It Nearly Floats Away

F01BF34E-F969-4699-B7FD-B653047C7DDDFrom the moon
the unfolded blue and white petaled blossoms
sink into the dark beyond
as quiet as a butterfly.

No cries are audible,
none at all.

The moon—
in its sovereign cold
safe from heat
of hatred daily burning
into flesh and hearts—is calm.

There are no flesh or hearts on the moon
and no fires can be seen.

The only war here is the homesickness for the war.

On the moon that familiar knot is weightless—you know the one.

It nearly floats away
to join the symphony of stars.

So in August’s drowsy simmer
in a moon-muffled world
one can almost pretend…

There must be a reason the moon sticks around.


A Story of Touch in Three Haikus

handSmallest spark of touch—

A wake up call to the heart
That had been sleeping

Electric fingers
Kindle forgotten fires
Reaching deep within

Tuned now and trembling
My skin remembers your touch—
After-shock earthquakes

Head Like A Trophy

brain-heartI carry my head around
like a trophy
won at some contest
I don’t remember entering

My body—having been forgotten—
loses touch with itself
and acts out in a 1001 ways

a dull tool for carrying
around my trophy

and my heart—having been buried
by a fickle brain—

patiently awaits in the dark
soil of my seed-time hibernation

Sometimes in the muted nest
of a late winter morning
when the slanted light sneaks in
through the branches, whispering,

“Wake up….”

I can hear a throbbing
beneath my feet
miles below the tree-top canopy
of my one-song skull

a purple-bruised pulse
desperately singing for its own
springtime resurrection—

the true trophy

-Ryan Van Lenning, Forest Poet

From the Throat of Your Own Bones

heart earIn the countless echoes of the night
the hearing happens:

you know the whisper
because it comes from the throat
of your own bones

A dangerous syllable
slick with lightning blood

If today is not the day for hearing…

That ancient song of earth
sings itself in your animal subterranean

thrusting leaf crimson
and fertile debris
while the wind creature unfolds
and hugs your ribs
at midnight
speaking the images
trying to break out

Hear you not the
shell spiraling upward
in indigenous sea sounds
of magenta mellifluous?

The way in opens with each step

If today is not the day to feel it…

If today is not the day
to turn an ear towards your
bones exquisite…

Crack of ice flow
River walking out of the
depths into your present

If today is not the day….

When is?

No Time For Fly-overs

flyoverFor the fly-over poets,
politicians and preachers,
we’ve got no time

For the generals
and over-reachers
we’ve got no time

Let us look into the soles
of their feet on the ground

Let us see the reflection
of the silvered moon
in their exclamation point eyes

Are the bright windows burning?

Show us the scratches on their calves
a sting on their arms,
Have they walked along their path?

Let us hear a sacred song somewhere
from behind their sternum
however deeply buried

a song for the child
a song for the trees
a song for the water
a song of belonging
a song of together
a song with dirt on its lips

let us hear it,
let us hear that,
let us hear THAT,
and we have all the time
in the world

The hour is late
we don’t have time for the fly-overs