He Intends To Devour Me

D3724ABF-B55C-43CD-82C3-8646506772BFHe appears in my dreams—
in the spring I kiss the grizzly on the snout
our eyes meet and I am blessed.

But in the winter he charges me from the forest edge.

And I know there is no escape:

He is wild and I am drunk
on civilization.

I wobble and then freeze in fear—he intends to devour me.

I accept my glorious annihilation.

It is the same bear.

And he is me.

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Wild Rose Hips

AC79C7CD-E53C-4E71-B7DC-826BB003F415I want to say it’s her wild hips
how they move with the slightest direction
how they hold her flower up—
But it’s really how she tastes the world
how she touches it at every opportunity
how she stops to smell
its everything.

Yes, I could talk about her beauty
how she strikes red and warm
against cold blue winter skies…
but really it’s the way she moves
with the wild wind

Yet she isn’t merely floating,
she has feet on the ground,
Vulnerable and bare.

Oh she has her thorns,
trust me,
you can’t have one without the other
and bit me real good—
the blood’s still flowing.

But how it was worth it,
and I give my blood back to her
as an offering—
for I, too, am in the world
and want to taste its everything.

Luv and LiberaXion

5414F941-0E9A-4D7C-A351-FA3BCCB7B68BYou just might get it,
though it won’t arrive like you expect it.

If you think you are tricking yourself,
it is only your wildness bootstrapping itself with a grin—your rabbit mind
cannot catch up

….with your ¡coyote-tortoise soul!

But be careful what you put on the calendar—the alerts will be sent out
at…….irregular….moments

and.everything.arrives.on.time.

If it’s a falling leaf you expect,
the tree will fall on your house.

If it’s a winter storm you see gathering on the horizon,
it may arrive as warm steady rain
pulling green from your land
like gravity from the heavens.

You may well try to grasp the sun—its rays will pour right through your hands
but may sneak into parts of you
about which you had long forgotten.

I Have Been Known To Bark

8067CFC3-E444-456F-9B58-F42162DFE6DDI admit I’ve been known to bark
loud and unrestrained,
less a dog than a wolf
or like a sea-lion and a bear
when no one is around to leer, or hear
or twitter too, like killdeer do
when they’re settling in for you

But not the heron’s croaking lark
for that I judge him much too harsh
despite the wisdom in his eyes
I find I’m not the croaking type

But for many tunes, I dare admit
I’ll cry alone and sad
at the ways of a wicked world
at the latest rage or fad

But also in a startled joy
of beauty so alive
laughing’s not so far behind
when warblers sing and otters dive

The impossibility of it all
like feathers flown as seeds are sown
and blown far out on the wind
you see, analogies all come from her,
all metaphors on her depends

Babble and skat outloud to hear
the echo over water near
bouncing off the cliff so stark
Yes, I have been known to bark

From Inside These Wild Ones

125B1937-D207-4AEE-9E22-F3F10E7432E1I’d apologize
but that isn’t what bears do
and that is what I’ve become

For a summer day my fists turned into paws—
THAT anyone could understand.

But if it were only a day
then why now does my snout
draw itself towards the winter cave
sitting on a canyon hip
like a tea cup
about to pour itself
into my hibernating belly?

Why does fur cover my body like an old-growth forest
and why does the scent of the woman
a half mile down canyon
enter me like a sword of truth?

That turtle-bear in me is slow and steady
because I’m already where I’m at
I carry my home and the weight is significant
but no matter how fast your rabbit-mind,
it will not catch up with my tortoise soul
it’ll have you running circles around yourself
like the great task of Sisyphus

I’d attempt an explanation,
but my words come out as chirps and squawks,
even bright whistles at dawn.

So many birds have landed in me
I fear my tongue is tied
and I can’t feel my arms
without clutching a claw full of feathers
the color of midnight rust
or mid-day blue.

The fear perhaps belongs to the worm in me
but I won’t let that stop the eagle in me
from hunting you

Or the worm in me from hinting to you
how I’ve dug in your soil
and turned you over
how I compost even your darkest
shit
and bring up flowers from it all

You can thank me later
once you’ve managed to blink me out
of your terrible night-time vision

Give up on laws
and let your paws touch the ground
let your beast roam
and sink your claws into me

I won’t act too surprised if you’re glad
when the moon comes out
in the form my eyes can take
once a month
looking at you
like a benevolent lunatic

When they look deep in you
from inside these wild ones
you’ll know—
the ground inside you
will rumble

 

WILD HOUSE MEETING

0560E649-157E-4E43-BED0-70AAD23E52D8National Writing Month DAY 22:
WILD HOUSE MEETING
(Word Count: 789)

I held my first house meeting with my new roommates. The purpose was to get to know each other and discuss respective chores. In attendance: rabbit, deer, quail, fern, hawk, bay tree, redwood, madrone, spider, oak, snake, thistle, poison oak, wind, beetle, and walnut. Fox came late.

Absent: Owl, possum, raccoon. (being nocturnal, they have a tough time with morning meetings). I hope they’ll read the minutes.

Turns out moon was there the whole time, but I didn’t see her-she had her new moon coat on.

We opened with an ice breaker: What’s your favorite thing about autumn? And what’s the silliest thing you’ve done this year?

Decision by consensus: We will each be ourselves and allow the other to be themselves. This is by far the largest home I’ve lived in and by far the most housemates I’ve ever had. In fact, so many that I haven’t yet met them all. I hope to get to know them intimately in the coming months.
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For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories so-to-speak, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery.
Ryan and Katie
#mywildnatureheartstory