CONVERSATION WITH A PRIESTESS

9BBF065E-12E0-4736-83E1-FACACDF62DFADeath isn’t something to lose sleep over

Come on in, she said,
the silent temple of the night is open

Consider soil and wind
questions worth probing
forever without end

How can I matriculate in a school like this?

No matter. Are you thirsty?

Green your mind and let me pour
the old songs into you

Your stone vessel is cracking effulgent—
Let its pearls stream out into the sky

Cut away the confused ones and drown
yourself in purpose
that one smooth thing
body bending with the beetles
becoming some ancient newness

Significant Location

DBE23402-EFC5-48AD-BB24-AA7E0197C852My smart phone prompts me
to go to a significant location

It doesn’t yet know—it is not significant
anymore

That we no longer meet there
no longer trace fingers over
the landscape of each other’s latitude and longitude

That there is nowhere where
the dreams co-exist

All the signposts have been removed
the waymarkers forgotten

When the music’s over you stand on a blank map
but they don’t tell the satellites that

Smart phones don’t know everything

Round Each Other’s Moist and Swelling

BB5204A4-E787-47F8-B000-29A3BB04973EMist and rolling
Round each other’s moist and swelling
Wrapped around my wrist, your fingers
Mine around your neck, enfolding

I’m the river wet en-winding
in your arching, aching canyons

You the salmon wild, sliding
bare flesh belly fresh and flashing
Pink and operatic lashings

Gasp! And gripping parts so holy
All the lips and hips so slowly

Begging tongues to dart and dare
Daring depth and deeper yet
taking tasting falling filling
rocking raking sultry sweat

Then floating on these well-sung sheets
Having flung so fierce unfaltered
Sleep and sleep the deeply filled
wild well of need well met

-Ryan Van Lenning
Stunning Art: @tinamariaelena – follow her!
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🌊From a new collection of love and erotic poetry, WILD ROSE HIPS, due out this Summer. 🌏You can get my book RE-MEMBERING: Poems of Earth & Soul, or High-Cooing Through the Seasons: Haiku From the Forest on Amazon, Indiebound, and through your local bookstore. Link in bio 🙏💜🦉😀)

NOT SO ELEGANT AFTER ALL

902EB847-063D-4217-AA32-652630E765F6Don’t listen to me.

It’s NOT so elegant after all,
this unraveling.

It’s a mess
and full of grief too deep to hold
but too old to keep
and anger much too sharp to behold

Of course the confusion underneath
scrambles up us like a crab
and we try to keep it down
with endlessly creative distractions
but nonetheless it
pins us with its claws.

The numbest poet in me wants everything beautiful
and that sells but doesn’t get you very far.
Addicted to redemption and the payday,
It’d be better sometimes to remain dumb.

I’m no sun. Not even a moon
Lives in my face
I’m not half the sky I used to be
Or half the dirt I want to be
So please forgive me when I say,
It’s over—
this pooling up and hanging on
to all the small hopes and big.

Lost. Loss. Less.
Utterly. Without.

Ok, Things aren’t ok. But of course,
We can’t say that.

But that doesn’t mean what we think it means.

Go to the corner and collapse.

Oh how long can you hold it back?

Go to the corner and collapse
for gods’ sake

Or if not for them, then for you
And if not for you, then for the birds at dawn or that small secret scrap that finds you in the darkness.

We’re not getting anywhere spinning our wheels in knowing things.

You can always get more. But you can’t stock up on meaning.

We might have to open death cafes
on every street
If life is to return. I don’t see any other way.

All this flooding says
re-learn to cry and give up understanding.

It’s clear I can’t
sell this, can’t even give it away
but It’s not
what we thought.

The unraveling is here
let’s let it move us.

Pray for our eggs to be broken
open by our own consequences
and the stories to hatch
that are worth hatching.

But first stay still
and collapse—
it’s the only sane thing now.

And then….

What It Calls For

1D5A688D-032D-4236-ABE4-53866763FF8AWhat it calls for is an elegant unraveling—more accurately and stunning
than ever before
sinking into an ambitious silence, robust and cunning.

Do something useful for a change—Listen
so deep and richly
the big ear wants to open through you, remembering all.

Walk your blessed seduction home. Be unfashionable
and tear the fucking ears off the false notes. Shake your feathers and invite the fox and raven.

The oak reaches into you. The waters and tribes are gathering. You won’t get far without them.

Sing hawk-woman unto you. Chant old man bear and sister dawn unto you. Drum your skeletal fragments until they dance.

That old place in you beckons. Unfold it into your bones.

Pay the tuition for your truth—with the currency of your heart barter for the next bold season

that says, I love you, may your chthonic iconic soul claim you like a throne.

-Ryan Van Lenning

Art by DruidSGardenArt:
http://www.druidsgardenart.com
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You can get my books RE-MEMBERING: Poems of Earth & Soul, and High-Cooing Through the Seasons: Haiku From the Forest through your local bookstore or on Amazon or Indiebound. My book of mystical poems, Silence Begins Here, and book of love and erotic poems, Wild Rose Hips, will be out later this year. Follow me and @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & inner/outer wilderness work.

Ship of Remembering

432C14CA-1799-45D3-B064-C9A2E9A749B3On our path there will be many, many voices telling us the way – but that may not be OUR way. This is a poem-prayer for remembering. For being still & listening to our unique inner voices, when we have forgotten, even if it contradicts almost everything that is considered correct. The world desperately needs more of us following our own threads, sailing our beautiful, preposterous ships.
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Have you ever forgotten?

The keys, the number, the lists?

The important things? The body and your dream and where the well was?

That image in your bones? The direction of your ship?

If you remember that you have forgotten, you’re nearly there.

But if you have forgotten you have forgotten, you are in the Deep.

That river of forgetfulness
has become a flood
your ship is in pieces,
joining the others.

You grab a hold of any piece of debris
tossed atop the waves.

To get a breathe.

Did you become convinced you were here to float like debris?

𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙡𝙤𝙖𝙩 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙙𝙚𝙗𝙧𝙞𝙨—
You are here to remember
who you are
so you can be medicine for us all.

A stunning fragment of the Dream
dreaming us whole.

It is not selfish to let go of the debris
in order to re-build your ship of remembering.

Keep following whatever allows you to grab a scrap of 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙤𝙬𝙣—not theirs—
to piece together your extravagant vessel.

The swallow does not mimic the eagle
the eagle does not flicker like the lizard
and the lizard and the lichen have distinct paths.

They do not drink of the river of forgetfulness
and in their stillness is the total movement of their life.

The stillness is where the remembering begins—
Your ears open and hear the things:

It may sound like the whistle of the swallows.
Or the hummingbird’s wings thrumming the air.
It may be the breeze through the needles.

Or the thunderous beat of a heart you had forgotten.
It may be the shattering imperative of your thunderbolt soul.

However it is—
stay with it.

Listen so deep & richly
you become the big ear
remembering all.

Then, with what you hear
sail your beautiful, preposterous ships into the big dream.