50F167C2-8EA0-4A92-9C4D-D1D4B1074F09.jpegReally excited about what’s emerging! I’m launching Wild Nature Heart Academy.

It’s still early, but I couldn’t wait to announce it. In a couple months I will be Inviting JUST 8-10 PEOPLE to join the first edition of Wild Nature Heart Academy’s introductory online course: RECLAIMING YOUR WILD NATURE HEART. This is the online version of the on-the-land version of the course that I will host in Humboldt County.

The interactive course is for people who are on the path of rewilding and cultivating a deeper belonging to place, purpose, and people. For those transitioning to a deeper earth-centered and sensual life and those unfurling a meaningful livelihood sharing your unique gifts that honors our earth home and our wholeness as people. And for those exploring their inner wilderness and eager to expand their toolbox of exploration, and wanting to share with others.

Participants will not only have a transformative, nourishing, and inspiring experience, but will also be in the first cohort who will help shape the Wild Nature Heart Academy. It is also an opportunity to be part of the growing edge of the ever-expanding rewilding and nature-connection/ecotherapy movements.

More soon on details as the curriculum is developed, but for a glimpse now: there will be 8 modules (on topics ranging from Deep Belonging, Deep Listening, and Stepping into Your Power, to Joanna Macy and The Work That Reconnects, the 4 Shields of Human Nature, and The Way Of Council), weekly video meetups, Deep nature and wild soul connection Practices and activities, guest teachers, 1-on-1 earth-rooted mentoring/inner wilderness guiding sessions, Assistance designing on-the-land experiences and creating a self-ceremony, poetry, and council circle with peers doing similar work and learning.

If this sounds like you, put a pin in it or DM me (ryanvanlenning@gmail.com) with your interest. More soon! 🤠


902EB847-063D-4217-AA32-652630E765F6Don’t listen to me.

It’s NOT so elegant after all,
this unraveling.

It’s a mess
and full of grief too deep to hold
but too old to keep
and anger much too sharp to behold

Of course the confusion underneath
scrambles up us like a crab
and we try to keep it down
with endlessly creative distractions
but nonetheless it
pins us with its claws.

The numbest poet in me wants everything beautiful
and that sells but doesn’t get you very far.
Addicted to redemption and the payday,
It’d be better sometimes to remain dumb.

I’m no sun. Not even a moon
Lives in my face
I’m not half the sky I used to be
Or half the dirt I want to be
So please forgive me when I say,
It’s over—
this pooling up and hanging on
to all the small hopes and big.

Lost. Loss. Less.
Utterly. Without.

Ok, Things aren’t ok. But of course,
We can’t say that.

But that doesn’t mean what we think it means.

Go to the corner and collapse.

Oh how long can you hold it back?

Go to the corner and collapse
for gods’ sake

Or if not for them, then for you
And if not for you, then for the birds at dawn or that small secret scrap that finds you in the darkness.

We’re not getting anywhere spinning our wheels in knowing things.

You can always get more. But you can’t stock up on meaning.

We might have to open death cafes
on every street
If life is to return. I don’t see any other way.

All this flooding says
re-learn to cry and give up understanding.

It’s clear I can’t
sell this, can’t even give it away
but It’s not
what we thought.

The unraveling is here
let’s let it move us.

Pray for our eggs to be broken
open by our own consequences
and the stories to hatch
that are worth hatching.

But first stay still
and collapse—
it’s the only sane thing now.

And then….

The Password

BFBCDBBA-1CF2-43A0-9180-EE45F21394A0To where the windows are open,
or none at all, withdraw
but give up on all avoidable walls

to where fences are figments of imagination
rainbows more real than nations

cast out the keys to all kingdoms
and let your eyes find feet more near

where the slightest gesture of dawn
pricks your holy ears

eluding the noisy net
that daily casts to catch

the dragonfly duet
of your pitch perfect patch

to where the rhythms hard
and soft flood in
imprint them in your luscious blood again

and trace the long-journeyed tree
through the four gates for free

a delicate dance that cannot be seen
without committing to the seasons

Find yourself one day somehow
on the other side of an audacious vow

the secrets spilled, on display
by every gust and guest of the glade

and a cheek against the live oak skin
can tell you the password again.

-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 or on Amazon, Link in bio 🙏😀🎄💚

New Year’s Resolutions (Or the Art of Leaning In)


1)Drink more world
2)Take more people and questions out for walks
3)Scream more
4)Listen more (to everything except hate, commercials, and doubts)
5)Eat more garlic and rainbows
6)Be big star magnet
7)Spark the big spiral
8)Climb more mountains
9)Break all the grey lies
10)Reset the big habit
11)Begin the beginner’s mind
12)Take more cross-country trips with women I love
13)Get more scratches & bruises from bushes & animals
14)Start 3 more hobbies
15)Play more music with more people
16)Have more conversations with dolphins and lichens
17)Surprise myself more
18)Scare myself more
19)Bury myself in more substances
20)Be silent like tap root

All Manner of River

20197C5F-7096-4B50-9A5F-461E80A5BF5EDedicated to  my buddy Walt.

You bold cedar,
nourished by the river,
the river nourished by you,
fed by and are no less the river.

Your undying roots,
the strength of your limbs
living the athletic purpose of your trunk
saying, “To the sky!”
as much as your lover river says, “To the sea!”

Your needles and the sheen of your needles
you bark and the thickness and hardness of your bark
your manly cones erected skyward
in purpose and pleasure.

Yes, you too enjoy things.

You rocks grey and white, blue-grey
and all manner of red, rose, salmon, crimson
without which you would be incomplete
bringing every bold ray into yourself.

You lichen in manifold delight
gold and orange, all manner of green–
dark green, light green, grey-green, lime green
brown and silver,
and because you long for every hue
you draft yourself the inky absence of color, night black
against your grainy lover rocks.

You wet and soaring river,
your shape, texture, weight,
your undulating curves
and sumptuous taste.

Your prodigious femininity
and smooth fluid shapeliness of your giving in
your belonging to everything
your unbound generosity
your gigantic urge towards your lover sea.

The thousand faces of you:
rippled and roaring,
uncontrolled and uncontrollable,
misted and mysteried,
calm and quiet,
trickled and tranquil.

The flow of you I shall assume
each drop belonging to you
is as good belongs to me.

Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There

8CC26FD4-64A9-4D0C-8A21-327F5877FB93It’s okay to just sit on the bank
and watch the river
or even let the river
flow through you.

If you want to have a private conversation
with the moon and Venus
I won’t judge.

And even if I did, it’s none of my business.

If you just stand on the ridge
to be with the sun
until you become the sun
dropping its anchor off the ship of the day,
that’s too is okay.

If you want to, spin for 24-hours straight
like the stars around midnight.

Bury your bare feet in the sand
your arms around the mossy oak
slide your hands across the madrone limbs
like a lover–
if you want to.

It’s okay.
It’s okay.
It’s okay.