Poetry Month Challenges Day 29: Yearning and Yield

Yield in Yearning by Maria L. Berg 2023

Yearning and Yield

I still absolutely love the image I made for yearning last year. Much of my current yearning—strong, persistent craving or desire accompanied by tenderness or sadness for something unattainable or distant—to create thought-provoking images that express the contradictory nature of life, began last year during the A to Z challenge with my study of abstract nouns.

Yield can have a concrete meaning: the quantity or amount yielded. A quantity of goods can be counted, touched, measured, but yield has many other meanings: to give up, as to superior power; to give up or surrender (oneself); to give as due or required; to cause; give rise to. With the opposite meanings of “to give up” and “give rise to” also makes yield a janus word.

In The Mind at Mischief, Sadler uses yield in defining security:

Security is the emotion we feel when we yield to our inherent gregarious instinct. Man is naturally a herd animal. He feels safer when he is one of a crowd of his own fellows. This emotion of security is the well-spring of the impulse of self-preservation, and when indulged, yields that feeling of safety which we experience as the result of companionship with those of our kind.

William S. Sadler, M.D.

Notice that the feeling of safety is a yield of the emotion of security. In this way yield is an abstract noun. Yield is contradictory to yearning in that a yield is something in hand, a result, where yearning is something distant, wanting something that may be unattainable.

Today’s Images

For today’s images I created a second reflection ball cage, something I have been yearning to do, but thought I needed more pool noodles. Instead I used an old one that had curved into a U and joined it with a couple broken pieces to close the cage. Then I used my wonder and wisdom transparencies behind my cut-shape filters. What a yield. It really feels like painting with light.

Yearning in Yield by Maria L. Berg 2023

The Prompts


Today’s prompt is to write a two-part poem that focuses on a food or type of meal. At some point in the poem, describe the food or meal as if it were a specific kind of person. Give the food/meal at least one line of spoken dialogue.

Poem A Day

Today’s prompt is to write a sight poem.

The Poem

Yearning for Next Year’s Yield

I. I toil, yearning
to live off the harvest.
I turn the compost, and
dig as deep as I can,
loosening the soil
for the roots of
future plants.
Every year my hopes
soar, certain that
this year will be different:
that I’ve put in more
effort than the year before;
that this variety will
be heartier than the last;
that the birds and insects
and weather will work with
me not against me this year
I yearn for spirals of pole beans
reaching up to tall bright-yellow
sunflowers, bowing their big heads
over plump orange pumpkins, growing
big enough to carve scary monster
faces set to glow on long, dark,
chilly autumn nights, or mashed
into a vibrant pie filling to celebrate
a day of thanks for a bountiful harvest.

II. And the sprouts pop through
green against the dark earth,
a bountiful yield in every row
and I patiently wait for them
to grow, to flower, to fruit
but the sun beats down, and
the leaves are nibbled,
weeds encroach and choke
and they refuse to grow
as if to say,
We would rather die than
nourish you. There is nothing
you can do to make us happy.

But with a creator’s love,
I dress the small, damaged leaves
of the surviving, kale, lettuce, and chard
and savor every bite
of my luxurious yield
while imagining what I
will do differently next year.

Thank you for being here

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