Bound By Cruelty

I watched as a lion strode down the path.

He carried on top of him a black panther.

Attached, they were, fused together, belly to back.

The panther’s atrophied legs flopped about.

I was not frightened, only horrified.

Eight years, I was told.

For eight years they had been bound together.


I am the lion.  Fierce, beautiful, strong and loyal.

On my back rides cruelty.  The nine of swords.

Mental cruelty, which I have inflicted on myself.

Only the torch, the flaming staff, conquers the parasitic mind.

Only I can release the panther.

It will die without me.  So it must be.

As I can not live with it.



S. Conde








The Fawn

A gentle fawn entered the room as I lay sleeping.

Surprised and delighted, I watched her walk to my side of the bed.

I lifted myself to meet the creature face to face.

She dropped her head and nuzzled into my neck, allowing me to pet her.

Carefully, she climbed into the bed beside me.

Snuggling in close, wanting affection and love.

I gave them to her. Softly, caressing her head, neck and shoulders.

Gently I woke my husband, and asked him to bring her an apple.

Throughout the night I reminded myself not to forget this dream.



S. Conde


Forget Me Not

I closed my eyes.

At long last, I dreamt a dream.

Spring had come.  The seeds, bulbs, and roses planted in years past burst forth.

Alive with color and delight.

Vines hung. Draped over the walls of my garden.  Dotted in blue, orange and gold.

Hyacinths of white and Irises in purple and yellow shot up from the ground.

Wisteria, Lilac, and Lily of the Valley perfumed the air.

Never had I seen Forget Me Nots grow quite so large.

Forms I did not expect, nor recognize grew in the most pleasing of ways.

They were all there.  All that I had sown, and more.

I picked up the shell of a bitter fruit from the ground.   Inside squirmed a maggot.

I threw it away.  It did not belong in this place.


S. Conde




Facing My Demon

I dreamt of seeking.

Finding myself in New Orleans again.

Searching through a magnificent home on the Esplanade.

One I’d known from before.

Delight upon delight I witnessed.

Joy and happiness, down every passageway, and corridor.

Keep looking, a voice told me.

“The search doesn’t end until you find your demon.”

I felt this to be true.

Darkness, devoid of gloom, fell on me.

Then, there, I found her, in the hall.

All black, face to frock, waiting, patiently.

Hovering phantom, swathed in gauze, floating in her own breeze.

Strangely, neither was I afraid of her, nor she of me.

We faced each other in an awestruck, silent, reverie.

S. Conde