9A42E4DB-4BEB-4AD8-8F3D-00B258FDDAF8Perhaps we should cry
when we hear it

or at least get quiet
and turn in early

pulling the covers over
the unthinkable loss

But we don’t
because the words
ocean acidification
mean nothing to us

How could it?—It has no scent
and no memories attached to it

No Beatles’ song speaks of it
and it provokes no oxytocin
or adrenaline

Besides, I can still buy crab
down at the docks
and watch the early sunbird
settle its wings into the nest
of the sea

When they tell me the bones
of the sea are broken
and bleached

Something terrestrial
deep in me can relate

But I can’t even muster
a shrug
when they ask me to stop it

Meanwhile, I can’t even stop
my own blood from curdling
when they cut off the power
for 12 hours

or my flight to Paris
is delayed
due to inclement weather

when they tell me we might lose our vineyards right here
in the golden state

or there’s a guacamole shortage

or the price of bananas and gas soars
it hits me where it hurts

I may even write a terse letter
to the editor
or some damned CEO

but not mention
I’m asking for more acid
and broken bones
with each comforting word


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.

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. 🌿🐝🐺🌲🔥 🌍🙏🏽


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
🌏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.


A734AF83-F07A-4E9C-B26B-68319F83E42EPain not as pain felt
but lack
is why the mourners worship More

and stack the filling, stocking stores
and in all the filling’s wicked spell
do not quite feel well

Do not the mourners know
that all their Nows are lost
and stuffed
all the Here’s dearly departed
and in the filling spill the hurt
into spaces sick and rough
burning nests of Whyless Hearts?

But there’s no lack of Heartful Whys
of morning meaning’s wild worth
the sun’s why yet sets and rises
the moon yet opens her eye
spinning us through the west and north

But why must we eat others’ Whys?
Why oh why to die in life?

When within the spaces well within
The Well
we might as well Why our lives
with the Whys that we own
All the Whys in which we dwell

and therefore become well as well
as the moon as she sings and swells
and pours forth her monthly spell



The old way of holding things
sank into the sea
with the diving god

and sprouted dawnwings
as an owl flying out of one hand

gentle dawnfingers
caressing the earth with the other

with my mycelium strung between
finding nutrients in every thing
for the Fruiting Body of the HeartKing

I barely had a chance to say goodbye
to the old way

Before the way to say goodbye
became the treasure
at the bottom of each breath and day
the bottom of each moment’s play

Which was also how to pray hello
and mean it

like one of the great lovers
of the world

Without fists or fortresses
and only a cosmos to call home

—Ryan Van Lenning