Thursday, July 28, 2016


You could find comfort
in a place like this:

surrounded by
the soothing pull of silence,

the guaranteed gravity
of rushing rivers,

the vanilla fragrance
emitted from
sun-warmed Ponderosas,

wide views of big sky
that bulge with
afternoon cumulus,

the presence of mountains,
an open invitation
to enter

these images
of dreams
that could come true.
© 2016 Richard Havenga

 Photo Locations:

1. Arkansas River - Buena VistaColorado 

2. Stevensville, Montana 

3. Flathead Lake - Big Arm, Montana 

4. Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Long Summer Evening

Monumental mountains
fade into silhouettes,
as pink clouds hover
above their rocky height.

This long summer evening
sends my invitation;
washes the skirts of trees
with soft, shimmering twilight.

Songbirds becoming silent--
must be seeking shelter
on a safe perch 
to spend the night.

Overhead, spotted briefly,
against the dimming light,
bats snatch flying insects
in erratic, fluttering flight.

Fireflies recognize their time 
to shine from dark hollows;
sending sporadic, short signals
pulsing bright.

Crickets crank up their
calibrated wing-rustle
from the entrance of their chambers;
a listener's delight.

This long summer evening
spatters the darkening sky
with early stars
as I begin to write.
© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations

1. Grand Teton National Park - Wyoming 

2. Home Woods

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Time Spent

The morning sky is vast,
and covers you with this
new day.

All day, this day keeps
changing its appearance.
Warm, soft light intensifies
into the hard glare of afternoon,
until the slow leaving of evening
keeps you blinking to see more
through dimming light.

Keeps you grateful for the time
you got to spend outdoors,
because, despite hope for tomorrow,
if this was your last new day,
it was time spent well. 
© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations: Kent County, Michigan

Monday, July 18, 2016

Wind Instruments

Out in these rolling fields,
the wind is caressing
the tall and slender grasses,
and the tawny heads of wheat,

wishing to create pastoral music
before the grass becomes hay,

before the stalks become straw,
before the remnants
become short, stiff, stubble
void of melody.
© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. & 4. Lowell Township - Kent County, Michigan

2. & 3. Grattan Township - Kent County, Michigan

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Blessing of Rivers

I watch the river flowing,
fluid and fluent.
Think of all I have
been given;
the blessing of rivers
my metaphor:

Looking upstream
at the future
coming at me.
Looking downstream
at the past,
beyond change.

Giving back what I've been given;
the gifts of time and place.
My poems,
written on these rivers,
like time, have drifted past.

Placing my hand
into the live current,
I want to give
this feeling to you,
if only I could grasp it.
© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Elk River - Steamboat SpringsColorado 

2. Blackfoot River - MissoulaMontana 

3. & 4. Arkansas River - Buena VistaColorado 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Friday, July 8, 2016

Deep Listening

When I finally find
the pulse of a poem,
I hope that you, too,
become a willing participant;
reading from your awakened heart
these words
uncovered in the landscape,
recovered from the water,
discovered on the wind --

not merely by hearing words, 
but with slow, deep listening.
© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1.  Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area - Wyoming 

2. Hyser Lake - Kent County - Michigan 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Taste of Poetry

Wild black raspberries
plucked from the cane.

Soft-skinned apricots
picked from the stem.

Crisp, juicy apples
pulled from the branch.

The taste of selected words
harvested from a delicious language.

© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

2. Kropf Orchards - Lowell, Michigan

Friday, July 1, 2016

Close to the Sky

Mountain Goats climb
close to the sky.

Wrapped in snow-white coats,
they move like small clouds
along ridges of rock.
Slow and purposeful,
or scrambling sure-footed.

With round, black eyes
they seek nutrition;
browsing alpine shrubs
and ground cover.

Comfortable and confident
in their elevated environment,
while grazing these steep gradients.

I've already whispered:
"Thank you God",
for this gift of their presence,
for the honor to be a guest
in this mansion of mountains
so close to the sky.
© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

Glacier National Park - Montana 

To learn more, read my creative non-fiction article: Mountain Goats of Montana from July 30, 2012.