Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fragments of Poetry 17

"From the marshy cove
the bullfrog offers thoughts
on the proper limits of ambition."

~ from the poem: "Camp Evergreen"

~ from the book: Jane Kenyon - Collected Poems p. 110

You may also enjoy previous "Fragments"...

Fragments of Poetry 15 - Feb. 8, 2016

Fragments of Poetry 14 - Oct. 24, 2014 

Fragments of Poetry 13 - Oct. 6, 2014 

Photo LocationPickerel Lake Park / Fred Meijer Nature Preserve 

Monday, September 26, 2016


ah, Meteorology...

So many syllables,
the spelling so misleading.
Scientific or poetic;
either way, I love weather.
I am a devoted cloud watcher:

Michigan to Florida.
California to Carolina.

Here, I suppose,
I must thank the U. S. Army.
RA 68021326...
This number 
came back to me easily,
since that was me
from March, 1968 to March, 1971.

In Fort Monmouth, New Jersey,
we, the soldiers who volunteered
for 93E20, our "M.O.S." -
Military Occupational Specialty -
learned twenty-seven cloud types
from three major groups:
Cirrus, stratus, cumulus.  

Using 1969 technology,
we collected information
from the atmosphere;
tracking our huge weather balloons,
high into the sky, 
out of sight,
recording the data.

Thank you to the U.S. Army
for sending me to:
Kentucky, New Jersey,
Utah, Colorado,
and the northern California coast.
A thrilling introduction
to the West that I love.

A memorable reward
occurred in Colorado in 1970,
when I met 
the woman
I still love today.

I tell her the high and 
the low temperature each day,
and how much rain
is in the gauge.  

We watch clouds together,
in all kinds of weather.

Sometimes, while
watching the moon
navigate the the sky,
full with the promise of love,
a meteor would streak
through our view;
a signal that we were
on the right path.

I especially liked the ones
that travelled to the West,
where I long to be. 
© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. & 2. Yosemite National Park - California 

3. Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve - Colorado 

4. Home

5. Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado 

6. Taylor Reservoir - Tin CupColorado 

7. Kent County, Michigan 

8. Pickerel Lake Park / Fred Meijer Nature Preserve - Kent County, Michigan

9. Home

10. Gunnison, Colorado

11. Grand Teton National Park - Wyoming 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

After the Storm

The rain ended
a few hours ago.
This new light
after the storm
brings certain clarity.
The trees sigh,
soil swells with life.
Droplets still cling
to the fine skin
of green.
© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. EsteroFlorida 

2. Iroquois County, Illinois 

3. & 4. Home Woods

5.  Medicine Bow Mountains - Wyoming 

Monday, September 19, 2016

I Cup my Ears

On these end-of-summer nights,
just before I go to bed,
I step outside for a few minutes,
to be enclosed by the darkness.

Forming two funnels
to amplify sounds,
I cup my ears
to better hear
the crickets 
of September;
the coming silence 
of November.

© 2016 Richard Havenga

Monday, September 12, 2016


Do you still listen
to the rain
like you did
as a child?

Does it still dance
upon the water,
shout on the streets,
sing through the trees?

Have you listened lately?

We can still live our lives

as if everything spoke to us.

Walk out into this new day,

or into the dark, still night;
then stop.
© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Pickerel Lake Park / Meijer Nature Preserve Kent County, Michigan 

Thursday, September 8, 2016


In this up-north country,
we await the signal
from September
that we know
is coming.

You know the one.

It appears on clear,
calm mornings.
Silver crystals cling
to blades of grass.
Fallen leaves
are edged in ice.

It's a signal
that the old welcome
after long summer heat.

But the young want
one more chance
to jump into the waves
of Lake Michigan, 
before they jump
into rows of desks
to face their future. 
© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. & 2. Townsend Park - Kent County, Michigan

3. Holland Beach State Park - HollandMichigan 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Evening Reflection

The mirror of the lake
is broken by a long, rippling "V",
a beaver creating a silent wake.

The storm has drifted east,
leaving remnants of sound;
the slow collapse of distant thunder.

Looking west,
evening stirs a mild breeze,
as tattered clouds roll away.
Gratitude expressed for another day.

© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

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

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Long, spiked clusters
of perky blue tubes
above heart-shaped leaves
like broad arrowheads
shooting from shallow water,
rooted in the bottom of lakes.
Blooms all summer,
from bottom to top.
Pontederia cordata. 
© 2016 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:  

Pickerel Lake Park / Fred Meijer Nature Preserve - CannonsburgMichigan