🦋April may be the cruelest month, as T.S. Eliot immortalized in his poem The Wasteland, though we don’t think so. We are rather fond this time of year, because of the longer days and the land stirring with life, but also because it’s National Poetry Month. It’s a month for all of us word- and nature-lovers to geek out on writing, reading, breathing, swimming in earth #poetry and give full controls over to our mytho-poetic consciousness.
SHARE an original #poem with us and on your social media channels with the theme of EMERGENCE, SPRING, or PLANTING. Then tag @WildNatureHeart and use the hashtag #wildnatureheart. We’ll share some of your poetry on our Instagram and Facebook, PLUS we’ll feature one of our favorites in our #spring Newsletter.
Katie and Ryan
Here’s the rest of the poem that the above image introduces, called “I Bent My Ear” by one half of Wild Nature Heart, Ryan Van Lenning.
They were calling for attention
as I walked past—
the ladybugs and horsetails
the mugwort and the trillium
bellowing the rainbow through the redwoods
and baby ferns
curled like seahorses of the forest
confided in me
I supposed I could have kept up my pace
stepping past them,
never learning what song they were singing
or what the the slug was saying
in its bright hum of the earth
from his banana mouth
and sure-footed saunter
But as they were calling
so charmingly and gently
I slowed down
bent my ear
and gave them what they asked for.
And here’s the first few lines of The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot.
This was inspired by witnessing participants of our Writing Wild gathering do what we call a sense walk, where one is blindfolded and a partner guides them through experiencing the landscape through all their other senses. It’s a beautiful thing to see, no pun intended.
Blind from their chrysalis
they take the first delicate steps
like new walkers of the dawn
in the bright meadow of life
a late winter curiosity guides them
with a friendly hand at their back
and butterfly voices
flit across their swallowtail innocence
as sand sift through
their blackberry bramble hands
like the grains of childhood time
falling upward into their truth
they kneel for a mugwort blessing
feathered across their faces
flowing with the emergence
of spring wings
-Ryan Van Lenning
This weekend we hosted a free gathering along the American River called Writing from the Heart of Your Wildness, and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day or more awesome participants. It doesn’t get much better than holding sacred space to write and share creatively with other earth-lovers. Our creativity is merely the microcosm of Nature’s macrocosmic on-going creativity. Thanks to everybody who came out to write wild and reconnect. And as always, Deep Gratitude to the land and river and the participants for bringing their authentic, creative selves! Truly inspirational!
Here’s what a couple participants had to say:
“I derived so much healing from being not only among nature’s calming beauty, but from having sacred space held by such exceptionally tuned-in guides as Ryan and Katie. It felt like not only were they channeling conscious, creative energy for the betterment of those in the circle, but effortlessly facilitating the opening of hearts.”
“I went to an event with Wild Nature Heart near the American River, and it was magical! Ryan and Katie were excellent guides and mirrors, and made me completely comfortable sharing my story- even personal at times. I feel more at peace, and a passion for writing has been rekindled; it also doesn’t hurt that they found a beautiful and secluded location 🙂. If you love writing, nature, community or even need a safe space to explore who you are, I highly recommend them!”
Wow! We feel honored to hear that reflected back and to be able to hold the space for these experiences.
If you wanted to attend but couldn’t make it this time, stay tuned because we’ll be hosting another and similar offerings later this spring. Be part of Wild Nature Heart’s Inner Circle, Subscribe to Our Newsletter, to stay in the loop.
It’s World Poetry Day!
It’s a day to celebrate poetry, to read poetry, and to write poetry. We’ll be sharing a few of our favorite poems and poets throughout the day on our Facebook and Instagram channels, starting with our very own Katie Baptist. Poetry is often part of our programs and core to what inspires Wild Nature Heart. We love earthy poems, love poems, sad poems, angry poems, curious poems—whatever speaks the truth.
What are some of your favorite poets? Better yet, what are your poems?
Can we please do nothing ever except sing?
like musicals, where there’s a song for when
he breaks your heart and there’s a song
for when you lose your shoe or when you
get lost in the woods, or when you narrowly
escape becoming dinner for a woman eating plant
whatever happens, there’s a song because
some things just can’t be spoken
can be sung
so can we please do nothing ever except sing?
like cowboy ballads, where the stars get in your eyes
and someone guns you down but you keep singing
even when the hangman tightens up his noose
and love is lost forever you’ve still got
your horse, your boots, your voice, and your guitar
can we please do nothing ever except sing?
like hymns, a song’ll carry you to heaven
on the wings of angels in the arms of Jesus
in the harmony of saints a song is all you need
eternity is in the melody, the voice is my
salvation, please! I’m asking
Can we please do nothing ever except sing?
—Katie Baptist (For more raw, earthy poems from Katie, see her poetry site, Bleeding Key)
Happy World Wildlife Day!
It’s a day to celebrate all our relations, and to promote and protect biodiversity and wild habitat.
Wild Nature Heart believes that having a deep connection to all our relatives in this beautiful home of ours is one of the best ways to protect wildlife in the long run. It’s also the only way we will survive as well.
Today, there are a lot of pics of tigers, bears,and elephants (oh my!) on social media, all of which are facing particular challenges. This year’s World Wildlife Day theme is “Big Cats,” which are under unprecedented threats due to habitat loss, conflicts, and poaching.
Yet we also find that wild nature is always close by, right in our backyards and in the nearby faraway (to adopt and modify Rebecca Solnit’s phrase). We love the gorgeous big animals too (and we’ve had encounters with bears, lions, elephants), but we also love all the wildlife we share in our local ecosystems–how wonderful it is to slow down and connect with them.
Just in our area this week we have experienced rabbits, peregrine falcons, coyotes, foxes, 🦊, egrets, deer, owls 🦉, herons, snakes, toads, hummingbirds, fungi, wild herbs, finches, salamanders, hawks, pterodactyls, etc. Ok, maybe not that last one. And each one offers a wonderful opportunity for wisdom and communion, like the cormorant offering a night class on contemplative stillness.
What (who) do you connect with in your nearby faraway?