02C16380-1BE0-48DE-98B2-F38A801084A3Staying home is ok.

Saying no is ok.

Shamelessly expressing your whole, labyrinthine, dark, radiant, erotic self and fathomless heart is ok.

Subversively dismantling dominant psychopathic cultural values and rules is ok.

Sabotaging extractive industrial projects on indigenous land is ok.

Shadow-working while sauntering is ok.

Spending all Saturday making love with the moon and madrone is ok.

You do you.



E9D2B10B-07C8-4BFD-ACF6-F00FFC9CF141I usually don’t share my Wild Nature Heart offerings on here. But I wanted to let readers of my poetry here know about the Wild Nature Heart Challenge, in part because soulful earthy poetry is central to it.

The Wild Nature Heart Challenge: A Season of Deepening is a self-paced mini-adventure with 25+ earth-rooted practices and sense-based and soul-deepening exercises along with accompanying poems to guide you into reconnecting and deepening your connection with wild nature, with natural cycles, and aspects of your wholeness.

Discover more here:



C5F69B49-5A87-477C-8867-59C768DCDE1FIt’s a bereavement wrapped inside forgiveness

or a forgiveness with a soft accomplishment

at its core

After all these years, she finds herself
wearing it like a light cloak—for him,
who was supposed to be
a teacher of spiritual things

not all-too-physical things

not things that would have her
doubting and destroying things
into the fifth decade

have her turning this way and that
in the dark labyrinth
always bumping up against walls
with a lump in her throat
but mostly she wears it for herself

for not going back in the house
for saying goodbye
to those spirits she grew inside her
but never met fully

for decisions of her too young self

it becomes a torch
when she can hold it steady

She has done her share of kneeling
at the river and lent her tears

and found some measure of flow
as the unspoken things
still make their way to the sea

And it becomes a prayer
lighting the way to the center
where her beloved awaits

This poem is included in the new collection ‘Silence Begins Here.’ That and my collection of love and erotic poetry, ‘Wild Rose Hips’, and 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. Follow me for mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheart for my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work. 🙏🌍🤠🦊🌲💚


F8C6B24A-E26D-41FE-BAB3-103E4CC88950If you begin each chapter
with ‘and the moon comes
and the moon goes’

You, who climb horizons
even with stiff joints

will find it’s always a new world
as it’s always the old one

Your responsibilities lay
in the soil now
and with the webbed ones
caught in fear

and through the new doorways
which you pass
you’ll pick up pieces left
in your canyons so long ago

Put them in your wide-brim hat
and home in on your belonging

become an obsessionate one
like a convict who loves his fate

Tie those dreamland suns
to your dirty feet

Fill your grotto with flocks of fire
for the unspoken desire at the bottom
and all of hunger’s cousins

Forget all glamour
not worrying about who
is pulling who
Or how stunning you look
when the wind knocks you down

It is enough to receive Time’s wounds and blessings
and breathe like an ocean
one tide at a time

So, yes, let each chapter begin—
‘And the moon comes
and the moon goes’

And bear witness to each season
like a raven


50F167C2-8EA0-4A92-9C4D-D1D4B1074F09.jpegReally excited about what’s emerging! I’m launching Wild Nature Heart Academy.

It’s still early, but I couldn’t wait to announce it. In a couple months I will be Inviting JUST 8-10 PEOPLE to join the first edition of Wild Nature Heart Academy’s introductory online course: RECLAIMING YOUR WILD NATURE HEART. This is the online version of the on-the-land version of the course that I will host in Humboldt County.

The interactive course is for people who are on the path of rewilding and cultivating a deeper belonging to place, purpose, and people. For those transitioning to a deeper earth-centered and sensual life and those unfurling a meaningful livelihood sharing your unique gifts that honors our earth home and our wholeness as people. And for those exploring their inner wilderness and eager to expand their toolbox of exploration, and wanting to share with others.

Participants will not only have a transformative, nourishing, and inspiring experience, but will also be in the first cohort who will help shape the Wild Nature Heart Academy. It is also an opportunity to be part of the growing edge of the ever-expanding rewilding and nature-connection/ecotherapy movements.

More soon on details as the curriculum is developed, but for a glimpse now: there will be 8 modules (on topics ranging from Deep Belonging, Deep Listening, and Stepping into Your Power, to Joanna Macy and The Work That Reconnects, the 4 Shields of Human Nature, and The Way Of Council), weekly video meetups, Deep nature and wild soul connection Practices and activities, guest teachers, 1-on-1 earth-rooted mentoring/inner wilderness guiding sessions, Assistance designing on-the-land experiences and creating a self-ceremony, poetry, and council circle with peers doing similar work and learning.

If this sounds like you, put a pin in it or DM me ( with your interest. More soon! 🤠

What Song-Basket Could Contain It All?

813C373D-83A2-4468-B069-BB7109199D75What they call love,
I call the wings of a tree
the sand-song of a river beach
multiplied by spring
divided by day and night.

So why don’t I want to resolve
among the 1-4-5-1?

What works works.

Yet I loiter on the 8th fret
looking downstream toward
the common chords
where all the meandering noodles
end up in time,
that great pincer.

Umbilical whoosh and porous I,
out of near storm fuse and fury
harvest all the inborn plenitude
to solo note upon note
while this stalking moon wanes
and waxes wise reciting
Heraclitus as her bloody comrade.

Filled, I want to spill the fullness
into the sky
and her heart
despite myself.

What chord can resolve it?
What song-basket could possibly contain it all?

—Ryan Van Lenning
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.