THE MOON IS A TURTLE IS A HUMAN HEART

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🌝🐢💚 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?

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

BEWILDERED AND BLESSED

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🌕 BEWILDERED AND BLESSED

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.

SAVAGE PULSE

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A savage pulse
asking of you
more than you think
you can handle

lives here.

Did you expect to love the world and not die daily

from the sundry shocks
both sharp and subtle?

Did you expect to find
on the edge of every granite cliff
a pillow for a weary head?

A sweetness in every mouthful bit off from the big loaf?

Surely the wintered sun
and rough and gripping tide
disabused you
of such sentimentality

Yet surely the same sun
and the lunatic arriving
of a faultless sea
taught you, Beautiful Gambler,
how a lover shows up
with an unconditional caress

But if you’ve yet to find
the capital C in celebration
in the seed of each moment

strap the searchlight
around your ribs

and shuffle like a crescent moon
over all your little resistances

your feet becoming wiser
with each toe-stub
in your heart

until they become sandpipers dancing at dawn
around the fingers of the sea
knowing exactly where to go

I’M A DREAM YOU HAD UNDER THE FULL MOON

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.

#ryanvanlenning
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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.

THE SPELL OF WHYLESS HEARTS

A734AF83-F07A-4E9C-B26B-68319F83E42EPain not as pain felt
but lack
is why the mourners worship More

and stack the filling, stocking stores
and in all the filling’s wicked spell
do not quite feel well

Do not the mourners know
that all their Nows are lost
and stuffed
all the Here’s dearly departed
and in the filling spill the hurt
into spaces sick and rough
burning nests of Whyless Hearts?

But there’s no lack of Heartful Whys
of morning meaning’s wild worth
the sun’s why yet sets and rises
the moon yet opens her eye
spinning us through the west and north

But why must we eat others’ Whys?
Why oh why to die in life?

When within the spaces well within
The Well
we might as well Why our lives
with the Whys that we own
All the Whys in which we dwell

and therefore become well as well
as the moon as she sings and swells
and pours forth her monthly spell