Embodied Expression

“Ryan explores themes from the spiritual life including longing and freedom, awakening and relinquishment, rebirth and renewal. These poems are intimate, immediate, and heartfelt, revealing the transcendent nature of love while remaining loyal to tenderness of our ordinary human life.”
~ Diane Musho Hamilton Sensei

“Oelke beautifully continues the great tradition of erotically profound poets.  Aching and eloquent, his mystic muse keeps us drifting through caverns and cathedrals in the human enigma.  I highly recommend this artful offering from a rapt passionary.”
~ Stuart Davis, Musician, Artist, Director of Sex, God, Rock ‘n Roll

“Ryan Oelke’s debut work of poetry is like an invitation to a love story, with all its promise and heartbreak, soaring highs and melancholic reflections. Within the pages, one feels a longing for connection along side of the power of love, the ecstasy of the Divine, and the all-encompassing beauty of Enlightenment. Provocative and intimate, it reads like a mix of the very best of contemporary and classic poetry, moving from the sacred and the heart-breaking to the profound and even the profane. With deceptively simple prose, “Wayfarers and Wanderers” takes your hand and invites you into a journey of connection, with God, with yourself, and with the divine inside of everything we experience. Make no mistake about it: a new poet has arrived in our ranks.”
~ Keith Martin-Smith, Award-Winning Author, Northern Kung Fu Sifu, and Zen Priest


A little more

two mistresses call my name pushing and pulling their voice is always the same: a little more a little more die and be, stay reborn a little more a little more two kings flip me round face full of dirt hands digging ground: a little more a little more die and be, stay...

Here I’ll wait

Now longing humbled and love endured dreams mirrored roots intwined pursuit no one else, nowhere, eyes for you and memories shared: Here I’ll wait In plain sight With no end in date With this heart in eternal flame Skin cleaned by pain and shame Lit abright with your...

A redbird follows

A redbird has been following me for so long, looking at each other through these hand prints on the windows. Walking grass, soft earth, a pilgrimage without a map, but she follows me and speaks: The autumn air clearing, Her song rode the winds and took form In a...

We must be human

we must be human, creaking and cracking under the weight of existence, pushed out of one husk after another: so bittersweet is this love that aches until plucked. we must be human, with the anger of gods swelling these receded shells, cracking rotting wood,...

Connection is buried in loneliness

Connection is buried in loneliness, Those seeds that fell from us so joyfully, so effortlessly, All those times we laughed with friends and family - and if not them, a curious bird, a rambunctious river, even that stuffy old cloud: So many seeds we hid for this rainy...

Emptiness is Listening

bodies wandering in space, feet searching for earth, (she supports without effort: take note, dear one!) hearts aching to speak: "what to do? how to be? Do you hear me??" No answers needed when presence breathes. In… Out… ...In…. ...Out… …a gap in time, fullness...

Without Remainder

I sit on this throne suspended in space and time with nothing to grasp, hoisted and held only by the love that emanates through everything and everyone without remainder a royal beggar they have helped me become to surrender without remainder to serve without...

The rhythm of two

the rhythm of two the rhythm of two where there’s a push there’s a pull this rhythm of two this rhythm of two this electric blending of me and you no bated breath: two bodies in motion circulating, undulating depth listen…. the pulse of I I I vanishing, dancing with...


indestructible uninjurable reality beyond reality space within space: the pulse of the universe seeks sore hearts reflecting, reminding we, the time worn effigies of love, can never be fully lost: we are made of this. we are made of this we are made of This.


pray until you no longer await a response until you lose your voice, but your mouth still trembles until you’re weak in the knees, until everyone you see resembles a familiar face with no origin but looking in that same painful place for the tender scars we can’t...