Monday, September 28, 2015

The Orchardist

He looks over the old,
abandoned orchard;
rows of overgrown apple trees,
their gangly branches
arching to touch 
other trees' branches,
crammed with vertical suckers,
unpruned for twenty years,
leaves of apple trees
still breathing the air.

Outer twigs on the fringe
still producing sparse blossoms
of pinkish-white,
still carrying their sweet fragrance, 
the signature of spring,
to the old orchardist,
recalling the promise;

memory an overcast dream
now fringed with loss.

A Brown Thrasher serenades
from the dense inner leaves,
an oriole calls from high
on a dead branch,
honeybees still visit for pollen.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Come September,
blemished and shriveled apples
will ornament these old branches,

will still be found
by climbing raccoons;
opossums, deer, even foxes
may eat of the fallen fruit

and enjoy it with wild abandon,
not noticing the imperfections
of these small, wrinkled apples,
or the absence of the old orchardist.

© 2015 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations

Vergennes Township, Kent County, Michigan

Friday, September 25, 2015


infinite numbers
this intricacy of leaves
miracles of green

©  2014  Richard Havenga

Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum 

Photo Location: Cannon Township, Kent County, Michigan

Monday, September 21, 2015

Watching the Sky

Child: "Grandpa, where does the sky begin ?"

Grandpa: "It begins above your head."

Child: "Are you in the sky Grandpa?"

Grandpa: "No, not quite, but I'll be there soon."

Child: "Will I be able to see you up there?"

Grandpa: "No, but I will be able to see you."

Child: "I'll be watching the sky, Grandpa."

Grandpa: "I'll be watching you."

© 2015 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations

1. SaddleBrooke - Oro Valley, Arizona 

2. Catalina State Park - Catalina, Arizona

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Does God recognize
my intentions;
when I praise him 
in a poem?

When I ponder
his performance
in the theater
of nature?

When I give him
the glory
by sharing the composition
of his creation?

What secret syllables,
what worshiping words
do I need to convert
this fragmented poem
into a personal prayer
of praise?
© 2015 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Butchart Gardens - Victoria,  British Columbia 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Written on the Sky

Look at those high,
swirling cirrus
stretching, drifting
across the summer sky.

Appearing out of thin air
with briefly enhanced definition,
then fading, disappearing.

Scientist: atmospheric water vapor.

Artist: designer fabric on high.

white, delicate prayers
silently written on the sky,
awaiting translation.
© 2015 Richard Havenga

Monday, September 7, 2015

Within this Wedge of Light

Backlit by the sun,
this dragonfly's 
transparent wings 
are a blur times four.

It hovers, then turns,
then darts
diagonally downward,
snaring another flying insect.

Do you admire 
its flight;
forward and backward,
up and down?

Are you amazed
by its maneuverability
and quick strike

Four wings working
changing direction,
fast and furious.

I am astounded 
all over again
at the many miracles
available for viewing.

Not only the 
scientific  explanation
of tiny motor muscles,
complex compound eyes,

the minute holes called spiracles

pumping in oxygen
through its narrow,
throbbing abdomen,

not only these,
but the simple pleasure
of merely watching
with wonder

within this wedge

of summer sunlight.
© 2015 Richard Havenga

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I Whisper

I am paying close attention
to the living reality
surrounding me outdoors.

I am focused intently,
drawn into the science,
pulled into the mystery;

I am amazed by the intricacies of nature,
fascinated by the complex details,
astounded by how it all works.

For each miracle I witness,
for each poem I write,
for each photograph I capture,

I whisper 
into the air:
"Thank you God!"

After the gathering
of memories, words, and images,
it is always the gratitude that remains.

© 2015 Richard Havenga

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


stretch your horizons
seek new opportunities
take the first step now
© 2015 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Centennial,  Wyoming