4A1F0A8E-772C-4980-AB7B-8AAC02E6FB6D.jpegThe same desire that makes madrone red
offer her berries in deep autumn spread

brings firethorn’s pomes and their scarlet sprays
out for a dance amid winter’s play

then lands on her lips the color of wine
taking a sip of the season with mine

A touch of my wild conjures the red
to the soft of her lips, softly in bed

rolls on her mouth so ruby and rose
flickers of tongue like a serpentine pose

so eager to taste, and longing to bite
yearning to sink in the neck of the night

when the seasonal rains finally come
the land and body both are a’hum

when the release of fall finally arrives
all of the greens and deep reds come alive

with the rush of her blood flushing her cheeks
and all of her lips, like flooding of creeks

beyond their banks, a wet wild flow
the land and body alike are aglow.




D7B72233-D238-4F3C-BBC2-E2AE831BB79ADecember comes to the forest
as an ocean on the head

Something finally dissolves
and a man turns to mist
as struggle takes its leave

Most birds play it safe
but some brave birds still sing—
the rain makes the kid in them
get up and dance

Their whistle
and the tappity tap tap
on the roof of the hut
are the only sounds

The moss grows by the minute
greening boulder and bolder yet

Conquering the forest with Greenness
thereby settling it
once and for all

Drinking the rain
as the night drinks the dark
and the man drinks the season

-Ryan Van Lenning

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