My Book of Poems of Earth and Soul Is Here

BB758211-32E7-49CA-A28F-2CF5E5BD1D6DI’m excited to announce that my book Re-Membering: Poems of Earth and Soul is now available.

Re-Membering has 75 earthy and soulful poems in it, an unabashed celebration of the sensuality and mystery of wild nature. Redwoods reach without apology towards the sky, rivers flow with unflagging energy towards the ocean, and souls add rings towards their biggest expression. This collection re-collects for all of us a time when our kinship and inter-connectedness with the natural world was self-evident, and invites us to fully re-inhabit and say “Yes!” to our sensual natures, our animal bodies, our playfulness and creativity, connection, mystery, and our instinctive love for this beautiful, sentient Earth. In turns evocative and playful and always vivid and soulful, the poems in Re-Membering are beautiful catalysts of remembering, little sparks in the dark of forgetting that make one gasp, “Oh, I remember that!”

Gratitude and much love to everybody who has been there all along and believed in me and found inspiration in the poetry (you know who you are, my inner redwood circle)!!! I have been equally inspired by your fierce and big wild nature hearts.

If you have enjoyed some of the flavors of my poetry here on Rumi and the Shadow, you’ll probably love the poems in Re-Membering. Or maybe you have a friend, lover, family member who loves nature and poetry–it makes an easy and affordable gift. Pick up a copy here–and if you like it, leave a review on Amazon-I’d really appreciate the love!

Early Praise of Re-Membering:

“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

“Grandfather knew to ‘Look out for rattlesnakes and rusted nails’ and he also knew what too many have forgotten, the primacy of the earth and our place with her. Ryan Van Lenning’s poems restore what’s been lost to our souls, knowledge and love that was once considered basic and obvious. Poems are the perfect form for this remembering— Van Lenning takes us back to mud, to fire, roots and leaves, restoring what our species will not get far without.”
-Patrice Vecchione, author of Step into Nature: Nurturing Imagination and Spirit in Everyday Life

“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

“Ryan’s poetry sprouts out of him from moist, fertile soil – painting a lush landscape of sensual and philosophical magic. His poems transport you to a way of living in relationship with the earth that is lovingly intimate. Ryan integrates body, spirit, and social commentary into a vision of how to live a nature-inspired life amidst noise and overrun technology. ” -Ariana Candell, LMFT, Founder of The Earthbody Institute

This provocative nature poetry is heart and soul enlarging. Try reading it out loud, especially to trees and rocks and humans too. Re-membering is likely to change the way you relate with the wild outside and the wild within you if you pay close attention and come back to your favorites often. Think of it as love songs written to the earth. I’m looking forward to the next collection by this poet. Highly recommended.” -Katie Baptist, LCSW, Co-Founder of Wild Nature Heart


Cut One From the Mystery

A663BD16-DB78-4683-9A0E-36EB060C7BA6Be no dead dust mote settled

Undertake the ritual:

Forage from the brambles of time
the forbidden meter of your love
your elemental kick
soaring and sybylline

Be no dead dust mote settled
but stirred up like a comet
a firenado, world renewing

Pour your squawk of frolic
from beyond the melancholic treetop
of your all-baffling brain

From the low hums of nerves
and gods called dreams
you misname

Oh what melodies remain
and even silence means

Cut one from the mystery
and put them in your inwoven basket

Still No Idea

84868FD3-F750-4121-9BFF-AC095A5D6ED6I’ve looked through telescopes and microscopes
Scanned the hills under all the skies
I’ve conducted all-night vigils just to find out
Even climbed inside one from time to time
But I still don’t know how the night turns to day

I’ve set up hi-fi recording equipment
I’ve planted, watered, and harvested
Even climbed inside one from time to time, but still
I don’t know how the seed becomes the tree
Becomes the fruit

I’ve looked to all the experts
Gathered all manner of stories
and hired an inside informant
Even climbed inside one from time to time
Yet I’ve no idea how the child becomes the man

I’ve asked the best
and searched the great compendiums of wisdom
I even resorted to creating some myself
and climbed inside one from time to time

However, I’ve still not a clue
how nothingness becomes a poem

In the East at Ease

DAC2D300-507B-4B29-94A5-5B2861A966A8Sitting on the West
In dithery all blossomed
She pluckered light in flantic whole
More round about than Chaucer

Barely goosed in gibbous garb
Her gosling eyes still shone
Coy as cat and slicker yet
She yearned her lover home

But in the East in full-boned ease
All gandery and glistened
Reclining brithe and skinkery
And beige to boot and free
The ottered man with plinket eyes, lay
Skin-gathered and complete.

Of Mood and Molting Under Unborn Sky

art2Under this unborn sky
rainless rusted
without benefit of peach
or persimmon stains—
an anonymous creature remains
of mood and molting

The night stacks itself thick
with jugular memories
born husky
and hooked to root
rough-hewn and lunatic

The creature lopes
revoltingly towards
what appears to be a tool of war—
perhaps it’s the moon, perhaps a dull rage or lust—
at the edge of the shadowed field
wielding it at first like an axe
then like a song
soon hooked to remembrance
itself hitched to hue and heft

Clouds gather robust and looming
heavy with dust and promise, proving
once and for all—
once they’re moving
even silhouettes can spawn revolutions
wet with purpose

They’re on Their Way

314D1CA4-B0EB-497E-BA98-A3256EF18D64Don’t puzzle over the meaning

When did the river ever stop
to ask the rock
Of what it’s made?

A caress will do
and it’s on its way

Don’t puzzle over the meaning.

A poem. A river.
The foam. The world.
A woman. A girl.
A man unfurled.
Who knows how to play.
Who knows how to play?
They’re on their way.

To where we’re all headed.

It’s the what
not the why.
Don’t ask me why.

The big-picture-map-
Been there, done that
Better make sure
it’s the right box/map/trap
or make your own.

They say you are
what you puzzle over
So might as well be
a puzzle dove hovering
over the treasure trove
in your pleasure grove.

Take your great outrageous scimitar
and cut your head off
so you can stand
inside both your
stone and rivers.

Either way, abundance is unavoidable.