Monday, November 18, 2019


reeds formed a curtain
above the shallow water;
it sways with the waves

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:  LelandMichigan

Friday, November 15, 2019

Naked Light

Sugar Maples slowly shed their leaves;
gold coins falling through their branches,
their richness now collected on the ground. 

Now the naked light of November
displays the elegant tree skeletons
of White Oaks.

Exposes gray, globular hornets' nests
newly visible, hanging high,

and disheveled squirrel nests in Red Oaks;
compact clusters of leaves and twigs
tucked in the trees' tops.

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. 2. 3. 4. Grattan Township - Kent County - Michigan

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Silent as Shadows

a pair of Mute Swans
swimming with their reflections
silent as shadows

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location: McCarthy Lake - Kent County - Michigan

Monday, November 11, 2019

Veteran's Day

For all U.S. Veterans
who gave their lives
for our freedom,
I offer my deep respect
and sincere gratitude.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Santa Fe National Cemetery - Santa Fe, New Mexico

2. Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery - San Diego, California

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Golden Braids

A Weeping Willow
turning yellow into gold
lingers into November.

I watch the autumn breeze
weave slender twigs
into golden braids. 
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

1. Big Crooked Lake - Kent County - Michigan

2. McCarthy Lake - Kent County - Michigan

Monday, November 4, 2019

Path Through the Leaves

I found these old words
fallen from familiar trees 
and saved them here
to be surprised in the future.

Like years of autumn leaves
pressed into the pages
of the silent books
that wait on my library shelves.

A broad Sugar Maple leaf
preserved in soft yellow
somewhere inside
William Stafford's work.

A two-lobed Sassafras leaf,
the left-handed one,
flattened on the Michigan page
of my Rand McNally.

And American Beech, my favorite,
gathered in early November;
veins precisely pinnate,
perfect for bookmarks within:

Mary Oliver, Luci Shaw,
Dan Gerber, and David Lee;
to be discovered years later,
they mark my place in time.

Hoping what I've found
will not be lost,
but saved within
the pages of books.

To recall once again
the seasons of life,
my journey with words,
my path through the leaves.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1, 2, 3. Home Library

4. 5. Home Woods

6. Grattan Township - Kent County - Michigan

7. Fallasburg Park - Kent County - Michigan

Friday, November 1, 2019

Silver Wind

Wind lifts the leaves
of Silver Poplars.

It's because of the silver wind
that these trees' leaves are popular.

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

Cannonsburg, Michigan

Monday, October 28, 2019

Glide Path

three geese on glide path
settle into lavender
shelter overnight 

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location: Big Crooked Lake - Kent County, Michigan

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Soft Peace

The cold night sky,
scattered with distant stars,
is slowly warmed
by the gift of dawn.

Soon, small clouds,
sailing on a ship of wind,
powder the blue sky;
color this fresh day.

I greet this new morning
and its creator
with prayers of gratitude
for this soft peace.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Snake River - Grand Teton National Park - Wyoming

2. Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

3. Home Sky - Cannonsburg, Michigan 

4. St. Patrick Parish - (my church) - Parnell, Michigan

Monday, October 21, 2019

Effect of Angels

Although I know
from a lifetime of prayer,
that everywhere I go
you will be there;

guiding me
every step of the way
along the path;

sometimes it feels 
as if this life
is as predictable
as the flight
of a butterfly,

as mysterious
as the effect of angels.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. 2. 3. Home Fields/Home Gardens - Cannonsburg, Michigan

4. Art Prize Grand Rapids - 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2019


Florida golfer
accepts a penalty stroke
while retrieving ball

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location: Columbia River - Oregon

Monday, October 14, 2019

Pinus strobis

The magnificent White Pine,
(Pinus strobis)

fine tunes the breeze
(five needles to a bundle)

through its delicate twigs
(brittle, thin-barked)

and soft green needles.
(flexible, pungent)

It calls to you
for your own translation.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. 2. 3. Cannon Township - Kent County - Michigan

Thursday, October 10, 2019

water, river, wind, fire

Are you the water,
or the glass pitcher 
that holds it?

Are you the river,
or the earthen banks
that guide it?

Are you the wind,
or the bending reeds
that show it?

Are you the fire,
or the fuel
that feeds it?

©  2019  Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Cataract Falls Trail - Bolinas, California 

3. Huyser Lake - Cannon Township - Kent County - Michigan 

4. Elk Bend, Idaho

Monday, October 7, 2019


In the middle of the night,
a rectangle of moonlight
paints the floor near our bed.

I rise, 
walk to the window,
and greet the gibbous moon;

a small poem 
may be growing here.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Home - Cannonsburg, Michigan

Friday, October 4, 2019

Patient Watchers

The freshwater abundance
of Lake Superior
is never taken for granted
by natives of the U.P.

Time spent on a rocky shore.
Hours absorbed selecting excellent stones.

The aquamarine pastels
of northern Lake Michigan
are highly prized by
the people Up North.

Sitting on a quiet beach.
Perched upon a remote sand dune.

All along these Great Lakes shores,
patient watchers wake early
to anticipate a welcome sunrise,
and linger longer for a satisfying sunset.

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Eagle River / Lake Superior - Upper Peninsula - Michigan 

3. Acadia, Michigan

5. Paradise, Michigan

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Green Meditation

Dreaming of a poem
I want to write, while
gazing into the great mystery.

This lake is a blue mirror.

The wealth of summer
unfolds too quickly.

Life is flourishing.

Not enough time
to praise sufficiently.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Coal Bank Pass - Highway 550 - Colorado

Monday, September 30, 2019


silver-gray banners
drift over rocky foothills
joining earth and sky

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Thursday, September 26, 2019


for John D'amico
You are:

a climber of mountains,
a hiker of deserts,

an explorer of wilderness,
a seeker of solitude.

Bluffs and buttes,
crags and crests,
ridges and ravines,
creeks and canyons
become your dwelling place.

You tread
so quietly the earth,
that God rewards you
with the extraordinary gifts
of His creation.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Glacier National Park - Montana

2. Canyonlands National Park - Utah

3. Picacho Peak - Arizona

4. TabernashColorado

5. Monument Valley - Utah