4A1F0A8E-772C-4980-AB7B-8AAC02E6FB6D.jpegThe same desire that makes madrone red
offer her berries in deep autumn spread

brings firethorn’s pomes and their scarlet sprays
out for a dance amid winter’s play

then lands on her lips the color of wine
taking a sip of the season with mine

A touch of my wild conjures the red
to the soft of her lips, softly in bed

rolls on her mouth so ruby and rose
flickers of tongue like a serpentine pose

so eager to taste, and longing to bite
yearning to sink in the neck of the night

when the seasonal rains finally come
the land and body both are a’hum

when the release of fall finally arrives
all of the greens and deep reds come alive

with the rush of her blood flushing her cheeks
and all of her lips, like flooding of creeks

beyond their banks, a wet wild flow
the land and body alike are aglow.




73E95A87-9780-48F6-A917-E0B8F3732A5FBEFRIENDING THE DARK

In these darkest days and longest nights approaching the winter solstice, I am participating in an apprenticeship to dark, silence, slowness, solitude, shadow, and soulstice.

The season contracts, things slow down, energies withdraw, go underground, and the earth releases and composts the old in order to recharge for new life. We honor the season and ourselves by doing the same.

Now the dominant culture sure as hell doesn’t necessarily abide by these energies. In this culture dedicated to light and production, business and speed, wasteful consumption, the notion of valuing and celebrating the darkness, slowness, stillness, spaciousness for rest, poetry and dreaming, the unconsciousness, cocoon and cave and womb energy, is a radical notion.

Yet life and creativity are born in these spaces. The natural cycle and balance of seasons both external and within exists for a reason.. We can dedicate ourselves to syncing our body, energy, psyche to the season by honoring the darkness, shadow, stillness, slowing down, withdrawing in. We can say no to things. We can let go of things. We can take sacred pauses to simply BE, not do.

It is not unusual to resist these downward descent energies (and I myself in the past resisted), but one can find a vitality & wisdom in befriending the dark, sinking into the slowness, and owning the shadows.

I’ll be sharing poems, images, and inspiration that honor the season of dark and shadow and slowness, Using the #BefriendingtheDark.

How are you honoring the season?
INTO THE CAVE Courses begin January 8. What awaits in the fruitful darkness?
Two groups—one All/No Genders Cohort and one Men Only Cohort.

DEEP BELONGING Courses begins January 9. Re-Belong yourself to Place and Purpose.
Day and evening times.

Take the self-paced WILD NATURE HEART CHALLENGE at anytime, from anywhere.



E9D2B10B-07C8-4BFD-ACF6-F00FFC9CF141I usually don’t share my Wild Nature Heart offerings on here. But I wanted to let readers of my poetry here know about the Wild Nature Heart Challenge, in part because soulful earthy poetry is central to it.

The Wild Nature Heart Challenge: A Season of Deepening is a self-paced mini-adventure with 25+ earth-rooted practices and sense-based and soul-deepening exercises along with accompanying poems to guide you into reconnecting and deepening your connection with wild nature, with natural cycles, and aspects of your wholeness.

Discover more here:



D7B72233-D238-4F3C-BBC2-E2AE831BB79ADecember comes to the forest
as an ocean on the head

Something finally dissolves
and a man turns to mist
as struggle takes its leave

Most birds play it safe
but some brave birds still sing—
the rain makes the kid in them
get up and dance

Their whistle
and the tappity tap tap
on the roof of the hut
are the only sounds

The moss grows by the minute
greening boulder and bolder yet

Conquering the forest with Greenness
thereby settling it
once and for all

Drinking the rain
as the night drinks the dark
and the man drinks the season

-Ryan Van Lenning


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