Woman in Metaphor

Apr 14, 2015

hestia_unconsciousWoman in Metaphor by editor Maria Elena B. Mahler is described as “an anthology of poems inspired by the paintings of Stephen Linsteadt.”

Below is culled from official text:

Mahler invited twenty-seven poets from around the world to share their vision of the feminine spirit inspired by the paintings of Stephen Linsteadt from his series, “The Unknown Woman,” spanning thirty-five years of images.

The result was an emergence of a personal dialogue where each poet embodied senses that lay beyond the physical. The archetypal feminine made her presence known between the verses and the creative interfaces with our inner world.

As essay contributor Lois P. Jones describes, “their features are opaque, their sensual bodies are often faceless, at times trapped behind an invisible barrier which separates the physical world from the divine.”


Unknown Bride by Stephen Lindsteadt

Unknown Bride by Stephen Lindsteadt


Poetry and art come together to give us a new way of envisioning the spiritual dimensions of the female figure.

Ed Bennett of Cider Press Review writes that “the anthology as a whole creates a skewed view of what is typically womanly by combining these fine paintings with poetry that begs to be read aloud.”

The upcoming “Woman in Metaphor” event, part of the Moonday Poetry Reading Series, is a poetry reading and slide show, to be held on April 19th at Flintridge Bookstore.

Woman in Metaphor is not just about gender,” Bennett continues, “it is an analysis of the meaning gender and all of the spiritual dimensions that it comprises. The poetry and art combine to give us what any great work of art strives for—a new way of envisioning a topic.”


Mutti by Stephen Linsteadt

Mutti by Stephen Linsteadt



Confirmed poets for April 19th include:
Elsa Frausto
Anita Harmon
Lois P. Jones
Stephen Linsteadt
Maria Elena B. Mahler
Nancy Scott Campbell
Maja Trochimczyk
Kath Abela Wilson
Mariano Zaro
Susan Rogers


Poet, essayist, editor, and host of Pacifica Radio’s “Poet’s Café” (KPFK 90.7 fm) Lois P. Jones wrote a poem to accompany Linstaedt’s work of the same title…


Beyond Words by Stephen Linsteadt

Beyond Words by Stephen Linsteadt


“Beyond Words”
by Lois P. Jones

If you could see me. If you could reach
beyond this wall of words, press your palms
through window into white, into the disappearance
of flesh to the afterburn of dreams.

If you could touch me. If you could feel my throat,
its warmth; my pulse on your palm,
the way colors seek texture, your eyes deep sockets
in the earth, you would know I am water in their pools.

Words erase me. They replace the silvery scales
with wood, the dark moss between stones with gravel.
They unmake the bed of me and you lie in it imagining.
But there are no sheets, only winesoaked petals

in the rain. Words were built for a deaf God.
Let’s be silent, blind and fingerless the way love is.
Knowing what goes beyond the visible, the tangible–
it says I am real, it says don’t think. The more we speak

the more our dialect changes until we barely understand.
We never had to learn a language in the dark.




“Woman in Metaphor” poetry reading
Sunday, April 19th, 2 p.m.
Flintridge Bookstore, 1010 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge 91011
Free event
For more info, visit event Facebook page


Wounded Angel by Stephen Linstaedt

Sophia and Eight Malic Forms by Stephen Linstaedt

Accompanying poem by Mary Kay Rummel…

“Wounded Angel”

There were too many spires—
bells numbering more than her feathers.

Warm-hearted sins wearing crimson dresses
in blazing gardens waved her in.

She shed radiance—the look of grace
the fold of white at her breast.

Standing there nude and alone as rain
as many sleepless eyes on her body
as once were feathers—she thought on his desire.

Like the bleating wave tracing the line of foam
she wanted to touch those fringes
of soul on his surface.
Everything moving up from trees
allowed direct speaking from the wound.

She heard a roar of wings, a deeper flesh—
running rain through acres of time and wheat

until she fell, her bee hive body
sheltering one holy thing

a red-tipped feather from her unfinished
leave-taking wings.




Artist statement by Stephen Linsteadt from

The Unknown Woman, according to Carl Jung, represents the personification of the feminine nature of a man’s unconscious. She is an archetype of all the ancestral experiences of the female. She represents the tension our modern society feels as the feminine aspect of our collective psyche strives to regain the balance humanity once had between themselves and nature. It is a calling to return to the primitive human attitude that is always on the alert to the unknown powers that guide one’s life.

The feminine is now calling from behind the veil of our senses and our thinking. She is attempting to go beyond words of mere lip service to how to solve the problems of our time. She urgently seeks positive action towards global unification and a sincere reconnection to what it means to be human: compassionate, tolerant, mindful, heartfull, and connected to the deeper wisdom of spirit.


Two Sisters by Stephen Linsteadt

Two Sisters by Stephen Linsteadt





Image, top right: Hestia in the Unconscious by Stephen Linsteadt.



Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena