Monday, December 31, 2018


If you could see
the past in a mirror,
would you spend more time
in front of it, recalling memories?

Or turn your back
on it and look out
the window
to the future?

The future,
where your dreams
are shining bright
and reflective.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

You may also enjoy: "reflection, reverence" ~ March 28, 2016

Photo Locations:

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Published in Stone

Bold beasts
suspended in sandstone,
traveling through time,
rambling nowhere.

Angular, circular,
intense with purpose.
Hands drawing hands.
Hands drawing tracks.

Cut with care
and crude tools,
dyed with earth's pigments,
their instruments of art express:

respect for ravens
and fear of snakes;
pursuit of elk, bison,
antelope and deer.

Meals shared
with stories of the hunt.

Visions published in stone.
Preserved for centuries.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

Dinosaur National Monument ~ Colorado

Dinosaur National Monument ~ Utah

Canyonlands National Park ~ Utah

Monday, December 24, 2018

Ocean of Sky

As I watch Orion
rise on the tide of night,
and sail slowly through
the vast ocean of sky,

a voice 
inside my soul

"Soli gloria deo".
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location: Catalina, Arizona

Thursday, December 20, 2018

"Stairway to Heaven"

"There's a feeling I get
  when I look to the West,
  and my spirit is crying for leaving."

Photo Location:

Hurricane Mesa - Wyoming

Lyrics: "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin

Monday, December 17, 2018


Like the spent shells
along the the shallow shore,
we are scattered upon the earth;

grouped and gathered,
bunched and belonging,
longing to be noticed.

Selected from the many
prized and possessed,
collected on a shelf.

Collecting dust, seldom noticed,
but admired by children
spending their curiosity.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Sanibel IsandFlorida

2. Delnor Wiggins State Park - Naples, Florida

3. Home Library - Cannonsburg, Michigan

Thursday, December 13, 2018


Through my side vision,
at the edge of my glasses,
I thought it was a tiny spider
walking between the drops
spattered and scattered
on the window of my library.

But turning my vision east,
to the edge of the woods;
it was a Downy Woodpecker,
hungry again,
now that the heavy rain
has let up.

He is probing
with his sharp, black beak  
between the fissures of wet bark
and among flakes of moist lichen
growing on a solid Red Oak.

I'm watching this Downy
while spotting the red spots
on his black-and-whiteness.

He's focusing on his foraging;
and now there's a pair there.

© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Location: Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

Monday, December 10, 2018

Night Stroll

A sliver of alabaster;
the crescent moon hanging
in deep blue velvet.

An ivory pendant;

a necessary accessory
for her seductive stroll
through the night.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Location: Home - Cannonsburg, Michigan

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Winter Words

At the edge of these winter woods,
vertically black and white;
Sharp. Stark. Reality.

Unlike these winter words,
horizontally white and black;

ideas naked as tree trunks,
mere suggestions, 
once crystallized,
now melting 
into illusion. 
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations: Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

You may also enjoy: "promise" ~ December 22, 2016

Monday, December 3, 2018

Deep Dreams

Any day now,
the lake will freeze over.

will tighten its grip.

You will dream

of the dry desert.

I will dream

of the Sanibel shorebirds.

Time has migrated here to the north,
to stand steadfast for many months.

Our dreams will deepen
like the silencing snow
of acceptance,

and will adapt 
like resilient reeds
in the winter winds.

© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. & 6. Reeds Lake - East Grand RapidsMichigan

4. & 5. Sanibel Island - Florida

7. McCarthy Lake - Cannonsburg, Michigan

Thursday, November 29, 2018


For George Wright - Orchardist

apple ornaments
forgotten in the orchard
fruit for hungry deer
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations: Grattan Township - Kent County - Michigan  

Monday, November 26, 2018

Reaching for the Moon

An ornamental moon
emerges yellow from the lake;
grows white 
as it climbs the trees.

I stand alone

on the shore
as dusk wraps around 
my shoulders.

A band of rippled moonlight

captures my gaze,
embraces my emotions,
touches my soul.

I reach out
to contact the creator.

© 2018 Richard Havenga

You may also enjoy: "Moon's Desire" ~ August 6, 2018

Photo Location: Crooked Lake - Kent County - Michigan

Friday, November 23, 2018

This Interval of Now

A weeping willow
persists deep into November
listens to the cooling winds.

I watch the autumn breeze
weave slender twigs
into golden braids.

Although I feel time 
pulling me along,
I prefer to inhabit
this interval of now.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

You may also enjoy: 

"Lingering" ~ November 16, 2012

"Translation" ~ April 15, 2013

Photo Locations:

1. McCarthy Lake - Kent County, Michigan 

2. Crooked Lake - Kent County, Michigan  

Monday, November 19, 2018


With gratitude to John D'Amico

How many hundreds
of thousands
of dark green spires 
of Lodgepole Pines
needle the sky
in this broad basin?

Highlighted by November snows,
they clothe the rising foothills,
stand perfectly vertical
on steepening slopes,
climb to the timberline
on North Arapaho Peak,
withstand winter winds,
remain ever

Serve as models of perseverance
as we bend under life's strains,
lean into biting winds,
fade from once colorful selves. 

Yielding to the years,
weathering with grace,
faithful to the end.

Tapering, arrow straight
pointing to heaven

A thousand thousand
points of praise.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. 2. 3. - TabernashColorado

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


"When I am, as it were, 
completely by myself,
entirely alone, and of good cheer...
it is on such occasions that ideas
flow best and most abundantly." 

~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)

Photo Locations

American Avocet

1. Gilbert Water Ranch - Arizona

2. Mono Lake - California

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Smuggler

I have detected winter
being secretly smuggled in;

fringed on the edge of leaves,

collecting in low-lying fields 
as fingers of frost,
filigreed on arching grasses.

We all knew it was coming,
so we allowed the smuggler
deeper penetration
into our lives.

Putting on our clothes
of protection...

accepting the present...

dreaming of the future.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo LocationsTownsend Park

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Silver the Wetlands

Late into autumn,
after the hard frosts,
dark brown cattails
silver the wetlands.

Seeds as light as air,
prepared for flight,
on the next breathe
of November wind.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations

Monday, November 5, 2018

Cradle the Clouds

Rolling fields of ripened corn
cradle the clouds of autumn.

A brief burst of morning sunshine
illuminates the horizon of trees.

A dark gray cloud ceiling
contrasts this ripening season.

Long leaves of field corn

wave their brittle arms.

The cold present blows
away the warm past.
© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

1. On the Kent County / Ionia County line - Michigan

2. Lowell Township - Kent County, Michigan

Thursday, November 1, 2018

slow dancing

Loose columns of vapor;
ephemeral silver spirits
in translucent gowns,
slow dancing to 
autumn music. 

© 2018 Richard Havenga

Photo Location: Mc Carthy Lake - Grattan Township - Kent County- Michigan

Monday, October 29, 2018

Living Water

"Even if the externals of life resemble a drought, inside we have the ever-flowing living water of the Holy Spirit. Of all the word pictures employed in the Bible to depict the Spirit, a river of living water ranks among the most powerful. He is seen as the source of vitality and abundance in our lives. Like a continually moving stream, He flows through us, performing His sanctifying work of transforming us into the image of Christ."

~ Dr. Charles Stanley
In Touch (Daily Devotional) - August 31, 2018

 Photo Locations:

1. Arkansas River - Buena VistaColorado

2. Blackfoot River - MissoulaMontana