D6A52611-6978-4212-A7D8-C76EC3CB7930In a mountain cave
under the spell
of a turbulent creek
I listen to lichen grow

Under the smell
of a winter rain
I listen to a landscape’s
green resurrection

Enchanted, I become velvety
like moss

I become patient like stone

I become beflowed like water

and suddenly remember
that I am
a songbird
a spiderweb
a sprouting buckeye

and wild like worms
in the hill beside me
escaping the flood

What do you hear when you listen to lichen grow?
Included in a new collection ‘No Lies on the Mountain’. 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. 🌿🐝🐺🌲🔥 🌍🙏🏽


06E387DC-FB29-4805-8DF6-E1954A6BD199Out of the twelfth-month
midnightic pull, a murmur

sings itself vigorously
with all the force gravity
and the old unspeakable yearn
can muster

towards the rocks
and the source sea
a destiny pointed and unpent

How I with flow feel
both the heavy and light of love
robust and whole

I am really here
swallowing all unstoppable creeks
a mere bubble and not
a mere bubble

I hang my head low as the winter sun
and bold blending with cold waters
sweeping the sweet pang of fate
to which I am subscribed

Dipping ears wet I dispute
the passage no more

It hums me through the deep night
with the whisper
that all things in time
find their flow



441EA4C7-122A-4495-93A8-6398BCF8FCB7Who put those dams up
on the river of your soul?

They must come down
by any means necessary

You must know that your watershed
nourishes not just you
but all of us

Please don’t let those
who don’t know
pour waste into your river
or let the silt build up

Don’t worry about those other rivers
they’re doing their own thing

The dams will fall, eventually,
of course
as all things do
but you might nudge them along
chipping away at the widening cracks

Or might I recommend:
strategically placed dynamite
in a grand and dazzling demolition—it has the advantage of being
furious fun—a blessed boldness

But whatever way,
take those godforsaken dams down
and let your waters flow

If you’re on your way to the sea
then damn it,
go to the sea

-Ryan Van Lenning
From my new collection of poems, “Riverever”

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.

The Push and Pull of the Thing

DC36226D-220D-419F-8012-6190468FCCF9What do you do when above all
It’s the rhythm uncooked, the rush of the raw
The moon-kissed river within and thawed
Most precious, unbolted and brightly awed
Original blood pulsed and odd?

When even if you owned nothing at all
Nothing else under silvered skies
But the sink of the sun, the startling rise
When the push and pull of the thing was the all?

And the goldupongold, the unlikely prize
wealth beyond dreams deferred or dried
not festered or stunk or sunk with a load
but light as a feather, finely floating
like a film on the water finally flowing?

What do you do but swim and ride
waggling and wagging and wild-eyed?

Why Should I Write About You, Water Bug?

24B7C278-306D-43F7-A8B7-F156FEC42189When the heavens are rolling out encores
of mulberry processions
and the river is performing not-stop
a cappella hits

Why should I write about you, water bug?

While the elegant bats somersault
in dusky diners
and the thunderstorm breaks its head
on distant peaks

what have you to say to me, six-footed floater?

Then, I see you flash and slide
and if I didn’t see it with my own two eyes
the way you disappear
only to reappear two inches upstream
I’d be inclined to think I was dreaming

and for the life of me
I don’t know what you eat
so I can only assume it is water and air alone

but now I know better
it has been revealed:

you are an advanced species
of micro-teleportation devices and magic
hydrophobic microhairs
dancing the river down
with sophisticated water choreography

not tiny and insignificant
in the scheme of things
but the whole show–
the entire mountain and sun extravaganza–
is for you

the moon-rise
the coyote rips
the distant storm
and towering pines bow
to your practiced patience
and river spells

That is why, water monk,
I write about you
and join them in the bowing

The Flashes Buried Here

2CC49FE5-E6ED-44F1-B17A-E0D70ED16A01There are flashes buried here
in the hot sand of this poem

Some are mirages
others are mirrors

Who put them there
is not for us to know

Some say it’s not a place
for people to dwell

but sometimes you must
cross the desert
to find your freedom sunrise

even though it’s been shining through that
ache within an ache
the whole time

If the rabbit has it
and the sagebrush is lush
and the moon shower
brings the cactus flower

you have no right
to just lie down
and bury your feet

What if the cactus
abandoned the moon
before it’s bloom had bloomed?

How would the bat makes his way?

So keep walking
Keep drinking in what feeds you
Keep gathering the shimmerings

buried beneath your feet

Some are mirages
some are mirrors
and some are red-hot miracles
awaiting the eye of your heart