NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION – DISINTEGRATE

75C1352C-5881-43D0-95D8-6E454D9CD74B

Are you still disintegrating?

It’s ok, all things do
if they’re doing it right

Of course this winter business
is no summer picnic

If you wonder if you have
the heart for it
remember you were carried here by all the previous seasons

Each lending their magnificent layers and lessons

Look! Notice your sediment being communicated
by the river to the great sea

Besides, there’s really no
other way
than to keep breaking down
and composting yourself

How else can the rich soil of you
be the nest of all the new chirps waiting to be hatched in you?

—Ryan Van Lenning

Soil of Me

1086C44F-A6F7-4AE2-82FE-BD22E8362D71Do you think I’m done breaking down?

A forest floor this rich doesn’t happen in a season
and I’m still hungry for dirt—
that hard ground of pain
and resistance
is many a meal to me

If grief and growth are sisters
inseparable
then I am their brother bond
compost

It’s ok, all of us are split.
All of me
is half of a half,
and halves of those in turn

I’m filled with detritus
all the way down like turtles—
it makes of me many a continent
and the water washing over

Darkness doubles, enfolding me
into its pocket
ever-deepening

I slip into it
not with fear
nor like a thief

But like one resigned
to the Great Seasoner

Always breaking down
and building up
until the soil of me can grow
the whole truth

I’ll keep breaking
again and again
until I hold it all.

#ryanvanlenning
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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. Follow me for mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart on IG and wildnatureheart.com for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work.

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.
———————————————————————————
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. 🙏🌍🤠🦊🌲💚

Until the Soil Of Me

1FD8C573-1ED4-4079-95F0-0D86FCF0A58AI was proven wrong once
again

Do you think I am done breaking down
the resistance?

A forest floor this rich doesn’t happen in a season

and I’m still hungry for dirt—
Obliterate the monkey bars!

I was told once by a half-farmer
to catch the worm I must become the early bird
and to join ‘em if you can’t fight em

I still don’t know if that’s
something to do with hard work
and capitulation
or with fishing and surrender.

That was my grandfather.

The other half was winter and whiskey.

It’s ok, all of us are split. All of me
is half of a half, and halves of those in turn

I’m filled with them all the way down
like turtles—
it makes of me many a continent
and the ocean washing over

Always building up
always breaking down
until the soil of me can grow
the whole truth

—Ryan Van Lenning
———————————————————————
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 poems Wild Rose Hips will be out later this year.