5B697AE6-D3D3-4175-AD65-772CD5080850No less a web, spider spun
these words around you weaving run
like threads so fine, but not less strong
to bind within you magic songs

And here a peek behind the art
a secret with which no spider parts
Yet I, a weaver of open source
share a bit of that conjuring force

First, (if this be an ordered tune)
or lastly, if you want the end so soon,
is a look, or rather, a vision met
upon which your design is set.

See clear, my witches, an image bold
with which your sticky tales told
float it in your inner sea
and with all your eyes, like spiders see

Make of yourself a giant ear
and gather all the things you hear
and let love be greater than deepest fear
and you’ll find that threads appear

Ask what it is you want to net
with ever spinning spidery set
you just might catch it yet

The next of this cannot be taught
but without which your art is naught
’tis this: a certain certainty
and if it’s weak, the power flees

Thus flinging into nothingness
is what it takes, nothing less
With a Trust and no reason why
your filament will find its flight

Once it’s flung, that’s but half the spell
the other half is crafting well
circle ‘round and join the threads
and paint the image in your head

In between, a tip or three:
a spell, to weave, is both form and free

Take care to note what’s in the air
the sounds, the scents, the subtle flair

Threads are summoned from abdomen
but also from the wild winds
a gentle breeze will be your friend
a gusty gale will be your end
unless you surf that storm with ease
you’ll wind up in the web you weave

Without a form – the threads will fail
without freedom, the force is frail
so find the balance between the two
to catch the thing you wanted to.

Look at what other spiders construct
see what’s cast, and see what’s luck
Admire the patterns, see what’s caught
Look for angels and demons they fought

Study the sounds built into the spells
follow the lines of tales they tell

Look to the recluse, the widow, the wood,
but never get caught in the net of the should

Take what you can, as in a sly theft
but the strength of your web is bound by what’s left
after all of the threads from within are out cast
into the world to feast or to fast

That something so strange, something so rich
that deep design only you can pitch
that something so rich, so doubly strange
that things may be caught quite out of your range

And that is the gift of a magical song,
sung with the words of a web so strong,
that its effects are unknown in the light of the day
not until night is the power relayed

A final glimpse behind the weave
before we rest and take our leave

As silence is part a wizard’s gift
what’s not said will shape and shift
the space between the strands are there
to make designs in air appear
more luminous and boldly spun
as much for purpose as for fun

And as spiders in their patience sit
awaiting what their net can get
so our last secret of this webby play
will have to wait another day.

—Ryan Van Lenning


-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. My book of mystical poems, Silence Begins Here, and book of love and erotic poetry, Wild Rose Hips, and Book of Rivers: Headwaters and Heartrocks will be out later this year. Follow me @ryanreturntotheearth for mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work. 🙏🌍🤠🦊🌲💚


CBDFD6B6-338F-4827-B105-40164A345D57Yes my mistakes, my habits unclean, all my petty hooks,
unrequited desires,
indecent hungers,
narrowness of vision.

My ignorance and vast egoism,
my ungoverned impulses,
flinging me into danger
as much as into joy.

My not knowing,
and my knowing well enough
but still doing wrong
my indebtedness,
my unearned privilege
my greed and uncompromising
dark devils paining the world.

The grief I carry still,
the grief I caused
the inflictions on your heart,
on the water,
on the living soil,
on plants and on the animals—
Oh, I too have waged brutal wars.

But also, to hold these
with the widest wings outstretched.

To ring my bones with flesh
yes good stomach and butt adoring
my athletic thighs,
both resting and pumping
gliding my hands in love
my well-worn knees and feet.

Yes, to my manly feet
my sensitive feet
my dancer’s feet
my wild feet

sauntering past all the gates
tipping my hat to the guardsmen
jumping across boulders

walking beyond approved forms
playing footsie with water
with you under the table
and no one has to know.

To walk the world like a madman
or like a man madly in love

To fling love unwisely
sometimes indelicately,
sometimes deliciously,
to throw it in iridescent loops
in ever-widening circles—

Oh, what a beautiful heart!

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 poetry, Wild Rose Hips, will be out later this year. Follow me @ryanreturntotheearth for ecosensual mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart  for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work.

Rave on Bold Scratchers

4738B572-1D75-4D72-9FA0-FF2916907EC8Stretching out towards the world
pouring into them
trying to capture the
endless bouquets of beauty and pain

scratching black and white shapes
and florid brushstrokes
on our canvasses
conjuring melodies
like raving magicians

all the while
knowing they’re mere clouds
blowing through
like transient guests on vacation.

Like everything.

One day we’ll sit with the final sunset
with only the merest scratch
in the sand remaining
and even that will be
reclaimed by the great sea
at midnight–
just as we will be.

Yet still we stretch and scratch.

We are alive.

Stretch big and rave on bold scratchers.

Still No Idea

84868FD3-F750-4121-9BFF-AC095A5D6ED6I’ve looked through telescopes and microscopes
Scanned the hills under all the skies
I’ve conducted all-night vigils just to find out
Even climbed inside one from time to time
But I still don’t know how the night turns to day

I’ve set up hi-fi recording equipment
I’ve planted, watered, and harvested
Even climbed inside one from time to time, but still
I don’t know how the seed becomes the tree
Becomes the fruit

I’ve looked to all the experts
Gathered all manner of stories
and hired an inside informant
Even climbed inside one from time to time
Yet I’ve no idea how the child becomes the man

I’ve asked the best
and searched the great compendiums of wisdom
I even resorted to creating some myself
and climbed inside one from time to time

However, I’ve still not a clue
how nothingness becomes a poem

The Push and Pull of the Thing

DC36226D-220D-419F-8012-6190468FCCF9What do you do when above all
It’s the rhythm uncooked, the rush of the raw
The moon-kissed river within and thawed
Most precious, unbolted and brightly awed
Original blood pulsed and odd?

When even if you owned nothing at all
Nothing else under silvered skies
But the sink of the sun, the startling rise
When the push and pull of the thing was the all?

And the goldupongold, the unlikely prize
wealth beyond dreams deferred or dried
not festered or stunk or sunk with a load
but light as a feather, finely floating
like a film on the water finally flowing?

What do you do but swim and ride
waggling and wagging and wild-eyed?

Your Dewdrop Desire

4711150E-7631-4EFF-BFB9-7731312B1444Don’t make the mistake of believing your dewdrop desire is different than the tide—
sometimes high 
sometimes low
yet always showing up 

Without it how would 
the birds and the shoreline 
feed themselves?

How would the world continue to be created?

Don’t be fooled into thinking
your red raw art 
or that sunbow wow on your face 
are any different than egret wings
flapping into the new moon

Ok, if you came at it sideways
with a Crab-eye-point-of-view 
the doorways do look different

They might appear as pockets of mud 
waiting for your thirsty feet
even if you bring your shell 
far into the day

But certainly don’t make the mistake of thinking 
your feet are different than your fathomless heart
deep as the memory of the sea