D047A7B9-6A76-4306-BBB3-539C0FAB4F33Poem-share for sinking into the season & Befriending the dark, slowness, silence, and shadows.
Don’t jump over the season
like an escapee.

You can’t jump over winter—
you may dream of spring
on the solstice
and try for eternal vernal
at the first frost

but you can’t jump over winter.

Slow down and let the season season you.

There is much that is not true
until the darkness gets its due
yet, there is hope in truth

and dark’s your better ally
than unseasonal false friends.

So don’t jump over the season
like an escapee.

Tell me, what are you fleeing from?

Can you flee from the season within you?

Don’t be tempted by the empty calories
of bittersweet fruit too easily procured—
an early ripening causing indigestion.

Let the season season you.

Let the cold crack that hard bark
of yours—open your meadow
to feel it all.

Open your earthbody and feel
even the worst of it—
where it hurts the most.

Oh Be still and let the season season you!

Let darkness fall in you
like a sword of truth
and you will find a deeper root
than you ever knew.

Then—at the ripening hour,
your branches will know
how to celebrate the sky

and your sun will be the true sun
the world is needing most.

Do you understand
these are the kindest words
you’ve yet heard?

Included in the new collection ‘Within the Cave Something Pulses,’ forthcoming 2020.

INTO THE CAVE Courses begin January 8. What emerges in the fruitful darkness?
Two groups—one All/No Genders Cohort and one Men Only Cohort.

DEEP BELONGING Courses begins January 9. Re-Belong yourself to Place and Purpose. Day and evening times.

Take the self-paced WILD NATURE HEART CHALLENGE at anytime, from anywhere.


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


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




The old way of holding things
sank into the sea
with the diving god

and sprouted dawnwings
as an owl flying out of one hand

gentle dawnfingers
caressing the earth with the other

with my mycelium strung between
finding nutrients in every thing
for the Fruiting Body of the HeartKing

I barely had a chance to say goodbye
to the old way

Before the way to say goodbye
became the treasure
at the bottom of each breath and day
the bottom of each moment’s play

Which was also how to pray hello
and mean it

like one of the great lovers
of the world

Without fists or fortresses
and only a cosmos to call home

—Ryan Van Lenning

Life Partner

walk with deathWhat does it mean to walk with death?

You can walk with death
as an act of the imagination
having conversations with love
on the way to the death lodge

don’t think it’s not there
just because you made it up

You can walk with death
an uninvited guest
climbing hand over fist
with a closed throat
up the mountain

You can make of yourself an apprentice
at the feet of that brutal, beloved teacher
learning lessons sorely needed

For how can you really be here
saying hello to each blessed moment
without a goodbye
somewhere on the tongue?

This is how to pray, it says,
my first and only lesson.

Fall lives in the spring seed.

Finally, you can walk with death
as life’s partner
hand in hand, allied
like a ripe citizen of the earth

with, if not praise, then respect
holding it gently to one’s heart

Praise will come later
when the heart swells beyond measure

for this one who arrives at every hour
or any hour

So do not be surprised
by its walking onto the scene
with an beguiling smile

For is that not the way
of each bright new petal
and every astonishing sunset
taking your breath away?

Taking all breaths away
so there may be a new?

—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.


35D03E9D-A61C-4E22-86DA-A9BE3909CDCDDid I go wild in the woods
or find merely
a measure of meaning
bright as a storm?

It’s not something one speaks about publicly.

Yet I recall growing dawns
on me like leaves
such rivers running through me

Something exquisite Becoming both green and grey
in the body. Oh, I could dance
and dance

and never reach the bottom of the tree.

The world was a ladybug, a lichen left to be.

All was rainbow, Everything
a universe
the poison oak a guardian
and ox-eyed daisies lazy free
the winter sky, abundant muddy me.

I had my habits—Living
on my in-and-out breath

Under a mushroom
Over a bough, bowed with moss.

Seasons saw me.

I drew a few to my hearth
Foxes from their hidden dens
Bears from hibernation
Falcons from their perches

Feral ones fleeing cages.

Conversations with the least of them,
the most of them.

I had no scrap of saddle
No undue doing
No yoke of note
but her sweetest voice.

Dropped my dreaming stone
in the creek
and fleshed it out so still.

Still…What eyes opened! What I opened?

Where else could my heart stretch so wide
But the path past the gates
away from the machine?

Will I ever find that clearing again
smack in the middle of things
wild in the woods?