Thursday, November 16, 2017


Probing the heart of gravity,
old oaks seek solid anchorage
in the bones of the earth.
© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo Location: Grattan Township - Kent County, Michigan 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Fragments of Poetry 17

"But see,
over there, like a
green wound in the shoulder
of the hill, like a new patch
in the quilt,
blazes a square of quite
improbable emerald.
With what audacity
the bright velvet assaults
our autumn senses:
each blade a reversal
of seasons, its upstart shoot
flagging the brief sun bursts,
the sap juicing to its tip,
ready, now, in November,
for the new year!"

~ from: "Winter Wheat" by Luci Shaw in Polishing the Petoskey Stone © 1990  p.125

You may also enjoy: 

Fragments of Poetry 16 - September 29, 2016

Fragments of Poetry 15 - February 8, 2016

Photo Locations: Oakfield Township - Kent County, Michigan 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran's Day 2017

No words 
can embrace
the immense gratitude
I feel for our
United States Veterans
who paid the ultimate sacrifice
for our freedom.

I kneel in respect before them,
in honor of their dedicated service.

© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo LocationSanta Fe National Cemetery ~ Santa FeNew Mexico 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Monday, November 6, 2017

"The Steps of St. Patrick's"

Climbing up the steps
of St. Patrick's Church,
the people of the parish
bring their fine families;
they are stepping up
into a sacred space,
lifting themselves up
with hopeful expectation,
eager for encouragment
from their passionate pastor:
"We can do more."

The things they carry
in their hearts may be
devotion and dedication,
reflection or remorse,
may be gratitude and grace,
or the burden of shame
upon their shoulders,
may be fertile fields
to grow and spread 
His love.

The things they carry
in their souls may be
words of worship,
prayers of praise,
may be meditation and mercy,
admiration and adoration,
perhaps poverty of the soul.

The things they expect 
to receive inside
may be healing and holiness,
sanctity and salvation,
or faith and forgiveness,
may be acceptance and attachment,
by receiving the body and the blood.

The things they share
with the congregation may be
compassion and communion,
blessings and the Bible,
The Word, and reasons for worship,
or sympathy and empathy for others.

Climbing down the steps
of St. Patrick's Church,
after receiving 
the bread and the wine,
after a meaningful mass,
the people of the parish
may carry the message 
to others who are
thirsting for truth
hungering for hope.
© 2017 Richard Havenga

You may also enjoy: The Bells of St. Patrick's 

Photo Location:

The steps of St. Patrick's Church ~ Parnell, Michigan

Friday, November 3, 2017


early November
curtain of yellow willow
weeping with autumn
© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Crooked Lake - Grattan Township - Kent County, Michigan

Monday, October 30, 2017

Inside Herself

A soft, shimmering breeze
awakens the aspens;
wakens the woman

Fluttering on petite petioles,
these leaves,
like little rounded hearts,
generate stimulating rhythms.

Tickling her fancy.
Triggering warm shivers
deep inside
her self.
© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations

1. OurayColorado  

2. Grand Mesa National Forest - Colorado 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Serching for Grace

Autumn leaves 
are landing
softly on the stream.

Like grace trickling
through the moment,
sliding into the future,

floating around the bend,
gathering downstream;

a congregation of others
still searching

for grace.
© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Grand River - Grand Rapids, Michigan

2. Flat River - Fallasburg Park 

3.  Bear Creek - Townsend Park - Kent County, Michigan

Monday, October 16, 2017

Lavender Fog

Watch the slow, silver
approach of dawn.

Arms of leafless trees arched
and etched in silhouettes.

Waiting for the birth
of this brand new day.

Anticipating color,
seeking soft, lavender fog,

and the first notes of birdsong
before they're sung,

and the simple gifts of creation
waiting to be opened

as soon as they arrive.
© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo Location

Oakwood Cemetery - Plainfield Township, Kent County, Michigan  

Friday, October 13, 2017


out here on the range
this cowboy knows when to kneel
and show his respect

© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo Location: Sharon Springs, Kansas

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Water Love

Soft as a butterfly's touch
on a flower petal,

the evening calm
whispered to the water,

then a gentle rain kissed her skin;
the smooth, dark silk of the lake. 

© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:  Rocky Mountain National ParkColorado 

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Single Stone

While sharing 
my desires and gratitudes
within these lines,

you have come 
to know me.

But who are you
when you enter
these poems?

And before you leave,
is there a single
shiny stone

you would like to pick up?
And after it glistens briefly
in your palm,

will you put it in your pocket
and carry on with your day,
and be pleased this evening
when you find it again?

And be surprised
by the warmth
it has attained
from your body?

Reminding you
of treasure,
this simple pleasure
of a single stone.

More permanent
than mere words
left to linger
on a forgotten shore.

© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Vault

for Michelle Ogren - Music Director at St. Patrick Church 

As we sing and exalt His name with praise,
may song illuminate our precious days.

May song echo through the vault of our skies
and reach its goal: be pleasing in God's eyes.
© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

2. Home Woods - CannonsburgMichigan 

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Gravity pulls the stream
around silver curves.

The current

feels like God
guiding my hand
over the page.

Lines scrolling.
Gratitude flowing.
© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo LocationCrested ButteColorado 

Monday, September 25, 2017


Grazing the inner landscape for ideas,
I am carried into a wider existence,
a greater awareness,
carried by the current of creativity.

As the growing vine
reaches out with tendrils,
seeking an elevated position,
carried closer to the light,

I carry this invitation to you;
to enter the oportunities
of artistic expression,
as you expand your love of the land.

© 2017 Richard Havenga

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Silver Dispersal

Even the humble dandelion
displays intricate precision
in the delicate details
of its silver dispersal.
© 2017 Richard Havenga

Thursday, September 14, 2017

September Stage

As summer settles
into September,
asters and goldenrod
accept the invitation
to audition
for this month
of transition.

Yellow and gold,
purple and lavender,
assume their places
on this September stage.

In the background,
from the percussion section,
acorns and hickory nuts
zip through the leaves,
pound the ground,
and bounce off my
inverted canoe.

During these cooler nights,
cricket calls seem calmer
as they continue to crank out
their calibrated wing rustles;
soft stridulations 
with temperature affecting
their measured notes.

The stage is set.
Harmony prevails.
The audience approves.
© 2017 Richard Havenga

Monday, September 11, 2017

Practicing Goodbye

Memories rise and fall
with the undulating waves.

Remembering washes over my mind,
then retreats down the wet slope of sand.

Like creation in front of me,
like creation repeating the past.

Like a flock of gulls rising together,
then landing together.

Like sensing the amenities of heaven,
or the sense of heaven.

Like practicing how to say goodbye
when it's time to leave or time to die.

Like the tide coming in and going out,
coming in and going out...

© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

2. Cape Perpetua - Yachats, Oregon

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Passage of Time

"Time passes slowly up here in the mountains." ~ Written by Bob Dylan; sung by Judy Collins © 1970

The day is still young
up here in the mountains.

I am witnessing:

the birth of clouds,
the evaporation of dew,

the sharp, clear notes
of a White-crowned Sparrow,

the slow opening of
alpine wildflowers,

and green mountains 
reflected in dew drops.

I am hoping for:

a pattern of lines,
a collection of words,
that will witness
the sweet and gentle
passage of time.
© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Yosemite National Park - California

2. Cottonwood Pass 12,126' - Colorado 

3. Snowy Range Scenic Byway - Medicine Bow Mountains - Wyoming

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September Morning

While I was walking
through this September morning,
Goldenrod invited itself
into my poem.

So I welcomed its
color and structure
into my Naturalist's head,
noticed the yellow sprays
of arching florets,

watched bees
plunging for pollen,

but more than
Botanical biographies,
I observed
with uncommon senses
the enhancements 
offered here and now:

commonly clogging
the forgotten fields,

the introduction of autumn.

These golden towers of life;
alive and dancing
in the light
of a new day.
© 2017 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1, 4, & 5. Home Fields & Woods

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