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Schlie                                                 Poems by Helen Spencer Schlie

In Memoriam

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 off the assembly line 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

                        imprinted pink

                              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

Safe …


              In our circle of care

Father in Heaven … Keep him there


[1975 - written about Helen's Grandson, Terry Ellis Ester]

Temple Dawn

Rays of the shining dawn

        glowed softly

              on the dome of the Temple


Rising serene

        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.



Music HSS
Helen Spencer Schlie
Christ time HSS
Helen Spencer Schlie

Please listen* to Helen's poems MusicMine 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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