One Grain In the Sand

BE4561B2-0A32-4AA4-A9A2-D0AFCD4D7F51In the swollen days of July
I’m the slow ant

drifting alone across la playa
with a pelican breeze

one grain short of a beach
one sandy soul sunning
just out of reach

I’m an egg huevoneando
learning to cook itself

I’m the río running wide
outside time
Inside the outside-eyed ride

I’m the night enormous
enamored and kissing

the stars scribbling down
a wild wink of a life

spelling me out
in splendiferous form

winks start affairs
and ants build empires

helping to sleep us
under green eye of Venus

Sueña conmigo,
mi amor de la playa
one grain in the sand
one grain in the sand

igual que yo
sueño contigo
one grain in the sand
one grain in the sand

let’s swell swellingly
and make a beach of it

Not just any beach, but one
like a summer dream


The Dawn Needs Me

IMG_1801Dear ones,

I must go now.

The dawn needs me

Morning misses
the feel of my face
across her feathered fingers.

The cool sage
of her early breath
requires my participation.

Oh how even through
the 101 impenetrable walls
of your comfortable palace
the cries of a forgotten land
carry like bugles of a victory march

a celebration of peace
after the great war

And though the heavy eyelids
of all your enchanting veils
conspire to hide
the gaze of the beloved

I must keep my promise
to the light—
she needs my eyes open
now more than ever

for shadows are racing
across the body of the world

and without my bare skin
as a witness
how can it stretch itself awake
and bring those shadows home?

The warbler needs my ears
to help summon the sun

The patient heart of the oaks
long for me to join
their silent morning meditations

So I must go now.

I climb the palace walls
and keep walking.

Past the courtyard, past the gate.

Across the belly of the golden fields.

If you should miss me
know I am doing my best
to help the dawn
spill herself recklessly
into the memory of our great belonging.

Through the Iris Eye-womb of the Night

IMG_1433The sun is in need
of your wakefulness

He’s gone far, far away
and sometimes forgets the orbic path

Drink him into your body
as the wink of the crescent moon
through the iris
eye-womb of the night

Feed your thirsty eyes with the
throbbing midnight brightness around you

Slake your thirsty ears
with the sound of the universe flowing through you
in the dark

How else will he reach the big sea
on the other side
and raise the flag of his mighty ship in the morning?

Love on the Table

heart tableYou recall a cabin
on the edge of town
in woods of alder and oak

There were big windows on every side
and a porch stretched around
like a loose fitting belt
just barely keeping things in

sometimes it was a stepping stone to the world
and sometimes it was a moat keeping things out

You recognize it
because it was your house
and a life was built there
once upon a time

And on the porch you recall
there was an old table
crooked, but round and steady

And Love was on the table
resting shiningly

and whenever the front door cracked open
it flooded in like dawn

sometimes you noticed—
other times not

Each morning you raced to all the Theres
trying to earn your belongingess
of an eager world
wanting proof

And when you returned later
the porch and the table
were still there

and when you cracked the door
to the home you built

sometimes you noticed
the light pouring in
and sometimes not

When dusk settled in
for its daily prayer

Love became the moon
illuminating parts of the cabin
that even the sun can’t reach

and flowed through the window
silhouetting a figure curled up
before the fireplace—
a dog or a wolf—
your memory isn’t clear

But then a particular morning came.

After a long, winter night–
that kind that is both cold and cozy
and full of memories and rest and safety–
a morning greeted you different
than others.

You remember because the door wouldn’t close
and after a while you didn’t want it to close

and abhorring a vacuum
the light couldn’t help itself
and went swimming through all the rooms

and instead of rushing to all
the Theres of the world
you paused on the porch

you noticed something out of the corner of your soul

And pulling a chair
up to that crooked table

you broke your fast
and had a morning meal with Love

Again It Begins

dawn2And 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

and the night’s last star doesn’t seem to mind
and the day’s star might even join you

-Ryan Van Lenning