THE UNLEASHING

1F7714A2-F580-438B-BD3D-DF69E8933D94Clearly, the unhitching has hatched.

The difference between
the sneaky shadow
and liberation
is sheer

how nautical twilight nibbles up
the inky caress

how night swallows whole
the darkest of basement desires

how the undamnable brightness returns
as relentless salvation

Unveiling two kinds of blindness—one of unknowing
and one of knowing all too well
once the noise subsides

The clouds look pretty grand
all glistened and forged
from unlikely urges

First split, then cumulate
their bescattered impulses
to bring embolden bolts
to bear upon the land

So let’s take the cue
for mind has no purchase
on flow

The stone and water
lend a welcoming nod
and only ones standing stunned
are the ones
slipping beyond their self-embrace

Soon, we’ll no longer consider
the conventional chords

and the extravagant unleashing
will sound a chorus
as much doom as deliverance
chanting our name

However many syllables, however the accent,
it is pronounced: Destiny

and we strike, we reach
into the earth
and pull it out

like the final act
in the play
we didn’t know we wrote.

Beware the unleashing.

#ryanvanlenning
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Included in the new collection ‘Within the Cave Something Pulses.’ That and my collection of love and erotic poetry, ‘Wild Rose Hips’, my book of mystery poems ‘Silence Begins Here’, 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. 🌿🐝🐺🌲🔥 🌍🙏🏽

BEFRIENDING THE DARK

73E95A87-9780-48F6-A917-E0B8F3732A5FBEFRIENDING THE DARK

In these darkest days and longest nights approaching the winter solstice, I am participating in an apprenticeship to dark, silence, slowness, solitude, shadow, and soulstice.

The season contracts, things slow down, energies withdraw, go underground, and the earth releases and composts the old in order to recharge for new life. We honor the season and ourselves by doing the same.

Now the dominant culture sure as hell doesn’t necessarily abide by these energies. In this culture dedicated to light and production, business and speed, wasteful consumption, the notion of valuing and celebrating the darkness, slowness, stillness, spaciousness for rest, poetry and dreaming, the unconsciousness, cocoon and cave and womb energy, is a radical notion.

Yet life and creativity are born in these spaces. The natural cycle and balance of seasons both external and within exists for a reason.. We can dedicate ourselves to syncing our body, energy, psyche to the season by honoring the darkness, shadow, stillness, slowing down, withdrawing in. We can say no to things. We can let go of things. We can take sacred pauses to simply BE, not do.

It is not unusual to resist these downward descent energies (and I myself in the past resisted), but one can find a vitality & wisdom in befriending the dark, sinking into the slowness, and owning the shadows.

I’ll be sharing poems, images, and inspiration that honor the season of dark and shadow and slowness, Using the #BefriendingtheDark.

How are you honoring the season?
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INTO THE CAVE Courses begin January 8. What awaits 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.

 

I CAME AS A YES

BF791D7D-673D-49A6-9896-6C3B61B59258i came as a surprise
a sunset goodbye
i came as a thief
giving relief

i came as a night
too dark to know
i came as a light
too bright to show

i came as a mud bank
thick and sticky
i came as a prank
a bit too tricky

i came as a cry
i came as a laugh
i came as a half of a half
of a half

i came as a cloud
i came as a storm
i came as the elements
shifting form

i came as pardon
for all that was done
i came as a garden
I came as the sun

i came as a wound
i came as a tune
i came as a heart
inside of an art

i came as a thank you
i came as a guess
i came to confess
that i came as a yes

Let the Season Season You

6644E5EC-9730-42FC-8F06-F50FC27AE8C2Some say it is a poet’s job
to inspire hope
or at least to set one upon some picturesque outcropping
with a good view of hope

just as a bountiful harvest
is a farmer’s job,
cleanliness a janitor’s
or health, a doctor’s domain.

But spring hope too easily plucked
is a protection against truth.

You ask, why be so stingy with hope
in a world already thirsty enough?

Whatever hope grows within
whatever spring springs in your heart
whatever fiddlehead unfurls or wild plum blossoms,
like stone fruit let them be harvested in the proper season.

You can’t jump over winter–
you may dream of spring
on the solstice
and try for eternal vernal
at the first frost

but you can’t jump over winter.

Slow down and let the season season you.

There is hope in truth,
but much hope that is not true
until the darkness gets its due

and despair’s your better ally
than shiny hope, that false friend.

Don’t jump over the season
like an escapee.

Tell me, what are you fleeing from?

Can you flee from the season within you?

Don’t be tempted by the empty calories
of a bittersweet fruit too easily procured–
an early ripening causing indigestion.

Let the season season you.

Let the cold crack that bark of yours
and let the season season you.

Open your meadow and feel it all.
Open your earthbody and feel
even the worst of it–
where it hurts the most.

Be still and let the season season you.

Let darkness fall in you
like a sword of truth
and you will find a deeper root
than you ever knew.

Then–at the ripening hour,
your branches will know
how to celebrate the sky
and your sun will be the true sun
the world is needing most.

Do you understand these are the kindest words
you’ve yet heard?

Poor Sun, Poor Ugly Sun

546DFAE6-CC21-4A97-A560-0C109DB4F808This is the moment
the eyes greet beauty
and the skin leans into it.

Yes, it’s still there
in the sunset. Look.

Yes, I think it’s still here.
Squint and focus.

But then, a split:
The sun. The moment.

A big chill. Terrible things come spilling out:
lies and cages,
cries of rage and all
the debauched basement of things.

The sun tears open,
ripped apart like families
at the horizon
of our country,

setting
like the country
on its own low horizon

The pouring out
leaves my skin
cool to the touch
and my eyes undone

insides rotten with power
keep coming out
emptying itself
split and split again

gutted and gaping
black flies and fish eyes
looted and lacerated
like a land despised

Poor innocent sun,
blurred by history
face scarred by human hands
I wish I could see you again
I wish I saw you how you wanted

but my eyes have grown thick with clouds
I mean grief
I mean blood
I mean rage
stained by strange…
white hands haunting the land.

Are now my ears failing?
Did the birds bring themselves tonight?
Are they still here?
I can’t hear them through the cries.

Count Stanley, Pretty Cool Cat

celloshe made a date with a music man

tall as a shadow and well-dressed
with calloused fingers, chiseled chin
stripes like a skunk
lopes like a fox

he plays cello in upscale restaurants
dive bars and private pool parties
where he does lines of coke
off his horse-hair bow
and takes home hookers
calling them baby

but generally he’s disciplined
playing perfect notes
and didn’t become a master cellist
by accident

behind his sunglasses
he’s so damn dark
he can’t keep track of the gods
inside of him

and hired her as an assistant
to organize that shit

her name is Wandaya
and she’s good at her job
but started to like him
perhaps a little too much

she has heard rumors
that he beat the hell outtuva man
merely for playing the radio too loud
at a waterfall

the most she’d seen his temper
was when he seed-bombed
his neighbors perfect cookie-cutter lawn
after being up for three days
and she catalogued the whole thing

including at the end
when he took his cello
out on the roof
and demanded that the piano man come
and join for a sunrise jam and mimosas

the whole time wearing his black and burgundy
double-breasted silhouette blazer
and fancy fedora

pretty cool cat, she thought
but always complaining

that the piano’s outta tune
outta time
outta town

he expected perfection
and made her feel like a better woman

special like his vintage cello
oh, how he made it sing

he called it his Countess of Stanley
and she wanted to be his countess too

wanted his fingers
to play her like that

oh, how she’d sing