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