Through the Iris Eye-womb of the Night

IMG_1433The sun is in need
of your wakefulness

He’s gone far, far away
and sometimes forgets the orbic path

Drink him into your body
as the wink of the crescent moon
through the iris
eye-womb of the night

Feed your thirsty eyes with the
throbbing midnight brightness around you

Slake your thirsty ears
with the sound of the universe flowing through you
in the dark

How else will he reach the big sea
on the other side
and raise the flag of his mighty ship in the morning?



IMG_0789Baila, mi luna llena
llameando en el campo cósmico
En la mazmorra de la noche, baila
La danza lenta

Baila, a traves de mis venas vagabundas
Como carreteras de mi corazón

Caricia mi cuerpo con tu mejilla blanca
y transformame
con tu dolor precioso

Madure mi sangre siempre
para prepáreme por la lucha
y muéstrame la sombra de mi castillo viejo

Prestame el llanto lento de tus labios

Baila a traves de el callejón oscuro
de esta cielo
Reina de Mayo

Prestame los palmos de tus manos
y bailaramos a través de prado
de nuestros sueños

-Ryan Van Lenning


Dance, my full moon
flaming in the cosmic field

In the dungeon of the night, dance
the slow dance

Dance, through my vagabond veins
Like roads of my heart

Caress my body with your white cheek
and transform me
with your precious pain

Ripen my blood forever
in order to prepare me for the fight
and show me the shadow of my old castle

Lend me the slow lamento of your lips

Dance through the dark alley
of this sky
Queen of May

Lend me the palms of your hands
and let us dance through meadow
of our dreams


I Was a Dream You Had Under the Moon

moontreeI’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—
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 me.
By dreaming me 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.

Love on the Table

heart tableYou recall a cabin
on the edge of town
in woods of alder and oak

There were big windows on every side
and a porch stretched around
like a loose fitting belt
just barely keeping things in

sometimes it was a stepping stone to the world
and sometimes it was a moat keeping things out

You recognize it
because it was your house
and a life was built there
once upon a time

And on the porch you recall
there was an old table
crooked, but round and steady

And Love was on the table
resting shiningly

and whenever the front door cracked open
it flooded in like dawn

sometimes you noticed—
other times not

Each morning you raced to all the Theres
trying to earn your belongingess
of an eager world
wanting proof

And when you returned later
the porch and the table
were still there

and when you cracked the door
to the home you built

sometimes you noticed
the light pouring in
and sometimes not

When dusk settled in
for its daily prayer

Love became the moon
illuminating parts of the cabin
that even the sun can’t reach

and flowed through the window
silhouetting a figure curled up
before the fireplace—
a dog or a wolf—
your memory isn’t clear

But then a particular morning came.

After a long, winter night–
that kind that is both cold and cozy
and full of memories and rest and safety–
a morning greeted you different
than others.

You remember because the door wouldn’t close
and after a while you didn’t want it to close

and abhorring a vacuum
the light couldn’t help itself
and went swimming through all the rooms

and instead of rushing to all
the Theres of the world
you paused on the porch

you noticed something out of the corner of your soul

And pulling a chair
up to that crooked table

you broke your fast
and had a morning meal with Love

Sometimes Softly Over the Hills the Moon

full_moon_fractal_by_mps21877-d531g2rSometimes softly over the hills the moon
and sometimes through the pines the vernal wind

often in shapes infinite the clouds
and crowds of ladybugs and people too

daily over the horizon a sun
and under the ruppling creek the newt

and sometimes out of the branch a bud
and out of the well of his soul the man

and sometimes at dusk the dancing,
the people pretending to be coyotes
pretending to be the moon
pretending to be the human
pretending to be the dance

under the moon over the hills
through the silhouette of the pines in the clouds
at the center of the universe the belonging

sometimes with grace the coherence of things
where you find yourself

Plum Blossom Blanket

plum blossoms on mossHere’s the 9th installment of winter Haikus. My goal: a total of 107 Forest Haikus, sharing in groups of about 10. Since Tuesday is Spring Equinox, I better get moving on the final two sets! (See the others: Skinny Dipping Water, Fiddlehead Fern Plays an Early Note, Cricket’s Eye Point-of-View, Being Stalked By A Forest, Wings Like Boomerangs, My Tent is Leaking Haikus, Always Coming and Going, and Dancing Naked In the Rain)

It’s mugwort season—
prepare for dreaming big with
bitter tea at dusk

February fog
and urgent appointment—
creek mud on my face

Chilly winter rain
too lazy to leave my tent—
ukulele time!

Snowy plum blossoms
never refusing to bloom
when the spring breeze asks

All my pens have died
so I write poems in the mud
with my two bare feet

Taking down my tent
thinking it’s already spring—
storm thinks otherwise

Eastern moon rising
over winter river–Both
flow west into spring

Little forest mouse
waiting til I fall asleep
to explore the night

Plum blossoms blanket
the green moss coat white, like
parade confetti

Mustard and mugwort
one for dinner, one for sleep—
late winter buffet