🌝🐢💚 The moon is a turtle—
how have you not known before?

How she carries her home across
the parched land one step at a time
a reservoir of soothing elixirs
in her silver belly

for the people on the edge
for the people burning at both ends
for the people fearful of their own wholeness

For you—you who are on the cusp of tremendous things.

For she has drunk deeply
from the world
and knows how to survive the season—
how have you not understood this before?

How with her Moon-eye-point-of-view
and her pace with peace
poured into it

she is not rattled
by the noise
that reigns below—
how have you not noticed before?

How she buries her song egg
in the sand of the sky

always hatching new songs
and intoning the old prayers
of love and change
of light and dark

how have you not heard them
like this before?

How she carves a bright life
in you
always coming and going—
you can’t make of her a bride
to keep in your house
as an ornament

But you must be the bridemoon yourself
When the moment of cracking arrives

and the sound is a marvel
heard by all the lovers out there
who have their faces turned
towards the big sky.

You are one of them.

You are one of the great lunatic lovers
with one ear pitched
on the horizon

the other turned within
the deep well.

And you discover the cracking never stops

That it is the cracking that draws the beautiful patterns all over your shell

that you buried in the
sand of the sky

You discover that the moon
is a turtle
and you are the moon—
how have you not known this before?

From a new collection of lunatic and mythopoetic sun heart poems ‘The Moon Has a Long Memory,’ coming out later this year.



Pour tradition into these tendril moments
Letting them climb up
the bean pole of you

In this vast experiment
of remembering

Welcoming every conceivable
crescent mood, slivered and slow

with no aim but to edge out more and more
for the whole ceremony
and celebration

Thank you thank you
Deliverer of Death

The bow of a thousand radiant moons to you
Doorway to Spring

Thank you for taking us home

Showing us where life was lost
and loss let life

When we, errant wanderers,
who once begged for seats
at the table of belonging

finally unflex our fingers
hoarding the moon

finally relinquish all proving
and sat down, bewildered
and blessed.


A6CB17EB-D049-4CE7-8CC0-7B261ED9DB6BI’m just a dream you had

A night your soul spent
with the trees
playing under the moon

I was the creek falling through you
so you could feel
your own flow

I became night
so you could share your darkness
and say the big secrets
out loud

and not merely have them echo
on the canyon walls

I was the uprooted tree
in the shape
of a falcon’s talon
for you to be caught and released

you slipped right between them

Oh, how good that felt—
it was all over your face

I was the path
for you to go ahead on

With eyes of night
I became the path ahead
to protect you from the Predator

I was the fallen redwood needle
growing from the middle
as my hands danced with yours
dancing with me being the needle

The old does not always fall away
before the new appears

I became the moon
and showed you half my face
so you could see your own

the half you want the world to see
is the half the world needs

The other half will be another dream

Not of me
But in being more you
by dreaming.

By dreaming my moon eye seeing you.

Me holding you. You holding yourself.

That feeling, a playful poem in the dirt.

That is all within you.

Don’t ask why or interpret it.

I’m what your soul is trying to be in the world.

I’m your blind-spot being seen.

I will come out and play
as your dream
whenever you need it.

That is what I do.

Until you find me in the bottom of your bones
as your truest image

When you don’t need to dream me anymore
you will wake up and find me gone.

Astonished, you will turn over
and embrace the love
that’s always been there.

One of 75 poems in RE-MEMBERING: Poems of Earth & Soul. You can get Re-Membering and High-Cooing Through the Seasons: Haiku From the Forest through your local bookstore, on Amazon or Indiebound, Link in bio. My book of mystery poems, Silence Begins Here, book of love and erotic poetry, Wild Rose Hips, and Riverever will be out in 2020.


3BEB20AB-3C3A-4C4F-A24C-E353547648AA.jpegHarbor buoys bugle
the sun to sleep
and wake the moon from her eastern slumber—
a changing of the guard

As the waves beat that old song
at the foot of our rock
curling the dark into itself

The syllables of the sea’s
vast rhythm confounds

But up here, the moon speaks clearly
and follows us
no matter how well we hide

And we like it that way.

Restoring some pace
with peace poured into it
like the light shimmering down
on the season’s cool waters


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

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.