75294C65-DE3F-4A0C-9641-53AA7BE42F3DAbundance will take care of itself

like those countless spores
on the belly of the mushroom
the shape of private parts
commuting on the wind.

But they’re not private.

They’re out there
for the whole world
in teeming pomp and pageant

like the passing storm
handing out droplets
to every eager passerby
not holding back anything.

So Yes, be the wetness.

Be the spore and storm
in boundless beneficence.

There’s no chance of failing then.

I Hate Rainbows

7B829405-609D-49BB-AB5C-B86858015AF8It was morning all afternoon
and the rain was somehow involved
in who we were

when it disappears, a rainbow emerges
end to end, a bold one full of lessons

a girl in the backseat says,
I hate rainbows–
they remind me how nothing ever lasts

and looks in the mirror
making sure the colors she painted
on her face
are staying where they should
and saying the things she wants to say

The moon is cool, though, she admits
because it gives me evidence
that we actually spin

she translates from french
my own poem
that had been carried across the sea
from its native tongue
and it comes out better

It occurs to me now it was a poem
about how the butterflies and bees
are disappearing fast in the world she’s inheriting—
how nothing ever lasts

And I want to be something that lasts for her,
so I say I’ll help you write that poem about your uncle
not knowing too much about helping anyone
with poetry
but I never get the chance

I want to tell her that despite not knowing how to speak her language
she’s taught me so much
but I don’t

I want to say to her, yes, change is hard
harder than the falling rain
harder than rainbows are soft
but I don’t

I want to say, feel what you feel, it’s okay
even if you have to hate rainbows
but I don’t

I want to tell her what a strange courage
they give me
a reminder that we only have this moment
but I don’t

the moment passes
the rainbow fades away
and morning finally and too soon becomes night

—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, My book of mystical poems Silence Begins Here and book of love and erotic poems Wild Rose Hips will be out later this year. 🙏😀🎄💚

Gorgeous Storm

6e2d0a5b-b44d-4a50-a743-06d6f2fcb17dThis gorgeous storm
Keeps getting stuck in my teeth

As if I could bite-size my way
To destiny

When all I want is to have it
Come racing out my lungs

Like a waterfall plunging
Over my luscious tongue
and out my mouth

Flooding all the landscapes
of my crooked life

To join the birds and beloved lusts
Of a wounded world.

Please, Storm, please,
knock down the weak branches of my being
And wash away the old debris

Sunday Before Christmas

C2681DA1-DA6A-4845-9841-FEC395106A91Though this is a multi-lifetime piece
it drops in the Sunday before Christmas
when the rain is still a soundtrack
on your multi-hijacked ears
and the multi-brew merriment is several streets away
and the only sweater you have has holes in it
and a stain from olive oil

You feel you should be lonely
but in fact you’re not, not because
the dog perks her ears up when you do

But because unlike her
you’re no longer chasing
the wrong things

Leaving the Grass

First rain of the season!
Though the stalks are dry
though they may have been dead for years

How you, in the tall grass, still hide

Though whatever hunts you–
or you think hunts you–
hunts you there as well

And while you feel safer
among the reeds
you can’t see well
nor stretch your powerful legs

Nor cast your astonishing voice
into the wide-net sky

The sky, who needs your songs
to unlock the clouds
and release the new rain

So today, walk out and cast it—
So much depends on you
leaving the grass

Kneel for Your Mugwort Blessing

IMG_8932Here’s the final installment of my winter Haiku series! (technically a few days overdue, as Spring Equinox was Tuesday). My goal was a total of 107 Forest Haikus. I achieved it and added one more for a total of 108. Some of you may know the significance of the number. (See the others haikus in the series: Plum Blossom Blankets, 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)

Me and Ms. Otter
surprising one another
in the morning fog

Sunday morning church:
kneel for mugwort blessings
as turkeys sing hymns

Jackrabbits jumping
during their morning commute
no time for hellos

A pair of mule deer
eating the forest buffet
from sunrise to dusk

Egret flying by
when I open my tent door—
sure beats traffic jams

Final winter rain
spiders think my bed’s a raft
to float into spring

Last day of winter
an island in the river
sweet swallows swerving

Water’s edge at dawn
the fog and great blue heron
sipping life slowly

Hummingbird hovers
in a cerulean sky
chirping for the moon

Because words are food
chew on them and let them roll
around in your mouth

Spring arrives with rain
someone left their antlers out—
their head must be cold

Nearby faraway—
where the seasons still dance for
all our relatives

Last day of winter
geese are honking up a storm
for a midnight snack

From first light to dusk
back and forth and back again
geese fly the river

When Quiet is Queen
Winter speaks undying love
in her holy ear

Water’s edge at dawn
a river otter splashes
cold spring on his face

—Ryan Van Lenning