This week marks the 1-year anniversary of the birth of Re-Membering: Poems of Earth and Soul and High-Cooing Through the Seasons: Haiku From the Forest. I marked it by actually taking my own books down to the river and celebrating Fall with them. I introduced them to Jeffers, June Jordan, Joy Harjo, and Jane Hirshfield and we all had a grand ol’ time dippin’ and divin’ in Flow and Fun.

I’m feeling enormous gratitude for the energies that flowed through me to bring them into the world, and all the people who saw in them something special and everybody who continues to find inspiration in them.

The 75 poems in Re-Membering are an unabashed celebration of the sensuality and mystery of wild nature, both inner and outer.

The poems in these collections (perhaps all my poems?) invite us to fully re-inhabit and say “Yes!” to our sensual natures, our animal bodies, our playfulness and creativity and grief, connection, mystery, and our instinctive LOVE for and BELONGING to this beautiful, sentient Earth.

May the poems in Re-Membering inspire your fierce and big wild nature hearts and be a small part of putting our shoulders to the wheel of The Great Turning.


“Bless Ryan Van Lenning for listening to the wild voices and bringing back the news for those who have lost their way. Bless him for reminding us of our original love affair with the earth and of what we know deep in our souls. His poems give wise counsel: let go of the debris, remember who you are, do not abandon your luminous thread.” —Lorraine Anderson, editor of Sisters of the Earth and Earth & Eros

“Ryan’s poetry speaks deeply and clearly to the awakening to our true interconnected nature, which is the only way we can transform our world.” -Molly Young Brown, Author of Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects (co-authored with Joanna Macy), Editor of Deep Times: A Journal of the Work That Reconnects

You can get both books 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, and Book of Rivers: Headwaters and Heartrocks will be out later this year. 🌿💚🙏🏽🌻🌲

Just a Tree Trunk

tree trunkThe uses to which you can put the beautiful desiccated severed spine of an ancient tree on the shore of a dammed river:

1)Performance Stage:

Barefoot tap-dancing
cedar limb as air guitar–
a sunset concert


Reading Thoreau at dusk–
all the librarians here
are dressed up like ducks


Issuing edicts
across the calm blue waves
like a summer king

4)Meditation Hall:


5)Viewing Deck:

Hot breeze, hazy skies
fish performing somersaults
for a bearded man

6)Ecological Research Facility

Three red-tailed hawks
Twenty-two clouds or just one–
it really depends

Humboldt Haiku

0A0CD771-A674-46DB-9DE6-09CEC2E003C9Mist in deep summer–
two barefoot woodland creatures
walk the cool redwoods

Small creek, tall redwoods
she jumps in the cold water
clothes on the boulder

August fog, tall trees
reaching out in deep summer–
a redwood romance


Blackberries and mist
chipmunk enjoys his breakfast
atop the brambles

Big boulders, big creek
mammals exploring bodies–
Monday morning joy

Lying side by side
in the center of the creek—
a deep summer treat

Sometimes in the woods:
plant identification
can be so sexy

Cold Jacoby Creek
Artemis puts her bow down
for warm caresses

In the coastal fog
special kind of Humboldt mold
growing on dog poop

The Moon Says Nothing

F420D19A-9D8B-4034-8370-63CA1D92FECEJust me, the moon, the river–

when I get up to relieve myself
the forest is quiet
except for the factory in my head
producing haiku

The forest is still
but engineers in my head
are busybodies

Then assembling a poem
about not being able to take a leak
without being a haiku geek

Sometimes a guy just wants to pee in peace

The river and me–
moon watches us both flowing
through the dark forest

but words pour in one end
jostling to find a way
to get into the product on the other end

It’s like those people who have to take a photo
of everything rather than be in the moment

except my camara lens is made of words
and the shot is on a delayed timer
the shutter won’t snap until
each word falls into place

and all I want to do is go back to sleep.

Sounds of the forest:
river flowing, man peeing
The moon says nothing.


Lean Into the Wind – 10 Mountain Haiku

mountainLean into the wind
from atop granite ridge, but—
don’t fall on your face

Mountain scurriers
stealing my stuff at midnight—
have fun with my knife!

Even Neruda
didn’t write a lovely ode
about caddisflies

There is a reason
you don’t drink from waterfalls
hanging upside down

Model wearing furs
posing for a photo shoot—
a marmot beauty

Walking off-trail
under blue Sierra skies—
pounds of bear scat

Sleeping back to back
in the freezing mountain air
we survive the night

At ten thousand feet
the June sun is closer and
cities don’t exist

He’s just a rodent
but looks so fashionable
in my old white sock

These granite pack rats
grabbing every loose thing
up on mouse mountain

Awake to Wings – Eight Spring Haiku

lake2At morning and dusk
scooping up their breakfast bugs—
these madcap martins

At the water’s edge
a family of seven ducks—
bedtime is at nine

Playing hide and seek
the kids roam from shore to shore
yelling for their dog

Silhouetted lake
has spring swallows dancing to
ukulele songs

Blue wings, white bellies—
thrill-seeker aerialists
enjoy the sunset

June on the water
swallows and shadows swaying
in the evening breeze

Wood rat scurries in
picking up after picnics
at the city lake

Schedule for the month:
mallards morning exercise
I awake to wings