THAT POEM UNDER YOUR SKIN

EB7515F6-0598-41AD-A5B4-63C13F0861A2That poem that lives under your skin?

That poem may be so far under your skin
you might need the raven’s cry
to claw its way in at dawn

You might need an unkempt trickster
to fool your eyes
in order to fling a true word or two from within your pretty vault

But then the poem will roll off
your skin
all mist and moist
an offering to the earth

It’ll stain your fingers with beets
Your lips with wine
Your thighs with blood

It’ll write your forehead with mud
Your back with her scratch
Your arm with Hafiz

Your story with a wound
will shapeshift and a wild coursing will resume

It’ll entangle your head with the storm
Your hair with twigs
Your eyes with the moon

Or are you here to let your poem sleep through it all?

Then form your raw rituals
and let the world nibble it awake
#ryanvanlenning

LET THE MOUNTAINS CARVE ME

9BA08CE9-76B2-4008-A63F-4E6AB3BCB683I. SEVERANCE

Commodities, cold machine.

Scandals and plastic and all
the Gottahaves.

Virtually there. The Chase
and The Shining Hamster Wheel.

Too full but empty.

Duller than a balmy day
sharper than a winter gale
this slow and sucking dry.

All the lies will die.

II. THRESHOLD

With wind and water
carry my discourse
up and over

letting the mountain carve
monuments out of me
epiphytic and free.

With river itself take my counsel.

With mud and mushroom heed
the wondrous whispers.

My tail prefers a winding path
and my face found itself
in that ancient blessed lake.

III. RETURN

I’d rather eat beetles,
do you understand?

Once I knocked on the wrong moon
but then hitched with a wild wind

finding that belonging
is not a place,
but a skill
honed with a fierce heart.

I shift shapes from mountain pass to alley way.

What is hidden remains my treasure

what is visible a sword
and flute

an offering
to the woven ones.

And when I say my preposterous names
risible and rooted

Oh how it ripples on and on.

—Ryan Van Lenning

From a new collection, No Lies on the Mountain, forthcoming 2020

DON’T BE QUIET ABOUT BEAUTY

604277A3-ECB8-4ED1-A91F-09EB74F2D700My friend,
don’t be quiet about beauty
don’t be silent about love

don’t seal your lips quite yet,
my love

even the ones who think it’s quaint
and queer, this sweet talk unconstrained

even the ones loudest and preening
ache for love and beauty
through a mile of debris

oh, everyone talk of roots

but I say, grow past the ones they gave you
past the names they gave you
past the farthest sideways glance

let your true roots
follow their own trajectory
like lonely reckless heroes
seeking the sacred well

let them dig, my friend
so you can stretch your inimitable stretch
and undomesticate your dangerous dance

keep digging
and seize your true and vital name
from the center of the earth

then rise up north by northwest
until the secret
shakes itself out
clean and heroic green
finally yelling:

Yes, Yes
I want that too!

Then sing the beauty of the whole mystery
#ryanvanlenning
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🌏One of 75 poems in
Re-Membering: Poems of Earth and Soul, available on Amazon, Indiebound, and your local bookstore. Link in bio. The new collections ‘Silence Begins Here,’ ‘Wild Rose Hips’, and the polyRiverous celebration of rivers, mountains, and souls ‘Riverever’ will be released over the next year.
🤠🙏

YOU WILL REMEMBER YOUR NAME

D6EF0AF5-D8CC-448F-977A-D9EF4C13ACC7A mystery larger than the Milky Way
lies at the heart of your secret longing

That sacred stalk born in you
from the cup of night
drinks daily from the moist
and merry met

Make no argument with dawn,
for it is your own stubborn face
writ with play at any cost

If you turn it all over and find
that you were merely a mirage
on the old coin,
don’t fret

Merely open your heartpockets
to find true wealth
and give it all away

When the great buzz
of the metal sky is Unheard
the kill machines are Unlearnt
and the great shine of the techno-veil is Unseen

the moon’s melody will lap
at your ear-shore

and you will remember your name rooted in Mystery

the low hum of lover-earth
will begin seeding in you
the original song

rhyming with every bloom
and authentically crooked flow

#ryanvanlenning
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This poem is included in the new collection ‘Silence Begins Here.’ That and my 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. 🙏🌍🤠🦊🌲💚

LET THE VOICES SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

A60E4815-227F-47B7-AAA2-BC0D3DC506FBLet the voices speak for themselves

the undulating mentors called waves and trees

the choir of storms in your pulse

the endless still lake holding it all
in the basement of your being

The black pebble is your ally
the hidden footprint
of the mid-autumn wind your friend
carrying the next turn within

So why then are you pretending
to be so alone?

Become a true citizen of earth
and apprentice yourself to the convergence and the breakdown

Receive that sometimes fierce thrust, sometimes gentle caress of a world wanting
to open you up

With no small talk, but questions
that make you bigger
by the mere asking of them

Yes, change you must—You accept that
but can you surprise even your secret self
at your grand unfurling?

Lean into the raucous conversation.

Can you overhear yourself?

Are you startled by those dangerous utterances
flying from your endless beautiful cavern,
like bats hungry for dusk,
the hour of change?

-Ryan Van Lenning

BECOME AN OBSESSIONATE ONE

F8C6B24A-E26D-41FE-BAB3-103E4CC88950If you begin each chapter
with ‘and the moon comes
and the moon goes’

You, who climb horizons
even with stiff joints

will find it’s always a new world
as it’s always the old one

Your responsibilities lay
in the soil now
and with the webbed ones
caught in fear

and through the new doorways
which you pass
you’ll pick up pieces left
in your canyons so long ago

Put them in your wide-brim hat
and home in on your belonging

become an obsessionate one
like a convict who loves his fate

Tie those dreamland suns
to your dirty feet

Fill your grotto with flocks of fire
for the unspoken desire at the bottom
and all of hunger’s cousins

Forget all glamour
not worrying about who
is pulling who
Or how stunning you look
when the wind knocks you down

It is enough to receive Time’s wounds and blessings
and breathe like an ocean
one tide at a time

So, yes, let each chapter begin—
‘And the moon comes
and the moon goes’

And bear witness to each season
like a raven