DFA0D263-80B9-4A54-ABD7-147498E5206ELet’s walk the Spiral-in-Beauty Way

Let’s spin greenly into each other
making a grinlit pact

signed with the green ink
of sunlit trust flowing

Proclaim Yes the shimmers

Proclaim Yes all the hues
of the ancient patterns and new ripples
of love and texture

Yes the great green garments
of the season and its endless faces

Let’s green our minds
and pour the old songs into each other’s laps

until our heart
has no more defense
against the miracles

-Ryan Van Lenning

From the collection ‘Riverever’ forthcoming early 2020.


18CED582-3BD6-4CD9-B5A6-0ADB0A167F76There’s absolutely no way I can be a sun god
if I’m not simultaneously a dung beetle.

I’m no part-time lover—there’s no way
I can be one of the great lovers
without claiming my name
from the center of the earth

without pulsating the No-Name
from the center of the moment
the grand pulse hidden
in the everything

No grand ascent without the dark
and mysterious descent,
no flying without digging.

I’m not here to flee
from parts of you
I think I can’t meet in myself.

I stand here with arms outstretched
and a wild syllable of trust
on my lips
comprehensible only to those
with the great longing pouring in
and out of their cracked ear-hearts.


9BA08CE9-76B2-4008-A63F-4E6AB3BCB683I. SEVERANCE

Commodities, cold machine.

Scandals and plastic and all
the Gottahaves.

Virtually there. The Chase
and The Shining Hamster Wheel.

Too full but empty.

Duller than a balmy day
sharper than a winter gale
this slow and sucking dry.

All the lies will die.


With wind and water
carry my discourse
up and over

letting the mountain carve
monuments out of me
epiphytic and free.

With river itself take my counsel.

With mud and mushroom heed
the wondrous whispers.

My tail prefers a winding path
and my face found itself
in that ancient blessed lake.


I’d rather eat beetles,
do you understand?

Once I knocked on the wrong moon
but then hitched with a wild wind

finding that belonging
is not a place,
but a skill
honed with a fierce heart.

I shift shapes from mountain pass to alley way.

What is hidden remains my treasure

what is visible a sword
and flute

an offering
to the woven ones.

And when I say my preposterous names
risible and rooted

Oh how it ripples on and on.

—Ryan Van Lenning

From a new collection, No Lies on the Mountain, forthcoming 2020


837CB341-C697-4D23-8210-5A4C76A313CCShe, like moon with no undue pace
but that of her slow wonder,
wanders to where the brambles bend and maples bow
in homage to their yield, gifts

ripe with the season, soft with promise

she puts down her titles
relinquishes her duties
into river time
and loves herself like water
soft and flowing

sauntering like an artist
a nymph at play

ripe with the season, soft with promise

stoops to smell the everlasting
sings herself with nettles
stops to feel the sun and mud
on her autumn skin

winding her way through the day
until with gentle feet and a clear heart
dusk arrives, and a crescent moon opens up

ripe with the season, soft with promise


604277A3-ECB8-4ED1-A91F-09EB74F2D700My friend,
don’t be quiet about beauty
don’t be silent about love

don’t seal your lips quite yet,
my love

even the ones who think it’s quaint
and queer, this sweet talk unconstrained

even the ones loudest and preening
ache for love and beauty
through a mile of debris

oh, everyone talk of roots

but I say, grow past the ones they gave you
past the names they gave you
past the farthest sideways glance

let your true roots
follow their own trajectory
like lonely reckless heroes
seeking the sacred well

let them dig, my friend
so you can stretch your inimitable stretch
and undomesticate your dangerous dance

keep digging
and seize your true and vital name
from the center of the earth

then rise up north by northwest
until the secret
shakes itself out
clean and heroic green
finally yelling:

Yes, Yes
I want that too!

Then sing the beauty of the whole mystery
🌏One of 75 poems in
Re-Membering: Poems of Earth and Soul, available on Amazon, Indiebound, and your local bookstore. Link in bio. The new collections ‘Silence Begins Here,’ ‘Wild Rose Hips’, and the polyRiverous celebration of rivers, mountains, and souls ‘Riverever’ will be released over the next year.