Monday, May 20, 2019

Eight Years

The little boy
carries lilacs
in his warm hands,
into the warm kitchen
where his mother is 
baking brownies for him.

She accepts
his precious gift of lavender,
inhales the fragrance of spring,
her eyes glistening with love;
his eyes sparkling with pride.

Remembering the spring
he was born
eight years ago;

eight years since
her husband
brought her lilacs
from the same bush.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations: Kent County - Michigan

Thursday, May 16, 2019


catkins in their prime
it's mid-May in Michigan
a warbler's delight

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations

1. Red Oak - Home Woods

2. Cape May Warbler - Cannonsburg State Game Area - Kent County, Michigan

Monday, May 13, 2019

Gathering Words

Like a Pileated Woodpecker
probing for insects and larvae
beneath the brittle bark;
I gather a few words
from my walk in the woods.

Discovered in the praying hands
of young Shagbark Hickory leaves;
opening, unfolding,
giving praise
to the Creator.

Uncovered in the pure radiance
of a Mayapple flower;
a small, white crown of purity
hidden under green umbrellas
close to the ground.

Recovered from the
sharp, clear whistle
of a brilliant Northern Oriole
returned on his first day,
newly returned in early May.

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. 6 Mile Cypress Slough - Fort Meyers, Florida

2. Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

3. Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

4. Home Garden - Cannonsburg, Michigan

Thursday, May 9, 2019


what's that hidden sound?
a Rufous-sided Towhee
scratching the dry ground.

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Spotted Towhee - Garden of the Gods - Colorado SpringsColorado

2. Rufous-sided Towhee (Eastern Towhee) - Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

Monday, May 6, 2019


Emerging maple samaras
flare red like fireworks
in early morning sun.

Above this canopy of woods,
a Red-tailed Hawk
surfs on early thermals.

Early wildflowers
like Bloodroot and Trout Lily
rise triumphant from fertile forest soil. 

Migrating warblers
greet the early riser
with a chorus of birdsong.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Georgetown, Kentucky

2. Kent County - Michigan

3. Trout Lily -  Townsend Park - Kent County - Michigan

4.  Wilson's Warbler - Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado

Thursday, May 2, 2019

A Trail of Words

Constructing a new pathway;
authoring an alternative adventure.

A trail of words
to walk along;
to explore
with your 
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

Monday, April 29, 2019


I still cultivate the curiosity
that carried me through childhood.

Eyes still filled with
wonder and astonishment. 

Heart still filled with
gratitude for all creation.

Soul still filled with
creativity from the Holy Spirit.

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Prothonotary Warbler - Kalamazoo River - Michigan

2. Caterpillar of Monarch Butterfly ~ Luton Park - Rockford, Michigan

3. Bull Elk in the velvet ~ Grand Teton National Park - Wyoming

4. Grand Teton National Park - Wyoming

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Crown of Purity

How many years
of patient waiting,
of staying alive
in the dark water,
in the cold mud
at the 
bottom of the lake...

How many seasons
did it take to break
the smooth surface
of the lake?

To generate this 
explosion of white?

After enduring the burial...
we witness

this resurrection,
this crown of purity,
this celebration of life.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

You may also enjoy: "The Promise II" ~ July 2, 2014

Photo Locations:

1, 2, & 3. Pickerel Lake Park - Kent County, Michigan

4. & 5. Lilley Lake - Newaygo County, Michigan

6. Fleischman Park - NaplesFlorida

Monday, April 22, 2019


silhouette of elms
lavender tint to morning
welcome rising sun

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Hereford Frolic

old mama cows stare
spring returns to the pasture
the Hereford frolic

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location: Grattan Township - Kent County, Michigan

Monday, April 15, 2019

Reading the Clouds

Throughout the day,
he took time
to look up;

to read the clouds,
to sense the dome of blue
that surrounded him.

New creations
painted daily on the sky.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Tin Cup, Colorado

2. Flathead Lake - Big Arm, Montana

3. Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado

4. SaddleBrookeArizona

Thursday, April 11, 2019


I witness the benediction
of rain upon the land.
Holy water sprinkled
from giving clouds.

Spring wildflowers
bending with the breeze
resemble time passing by,
resemble blessings received.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado

2. Townsend Park - Kent County - Michigan

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Open Door

Please open the door
of this poem
and enter
the natural world.

It waits for your
presence to offer you
presents that resonate
with life.

Feel the attraction

pulling your heart.
Trust the direction 
you are being led.

Feel the texture
inviting your touch.
Trust the direction
you are taking.

Feel the grace

infusing your soul.
Accept the blessings
you are given daily.

Feel the current
carrying your life.
Experience the journey
beyond the open door. 
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Truckton, Colorado

2. Petrified Forest National Park - Arizona

3. Elk River - Steamboat SpringsColorado

Saturday, April 6, 2019


the texture and the
topography of lichens
color rocks and trees

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:
2. Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Seeds of Worship

The life inserted
into these trees
began as small seeds:

acorns, samaras,
nuts of all kinds;

created in spring or autumn,
taken down by gravity,
twirling on a breeze,
stashed by animals,
fruit from the trees,

recreated each spring,
seedlings become saplings,
as seasons shift,
as years pass,

within their
seeds of worship
these trees
plant perpetual praise
into fertile soil.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. The Havenga Farm - Grand Rapids Township - Kent County - Michigan

2. Wabasis Lake Park - Kent County - Michigan 

3. & 4. Findlay Cemetery - Ada Township - Kent County - Michigan

5. Boulder Creek Golf Club - Kent County - Michigan

Sunday, March 31, 2019


the flights of swallows
stitch together fine fabric;
white veils of cirrus

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Michigan Creek - Jefferson, Colorado

Thursday, March 28, 2019


Red-winged Blackbird lands
on arching stalk of cattail.
Cloud of pollen drifts.

©  2019  Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

Huyser Lake "Peace Pond"  Kent County,  Michigan