(Photo of Constance Stadler)

April’s Gift
Demeter holds Persephone
               …in mournful euphoria…
Pieta of Renewal
Fertility’s Ascent
Daffodil torrent,
Cherry Blossom salvo
The Teeming Cacophony
                  Of Oceanic green.
Sun Nectars,
                   Invoke Avian Chorale
Cedar Chest thoughts
With old woolens and Down.
So drunk on pure verdancy
We forget all the dyings
The great and the intimate
The cycled inevitability
Of griefs that will come.
Preparing for Slumber
Kaikias sighs
Magnolia shreds in windwhirl flight
                               Flurries of white
The Irony is not felt
The Cruelty, unseen.
                      It is Spring…
…dandelion puff
Eases wish to Cantor dust
Tis the season
Where Glee
                    Must    not
Tis the Season
Where Hearts           must
                        Negate Fate.

The Promise
You said
Promise me,
That no matter whatever happens,
You will never, not ever
Stop speaking to me.
That was easy.
For I know that real love
Can not be killed, or quashed
Into twisted malformation, forced into
Box of unlivable life.
For if you do love, then you
Will never harm.
                   Is that not what love is?
So gently, I question:
How could you?
For if you do love,
               you must honor,
You will stay
Or, if asked, you will go.
I was prepared to do all that, and
to honor my promise. When I knew it
was futile, when I knew never ever a “we”.
But you slammed the steel gates
as if serial predator clawed,
              ravenous feline was gnawing,
                           irrational female gone wild.
And I sit and each day
Read the beg of your pleading
And in every re-reading
I see fleckings of me.

Brief Encounter
Lycaena cupreus
I saw you, once
In a California bleach where not even
Saguaros dared
                  A place for parched dying
The amaurotic white of
                      Merciless noon
Made me remember my lips
As they crackled like pork rind.
Battery was gone, or maybe,
I should have filled up
Some fifty miles back.
But then again,
                  I was long past
                 Giving a damn.
And huddling in that torment of a cut
In oven-broiled escarpment, I felt the itch to
Walk until
                  well, nowhere to go…                        
But I needed a something to spruce
Some grace to my rot
And this sliver slip of yellow
high as my thumb,
                       four petals at best
              seemed more than preacher enough.
But, damn, through these sand weazened eyes
Such a
Hot orange descended
As original fire,
                 beating wild wings
Of Promethean bright.
Suddenly, sound.
The nearness of turnpike
Lone Chevy pickup, feint
Beckoning down.
I stood and I stumbled while
You flipped and sashayed
Your copper tipped brilliance
and I swear with
              a tight lazy eight
                       soared laughing
                                      sky high.
© Constance Stadler 

BIO: Constance Stadler has been writing, publishing, and editing poetry from the ‘prehistoric’ epoch of print journals to modern e-times. She was a former editor of South and West, is currently a contributing editor to Eviscerator Heaven and, recently, a Review Editor for Calliope Nerve.  She has published near 400 poems, many in her first three chapbooks released in her ‘first manifestation’ as a poet, and has recently released first two chaps in 20 years, Tinted Steam (Shadow Archer Press) and Sublunary Curse (Erbacce).A new full length manuscript, eBook Paper Cut (Paraphilia Books) will be released in Summer 2009. Her most recent work appears in such 'zines as ditch, ken*again, Pen Himalaya, Rain Over Bouville, Clockwise Cat, Hanging Moss, Neonbeam, Counterexample Poetics, and Gloom Cupboard. She was recently “Featured Poet” for the Guild of Outsider Writers and was featured in the April issue of Counterexample Poetics. Her website is www.conniestadler.blogspot.com. As a political anthropologist specializing in North Africa and a violinist, her influences are multiform. Work in formative years with the late poet Gwendolyn Brooks was seminal, but no less so than Sufi Dervish dancers, and the challenges of mastering Bruch's first concerto.