TASTE ITS EVERYTHING

1D902E64-8048-476D-873B-4ED30D2281C0
I accept on my palate,
wide-as-Shasta,
her lips,
all lips inside and out
on my robust tongue

Yes her sharpest
and softest needles

Yes her wettest petal
of wild sea and copper

Banishing shame
beyond the mountains,
too tame voices of others
no more

Yes my endless curiosity,
my fathomless appetite,
my vast arousal by—for—with—
the world

I want to taste its everything

Body and the Lion’s Roar

B2F7814B-AC52-4A51-81BE-3EB41C5890C6Your body and the lion’s roar
tell the truth

Just as there is no arguing
with the dawn or elder trees.

The river insists and you comply
and the bear’s inimitable growl
does not go unheeded.

Damn the censors!

No, Bless them with your beauty
your revelry raw and rivaled
only by anything
that is Unashamedly Itself.

After all, they are only wanting it too.

So compost the joyless judges
in your kingdom of fungi
and retire shame
from the grammar of your unfurling.

If it’s too much for them
it’s because they’ve wounded
their own belly
with the blade of poor belonging.

Are the waves offended by the full moon,
the soil aggrieved by the million seeds?

The fruiting cap before the rains
was but a stage

and that ancient longing
can’t help but burst
the tight shells of humility.

Still a quarter and a quarter yet
lies asleep in the dirt
awaiting the wake up call

that irresistible pull into the Big Stretch.

THAT POEM UNDER YOUR SKIN

EB7515F6-0598-41AD-A5B4-63C13F0861A2That poem that lives under your skin?

That poem may be so far under your skin
you might need the raven’s cry
to claw its way in at dawn

You might need an unkempt trickster
to fool your eyes
in order to fling a true word or two from within your pretty vault

But then the poem will roll off
your skin
all mist and moist
an offering to the earth

It’ll stain your fingers with beets
Your lips with wine
Your thighs with blood

It’ll write your forehead with mud
Your back with her scratch
Your arm with Hafiz

Your story with a wound
will shapeshift and a wild coursing will resume

It’ll entangle your head with the storm
Your hair with twigs
Your eyes with the moon

Or are you here to let your poem sleep through it all?

Then form your raw rituals
and let the world nibble it awake
#ryanvanlenning

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.

SHE SAUNTERS RIPE WITH THE SEASON

837CB341-C697-4D23-8210-5A4C76A313CCShe, like moon with no undue pace
but that of her slow wonder,
wanders to where the brambles bend and maples bow
in homage to their yield, gifts

ripe with the season, soft with promise

she puts down her titles
relinquishes her duties
into river time
and loves herself like water
soft and flowing

sauntering like an artist
a nymph at play

ripe with the season, soft with promise

stoops to smell the everlasting
sings herself with nettles
stops to feel the sun and mud
on her autumn skin

winding her way through the day
until with gentle feet and a clear heart
dusk arrives, and a crescent moon opens up

ripe with the season, soft with promise

BECOME AN OBSESSIONATE ONE

F8C6B24A-E26D-41FE-BAB3-103E4CC88950If you begin each chapter
with ‘and the moon comes
and the moon goes’

You, who climb horizons
even with stiff joints

will find it’s always a new world
as it’s always the old one

Your responsibilities lay
in the soil now
and with the webbed ones
caught in fear

and through the new doorways
which you pass
you’ll pick up pieces left
in your canyons so long ago

Put them in your wide-brim hat
and home in on your belonging

become an obsessionate one
like a convict who loves his fate

Tie those dreamland suns
to your dirty feet

Fill your grotto with flocks of fire
for the unspoken desire at the bottom
and all of hunger’s cousins

Forget all glamour
not worrying about who
is pulling who
Or how stunning you look
when the wind knocks you down

It is enough to receive Time’s wounds and blessings
and breathe like an ocean
one tide at a time

So, yes, let each chapter begin—
‘And the moon comes
and the moon goes’

And bear witness to each season
like a raven