leather shoe
and a good glove —
Brown is as comfortable
as love.

What is Brown?

What is Blue?

What Is Blue? By Mary O’Neil

Blue is a heron,
a sapphire ring,
you can smell blue
in many a thing:
Gentian and Larkspur,
forget-me-nots, too.
And if you listen
you can hear blue
in wind over water
and wherever flax blooms
and when evening steps
into lonely rooms.
Cold is blue;
flame shot from
a welding torch Is, too
hot, wild, screaming,
blistering blue
and on winter mornings
the dawns are blue…

What is Blue?

What is Purple?

What is Purple? Mary O’Neil

Time is purple
Just before night
When most people
Turn on the light —
But if you don’t it’s
A beautiful sight.
Asters are purple,
There’s purple ink.
Purple’s more popular
Than you think….
It’s sort of a great
Grandmother to pink.
There are purple shadows
And purple veils,
Some ladies purple
Their fingernails.
There’s purple jam
And purple jell
And a bruise
Next day will tell
Where you landed
When you fell.
The purple feeling
Is rather put-out
The purple look is a
Definite pout.
But the purple sound
Is the loveliest thing
It’s a violet opening
In the spring.

What is Purple?