MY NAME IS BELONGING

A0661C0A-A30E-4E4B-AA43-8E752AFFF30CThey say the first step
is admitting
you have an addiction

So here goes
—my name is Mystery,
I’ve been here
a million times

and Yes, I take heaping spoonfuls of galaxies
when I should be sleeping

I gulp in the seasons
whenever I see one one
sitting out on the table

My name is Abundance,
and I swallow fat Oceans
calorie-dense forests
and whole fields of lupine
when I think no one is looking

My name is Curiosity,
and I look under rocks
and climb through dark caves running my hands
against the wet walls

My name is Insatiable
and I chew
on entire mountain ranges
just to get high

I have no idea what they say about the second step,
I wasn’t listening.

I was too busy sitting
on the edge of the cliff
watching the sun retire
and caressing the bark
of the madrone tree

My name is Belonging.

WILD NATURE HEART CHALLENGE

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:
https://wildnatureheart.com/product/wild-nature-heart-seasonal-challenge/

#wildnatureheartchallenge

WILD SYLLABLE OF TRUST ON MY LIPS

18CED582-3BD6-4CD9-B5A6-0ADB0A167F76There’s absolutely no way I can be a sun god
if I’m not simultaneously a dung beetle.

I’m no part-time lover—there’s no way
I can be one of the great lovers
without claiming my name
from the center of the earth

without pulsating the No-Name
from the center of the moment
the grand pulse hidden
in the everything

No grand ascent without the dark
and mysterious descent,
no flying without digging.

I’m not here to flee
from parts of you
I think I can’t meet in myself.

I stand here with arms outstretched
and a wild syllable of trust
on my lips
comprehensible only to those
with the great longing pouring in
and out of their cracked ear-hearts.

APPRENTICESHIP

96B244D0-1B10-456D-804E-4B538A5B3CE0I live among the hucklebush
and ferns and forest ever-lush
and learned to sing from hermit thrush
the slugs they taught me slow

The froggy croaks they keep me cracked
The crawling oaks they coax me back
These nightly cloaks they stroke my back
the moon she taught me whole

I’d hunted, hoarded all life long
but not the things that brought my song
Nor the things that made me strong
They sure did take their toll

Now hunting has a different aim
The gatherings a different game
The tools I use have different names
within this chest of soul

So still I watch the heron’s hunt
and listen to the river’s run
apprenticed to the earth and sun
These lovers taught me Flow

-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. 🙏🌍🤠🦊🌲💚

IN THIS DEEP

93FC754B-79DC-4382-88D7-A1CC22C300B5What could send me down this far
But your wild path bizarre?
Who could bring me down this deep
But your crooked steady stream?

All bowed over and needles fine
You curvy as the number nine
Stitched together in woodly scents
to pitch me in here like a tent

Red o red o green o green
I wondered if you heard my screams
Flow and free and green serene
I wondered if you’d seen my dreams

Branched like brooks like roots like lungs
Inside me run your ancient tongues
Your hermit thrush to tuck me in
Then golden-green to wake again

Redly barked and greenly packed
I wondered if you’d bring me back
The world’s noise had got me good
Until you whispered through my blood

What could send me down this far
but your wild path bizarre?
Who could bring me in this deep
But your steadfast summoning?

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

The Deeper I Crawl the Brighter I Burn

9578ACD0-6382-44F8-898E-507ABD53D449The deeper I crawl the brighter I burn.

In stillness, I flicker the world with eyes open
and feel all the vibrations.

The darker my eyes, the further I see.

Then with a flash I slither—I slither old, I slither down
I slither out of the old
into the new.

I wind my body across the belly of the earth
powered by the soul of my grandfather, that great ancient serpent.

The deeper I crawl the brighter I burn.