CHANGE IS GOD/ALLIES OF EVERY SEED

This week rains began in earnest. Darkness arrives early amidst impossible colors and I find a soft comfort in all of it. We sowed cover crops of oats, vetch, buckwheat in the garden. It seemed fitting for both the transition of seasons and the shapeshifting of cultural and political landscapes.

There’s a fundamental faith and surrendering when sowing seeds, when stepping gently into growing shadows.

In her Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler writes: “god is change and hidden within change is surprise, delight, confusion, pain, discovery, loss, opportunity, and growth. as always, god exists to shape and be shaped.” It is one of the central tenets of Earthseed.

It is impossible to track all the seeds of change. We’ve lost so much this year. More than we realize. And so much has been born. More than we realize. We’ll be catching up with it for a while.

But it is not necessary for us to track. To understand. It is enough for us shape and be shaped—to shape-shift. As we recombine the seeds of change into who we are, which is always a who-we-are-with.

We are designed to impact and be impacted by ALL of life. So as we shape-shift in all the conscious and unconscious ways, we become what Mystery is trying to be in the world. All is experiment. If anything, we’re allies of every seed. A sower is not a creator, but a collaborator in co-creation.

THE MOON IS A TURTLE IS A HUMAN HEART

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🌝🐢💚 The moon is a turtle—
how have you not known before?

How she carries her home across
the parched land one step at a time
a reservoir of soothing elixirs
in her silver belly

for the people on the edge
for the people burning at both ends
for the people fearful of their own wholeness

For you—you who are on the cusp of tremendous things.

For she has drunk deeply
from the world
and knows how to survive the season—
how have you not understood this before?

How with her Moon-eye-point-of-view
and her pace with peace
poured into it

she is not rattled
by the noise
that reigns below—
how have you not noticed before?

How she buries her song egg
in the sand of the sky

always hatching new songs
and intoning the old prayers
of love and change
of light and dark

how have you not heard them
like this before?

How she carves a bright life
in you
always coming and going—
you can’t make of her a bride
to keep in your house
as an ornament

But you must be the bridemoon yourself
When the moment of cracking arrives

and the sound is a marvel
heard by all the lovers out there
who have their faces turned
towards the big sky.

You are one of them.

You are one of the great lunatic lovers
with one ear pitched
on the horizon

the other turned within
the deep well.

And you discover the cracking never stops

That it is the cracking that draws the beautiful patterns all over your shell

that you buried in the
sand of the sky

You discover that the moon
is a turtle
and you are the moon—
how have you not known this before?

#ryanvanlenning
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From a new collection of lunatic and mythopoetic sun heart poems ‘The Moon Has a Long Memory,’ coming out later this year.

CATKINS CAN, CAN YOU

9A6ED0EC-8AF7-4C6B-B439-E68202A7FC10Catkins can and dare to draw
the early bees with nectar sweet

Scents have sense to sail out
Like dew-drop dreams set to sea

Trigger trigger hie-thee-hither!
Dig thee deeper and never dither!

Planting seeds everywhen—
now and now and even then

Even now, the reds of bones
all destinies bountiful bold
but like shadows, grow then fold

as hail forms robust and round,
then falls and fades in the ground

All beings in me and around
stage their plays and mystery sounds

without a script, without a doubt
All within and springing out

Yet All the urging to emerge
as much to come apart as converge

And I ask myself,
and I ask you too,
if catkins can
can you?

REST STOP ON THE ROAD TO SPRING

63776D44-1BC4-4F64-A6F2-FC5C507D01FFIt’s midwinter
and the cherry blossoms
rub their eyes in disbelief

Because the sky has greyed
its guts out
for a fortnight
and are shocked to see
so many noses on their porch steps.

But we noticed
and we took a little deeper breath.

Rather, the breath took us.

That some things fall
and others hurl themselves
toward the moon

That all must be seen
and all must be lost

is a long and hard truth.

But to arrive at this—
that even the mighty sky
is attracted
to the finest forest duff
to learn humility

and sends it’s love letters
soaked with joy and longing.

While old limbs are devastated
by winter’s breath
in all the best ways
and the mushrooms
take their cue.

That the breaking down
and growing out
slide simultaneously against one another
as the closest of friends
that generates its own kind
of warmth.

While sometimes it seems
we’re all just trying to thrive out here
in the vast loneliness

Stung from walking
so, so long
through the seasons

looking for friends
and a rest stop
on the road to spring
to warm our feet
and sooth our eyes

Saying, will you walk
with me
for a little while?

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MY NAME IS BELONGING

A0661C0A-A30E-4E4B-AA43-8E752AFFF30CThey say the first step
is admitting
you have an addiction

So here goes
—my name is Mystery,
I’ve been here
a million times

and Yes, I take heaping spoonfuls of galaxies
when I should be sleeping

I gulp in the seasons
whenever I see one one
sitting out on the table

My name is Abundance,
and I swallow fat Oceans
calorie-dense forests
and whole fields of lupine
when I think no one is looking

My name is Curiosity,
and I look under rocks
and climb through dark caves running my hands
against the wet walls

My name is Insatiable
and I chew
on entire mountain ranges
just to get high

I have no idea what they say about the second step,
I wasn’t listening.

I was too busy sitting
on the edge of the cliff
watching the sun retire
and caressing the bark
of the madrone tree

My name is Belonging.

Sip the Season Darkly – Within the Cave Something Pulses

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Solstice Blessings!

I. Sip the Season Darkly

Darkness has arrived
wrapping its inky cloak
across the season
of our lives

long shadows and owls stand tall and salute
autumn’s bright slow song
becoming winter’s march

asking us not skip too quickly
over the hour
with an eager eye
grasping towards cherry blossoms
awaiting on the other side

Drink deeply from the season,
they say, from the cup overflowing
with the sweetness of the fruitful darkness

Sip the season darkly
in its slow inward night embrace

Wisdom hidden from summer’s glare
may yet pass our lips
should we have the thirst for it

Until finally, the world becomes too much with us:

We go to the cave, the secret one
in the mountain of ourselves
seeking stillness, a retreat
an inward looking

and listen for it, our own voice amidst

The Silence – can you hear it?

heart sunII. Within the Cave Something Pulses

Within the cave something pulses.
We hear it even now
feel it even now

that which deepest dark cannot smother,
and even winter’s hands cannot touch

tender tendrils of our very own vine,
bearing the wine of our heart

A Remembering–Aha!

Some secret vial of our heart’s fuel
distilled for this very hour
to sip the season brightly

And the sun too misses its lover earth
and cannot too long stay away

The sun was meant for this: to shine

To not share the big love is a wounding

So in this darkest hour
the sun knocks on the nearest horizon
and announces The Return with a subtle beat:

“Dear Love, I’m Here.”

Which is exactly what we find
written on the walls of our cave

“Dear Love, I’m Here.”

And we open our new eyes of dawn
with a deep breath

and though it’s just a whisper now
it is enough to start it all again
and again…again….again…
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Included in the new collection, Within the Cave Something Pulses, forthcoming 2020. 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. A book of mystery poems, Silence Begins Here, book of love and erotic poetry, Wild Rose Hips, and a celebration of the flow of rivers and souls, Riverever will also be out in 2020.

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INTO THE CAVE Courses begin January 8. What emerges in the fruitful darkness?
Two groups—one All/No Genders Cohort and one Men Only Cohort.

DEEP BELONGING Courses begins January 9. Re-Belong yourself to Place and Purpose. Day and evening times.

Take the self-paced WILD NATURE HEART CHALLENGE at anytime, from anywhere.