Friday, August 30, 2013

A Few Seconds

A tight cluster
of Cedar Waxwings
spilled suddenly
from the canopy
of tall Red Oaks;
leaves green and glossy
in bright summer sun.
They flew fast
with direction
and purpose,
over the field
scattered with
round bales
of hay.

Then disappeared.

Into the
dense foliage
of Silver Maples
lining the riverbank.

When you first heard
their high-pitched
whistles, did you
                                            look up
                                                         to catch

Did this little
squadron of joy
quicken those
few seconds
of your day?

© 2013 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. & 2. Pickerel Lake Park - Fred Meijer Nature Preserve,  (Pickerel)  Kent County,  Michigan

3. White Cloud,  Michigan

4. & 5.  Grand River, (Grand)  Lowell, (Lowell)  Michigan  (Michigan)

Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

page thirteen

This poem was written July 17, 1992, outside our family tent, at Interlochen State Park, (Duck Lake Campground) in northern Michigan.

Little brown butterfly,
you've landed on page thirteen
of the book I'm reading
to warm your wings
in the morning sunlight.

First your right side,
and then your left.
Slanting and tilting
to keep your wings
to the warming rays.

I slowly slant and tilt
the page you've clung to,
to test your sensitivity.
You adjust your stance.
The experiment works.

You start to walk
over the words:
"Lake Michigan".
You have now entered
this short story* I'm reading;
become a new character.

Stepping over a few sentences
down to the next paragraph,
you pause on the words:
"butterflies migrate".

Then you take flight.

©  1992, 2013 - Richard Havenga

*Short Story: "The Way A Woman Thinks" from collection: Grass Fires - Dan Gerber © 1989

Monday, August 26, 2013


this long song rising
from the Song Sparrow's small mouth
here it comes again

Song Sparrow - Melospiza melodia
Photo LocationHome Land
Song Sparrow: Recording

Friday, August 23, 2013

Air Show

Knifing through thick summer air
over a lake of smoothed water,
swallows swoop for small insects
with a spatter of small chatter.

Not famous or well-known
for their song or plain call,
but their skilled flight performance
a silent air show for all.

©  2013  Richard Havenga
Photo Locations:
1. Pickerel Lake Park, (Pickerel)  Kent County,  Michigan 
2. Big Crooked Lake  (Crooked)  Kent County,  Michigan


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Flower Sex

stigma, style and ovary
surrounded by six anthers
supported by six filaments
fertilization coming soon
to a garden theatre near you.

©  2013  Richard Havenga

Color-coded for your convenience.
Photo Location:  Home Garden


Monday, August 19, 2013

Miracle Fiber

Results of a tiny spider
drifting from our big woods
onto our large deck, and
landing on the fabric of my pants, Dockers ®,
then climbing upon my notebook, Mead ®,
walking on eight legs over my Words ©
then nudged with my pen, uni-ball ® :

Dangling down from my pen,
it dropped fast on a vertical lifeline,
instantly stretching to 12 inches long.

Then increasing to four feet long,
to travel horizontally in a slight breeze.

Then eight feet long,
trending diagonally upward.

Now twelve feet long,
as he is lifted up and away
on this nearly invisible thread.

Displaying a skillful escape
from harassment, to land
where he will... into the next
available, cooperative tree.

Me, a mere witness to this miracle fiber.
My attention captured by this tiny spider.
Astonished enough to dangle a few lines
composed of mere letters and words of this kind.

©  2013  Richard Havenga

Friday, August 16, 2013


Like words
for a poem
I want to write,
these butterflies
flit closely by
and briefly alight.

Then suddenly
flutter by.

The sweet nectar
but uncollected.

©  2013  Richard Havenga

Click on photos to enlarge.

1Eastern Tiger SwallowtailPapilio glaucus on Common Milkweed - Asclepias syriaca

2. Aphrodite Fritillary - Speyeria aphrodite on Swamp Milkweed - Asclepias incaranata

3. Red-spotted Purple - Limenitis a. astyanax,  Viceroy - Limenitis archippus floridensis 
    on Buttonbush - Cephalanthus occidentalis 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cicadas... again

Cicadas buzz in the canopy
of the woods, then STOP.


Then begin
to buzz

The closest cicada,
gradually tapering
its  RPM's, 

Only to
throttle up
its electric call;
its efficient, built-in
communication device,
slicing through the humidity,
thriving in the August heat,
piercing the summer silence,
demanding your attention.


©  2013  Richard Havenga

Click on photos to enlarge.

Photo Locations

1.  Home Woods
2. Home Woods
3. Abbey Adams  - "Art Prize" 2012 -  Grand Rapids,  Michigan

Cicada on YouTube: Look & Listen

Monday, August 12, 2013

Iris Intimacy

Close enough to feel
this flaming feathered tongue,
this stimulation for insects.
The intimacy
between bees
and flowers.
Beauty's brief ecstasy.
©  2013  Richard Havenga


Click on photo to enlarge.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

heron sleeps

morning heron sleeps
still as the log he stands on
shadow waits below

©  2013  Richard Havenga

Click on photo to enlarge.

Photo Location:  Rogue River,  (Rogue)  Rockford,  (Rockford)  Michigan (Michigan)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

After Rain

After a summer rain;
not all the drops
the lake.

Some wait to
from smooth,
green ovals.

© 2013  Richard Havenga

Click on photo to enlarge

Photo Location:

Pickerel Lake Park (Fred Meijer Nature Preserve),  Kent County,  Michigan

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Same Sun

Evening gathers gently
around the shoulders
of summer trees.
Birds settle into the arms
of darkening branches
for the night. 

I look into the high sky
at the silvery gibbous moon,
and the yellow head of a
towering cumulus;
each collecting and reflecting
light from the same sun.

The same sun
that has settled
beyond my horizon.
The same sun
that has left me
reflecting on my days.

Reminding me
to praise
the one
who made the sun,
and gave me eyes to see:
moon, clouds, birds, trees.
©  2013  Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Pickerel Lake Park,  (Pickerel)  Kent County,  Michigan

Click on photo to enlarge.

Friday, August 2, 2013


You waited this long,
this deep into summer,
to open your soft fingers.

Curved rays of gentle sun
welcome the hands
that will harvest
this golden treasure,
this small pleasure,

into an antique vase
to warm our days,
or bring
soothing comfort
to an old friend.

© 2013  Richard Havenga
Click on photos to enlarge.
Black-eyed Susan - Rudbeckia hirta
Photo Location: Dad's Creek