GLAD OF MY PAWS

7D7A9026-49C2-43A0-AC15-7FA4861963AD🐾GLAD OF MY PAWS

Best of all to caress
play, pinch, seize,
explore, invite all the world
with these infinite fingers

sensitive, lined and lithe
touching the surface and depth of things
the uncountable textures
the skins, the contours, forms and shapes,
the soft and hardness of the world

the slick and silky, scaled, slimy,
bumpy, coarse, and grainy—
I welcome them into me

The sand falling between them
the rough grooves of redwood,
the silk of madrone
the granular solidity of granite

the thin wisp of alder leaves
leaping into fall
the delicate racemes of pink-flowering currants in spring

Or the thin cylinder
of her neck
the contour of her waist, the line
from breast to magnificent hips
to her delicate butterflies,
the grand horizon
and my own firm warmth

I drench myself in passions,
inebriate and alloyed
with all the minerals
all drops of things

Yes, I am glad of my paws.

—Ryan Van Lenning
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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, on Amazon or Indiebound. My book of mystical poems, Silence Begins Here, and book of love and erotic poetry, Wild Rose Hips, and Book of Rivers: Headwaters and Heartrocks will be out later this year. Follow me for mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work. 🙏😀🌲💚

WHEN IT BOOMS FROM BELOW

9330F7E8-23FD-4F0E-9DBE-C50651F8E374It is not an indictment—
though it feels like one—
when the noise begins to ebb
and those first clear words
bubble up from your well

sharpened with deep time
like a dagger.

For eons you stayed busy
for lifetimes ignored
the vowels of your own voice.

But when it booms from below
and floats to the surface
you know you must change
your life.

It is tempting to whip
the back of your soul
for not knowing.

But that is not
the hand of love.

Fine, you didn’t know. You couldn’t hear.

Fine, you abandoned yourself.
You abandoned lots of things.

You filled your ears
with others’ bells, your eyes with ugly things.

You fueled your fears
with storied spells, your skies with wobbly wings.

That was yesterday. Not today.

Today you choose. Now it begins—
scoop up those sounds
and quench your thirst.

Walk your bright autumn truth home.

OCTOBER’S DARKENING WATERS

0B43DDB8-33D6-4D0D-87DB-EE8B1BF3D2F8Afloat on October’s darkening waters
where no preludes live,
only conclusions

It’s a wonder how often I forget
that sometimes just to endure
is a full-time gig
when the wood mouse once again escapes
the talons from the sky

when air is served grey and husky
and whatever dreams were sent downstream towards the sea
in seasons past
return as trickster scenes
from film noir

dropped from the sky
relentless and edged
with an autumn-orange humor

and what might be red and green
in the disturbed wild
I can barely make out
through the mind-thick fog
in which only ravens speak

NO LESS A WEB

5B697AE6-D3D3-4175-AD65-772CD5080850No less a web, spider spun
these words around you weaving run
like threads so fine, but not less strong
to bind within you magic songs

And here a peek behind the art
a secret with which no spider parts
Yet I, a weaver of open source
share a bit of that conjuring force

First, (if this be an ordered tune)
or lastly, if you want the end so soon,
is a look, or rather, a vision met
upon which your design is set.

See clear, my witches, an image bold
with which your sticky tales told
float it in your inner sea
and with all your eyes, like spiders see

Make of yourself a giant ear
and gather all the things you hear
and let love be greater than deepest fear
and you’ll find that threads appear

Ask what it is you want to net
with ever spinning spidery set
you just might catch it yet

The next of this cannot be taught
but without which your art is naught
’tis this: a certain certainty
and if it’s weak, the power flees

Thus flinging into nothingness
is what it takes, nothing less
With a Trust and no reason why
your filament will find its flight

Once it’s flung, that’s but half the spell
the other half is crafting well
circle ‘round and join the threads
and paint the image in your head

In between, a tip or three:
a spell, to weave, is both form and free

Take care to note what’s in the air
the sounds, the scents, the subtle flair

Threads are summoned from abdomen
but also from the wild winds
a gentle breeze will be your friend
a gusty gale will be your end
unless you surf that storm with ease
you’ll wind up in the web you weave

Without a form – the threads will fail
without freedom, the force is frail
so find the balance between the two
to catch the thing you wanted to.

Look at what other spiders construct
see what’s cast, and see what’s luck
Admire the patterns, see what’s caught
Look for angels and demons they fought

Study the sounds built into the spells
follow the lines of tales they tell

Look to the recluse, the widow, the wood,
but never get caught in the net of the should

Take what you can, as in a sly theft
but the strength of your web is bound by what’s left
after all of the threads from within are out cast
into the world to feast or to fast

That something so strange, something so rich
that deep design only you can pitch
that something so rich, so doubly strange
that things may be caught quite out of your range

And that is the gift of a magical song,
sung with the words of a web so strong,
that its effects are unknown in the light of the day
not until night is the power relayed

A final glimpse behind the weave
before we rest and take our leave

As silence is part a wizard’s gift
what’s not said will shape and shift
the space between the strands are there
to make designs in air appear
more luminous and boldly spun
as much for purpose as for fun

And as spiders in their patience sit
awaiting what their net can get
so our last secret of this webby play
will have to wait another day.

—Ryan Van Lenning

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-You can get RE-MEMBERING: Poems of Earth & Soul and High-Cooing Through the Seasons: Haiku From the Forest through your local bookstore, on Amazon or Indiebound, Link in bio. My book of mystical poems, Silence Begins Here, and book of love and erotic poetry, Wild Rose Hips, and Book of Rivers: Headwaters and Heartrocks will be out later this year. Follow me @ryanreturntotheearth for mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work. 🙏🌍🤠🦊🌲💚

APPRENTICESHIP

96B244D0-1B10-456D-804E-4B538A5B3CE0I live among the hucklebush
and ferns and forest ever-lush
and learned to sing from hermit thrush
the slugs they taught me slow

The froggy croaks they keep me cracked
The crawling oaks they coax me back
These nightly cloaks they stroke my back
the moon she taught me whole

I’d hunted, hoarded all life long
but not the things that brought my song
Nor the things that made me strong
They sure did take their toll

Now hunting has a different aim
The gatherings a different game
The tools I use have different names
within this chest of soul

So still I watch the heron’s hunt
and listen to the river’s run
apprenticed to the earth and sun
These lovers taught me Flow

-Ryan Van Lenning

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-You can get RE-MEMBERING: Poems of Earth & Soul and High-Cooing Through the Seasons: Haiku From the Forest through your local bookstore, on Amazon or Indiebound, Link in bio. My book of mystical poems, Silence Begins Here, and book of love and erotic poetry, Wild Rose Hips, and Book of Rivers: Headwaters and Heartrocks will be out later this year. Follow me @ryanreturntotheearth for mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work. 🙏🌍🤠🦊🌲💚

I Was a Wilderness

8DD55B5F-B1C6-4D7B-B77A-4476A530577E.jpegI was a Wilderness to my babies

My sons called me Unknown and
stayed aloof

My daughters entered the temple
to contemplate the Mysteries

Creatures scurried through my veins
and everything was a cloud,
coming together
and falling apart

The tales of a thousand centuries are written in calligraphy
across my shoulders

Tattoos dreamt in time

There were complications
and there were rumbles

Birth pangs among the syrupy moments
Wounds lasting eons

It didn’t matter if some mind
figured it out

Some tried and believed it so

Yet no one believed I was the fang and the puncture both

the grand opening and the deep penetration

the sacred burning in all your loins
and lion hearts

Some grasped the tail of my dragon
and learned to play

Some took a deep breath with me

Others needed to disown their flesh
and put me to sleep

But I cannot truly sleep

For there is no end to the dream
inside me

No end to desire

for desire is the mirror of awakening

No end to my need for you

No end to my need for you
to become a river
through your own vast wilderness
flowing back to me

To rest and play again