Denise Day Spencer

November 2, 2011

All Souls Day

Filed under: poetry — denisedayspencer @ 1:50 pm

For all the souls I pray, but one the most.
In name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost
my words rise through autumn’s chill.

I loved you with my dreams, my youthful hope,
my joys, my fears, my sorrows, but now those
days are gone, and here I kneel.

I cannot touch you now, or feel your breath
or speak to you, embrace, or smile, and yet
through my prayers I love you still.


April 4, 2011

One-year anniversary

Filed under: Personal reflections,poetry — denisedayspencer @ 8:26 pm

Michael, you always said you thought that when we died we’d be amazed at how close heaven and earth had been all along, and we just didn’t realize it.
No, we don’t realize it. How can we?

Dark Side

I hold your shirt to my face and breathe in your scent.
Where was it that you went
that day?
You forgot to pack before you went away.

I take your books from off the shelf, the pages worn.
You loved the words, the lore
of each.
But now your story takes you beyond my reach.

I gaze at the nearest foothills, past muddy fields.
A search beyond would yield
‘Tis not in woods or earth your spirit takes wing.

I wonder at the brightness of the burning sun.
If I could to it run
or fly,
not in its heat would you see His majesty.

Where are you? Is it as they say, or do shadows
fall around you high, low,
black hues
stilling your voice and now keeping Him from view?

I stand with face upturned, survey the midnight stars.
The answer comes with tears,
and soon.
I am the one on the dark side of the moon.

March 3, 2009

Slight Evidence of the Fall

Filed under: poetry — denisedayspencer @ 7:38 pm

Here’s a little poem I wrote recently for our annual campus poetry slam–just for fun. It’s based on a real-life event that occurred when I had my first summer job back in high school.

She dials the number of the orchard.

She will have strawberries for supper.

Succulent and squishy,

juicy jewels,

treasure amid the tangle of vines.

Delightful. Delectable.

Sour and sweet, with the tiniest of seeds and —

“Hello? Yes. How much are your strawberries?”

Soon she will spoon them over short, spongy cakes.

Perhaps a pie, oozing cool glaze.

Maybe her mouth will taste them plain,

red, sticky juice coarsing down her fingers, or —

“Ma’am? Strawberry season is over. You missed it.”

I am sorry, daughter of Eve.

In a perfect world

there would always be strawberries.

June 23, 2008

Stumbling Upon a Private Conversation

Filed under: poetry — denisedayspencer @ 7:48 pm

I peer into the looking-glass
and for a fleeting moment
glimpse your mind’s-eye.

A dusty china teacup,
stained by the dregs.

Hold it to the window
and see how thin it is.
Note its delicacy,
worn from years of use.
Watch the sunbeam reflect
off the thin, silver rim
where you put your mouth.

Handle it gently,
but know this:
I am not yet broken.

March 19, 2008


Filed under: poetry — denisedayspencer @ 8:40 pm

They sit alone,

in silver silence gleaming

through the thin, white shroud

that covers them with gentle folds.

Within them wait the wafers and the wine,

a symbol lingering through the years

to make a memory come alive.

He lay alone,

in shadowed silence resting

‘neath the thick, pale wrap

that bound Him up, His body dead.

But then within, the man began to stir,

returning through the door of death

to prove the power of our God.

I stand alone,

in spellbound silence wondering

at the thin, dim veil

that keeps Him from my seeking eyes.

Beyond, with arms outstretched, He beckons me

to rise above this wordly wall

and let my soul commune with His.

February 6, 2008

Ash Wednesday

Filed under: poetry — denisedayspencer @ 7:36 am


A thin

layer fits

foot to



a moment

we don’t


but can’t


— Father Leonard Cochran. O.P.

August 30, 2007


Filed under: poetry — denisedayspencer @ 7:01 pm

It was a small thing he asked of me,

a thing that would have cost so little.

But small things are easily forgotten,


set neatly aside for another day.

For there will always be another day —

until there isn’t.

So now I carry one, tiny regret

like a millstone dangling from my heart.

June 1, 2007

It’s that time of year again

Filed under: poetry — denisedayspencer @ 8:53 pm

I’ve been walking the track in the evenings as I love to do in the summer. The mountains, the creek and the cornfields make a majestic backdrop for my exercise. A few nights ago I saw the first lightning bugs of the season.

While walking home I remembered the many summer nights that my family went to visit my grandparents when I was a child. Memaw and Ben lived on a farm several miles outside of town. I loved to step out into the back yard after it had gotten good and dark. Far removed from the city lights, the lightning bugs twinkled among the Black Angus cattle like a host of tiny fairies.

And then there were the stars. So many more stars than we could ever see in town, and so much more magnificent. I would stand there, gazing up into the heavens, loving the God who created all of this splendor and who still had time to love me.

And so it was that walking home from the track the other night, I recalled a poem I wrote some years back. I’d like to share it with you now: (more…)

March 29, 2007

For Holy Week

Filed under: poetry — denisedayspencer @ 6:34 pm


By Denise Day Spencer

Let me share with you His pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.

Stations of the Cross, St. Ann Roman Catholic Mission

He stumbles ‘neath the load.
It is not heavy, yet it crushes.
Merely a mangle of thorns
Woven as a crude crown.
Thorns that boldly dare to mock their Maker.

He stretches out His hands,
Ready to embrace, but not fondly.
Only the ore of iron
Hammered into soiled spikes.
Iron dares to agonize its Author.

He writhes upon the tree.
Alone, and utterly forsaken.
Simply a structure of wood
Fashioned as a cruel cross.
Splintered wood now dares murder its Master.

He gazes on the crowd.
Mankind, pinnacle of creation.
One whispered word could destroy
Thorn, iron, wood, mad men.
Yet the Savior dares to speak:

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