INVOKE ALL YOUR WORMS

86B398AB-649B-4BB8-87EA-7B72DFD27ED8Entering the era of decay, the quiet
and sometimes raucous
breaking down and going under

Without which, no glorious spring
no unblemished blossom
Certainly no sunworthy fruit
or feast will come

Reciting the rotten motto
to earn the bright bloom

not from proofs and propitiations
but from the dirty truth—
the soil of your next self
must be amended with death

I’m sorry, I didn’t ask for this
Intimacy; the rules were here
when I arrived

So throw the year’s dead and dying on the heap
spelling compost in your blood
and invoke all your worms

whispering the vows: I

will not turn up my nose
at fungi
will not condescend to bacteria
will not avert my eyes
from the bloody beak in the remains
and the black beetles of me
in their delicious decomposition

I owe them all this poem
my life

SACRED ANCHOR

0222CFEE-40A4-4FBD-9290-B6122EF7DA8EI. Ripe For Descent

All the world long has descent
on its mind
and me with it:
the freckled hands of autumn
and fickle lure of love
pull me down
with the western star.

Who am I to argue
when the trajectory has gravity on its side?

II. Without The Journeyed Dark

There never was a sunrise
without the journeyed dark.

There never was a spring
without the starried night.

There never was a buried treasure
without the sunken ship.

There never was a deepest love
without the sink or swim.

III. Pace of the World

I’m of a pace with the world now.

Who am I not to follow the wind
and the sun
the leaves and the season’s decadent fragrance
into the dark?

It’s a different kind of allure
at the bottom of things
inside out and beautiful.

Decay is a gift from the soul
of the world
and I will not be caught
being a full-time harvester
no ever-ascender.

The soil needs rest,
washed with winter rains
from the dark halls of the heart.

IV. Her Depths Now

These are her depths now, villain!

There was a time when light,
any light,
was a buoy or wonderful distraction.

Now it is an atrocity,
a thieving beast
robbing me of darkness.

These are her depths now, villain,
I scream at the sun.

Have you no thought to buried treasures?

Are you one of the light-brigade,
ever casting gold through your fingers?

Today, with the wind’s decree
and the consent of the moon

I hook myself willingly, even eagerly
to the SACRED ANCHOR.

To the Sun-Addicts, I say:
I now follow the moon,
stalking in the territory of the night songs
meeting all the beasts born
of the soil.

V. Dark Mirrors

Yes, the bottom of the sea is cruel.

But it is not my first labyrinth,
nor my last.

A song echoes “I know my powers” from the cavernous
sky below.

Just the right amount of forgetfulness
and remembering fills the chambers.

Then, from the coldest corner,
the darkest thing grabs me.

VI. The End of the Descent

The end of the descent is self-embrace.

The bottom of the well
is the face of love
looking back.

It catapults me to the inside
of a cherry blossom
just this side of spring.
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This poem is included in the new collection ‘Within the Cave Something Pulses.’ That and my collection of love and erotic poetry, ‘Wild Rose Hips’, my book of mystery poems Silence Begins Here, my polyRiverous celebration of rivers, mountains, and souls ‘Riverever’ will be out later this year. In the meantime, 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. Follow me for mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work. 🙏🌍🤠🦊🌲💚

THE SPELL OF WHYLESS HEARTS

A734AF83-F07A-4E9C-B26B-68319F83E42EPain not as pain felt
but lack
is why the mourners worship More

and stack the filling, stocking stores
and in all the filling’s wicked spell
do not quite feel well

Do not the mourners know
that all their Nows are lost
and stuffed
all the Here’s dearly departed
and in the filling spill the hurt
into spaces sick and rough
burning nests of Whyless Hearts?

But there’s no lack of Heartful Whys
of morning meaning’s wild worth
the sun’s why yet sets and rises
the moon yet opens her eye
spinning us through the west and north

But why must we eat others’ Whys?
Why oh why to die in life?

When within the spaces well within
The Well
we might as well Why our lives
with the Whys that we own
All the Whys in which we dwell

and therefore become well as well
as the moon as she sings and swells
and pours forth her monthly spell

FORAGING THE LISTENINGS

3402769B-4A54-4727-A407-78A7F0A2821F

The hour arrives
to turn the volume down
in order to hear.

The season of silence begins
with a low guttural
and the treetops glistening—
you enter the dark
foraging the listenings.

Some silver-bladed violence
in your mindknot
begins evaporating.

The untangling commences.

Now you see, the bright thread connects the important things.

Things un-split.

A mammal presence
fills the cave.

Like a long-forgotten season,
a rest deep and thick emerges.

When that hour arrives
the bones signal their agreement,
another ear opens
and old songs shake themselves
out of your marrow.

#ryanvanlenning
#SilenceBeginsHere

_______________________________________________________________________
This poem is included in the new collection ‘Silence Begins Here.’ That and my collection of love and erotic poetry, ‘Wild Rose Hips’, and my polyRiverous celebration of rivers, mountains, and souls ‘Riverever’ will be out later this year. In the meantime, 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. Follow me for mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work.

LET THE VOICES SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

A60E4815-227F-47B7-AAA2-BC0D3DC506FBLet the voices speak for themselves

the undulating mentors called waves and trees

the choir of storms in your pulse

the endless still lake holding it all
in the basement of your being

The black pebble is your ally
the hidden footprint
of the mid-autumn wind your friend
carrying the next turn within

So why then are you pretending
to be so alone?

Become a true citizen of earth
and apprentice yourself to the convergence and the breakdown

Receive that sometimes fierce thrust, sometimes gentle caress of a world wanting
to open you up

With no small talk, but questions
that make you bigger
by the mere asking of them

Yes, change you must—You accept that
but can you surprise even your secret self
at your grand unfurling?

Lean into the raucous conversation.

Can you overhear yourself?

Are you startled by those dangerous utterances
flying from your endless beautiful cavern,
like bats hungry for dusk,
the hour of change?

-Ryan Van Lenning

WHAT TO SAY

DE3C650C-6354-40BF-AA51-E444D1003127That I chose the well-brambled life
Or it chose me when I untamed

That I lived a well-Warbled life
Or it lived through me just the same

But time there was when I knew not
the moon nor rivers by their names

And there was an era when ears were dim
no trills and chirps amidst the din

A time forlorn with all the dams
at every slightly hurdled rock

when feet and heart were weary weak
and all my paths and trails blocked

But then I ate the mountains whole
or they ate me when once I walked

That then I heard the rivers’ flow
Soft in bending unflagging song

That then I sipped the heron slow
Fished in water for silence deep

And cast my line in patient art
to catch the things for us to keep