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.

BEFRIENDING THE DARK #3: LET THE SEASON SEASON YOU

D047A7B9-6A76-4306-BBB3-539C0FAB4F33Poem-share for sinking into the season & Befriending the dark, slowness, silence, and shadows.
#BefriendingtheDark
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Don’t jump over the season
like an escapee.

You can’t jump over winter—
you may dream of spring
on the solstice
and try for eternal vernal
at the first frost

but you can’t jump over winter.

Slow down and let the season season you.

There is much that is not true
until the darkness gets its due
yet, there is hope in truth

and dark’s your better ally
than unseasonal false friends.

So don’t jump over the season
like an escapee.

Tell me, what are you fleeing from?

Can you flee from the season within you?

Don’t be tempted by the empty calories
of bittersweet fruit too easily procured—
an early ripening causing indigestion.

Let the season season you.

Let the cold crack that hard bark
of yours—open your meadow
to feel it all.

Open your earthbody and feel
even the worst of it—
where it hurts the most.

Oh Be still and let the season season you!

Let darkness fall in you
like a sword of truth
and you will find a deeper root
than you ever knew.

Then—at the ripening hour,
your branches will know
how to celebrate the sky

and your sun will be the true sun
the world is needing most.

Do you understand
these are the kindest words
you’ve yet heard?

#ryanvanlenning
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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.

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.
———————————————

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.

 

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.

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. 🙏🌍🤠🦊🌲💚