Monday, December 30, 2019


washed by Great Lakes waves
these precious, persistent stones
jeweled by the sun

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location

Whitefish Point - Upper Peninsula - Michigan 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Winter Willow

fresh snow overnight
weeping willow in winter
thin fog meets blue sky

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Murray Lake - Kent County - Michigan

Monday, December 23, 2019

Finding Poetry

He saw poetry
in the wildflowers.

Heard poetry
in birdsong.

 Touched poetry
in mountain streams.

Tasted poetry
in wild black raspberries.

Felt poetry
in the wind.

Discovered poetry
in every season.

Found poetry
throughout creation.

Wrote poetry
in the evening's quiet.

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. TucsonArizona

2. Home Woods, Cannonsburg, Michigan

3. Phainopepla - Oro Valley, Arizona

4. Arkansas River - Buena VistaColorado

5. Townsend Park - Kent County - Michigan

6. LudingtonMichigan 

7. Sutton's BayMichigan

8. Canyon de Chelly National Monument - Arizona

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Every Day

Do not go
from house
to garage
into car.

Do not go

from car
to garage
into house.

Please step 

and be still
for a minute.

Every day:
be a cloud watcher,
a sky watcher,
a listener.

Every night:
be a moon watcher,
a star watcher,
a listener.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Home Fields - Cannonsburg, Michigan

2. Crooked Lake - Kent County - Michigan

3. SaddleBrooke - Catalina, Arizona

Monday, December 16, 2019

Prepare for Departure

There is so much to love
about this world
when you are paying attention:

Following the fencerow
that borders grassy fields.

Walking through the woods at dawn
to a quiet sitting place.

Hiking up the green hills
that shoulder these massive mountains.

Standing still by a stream
that carves the landscape.

Are you willing to be dazzled?
Are you prepared for departure?

Shall we leave now;
for the woods and fields,
for these mountains and streams? 
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. TellurideColorado

2. Home Woods - CannonsburgMichigan

3. West Elk Wilderness - Colorado

4. Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado

5. Absaroka Mountain Range - Montana

6. Blackfoot River - Missoula, Montana

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Poem Trees

Some of his poems
contained trees,
and some of his trees
grew into poems;
along the bends
of their branches. 
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo LocationWabasis Lake Park - Kent County - Michigan

Monday, December 9, 2019

Found Poetry 3

Often, when I'm reading prose, (usually creative non-fiction and nature related essays) I discover during the re-reading, that certain passages sound very much like poems. I know this is nothing remarkable to writers and discerning readers, but it occurs frequently in my reading. This is my third example of "Found Poetry"...

"A finely tempered nature longs to escape from his noisy cramped surroundings into the silence of the high mountains where the eye ranges freely through the still pure air and fondly traces out the restful contours apparently built for eternity."

~ Robert Pirsig 

from: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance © 1974   p. 198

Photo Locations:

1. Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado

2. Wind River Range - Wyoming

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Head and Hands

With this pen in my hand
my fingers reach down
to touch the texture
of lichens and soft, green moss.

My head sees my hand
stretching over foothills,
casting irregular shadows
the shape of clouds.

Walking through tall prairie grasses,
with arms outstretched,
my palms and fingers
tingle with their touch.

Inside the canyons 
of my head
curved ribbons of wind
caress my mind.

Outside my self, 
God says: "I am here."
I reply,
"Here I am."
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Pine Stump Junction - Michigan's Upper Peninsula

2. Ward, Colorado

3. Saul Lake Bog - (Land Conservancy of West Michigan) - Kent County - Michigan

5. Buena Vista, Colorado

Monday, December 2, 2019


in late November,
the barren branches bend down
empty and aching

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

November Color

Fine flat needles 
of Tamarack linger, 
and lighten the swamp.

Cheerful Winterberries
decorate the edges of 
November wetlands.

Sparse, purple clumps
of wild grapes
dangle in tart bunches.

Bright red bundles
of Highbush Cranberry
hold early snow. 

The powder-blue fruits
of Red Cedar emit a
pungent aroma in the uplands.

Copper colored leaves
persist on slender twigs
of American Beech.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Townsend Park - Kent County - Michigan

2. Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

3. 4.  Wabasis Lake Park - Kent County - Michigan

5. Gavin Lake - Kent County - Michigan

6. Cascade Public Library - Kent County - Michigan

7. Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

8. Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

One More Glimpse

                         In Memory of:
Aaron Richard Havenga (April 2, 1975 ~ November 20, 1994) 

Spears of sunlight
penetrate holes in the clouds.

Your signal (to me)
that all is well
in the radiance
of your new home.

Memories of you return
in waves of autumn light
recalling your exceptional performance
in running Cross Country (at FHC).

Memories of you return
on a soft summer breeze
that cooled you as you hiked
the Appalachian Trail (with Ross).

Memories of you return
watching your big smile
as you "spray" a large plume
while water-skiing at Payne Lake.

Memories of you return
in the depths of winter cold
as you rode our local slopes
at Cannonsburg Ski Lodge.

I want to ride up
those shafts of sunlight
to get just one more glimpse of you,
to help me through a few more years,
until I can join you in the heavenly realm.

© 2019 Richard Havenga

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