GRAPEFRUIT IN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

F8A9F684-69FE-4E13-8EEB-45EFA90CFAA1
Sometimes in the midst
of global pandemic crises
I sit on the river’s bank
to watch gnats dance

then peel a grapefruit
just enough to see plump flesh
and pretend it’s her
sliding my finger up and down
and bite my bottom lip

because I’m missing intimacy
and going crazy
for lack of touch

I know, I know, such is too much

I’ve been told I overshare
that some things are just not
supposed to be mentioned

like how my heart sunk
and my knees buckled
to lover mud

screaming why why? why!?
when I heard they told
the big companies
that pandemic means pollution
they could pour
into our water and our air

the water and air that’s yours and yours and mine
and not only the American Petroleum Institute’s

or how how when I found out
that the body
of Homero Gómez González,
Monarch Butterfly Defender, age 50,
was found at the bottom
of the well

I grieved for days
and I’m not sure
I will ever recover

or whether I should

when you can’t listen
to mariposas
and expect to survive

The war on truth
and the war on imagination
are the same war
waged by the petty tyrant,
Fear

and everybody knows
‘we’re all in this together’
yet the well-offs
will be weller off

while miles of lines
flood the food banks
finding the lives of lesser-offs

wondering what this together business is that we’ve been hearing
so much about

and how I’m not supposed
to admit that
I let a Jacoby Creek’s
worth of Jack
slowly wash me away

when I discovered
the decline in birdsong
and butterflies—
those other pandemics
we don’t mention
because it’s not polite

despite the work of Homero
and his friend Raúl Hernández Romero
whose skull someone found fit
to smash at the top
of a hill filled with sacred fir

because being human
requires a certain amount
of denial

but being human
also means telling the truth

and today the truth is
grapefruit turns me on
and I want clean air. I want

to drink wild, clean water. I want
every last king to fall

but every last monarch butterfly
to carry the souls of Homero and Raúl
into every person’s heart

and the truth is I want
to make love 
to this grapefruit
and forget about pandemics

#ryanvanlenning

HEARTFINGERS

37DAA79F-E90F-4195-9E36-82DFA0EE3F45Gloat of wet and waving so silver slick

solicits the Star or the Me
to make dear yearn

yearning spends and softens,
becoming just Being

Binding no fear in me,
No fear of me.

I stretch Heartfingers
pruned of pity and pride
and groomed of greed

by which is meant We meet
on the bridge of belonging

Touch and touch met
in equal measure

Heartfingers weaving from all things
smooth and holy blooms

The Moment is gesturely-sounded in great silence
upon dimmed over-fed weedbrain
and ready purring beastly soul saying nothing

and by saying nothing
says Welcome, Enter.

GLAD OF MY PAWS

7D7A9026-49C2-43A0-AC15-7FA4861963AD🐾GLAD OF MY PAWS

Best of all to caress
play, pinch, seize,
explore, invite all the world
with these infinite fingers

sensitive, lined and lithe
touching the surface and depth of things
the uncountable textures
the skins, the contours, forms and shapes,
the soft and hardness of the world

the slick and silky, scaled, slimy,
bumpy, coarse, and grainy—
I welcome them into me

The sand falling between them
the rough grooves of redwood,
the silk of madrone
the granular solidity of granite

the thin wisp of alder leaves
leaping into fall
the delicate racemes of pink-flowering currants in spring

Or the thin cylinder
of her neck
the contour of her waist, the line
from breast to magnificent hips
to her delicate butterflies,
the grand horizon
and my own firm warmth

I drench myself in passions,
inebriate and alloyed
with all the minerals
all drops of things

Yes, I am glad of my paws.

—Ryan Van Lenning
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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. My book of mystical poems, Silence Begins Here, and book of love and erotic poetry, Wild Rose Hips, and Book of Rivers: Headwaters and Heartrocks will be out later this year. Follow me for mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work. 🙏😀🌲💚

Some Seed In Me

4795BC00-8BA9-4EAC-BCDB-47E459BA7981A gentle hand on belly warm
Is there a more beautiful form?

a hundred times and even more
had it landed here before
in slow and curious caress
my wild paw at last at rest

for it lingered with new longing
leaning into deep belonging

filled with such a splendid aching
after all these years, awaking

for the flow of her deepest spring
found the frozen ground of my king

some seed in me cracked finally free
but seedling? No, it will never be

There are pools in her that mine don’t reach
most ancient walls that can’t be breached

and so I let my heart-hand fly
up and away in greying skies

empty of cargo, a seed so loyal
without a home and absent soil

—Ryan Van Lenning

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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 @wildnatureheartfor my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work.

I, TOO, AM LARGE, CONTAINING MULTITUDES 3/4

B4203AC4-4661-4A54-86AE-BFFB24C24482I drench myself in passions, overreaching and inebriate
alloyed with all the minerals
all the drops of things

Tasting the wild plum,
blackberries boisterous and free
Yes salt and fat, sweet red wine
and water
spicy chiles and bitter wild mustard

I accept on my palate wide like Shasta, my robust tongue
her lips, all lips inside and out
yes her wettest petal
of wild sea and copper

To banish shame
beyond the mountains,
slanted voices of others no more.

My endless curiosity, my vast arousal by—for—with—the world

To greet the aromas with my superior nose:
buckeye husks, hay, cut wood and lavender, cedar and sage
as much as rose and cinnamon
pheremones and falling leaves
garlic and cut grass,
the journey-work of the stars.

To have fallen in love,
to have risen in love
the unlikely comraderies
the felt connections

to befriend the lowliest creatures
as well as those that soar
equal to me the caddisfly larvae
and falcon,
the sand toads and beetles no less
than dolphin
the unexpected grace of egret
sliding over my head—
like him, I am miraculous.

My exquisite ears
swimming in the symphonies
of the world
the songs and strings
and heavy beats
the raven’s croak,
the Lightning crack
the creek, gentle and roaring
as good as my twin.

Your singing and soft cry,
and your exasperated cry—
yours and yours.
Theirs.

-Ryan Van Lenning

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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. 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 @wildnatureheartfor my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work.

I, TOO, AM LARGE, CONTAINING MULTITUDES (2/4)

6C54A95D-FAE1-4834-93D1-E17F7F97EB47Best of all to caress
play, pinch, seize,
explore, invite all
the world with these infinite fingers

sensitive, lined and lithe
touching the surface of things
the uncountable textures
the skins, the contours, forms and shapes,
the soft and hardness of the world
the slick and silky, scaled, slimy,
bumpy, coarse, and grainy—I welcome them into me

The sand falling between them
the roughness of redwood,
the silk of madrone
the granular solidity of granite
the thin wisp of alder leaves leaping into fall
the delicate racemes of pink flowering currants in spring

Or the thin cylinder
of her neck
the contour of her waist, the line
from breast to magnificent hips
to her delicate butterflies,
the grand horizon
and my own hard warmth

Yes, I am glad of my paws.

To laugh, belly and eyes
for all the joys
beauty beyond possibility
and yet it is
bringing tears to the surface of my bearded face

But also no less, the griefs
Unthinkable, unbearable, yet borne
yes, the world is cruel and dying—
unimaginably so.

Yet also, the world is being born
in each moment,
and is too kind—
unexpectedly so.
———————————————————————————-
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. 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 @wildnatureheartfor my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work.