With Such Hands As These

CFA30799-CD04-4D39-94DE-9D5A74792707With such soft hands as these,
fear finds no place
to plant its dark seed.

The moon…
the sun….
the waves…
wash over and into us.

Wind offers her gentle balms
and green rests assured.

Tomorrow and a million tomorrows
they will still be here caressing the world—
we have deep time on our side.

Advertisements

In That Old Country

278B8E0E-298C-4A8D-8397-3B9B39243596In that old country of open air
and littered leaves
we adhere to that traditional religion
the one of earth and trees
of wind and winding rivers

Conducting those ancient rituals
of walking
and listening around the fire

Here, all of us are born
with priestly ears
and sacred feet

There is no exile
and everyone is at the heart
of belonging

We sing the sacred stories
and know gratitude

We migrate, following the seasons
and herds of beasts
across the continent of our souls—they know where the water that nourishes is

When the rains come
we drink deeply together
in that old country

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

It Could Be Anyone’s

1A4DB748-AA52-4BC7-AE6B-2687297F5BB9

Morning Moon Set

Whose?

I don’t know.

It could be anybody’s moon–
it was here when I got here.

Anyhow, it’s far too up and away now
to hitch a ride
and for those kinds of things I find wings.

But whose-a-ever it is,
I hope they find it–
I don’t want them to be too lonely
for lack of lunacy.

But at the same time, I kinda like it there,
just out of reach
floating eversomoonly this way and that–
makes me feel all…what do they say…
at home.

Re-Membering is Here!

EC961FDD-EEA2-4EBA-AD0F-AC14440DF67AEvidently, I posted my 400th poem yesterday on my website. Geez I’m wordy! 🙂 But more importantly, I’m excited to announce that my book Re-Membering: Poems of Earth and Soul is live and on the market!

It has 75 earthy soulful poems in it. The book is dedicated to the Big Play, the Sacred Ear, and Deep Memory. I’m very proud of the result–it’s beautiful and accessible–but also extremely humbled that Wild Nature and Muse have been my intimate partners in creation throughout the last year or so. It was neat to read a poem from it for the first time this morning at our Wild Nature Heart gathering in the redwoods.

A little about the title, Re-Membering:

The how and why and when of the Great Forgetting is open to debate and not the subject of my book, nor even something that poetry might excavate. But what poetry might do is spark a remembering, to catalyze a spark in the dark that makes one gasp, “Oh, I remember that!”

Wild nature has been my intimate partner in creation. Wild nature is always there to jog our memory– to whisper, to sing, or sometimes to yell, “Hey, remember your childhood curiosity? Remember your creativity and your gifts for others? Remember your senses and your animal sensuality? Remember your great love affair with the earth?”

The poems in Re-Membering are about evoking that gasp of memory. To re-member is not only to recall the treasures that have been lost to forgetfulness, but about re-integrating the body and soul, putting the members of our whole selves back together, and to re-belong ourselves to the vast and beautiful and endlessly fecund home we call earth, to become full members again in the great earth community.

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!

P.S. The e-book version will also be available in a week or so. And it will be in some local bookstores as well, I’m hand-shopping it around. I will also be selling versions on my own website, but I don’t have that set up yet.

Mad Season

C70FB9B9-EA97-41AF-9557-2EA743BFB97C‘Til ya get that river in ya, man
Get that river in ya
‘Til ya get it in ya, man
Ain’t coming back to you

Gonna up and start
Gonna strum my heart
Gonna mad the season
Overrule the reason

Gonna ride the river
Gonna give the giver
Gonna ride the beaver
get the fever
weave the weaver
pull the lever

Gonna swim the wind
Dance my friend
Blend my blend
Gonna river bend

‘Til ya get that river in ya, man
Get that river in ya
‘Til ya get it in ya, man
Ain’t coming back to you

Gonna skin my soul
drop and roll
Gonna gather stones
float my bones

Gonna surf the sky
tell no lies
make my law
Gonna go for raw

Gonna stretch my ears
bend my fears
mend my tears
Sharpen spears

Gonna shake it out
coyote shout
scratch my itch
raise my pitch

Gonna hear the tune
swerve and swoon
Gonna be the fool

Gonna
break
the
rules

‘Til ya get that river in ya, man
Get that river in ya
‘Til ya get it in ya, man
Ain’t coming back to you

Gonna face the fate
This gateless gait
Gonna seamless stream
Dream this dream

Gonna eat the east
go for beast
best the West
feast and fest

Gonna live the myth
Gonna hit and miss
Gonna make a mess
Gonna Big Caress

Gonna believe the wind

‘Til ya get that river in ya, man
Get that river in ya
‘Til ya get it in ya, man
Ain’t coming back to you