WHAT TO SAY

DE3C650C-6354-40BF-AA51-E444D1003127That I chose the well-brambled life
Or it chose me when I untamed

That I lived a well-Warbled life
Or it lived through me just the same

But time there was when I knew not
the moon nor rivers by their names

And there was an era when ears were dim
no trills and chirps amidst the din

A time forlorn with all the dams
at every slightly hurdled rock

when feet and heart were weary weak
and all my paths and trails blocked

But then I ate the mountains whole
or they ate me when once I walked

That then I heard the rivers’ flow
Soft in bending unflagging song

That then I sipped the heron slow
Fished in water for silence deep

And cast my line in patient art
to catch the things for us to keep

MY HEART-TONGUE ARRIVES AT THE WONDER OF THINGS

0AE47A9C-B322-4389-8E83-A9904EB7F45B.jpegDon’t ask me why
the river and her tributaries
converged in me
pouring mountain hearsay
into the ears of the sea

Don’t beg the reasons a bear
roamed into the den
of my corrugated heart
taking turns hunting
and hibernating
through the wildlands within

Why a Sitka spruce sat up straight in my soul or a flicker turned up
in my whirling blood
and squirreled secrets away
as snacks for a winter minute
is not for humans to discover

It is enough to know
my paws are alive
and my hearttongue arrives
at the wonder of things

spilling out like curious deer
into the fresh meadow
after the storm

#ryanvanlenning
————————————
This one will be included in the new collection ‘Riverever.’ This poem came through after spending time along the Mad and Trinity Rivers and having several encounters with storms and bears.

My book of mystery poems, ‘Silence Begins Here’, collection of love and erotic poetry, ‘Wild Rose Hips’, and my polyRiverous celebration of rivers, mountains, and souls ‘Riverever’ will be out later this year. In the meantime, You can get 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. Follow me for mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work. 🙏🌍🤠🦊🌲💚

I Was a Wilderness

8DD55B5F-B1C6-4D7B-B77A-4476A530577E.jpegI was a Wilderness to my babies

My sons called me Unknown and
stayed aloof

My daughters entered the temple
to contemplate the Mysteries

Creatures scurried through my veins
and everything was a cloud,
coming together
and falling apart

The tales of a thousand centuries are written in calligraphy
across my shoulders

Tattoos dreamt in time

There were complications
and there were rumbles

Birth pangs among the syrupy moments
Wounds lasting eons

It didn’t matter if some mind
figured it out

Some tried and believed it so

Yet no one believed I was the fang and the puncture both

the grand opening and the deep penetration

the sacred burning in all your loins
and lion hearts

Some grasped the tail of my dragon
and learned to play

Some took a deep breath with me

Others needed to disown their flesh
and put me to sleep

But I cannot truly sleep

For there is no end to the dream
inside me

No end to desire

for desire is the mirror of awakening

No end to my need for you

No end to my need for you
to become a river
through your own vast wilderness
flowing back to me

To rest and play again

BY INVITATION ONLY

C1F6A22E-394B-4591-B2DB-1660A8965680Everybody is here by invitation only.

In these parts she’s the host.

The Great River, whose ears
are never closed,
hears autumn knock gently
with mottled wings of crimson-gold
on her front porch.

But I find myself on the back porch
and fall doesn’t even notice me.

Here at the party,
there are no mutters or stutters
though when I’ve filled myself
with all the wrong things
that’s all I can manage.

I’m no good at small talk,
but I can’t abide my own snapping shut, my own slinking away—
so I’ll sit and listen, I say….
I plead
to somebody who has ears
and eyes, but no face.

Or rather, infinite faces.

Now I’m in it for good, I promise.

I’ve made the promises
it’ll kill me not to keep,
but it nearly kills me to keep them
the way winter nearly kills the sun and green in its fabulous dream.

I fall asleep. But this time,
THIS time, I’ll open everything,
I whisper to myself, braving the light
streaming through the door.

I’ll open everything. Did I say that out loud?

Yes, even the blasted bolts rusting
on the hinges of my hidden doors
will come out.

Because she hears everything
she just grins the welcome grin
and carries on,
the life of the party.

And I step in to join.

I’m in it for good, I promise.

PULL DOWN YOUR DAMS

441EA4C7-122A-4495-93A8-6398BCF8FCB7Who put those dams up
on the river of your soul?

They must come down
by any means necessary

You must know that your watershed
nourishes not just you
but all of us
downstream

Please don’t let those
who don’t know
pour waste into your river
or let the silt build up

Don’t worry about those other rivers
they’re doing their own thing

The dams will fall, eventually,
of course
as all things do
but you might nudge them along
chipping away at the widening cracks

Or might I recommend:
strategically placed dynamite
in a grand and dazzling demolition—it has the advantage of being
furious fun—a blessed boldness

But whatever way,
take those godforsaken dams down
and let your waters flow

If you’re on your way to the sea
then damn it,
go to the sea

-Ryan Van Lenning
From my new collection of poems, “Riverever”

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.

READ ME THE RIVER

806892C2-7BD5-4CD1-AC8E-C5AD5419705FRead me the river, my love
the part where it meets the sea

Where the heart undone seeks to be
meandered and slicked with longing, there
let’s have a great river affair

I kept my promise to start
where the crooked creek joins the flow
and herons hum their patient art
and owls chant the night so slow

The dark arrives, too dark to read
but I made a promise to my eyes
and I just may need your sight to see

So read me the river, my sweet
into the last of autumn light

Read me the name of river’s root
where earth round and rapt receives
the foot of sky as well the pulse
of all until all’s relieved

Read me the riddled heart’s great rage
for days like these the breeze is brave
and I can feel the coming wave
bright and strong and rolling through
that long quest released in you

Read me the river, my love
the part where it meets the sea

—Ryan Van Lenning

From my new collection of poems, “Riverever”
📍Ancestral Wiyot territory

————————————————————————————-
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.