THINGS WERE BUILT

9B32AD80-177F-498C-8A79-8FECE4918E6F
Before I arrived,
flint ax and fire
fences and fine fishing wire

Long canals and solid streets
Mathematical proofs,
monumental feats

Towers upon cathedrals
upon burial mounds
giant gears with steely sounds
more dead empires
than can be found

All of it sacred, perhaps
to those whose hearts murmur
our patria and oh almighty lord of light
blessed be the maze of mind
and the dearly departed

But mine soars more
with the simple avian bells
of dawn

When Wild Mustard’s a monument
Teasel’s a temple

and Egret,
gentling her paintbrush wings
over cattail guardians
of still waters,
is called great for a reason

Nothing I build can be so right

DEEP WINTER MOON OF BONE

910F6D74-2F81-456D-A384-6F6263C49294

Snow moon on wintry set
Banks aflood wide and wet

A boldly moon swollen so
From seed to see it grow

Cold moon and hung so low
Such slow and silent show

Moon of mood, moon of mud
Moon of bone and early buds
Marrow thick with lunar blood

Flowing like a winter stream
Glowing loud with winter dreams

DEAR MUD

94D3D73F-7BA0-4E5E-BAAD-81D240BB3084Dear mud,

This is a hard letter to write.

You know how there is a season for everything? I feel
we were meant to be a season
for each other,
not a lifetime.

I do love you. You were
such an important
part of my journey.

But I can’t choose you. I’m sorry our paths aren’t aligned
any longer.

I so appreciate you
and what you bring to the world.

You are such a phenomenal force of nature!

You taught me so much,
about the trail of life
and about the trail of myself.

You showed me how
to slow down.

To really be with things.

You showed me where I’d been.

To
be
careful
where
I
step.

But also how not to be afraid
of really getting in there
and getting dirty.

Oh I’ll always remember the way we mucked each other!

So slow and sensual,
so earthy and juicy,
so alive.

You showed me the texture
of my sacred shining wounds.

Where I was stuck, but also
how to let the words ‘I’m stuck’
fall from my lips
and it be ok.

Yet you also showed
me how to get out.

It starts with saying the truth.
And doesn’t Everything come back to that?

And the truth is
I can’t do this anymore—
There’s a path ahead
I need to explore
on my own.

So I have to say goodbye now.

I’m sorry. Please forgive me.
I forgive you for everything.

I know we did the best we could with the boots and tools we had.

So I’m grabbing the ladder
of my own brave ribs
and with a gigantic sucking heave
pulling myself upward
towards the new sun.

I honor you.
I love you.
Goodbye.

MY NAME IS BELONGING

A0661C0A-A30E-4E4B-AA43-8E752AFFF30CThey say the first step
is admitting
you have an addiction

So here goes
—my name is Mystery,
I’ve been here
a million times

and Yes, I take heaping spoonfuls of galaxies
when I should be sleeping

I gulp in the seasons
whenever I see one one
sitting out on the table

My name is Abundance,
and I swallow fat Oceans
calorie-dense forests
and whole fields of lupine
when I think no one is looking

My name is Curiosity,
and I look under rocks
and climb through dark caves running my hands
against the wet walls

My name is Insatiable
and I chew
on entire mountain ranges
just to get high

I have no idea what they say about the second step,
I wasn’t listening.

I was too busy sitting
on the edge of the cliff
watching the sun retire
and caressing the bark
of the madrone tree

My name is Belonging.

WHAT DO YOU HEAR WHEN YOU LISTEN TO LICHEN GROW?

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?
13ABA56F-7C2D-400F-9FE3-4FBD2C192F28.jpeg
#ryanvanlenning
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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. 🌿🐝🐺🌲🔥 🌍🙏🏽