By Helen Spencer Schlie

God Made All This

I walked the sands that hold the ocean
and saw the sea in ceaseless motion.
I climbed the driftwood, bleached and grey,
piled high by tides along the way.
I glimpsed the shape of distant ships
and tasted salt upon my lips.
I watched the gulls all flying high
and saw the clouds go drifting by.
I searched for pebbles shining bright,
and found rare shells, all pearl white.
I held a chambered nautilus,
and felt the fog’s soft, mist-thrown kiss.
I heard the winds,
low muted, blowing,
And felt a peace that comes with knowing—
a quiet bliss:
God made all this.


The sheer organza rays of light
Lace round the earth before the sun
To layer ebony of night.
The finger forms of willows shade
The phantoms near the windowsills,
Dim-fading into shapes the day
Will craft to amber daffodils.
Caressed by pink-down comforter,
I drift awake to shadow line
Of spirit mirrored back to me,
A subtle haze of the divine.
The Lord divided light from dark,
But left this moment for his man
To join in uncreated mists
And mold his hopes, awaiting dawn.


Let me not
Through human
Forfeit my right
To heavenly


Trying times
can lead
to probing prayers
that question
And we cry
to comprehend
the reason.
Oh, to learn
that sore seasons
are sent to teach
and that the best obedience
stems not from
“I must!”
but from
“I believe—
I trust.”

Teach Me to Love Botany

Teach me that in mitosis there are two
replications of chromosomes and in
meiosis only one.
Teach me that there is secondary growth
in dicotyledons but not in monocotyledons
because monocotyledons do
not have cambia.
Teach me that I can get a grade symbolizing
a knowledge of botany if I study two
hours out of class for every hour in.
Teach me that if I endure the semester,
I can graduate and never have to know
about botany.
Teach me to marvel at the intricate
difference between meiosis and mitosis.
Teach me to wonder in awe how a majestic
tree developed from a tiny seed
containing two cotyledons.
Teach me to know in humility that all of
the textbooks of men cannot reveal
the secrets contained in a tiny
blade of grass.
Teach me to love botany, and a lifetime’s
search for knowledge will not be able
to quench the thirst you created.