Thursday, July 12, 2018

Writing on the Deck

"Is it an old man's hunger to take in all he can of what's left of his life?
... to save what I can for them to see through my eyes?" ~ Dan Gerber *

Aging sweet peas arch
from an antique vase;
decorate my writing table,
capture my curious eyes.

The stillness of an empty blue sky
is cradled by the glossy canopy of trees.

A lively little wren hops along the handrail.
A hummingbird hovers over the petunias.
Steeples of Delphinium blue the green shadows.
A Pileated Woodpecker hammers in the woods. 
A cicada cranks up its hypnotic, electric buzz.

Despite the comfort of these morning hours,
the days rush past, seasons change swiftly,
but I am out here; a witness.

Surrounding trees breathe in silence.
Then a soft breeze stirs,
lifting graceful fern fronds.

Like the breathe of God
confirming these words,
blessing my time,
giving this day.

Filling my soul 
with gratitude.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

* Excerpt ~ "In Our Rented Cabin" from Dan Gerber's book: Sailing through Cassiopeia © 2012

Photo Locations

Home Deck, Home Garden, Home Woods.

Monday, July 9, 2018

A Trace of Hope

As evening settles slowly,
the last Great Blue Heron
of  your fulfilling day
rows his gray boat
over the wetlands,
back to the rookery.

Then the sky flares crimson
against the softening clouds
aflame for a moment
then gone too soon;
but you were out there.
You were a witness.

You stand still on the porch
as dusk seems to pause,
waiting for you to recall
the highlights of your day;

before you enter
the bright light inside,
where you can illuminate
the lives of others with
more than a trace
of hope.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Rogue River - Rockford, Michgian

2. McCarthy Lake - Grattan Township - Kent County, Michigan

3. Grand River (Jupiter Bridge) Plainfield Township - Kent County, Michigan

Monday, July 2, 2018

Morning Greeting

My morning greeting:

Catbird calling 
from secret green shadows
auditioning several songs.

Young cumulus 
sailing on a ship of wind
powdering the blue sky.

Sweet peas 
climbing upon themselves
painting a profusion of pink.

Colors of crimson
blending with blue
smoothing wrinkled water.

My response:


My reply:

for given creation.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations

1. Wabasis Lake Park - Kent County - Michigan

2. Home Sky - Cannonsburg, Michigan

3. Ada Township - Kent County - Michigan

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


You could easily 
pass over
this obscure
little wildflower
unless your eyes
were wide open
looking for
eager to 

The inside portion
resembling orchids;
cream colored
to yellowish,
with purple spots,
in between
layers of lavender.

Close up however,
you  can see it's borne
in leafy, interrupted spikes.

Its leaf-like bracts are
conspicuous, recurved,
lilac to whitish.

The corolla tube is elongated,
with a slightly inflated throat. 

Have you noticed?
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Horsemint - (Spotted Monarda) - Monarda punctata

Botanical source: Michigan Wildflowers ~ Helen Smith ~ Cranbrook Institute of Science - Michigan © 1961

Photo Location: Home Fields ~ Cannonsburg, Michigan

Friday, June 22, 2018


Reverence comes over me
while sitting in deep silence
under the forest canopy.

Reverence flows through me
while watching
the river's steady current.

I inhale it with eyes closed
while standing in a 
wildflower meadow.

I absorb it
like the sounds of birdsong
becoming memories,

or when 
ribbons of wind
wrap around my ears.

I feel it surging
while walking barefoot
on ocean's sandy shore.

Reverence resides in my soul
when I'm a guest
in the mansion of mountains.

Even when I'm too old
to walk the shore,
to hike the trails,
and wander the meadows,

I will not lose
this sense of reverence,
because I carry it
inside my heart,
within my soul.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Snake River - Grand Teton National Park - Wyoming

2.  Elk River - Steamboat SpringsColorado

3. Along St. Mary's River - Glacier National Park - Montana 

4. Indigo Bunting - Egypt Valley State Game Area - Kent County, Michigan

5. Sunset Beach, North Carolina

6. Glacier National Park - Montana

Monday, June 18, 2018

Sleeping With Crickets

I prefer the AC  OFF
and the windows open,
so that, through the screen,
the background percussion
of chorus frogs
enters our bedroom,
and blends with
the string section
of crickets.

I'm listening, but drifting,
as they approach
a closer harmony
in the deep fields.

After I've fallen asleep,
I dream of crickets
sipping silver drops of dew
collected on midnight
leaves of grass.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Location: Lowell Township - Michigan 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

May You Walk IV

May you walk along the ridge
above spring-green aspens vibrant in the valley. 

May you walk between clumps of sage
scattered and spaced over red dirt deserts.

May you walk among dense, dark ferns
unfurling on the floor of the forest.

May you walk under pillars of Ponderosa Pine, 
and inhale the aroma of butterscotch-vanilla-honey. 

May you walk, upon waking, in the morning woods
vibrant with the voices of vireos. 

May you walk on the ocean's sandy shores
resplendent with the rising sun.

May you walk through the seasons of your life attentive and alert,
with a joyful sense of gratitude.

© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Peaceful Valley, Colorado

3. Cinnamon Fern - Home Woods - Kent County - Michigan 

4. Pinesdale, Montana

5. Yellow-throated Vireo - Home Woods - 

You may also enjoy: 

May You Walk III  - July 20, 2015

May You Walk II - January 12, 2015

Monday, June 11, 2018


Striving for these
sensory images to be
crystallized into words,

I am surprised
and delighted
when a description
shines on the page;

like this pink 
lady slipper
thrusting up from
a floor of pine needles

to be illuminated
by the morning sun
in the early June light
of this sensuous summer,
rising toward its climax. 
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo LocationTownsend Park - Kent County - Michigan 

Friday, June 8, 2018

morning drive

on the morning drive
cowboys between cloud shadows
Colorado green

© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Glencoe Valley, Colorado 

Monday, June 4, 2018


As the shadows grew longer,
the wind released its grip
and the silence grew wider.

That evening the watery moonlight

danced enticingly upon the ocean,
carrying her to a new horizon.

After years of offering 
everything she had,
she realized she was
much more than his echo.

Now, carrying the parts of herself
she knows will grow and flourish,
she sails in her imagination
to a new and brighter place
where her dreams 
may begin to shine. 
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo LocationAnna Maria IslandFlorida  

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

For all those who sacrificed their lives,
so that we may live ours with freedom. ~ RH

"The dead soldier's silence sings our national anthem." ~ Aaron Kilbourne

Photo Locations:

1. Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery - St. Louis, Missouri

2. Amway World Headquarters - Ada, Michigan

Thursday, May 24, 2018



I will lend you my words
so you may see
what I have seen
through the eyes of my heart.

May your vision
be illuminated
by words chosen
to shine upon the page;

chosen to reveal
miracles and mysteries,
the spectacles of spring,
the secrets of summer;

chosen to discover
stimulating images
by translating
life into art. 
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Information

1. Round-leaved Hepatica - Townsend Park - Kent County, Michigan 

2. Wild Geranium - Home Woods, Cannonsburg, Michigan

3. Blue Flax - Crested ButteColorado 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Goldfinch and Dandelion

With its curved claws,
a goldfinch pins 
a dandelion stem
into the grass.

Then picks precisely

and delicately
at the tops
of dandelion tufts;

extracting the minute seeds
that might have been 
carried on the wind
by petite silver parachutes.

Wearing a small black cap
to match tuxedo wings,
he now stands at the edge
of a common mud puddle.

to dip his orange beak
for a bird-sized sip of water.

A joyous yellow bundle
eating and drinking the afternoon.

© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations

Fallasburg Park - Kent County, Michigan  

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Shape of the Gift

God is an artist.
Has created all I see.

He sends his messages.
I pray for receptivity.

Open to his influence,
I'm eager for possibility.

In this gallery of awareness,
I wait patiently.

Nourished by the Spirit,
I try to imagine
the shape of the gift,

and how to open it
with gratitude,
and proper humility.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photography © by Richard Havenga

1. American Lotus ~ Nelumbo lutea

2. Buttonbush ~ Cephalanthus occidentalis

3. Gladiolus ~ species

4. Sunflower ~ species

5. Sulphur Cinquefoil ~ Potentilla recta