Sip the Season Darkly – Within the Cave Something Pulses

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Solstice Blessings!

I. Sip the Season Darkly

Darkness has arrived
wrapping its inky cloak
across the season
of our lives

long shadows and owls stand tall and salute
autumn’s bright slow song
becoming winter’s march

asking us not skip too quickly
over the hour
with an eager eye
grasping towards cherry blossoms
awaiting on the other side

Drink deeply from the season,
they say, from the cup overflowing
with the sweetness of the fruitful darkness

Sip the season darkly
in its slow inward night embrace

Wisdom hidden from summer’s glare
may yet pass our lips
should we have the thirst for it

Until finally, the world becomes too much with us:

We go to the cave, the secret one
in the mountain of ourselves
seeking stillness, a retreat
an inward looking

and listen for it, our own voice amidst

The Silence – can you hear it?

heart sunII. Within the Cave Something Pulses

Within the cave something pulses.
We hear it even now
feel it even now

that which deepest dark cannot smother,
and even winter’s hands cannot touch

tender tendrils of our very own vine,
bearing the wine of our heart

A Remembering–Aha!

Some secret vial of our heart’s fuel
distilled for this very hour
to sip the season brightly

And the sun too misses its lover earth
and cannot too long stay away

The sun was meant for this: to shine

To not share the big love is a wounding

So in this darkest hour
the sun knocks on the nearest horizon
and announces The Return with a subtle beat:

“Dear Love, I’m Here.”

Which is exactly what we find
written on the walls of our cave

“Dear Love, I’m Here.”

And we open our new eyes of dawn
with a deep breath

and though it’s just a whisper now
it is enough to start it all again
and again…again….again…
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Included in the new collection, Within the Cave Something Pulses, forthcoming 2020. 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. A book of mystery poems, Silence Begins Here, book of love and erotic poetry, Wild Rose Hips, and a celebration of the flow of rivers and souls, Riverever will also be out in 2020.

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INTO THE CAVE Courses begin January 8. What emerges 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.

THE COLD KNOWING

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BEFRIENDING THE DARK #2:
Poem-share for sinking into the season & Befriending the dark, slowness, silence, & shadows.
#BefriendingtheDark
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Sometimes when light takes a turn
you want it even brighter

But when dark wraps itself
around you like a cocoon

you want it deeper
than the Mariana Trench

For to hear any true thing
requires a rare silence

one that flees
from sun’s boisterous embrace
and even autumn eyes see too boldly

The hibernaculum is the school
of the unseen and undone

without which nothing
is seen or done

a temple of the night
where your stone vessel cracks

but your heartbody grows smooth
with sacred slugs and seeds

and light is far too loud
for a bear on the perimeter

when things are settling in
for the cold knowing

-Ryan Van Lenning
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Included in the new collection ‘Within the Cave Something Pulses,’ forthcoming 2020.
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INTO THE CAVE Courses begin January 8. What emerges 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.

BEFRIENDING THE DARK

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?
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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.

 

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. 🙏🌍🤠🦊🌲💚

FORAGING THE LISTENINGS

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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

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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.

Carve Your Beautiful, Dark Cave

3F6EB806-F05A-4EAF-8EBA-6737A33E7DBBThe path to the cave starts innocently enough
with a sign full of useful information
in broad daylight, blue skies

a fulfilling breakfast—
eggs & potatoes perhaps,
fruit in season

Before you know it
you can hardly remember
the color of berries
or the sound of the river

Cold and bats reign here
and the dominant thoughts
are of your bed
and that last meal

Feel the shape of those walls
textured by the smooth slink of years
wet with mysterious things
you’d rather not know

To either side,
tunnels to treaures
or traps

There’s no way to know
and no sure way out
other than following the scent of your voice

The deeper you spelunk
the brighter the darkness

Hard pains, sweet pains
nectars maybe, but first
the cuts, both slow and quick
deaths

Sometimes monsters
and the secret password
are the same thing

Of course, you can avoid the path altogether
by staying “at home”

But don’t think the cave
is avoidable.

Or are you one who believes
in light
without darkness?

Trailheads without wounded trailfeet,
mountain views without valleys?

Oh, what an imagination!

Come now!

Carve your beautiful, dark cave
and then come home, my friend
with well-earned feet
and a heart that knows