WHAT IS IT?

29A8129E-EAA9-46D9-9DE8-F8DBCDEEB267
We’ve all been there
the way we bare our teeth
to ourselves
in our sleepwalking

tearing open
skin and scars

barely pausing
to notice it gives no nourishment
nor pleasure

yet the gruesome frenzy
continues unabated

sometimes gnawing
on our own bones

is a final desperate act
of wanting to feel alive

as the incisors cut in
to our precious femurs

This is called self-abandonment
in some circles

and there are 17 thousand glorious methods—
we all have our favorite.

“Oh my what big stories you have!”

We might say
as we lend our curiosity

to that moment
our lips begin to curl
and we begin to salivate.

It can go either way.

What is it
that relaxes our jaw

that brings our gaze
back up to witness
the mess
that awful trail of blood

with our paw prints
slopping through?

What is it
that bells us awake

that instead of chomping down
yet again

moves us to lick the wound
like a lion cub?

After all, weren’t we only following gravity
and a song of desire?

What is it
that instead of devouring

finds us feeding
that exquisite sensation
of hunger
with an epic love?

What is it?

A CRACK AND HIDDEN YES

FD5C6726-7A94-49E3-BCA4-18BA20F3A7F7Even the fabulously defeated
Coiled and feeling beaten
Wintered in and done with pain
Can’t help but open up again

Has a crack and hidden yes
All’s not black amidst the mess
Has a soft under the hard
And a heal for every scar

Protect the core…for sure, for sure
Bending inward so as not to bleed
But done with love is done with life
And Light needs dark as dark needs Light

Its inner arms reaching out
Past the wound, past the doubt
And finds a way to come and play
The voice within as if to say:

I have a crack and hidden yes
All’s not black amidst the mess
I will not coil hard and tight
I’ll find the touch, and let the light

FORGIVEMENT

C5F69B49-5A87-477C-8867-59C768DCDE1FIt’s a bereavement wrapped inside forgiveness

or a forgiveness with a soft accomplishment
wonderment
enlightenment
nourishment

at its core

After all these years, she finds herself
wearing it like a light cloak—for him,
who was supposed to be
a teacher of spiritual things

not all-too-physical things

not things that would have her
doubting and destroying things
into the fifth decade

have her turning this way and that
in the dark labyrinth
always bumping up against walls
with a lump in her throat
 
but mostly she wears it for herself

for not going back in the house
for saying goodbye
to those spirits she grew inside her
but never met fully

for decisions of her too young self

it becomes a torch
when she can hold it steady

She has done her share of kneeling
at the river and lent her tears

and found some measure of flow
as the unspoken things
still make their way to the sea

And it becomes a prayer
lighting the way to the center
where her beloved awaits

#ryanvanlenning
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This poem is included in the new collection ‘Silence Begins Here.’ That and my collection of love and erotic poetry, ‘Wild Rose Hips’, and 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, Link in bio. Follow me for mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work. 🙏🌍🤠🦊🌲💚

WILD BASKET OF HER HEART

99826EAB-4FD9-481F-BB78-DFCB05D65C96She weaves a basket with healer’s hands
With ribbons from the swamp so green

She’s going to find that Sweet Spot and
Become the Wild Weaver Queen

Strong enough and plenty bold
All the things that need to hold

But flexible too in beauty bending
Around the shape of things and mending

Past and present sacred wounding
Scissors for what needs the pruning

The matter of the Moisture Spell:
Too wet and the ribbons swell

Worse yet it grows a mold
But too dry and it breaks, won’t hold

Gaps emerge when dry and shrinks
Things leaking from weakest links

There’s the matter of the Weaving Art:
Too many directions and it all falls apart

The old patterns won’t do, the heart
Needs a new design, so starts

A patience, a fall, a flip and flow
A trimming and a letting go

When present with what is there
The perfect size and shape appears

Unfolding freely in her lap
Ribbons lacing without a gap

The sweet spot sweetly spelled
And all the right things sweetly held
In the wild basket of her heart so well

-Ryan Van Lenning

 

🌱WILD NATURE HEART ACADEMY🦉

50F167C2-8EA0-4A92-9C4D-D1D4B1074F09.jpegReally excited about what’s emerging! I’m launching Wild Nature Heart Academy.

It’s still early, but I couldn’t wait to announce it. In a couple months I will be Inviting JUST 8-10 PEOPLE to join the first edition of Wild Nature Heart Academy’s introductory online course: RECLAIMING YOUR WILD NATURE HEART. This is the online version of the on-the-land version of the course that I will host in Humboldt County.

The interactive course is for people who are on the path of rewilding and cultivating a deeper belonging to place, purpose, and people. For those transitioning to a deeper earth-centered and sensual life and those unfurling a meaningful livelihood sharing your unique gifts that honors our earth home and our wholeness as people. And for those exploring their inner wilderness and eager to expand their toolbox of exploration, and wanting to share with others.

Participants will not only have a transformative, nourishing, and inspiring experience, but will also be in the first cohort who will help shape the Wild Nature Heart Academy. It is also an opportunity to be part of the growing edge of the ever-expanding rewilding and nature-connection/ecotherapy movements.

More soon on details as the curriculum is developed, but for a glimpse now: there will be 8 modules (on topics ranging from Deep Belonging, Deep Listening, and Stepping into Your Power, to Joanna Macy and The Work That Reconnects, the 4 Shields of Human Nature, and The Way Of Council), weekly video meetups, Deep nature and wild soul connection Practices and activities, guest teachers, 1-on-1 earth-rooted mentoring/inner wilderness guiding sessions, Assistance designing on-the-land experiences and creating a self-ceremony, poetry, and council circle with peers doing similar work and learning.

If this sounds like you, put a pin in it or DM me (ryanvanlenning@gmail.com) with your interest. More soon! 🤠
-Ryan

A Crack and Hidden Yes

3342E15F-2687-4DF6-9E3D-5580B3CDB0EDEven the fabulously defeated
Coiled and feeling beaten
Wintered in and done with pain
Can’t help but open up again

Has a crack and hidden yes
All’s not black amidst the mess
Has a soft under the hard
A healing for every scar

Protect the core…for sure, for sure
Bending inward so as not to bleed
But done with love is done with life
And Light needs dark as dark needs Light

Its inner arms reaching out
Past the wound, past the doubt
And finds a way to come and play
The voice within as if to say:

I have a crack and hidden yes
All’s not black amidst the mess
I will not coil hard and tight
I’ll find the touch, and let the light

-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.