SCENIC ALTERNATIVE

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It’s time to die.

You know it’s time to die because that weight
you’ve been carrying around
in your chest

is no longer a treasure.

Because the sacred stories have all become tall tales.

Because the egg that cracked
in you
brought that bright golden bird
but hasn’t built its new nest yet.

Because the debris
has accumulated

and there’s not enough space
for the Big Grin—
the shape your heart makes
when all the sunspots
are cleared.

Don’t worry, death is not
what it used to be.

Just ask the spring
and its relentless pinking
and purple petaling.

Its gregarious greening
is nearly unbearable

and just like it, who you are
keeps surfacing

whether you want it to
or not.

But not first without
the exquisite requisite—
the slow sloughing off
of stale skin of seasons past.

Nothing’s meant to last.

Not youth or bloodless truths
or all the yous
no longer you.

So honor the hour
and die well with wow
making a ceremony of it

with a bow towards your corpse
and a bow towards the clearing
where your new season
is arriving.

#ryanvanlenning

AND AGAIN IT BEGINS

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And you have the rest
of the day
to fit in

and make your face do the things
that other faces do

and your mouth utter
all the things
that aren’t your own

so why not take this
silent blue moment
with the heron

to wake up the day together
with your true face of delight?

The stale masks will still be there
hanging on the wall at noon

alongside the others, judgment
and disappointment

in the afternoon you can follow
the story of the others

who are following someone else’s story
and in the evening you can join

the others in the ritual
of draining the light from your eyes

But for now,
put in your eyes
of dawn and dew

and let your bright peace
unveil itself as the fog recedes

your bones and what holds them up
have been waiting
so long for it

the long night’s last star
doesn’t seem to mind

and the day’s star might even join you
#ryanvanlenning

BEWILDERED AND BLESSED

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🌕 BEWILDERED AND BLESSED

Pour tradition into these tendril moments
Letting them climb up
the bean pole of you

In this vast experiment
of remembering

Welcoming every conceivable
crescent mood, slivered and slow

with no aim but to edge out more and more
for the whole ceremony
and celebration

Thank you thank you
Deliverer of Death

The bow of a thousand radiant moons to you
Doorway to Spring

Thank you for taking us home

Showing us where life was lost
and loss let life

When we, errant wanderers,
who once begged for seats
at the table of belonging

finally unflex our fingers
hoarding the moon

finally relinquish all proving
and sat down, bewildered
and blessed.

Spiral In Beauty Way

59499619_317234725878934_8046223539278174835_nLet’s spin greenly into each other

Make a playful pact and sign it
with the green ink of sunlit trust

Let’s walk the Spiral-in-Beauty Way
Proclaim Yes the shimmers

Yes all the hues, old patterns and new ripples

Yes the great green garments of summer
and its endless faces

Let’s green our minds
and pour the old songs
into each other’s heart-mouths

Unfurl into each other’s laps
until we have no more defense
against the miracles

#ryanvanlenning

Dedicated to the ferns, Giant swamp lantern leaves, and the letter Green
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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 @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work.

BIG JUICE

EE434888-83F2-42E2-91C3-D5C07524A6D2The world is leaking circles again.
It never stopped.

At dawn you find yourself filling
with juice
and your flesh will have to expand.

It’s tight in there.

So deliciously tight it hurts with pleasure.

Your edges want to feel the kiss of the wind
and be eaten by the next set of lips passing by.

This is the order of things:
Death. Sun. Juice. Circle. Life.

That is a story for the mind.

First fruit whispers: Start
where you are

and Stretch into the circle
the Big Juice is trying to be
through you.

That is a story for the soul.