Monday, November 20, 2017

The Last Thing on Your Mind

In loving memory of Aaron Richard Havenga  (April 2, 1975 ~ November 20, 1994)

"I could have loved you better, didn't mean to be unkind. 
You know that was the last thing on my mind."  ~ Tom Paxton © 1978

I was your father.
You were my only son.

The dreams I dreamed

of us together,
exploring the West,
you as a future father,
have gone unrealized.

And as you passed

from your vibrant life,
nineteen, alone,
and far from home,
we never got to say good bye.

What was the last thing on your mind?

© 2017 Richard Havenga

The Last Thing on My Mind - Tom Paxton

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 18

"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 

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 encouragement
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