Monday, December 30, 2013

Silver Bells - Silver Prayers

It's been raining
and freezing,
but the light;
it's always the light
that invites.
So I go outside.

Winter has deepened
into December.
Calm and cold. 
Snow and freezing rain.

Silent in the woods,
except for drops dripping.
A sound so soft
it imitates silence.

A sound
I try to gather
and carry into
a future poem.

Despite dusk pushing
its way into this day,
I walk...

down the wooded slope,
into the foggy wetland,
to discover this gift:

Silver bells
and Winterberry,
and trees inverted,
reflected within
this icy drop.

The looking
and the listening
stills me
within this
calm cathedral.

Silver bells,
like silver prayers,
in quiet gratitude.
©  2013  Richard Havenga

Photo LocationHome Woods

Click on photos to enlarge.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ice Storm - The Close View

As you walk with Father Nature, may these photographs speak to you:

Click on any photo to enlarge.

Thank you for joining me on this brief walk.

These photographs represent my impressions of the first day of our three-day ice storm.
The final photo displays the layers after three days of ice accumulation.

1. Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

2. Swamp Grass

3. Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra)

4. Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnomomea)

5. Red-osier Dogwood / Red-stemmed Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera)

6. Barbed Wire (Barbus spiralis)

7. Flowering Crabapple (Malus sp.)

8. Seeds of Grass

9. Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

10. American Basswood (Tilia americana)

Photo Locations:

Home Land & McCarthy Lake - Cannonsburg, Michigan

Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter Trees

dormant, docile,
resting above ground,
waiting out the cold light,
packaged with clusters
of tough, winter buds.

patient, accustomed
to their latitude,
persevering, resisting,
moved by the wind
in their heights.              

with a firm grip
in the earth,
roots probe the soil,
deeply, broadly,
alive underground.  

©  2013  Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Parnell,  Kent County,  Michigan 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Measuring Eternity

The tide advances,
then retreats,
then advances,
then repeats.

It slides upon
the slope of sand,
then withdraws
its embrace with the land.

Again, again, and again,
through infinity.
Measuring the endless
flow of eternity.
 ©  2013  Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

Carmel by the Sea,  Carmel,  (Carmel) California (California)

Sunset Beach,  (Sunset Beach)  North Carolina (North Carolina)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013








©  2013  Richard Havenga

Monday, December 16, 2013


The reeds accepting
the wind.
The wind carrying
the snow.
The lake accepting
the ice.
The ice collecting
the snow.

The wind playing
the song.
The water accepting
the snow.
The seeker absorbing
the scene.
Accepting these thin gifts
of winter.
©  2013  Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

McCarthy Lake,  Kent County,  Michigan  (Michigan)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Solitude in Black and White

Only the sound of cold wind
interrupts winter's solitude
in this season of black and white,
this season of waiting.

White columns of wet snow
stick to dark tree trunks
straight, strong, and solid enough
to withstand winter's grip.

Count the months to endure
while listening to the sound
of winter's  cold wind
and solitude in black and white.

Wooden pillars
clothed in bark,
sheathed in snow,
standing in stiff solitude.

Listening to winter's bitter words,
my thoughts begin to merge
with this white wind
driving through bare branches.

Accepting winter's power,
its insistence
on taking its turn
at trying our resistance.

Let it begin.

©  2013  Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Home Woods,  Cannonsburg,  (Cannonsburg)  Michgan

2. Seidman Park,  (Seidman)  Kent County,  Michigan (Michigan)

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Edge

Here, at the edge,
the terminal traces
of once great waves,
are now licking
the moist fringe of land
with delicate,
gliding movements.

In perpetual motion,
the ocean hums along
to the song
of eternity.

©  2013  Richard Havenga

Photo Location:
Beverly Beach State Park,  Oregon  (Oregon)

Friday, December 6, 2013


starlings congregate
anticipating winter,
mass migration soon
Photo Location:
Lloyd's Bayou,  Spring Lake,  Michigan  (Michigan)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Crystal Arches

Grasses, once tender,
green and alive,
thrived in this wetland,
stretched toward the sun.

Then gravity,
gradually and gracefully,
turned them back
toward earth.

Now, at season's end,
grasses slender
brown and dying,
again vibrant in early light.

Silvered by fine frost,
illuminated by morning sun,
flashing prisms of color
focus my attention.

My breathing has stopped.
Frozen in the moment.
My vision fixed
on remarkable beauty.

These gently curving arches
lined with fine crystal,
reveal a sparkling display.
The world created again, today.

If this is a sample
of the radiance
along the path
to Heaven...

When from this earth
I must depart,
I will surely declare:
"How Great Thou Art".

©  2013  Richard Havenga
Photo Location:
McCarthy Lake,  Kent County,  Michigan  (Michigan)


Monday, December 2, 2013

Into the Blue

And now autumn has grown older.
Sandhill Cranes ride high in the sky.
This pre-flight trial to test the young.

Two thousand feet into the blue.
Circling higher, feathering the clouds.

Migration south to begin soon.
Is this the last time we see them?
Four long months until their return.

Anticipating next spring's first sighting,
and the ancient, rattling call of the crane.

©  2013  Richard Havenga

 Listen to these calls of the Sandhill Crane from:  Cornell Labs
Photo Locations:
1, 2, 3 - Home Land
4. Parnell,  Kent County, Michigan

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


what is given;
give thanks for
Make the ordinary
extra ordinary;
and give it back
©  2013  Richard Havenga


Photo Location:
Parnell,  (St. Patrick's Church)  Kent County,  Michigan 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Horizontality II

well beyond sunset
Lake Michigan horizon
colors fading fast
©  2013  Richard Havenga
You may also like: Horizontality - September 28, 2012

Photo Location:  Grand Haven,  (Grand Haven)  Michigan  (Michigan)

Friday, November 22, 2013





Photo Location:

Pacific Grove, (Pacific Grove)  California 

Friday, November 15, 2013

tempus fugit

soft shades of yellow
last night's raindrops cling to twig
drops and leaves will fall
©  2013  Richard Havenga

Sugar MapleAcer saccharum  (Acer saccharinum) 
Photo Location:
Townsend Park,  (Townsend)  Kent County,  Michigan (Michigan)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Strip Trees Show

After a hard freeze,
at twenty degrees,
our Red Oak trees
lost their leaves
in a November breeze.
©  2013  Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Home Woods

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day II

No words
can embrace
the immense gratitude
I feel for our U.S. Veterans
who paid the
ultimate sacrifice
for our freedom. 

See also: Veteran's Day  November 11, 2012

Photo Location:

Santa Fe National Cemetery  (Veteran's Cemetery)  Santa Fe,  (Santa Fe) New Mexico (NM)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

High Silence

A soft-edged cirrus
drifts slowly overhead.

A white feather
gliding in high silence
from west to east.

Like the last bird
of evening.

Photo Location:

Home Land

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Slicing the Dawn

Crows burst
through morning fog
on ebony wings;
like blades, glossy
with blackness.

Slicing the dawn,
slashing the silence,
proclaiming their

©  2013  Richard Havenga

Photo Location

Home Woods

Monday, November 4, 2013


God has

A long life
of awareness
and astonishment.

Fully awake.
Fully present.
Shared with purpose.

Remarkably impressed.
Abundantly blessed.
Gratitude expressed.

©  2013  Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

Tin Cup,  Colorado (Colorado)