I COME FROM BARBARIANS

59505CF8-96B3-43A1-9526-7C6D5093436FI’m beginning to see you,
grandmother

I’m beginning to feel your broad shoulders, grandfather

With what waters were your bones built?

What feather-songs
blessed your dawn
what wings flapped
your dreams?

What moved you
down the river
to tears
to dance?

What pulled you
finally from the
from the fir
the ash and alder
and mountain maple?

Who welcomed you home
on the the new year’s moon
and what did you call it?

I’m beginning to hear you sing around the fire, grandmother

I’m beginning to feel
your strong hands, grandfather

No, I’m no orphan
I come from beautiful barbarians

who had no need
of pretty walls and roads
of any stupendous empire

What built you built me too
What sang you sings me too

We are people of the forest
men and women of the river

with an umbilical cord
to the great turnings
and a rootwink from the cosmos
a twinkle in its eyes

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.

I HAD MY HABITS

35D03E9D-A61C-4E22-86DA-A9BE3909CDCDDid I go wild in the woods
or find merely
a measure of meaning
bright as a storm?

It’s not something one speaks about publicly.

Yet I recall growing dawns
on me like leaves
such rivers running through me

Something exquisite Becoming both green and grey
in the body. Oh, I could dance
and dance

and never reach the bottom of the tree.

The world was a ladybug, a lichen left to be.

All was rainbow, Everything
a universe
the poison oak a guardian
and ox-eyed daisies lazy free
the winter sky, abundant muddy me.

I had my habits—Living
on my in-and-out breath

Under a mushroom
Over a bough, bowed with moss.

Seasons saw me.

I drew a few to my hearth
Foxes from their hidden dens
Bears from hibernation
Falcons from their perches

Feral ones fleeing cages.

Conversations with the least of them,
the most of them.

I had no scrap of saddle
No undue doing
No yoke of note
but her sweetest voice.

Dropped my dreaming stone
in the creek
and fleshed it out so still.

Still…What eyes opened! What I opened?

Where else could my heart stretch so wide
But the path past the gates
away from the machine?

Will I ever find that clearing again
smack in the middle of things
wild in the woods?

POEM-CRACKER PARADE WITH FOREST-MADE WORD WEAPONRY

8AB33D2C-F16B-4DDE-9EB8-CDB241274F08Today marks two years of Living this lifestyle. Living outside with the breathing sky as heart-home roof. Finding a keener inter-independence with the living and dying more-than-human world and my dark and light Muse-Beloved. Everything is a window. Everything speaks.

From Gary Snyder’s ‘For All’: I pledge allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the soil of Turtle Island, and to the beings who thereon dwell one ecosystem
in diversity under the sun. With joyful interpenetration for all.

So Here’s a poem-cracker parade to celebrate and show off homegrown forest-factory- made word weaponry:

THE SILENT HERE OF THINGS

I finally stood in the lush truth of it.

I never walked so slow, never ate
so many trees
savored so many stars.

Dawn hung around my neck
like a sigil
the river stones emblems of belonging.

Some I in me had said, I can’t live
like this
but some big eye in me—
an owl, I recall—replied, Yes.
Yes you can—an archetype
is breathing through you.

They just kept letting me in.

Everywhere I didn’t knock.
No keys.
No doors.

The living sky my heart-home roof.

Only the silent here of things
on the back of the map
where all the real places are.

#ryanvanlenning
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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, 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 for mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work. 🙏😀🌲💚

THE WIDEST HUES

6116B67D-C45B-408C-A274-7A15369D8AB0A Vision, seeing as much
with my feet
and my stomach pulling me up
the fickle hill
and over

While the web is weaving split infinity, each to each
I see what wrecks and wings await
at every step
well-absorbing me as much
as I absorb them

When Goodfellow hermit thrush,
that Grand Inquisitor, invites:

Have the exquisite marks formed upon you yet? No?

Then keep opening—
strive ye with death
and moonly silence

Not beyond despair,
but spanning both dark
and bright buffet

Form and fill
your unique dimensions, earthedly

stretched just so taut
and ache
the good ache, Dyeing
yourself in the widest hues

—Ryan Van Lenning

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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, Link in bio. 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 THRUSH’S ANSWER

38FA1E49-0084-45DD-A519-AA431BD46EA3The Thrush’s answer ushers in
the last of daylight’s questioning

In ever-widening loops he throws
his singsong down, and finally flows

through the finest forest fingers
and in my old ear-mind lingers

Dissolving all the daylong haste
into the slow of dusk’s embrace

We catch ourselves in melody
for there’s no place we’d rather be

I’m steeped in his voiced infusion
a moment stopping all confusion

Leave behind all fret and furrowed
brow with no thought of tomorrow

With each bright measure, each long lilt
I’m stitched into the biggest quilt

Pouring out his full throat woodsongs—he answers my most ancient longings