Helen Spencer Schlie was born in Deford, Michigan. She started school the year after Lindberg flew the Atlantic, 1928; and graduated from Oxford High School (honestly claiming four years at Oxford). Helen drove Army Trucks in WWII, and also owned and operated a bakery during the rationing years of the 1940’s. Her business career included creating advertising and displays for J.C. Penney Co. where she acted as James Cash Penney's reception hostess many times (accruing several interesting stories). Helen opened the Mesa, Arizona Temple View Bookstore in 1965 to 1990. A Rare and Out of Print Bookstore at the same location followed in 2010 on her 87th Birthday. Her lifetime of remarkable relationships includes teaching a Comparative Religion course at Arizona State University, serving as special assistant to renowned artist Dorr Bothwell, and teaching Sunday school to a young Mitt Romney. Through her one daughter, Alnita Lester, Helen proudly became a Great, Great Grandmother. Her husband, Walter, was a WWI Veteran, making Helen one of the last remaining WWI Widows in the world. A true appreciator of literature and a tireless promoter of the written word, Helen continued to donate her time and energy to the ASPS East Valley Poets. She was a contributing poet to Arizona: 100 Years, 100 Poems, 100 Poets (2012), an anthology honoring Arizona’s Centennial. Her volumes of poetry contain Helen’s published book And So It Begins. Helen Spencer Schlie passed away December 25, 2017 at the age of 94.
I held on tiny fingertip
the breathless beauty of a snowflake
And felt my mind expand in wonder
as I heard Grandma’s gentle voice
explain that never, ever, are
two alike ---
My first feeling of infinity ---
Day after day I climbed the apple tree
that cradled my own magic sandpile at its feet
And watched with breathless wonder
the tender leaves unfold ---
the swelling promise of the buds
and felt the color
forever in my eyes ---
Just As He Is
Just as he is
dripping rain on the kitchen floor
and the wind just slamming shut the door
Dirty face and wind-tossed hair
All of a boy is standing there
All of the outdoor smell of him
swirled into the house when he came in
Living … vibrant … and full of love
He’s our glimpse of heaven above
All of eternity is wrapped in him
Help us to keep him free from sin
lighting the Gospel Flame within
In our circle of care
Father in Heaven … Keep him there
[1975 - written about Helen's Grandson, Terry Ellis Ester]
Rays of the shining dawn
on the dome of the Temple
high on the holy hill of Jerusalem
Palm trees and olive branches
laced patterns against the sky
As birds stirred in their branches
filling the air with pulsing hymns of joy
to welcome the new day.
To the Temple came those whose names,
through the subtle transition of time
have become familiar to us.
Mary, Martha, Hannah, Peter, John, Rachel, Paul, Elizabeth,
Beloved names, dear to us
as we turn the pages of scriptures
Names recorded with careful scribing
upon the records of the Temple.
Today, I too, have placed my feet
in holy places.
Today, too, my name is scribed
in holy records.
Today too, I have been obedient.
Copyright ©. Rights to individual poems are retained. All rights reserved, except as otherwise noted. Reproduction done for other than personal or internal reference use without expressed permission is prohibited.
Please listen* to Helen's poems Music & Mine Is Not The Time, recited by Poet David Nicoll.
Someone In The Night
I need someone to hold me
in the night
Someone who cares that I am
Someone to listen . . .
Someone to share what happened today
The things to cry about . . .
The things to laugh about . . .
The things to sing about
To plan . . . To dream of distant
But in the night . . . tonight
Just hold me.
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