A Walk

Photo Credit : Gina Mikel

               Photo Credit : Gina Mikel

We decided to walk.  It wasn’t far.

I attempted conversation.  My efforts were not matched.

We walked in silence.

The sun shone, warmth on my skin.  Softened by the breeze.

A perfect day.

Silence, but for the leaves.

I removed my glasses.

From realism to impressionism in a breath.

Royal Poinciana, baby mangoes and palms.

Gingerbread houses.

Sweet red flowers we licked when we were young.


Leaves rolled past my feet.

We walked.

I saw my house.  Like the one in Haiti.

Arch after arch, after arch…

Wrought iron and rocking chairs, on the porch.

There I was.  Rocking.

In a white cotton dress.

Deep inhalations, linseed oil and paint.

Cooking.  Someone was cooking. I was cooking.

The sound of drums and laughter.

Life. A life well lived.

Beneath me was life, and I was happy.

Quietly experiencing joy from the balcony above.


He opened his long arms wide as we walked.

He saw a friend.

We spoke.

Bubble burst.

Glasses firmly in place.


S. Conde






What we love with passion undoes us. This is known.

So in choosing love we accept death.

Embrace it.  Know that it comes regardless.

Some claim to love life, yet simply fear death.

The inevitable.

They straddle the sidelines.  Forever safe.

From a comfortable distance.  And they live.  They exist.

But what life is this?

Is it better to risk all and love with passion?

…or quietly from the womb like cocoon of a reclining chair?


S. Conde




Reversing Polarities

I went to speak with her last night.

A perfect night.

A warm and windy night.

I approached the steps of her home.

There she moved, in front of me.

Divine.  Glorious. Dancing.

Naked and wild under the new moon.

I smiled.  She noticed.

I approached lovingly.


She tickled my feet with cool fingers.

Questioning where I’d been.

Laughter was my only reply.

She knows me.

I asked her to bathe me. To wash away my fears.

She agreed, in her way, and kissed me.

Slowly at first, as was my desire.

Our passion grew in perfect rhythm.

One with the other.

She blessed me with wave after wave of salty water.

Cleansing me of worry.

With each swell my burden dissipated.


As I relaxed, so did she.

Receding.  Soft, rolling undulations.

Allowing me to finish the process myself.


Photo by Jaime Ferreyros

“Day Of The Mermaid”                                           Photo by Jaime Ferreyros



S. Conde

The wheels of the soul go round and round…

There I sat.

Back erect, verbalizing the sounds.

Wondering if the ecstasy would return.

…so long ago and far away…

Slowly slipping into the familiar pattern.

Falling into the rhythm, of each syllable.

The recognizable cadence of an old friend.

Working my way up.

Grounding, releasing, willing.

Loving, speaking, visualizing.

Ethereal realms abound.

Effortless and translucent, the colors return.

Red to orange, orange to yellow.

Green to blue, blue to purple.


Alive and grateful.  I am.

Rerouting the wiring.

My hands and feet hum with electricity.

Smiling at the bee buzzing happily in my throat.

Now, I am home.


S. Conde

The Unbridgeable Distance Between Natchez and Oxford

The worst part is that I knew.

Too much time had passed.  I pushed the thought from my head.

No time.  No time for that.

I was so close.  So fucking close.

Yet I didn’t go.  Too busy visiting, too busy with the minutia.

I couldn’t make time.

She was disappointed.

I explained.  She was still disappointed.

Who was she to me?  No one.  No one really.

No one but a kind old woman.  No one but kin.

Now she’s gone.  Just like that.  One Facebook message and she gone.

I am ashamed.

Tears don’t diminish regret.

Time is an illusion.  There is no such thing.

Do what you must and do it now.

Death waits for no one.

Not even the busy.

Not even me.IMGP5846



S. Conde



A Lack Of Vision

Moved to silence by my eyes.

Engulfed in the raucous visual.

External images, human interaction, social activity…

A buzz in my head.  White noise.

Detached from the me, the I Am.

Split in two.

Longing.  A quiet craving, it comes.

Eyes wide shut look within;

and follow the silver tether home.




S. Conde






The Buyers

Dear Buyers,

There is a small but prolific vine that pops up all over the flower bed in front of the house.  I left her alone at first because she was lovely and bore tiny flowers.  She managed to choke and kill one of the lavender plants while I wasn’t paying attention last year, and nearly took out one of the delphinium as well.  So now I pull her out as soon as I spot her murderous little tendrils.  I yanked her from four locations just this morning.

There are three varieties of roses climbing up the side of the house.  One of them, I found (thought it was a weed) growing wild in the backyard.  She was tiny when I pulled her out and replanted her in the bed with the others.  At first I didn’t think she’d survive.  Now, she’s the biggest of them all, and covered in buds.  I hope we get to see her bloom one last time before we go.

It’s been an odd Spring.  The tulips, peonies, ferns, lilies, and bleeding hearts all came up at about the same time.  The irises came too soon, and were hit with another blast of arctic temperatures, stopping them in their tracks.  It was a long and bitter winter.  Only one iris managed to flower at all.

Happily, the strawberries, blueberries and grapes were undaunted and are already taking shape.  I do hope you enjoy them.  Take care to protect the grapes or you’ll never taste them.  The birds around here are quick and shameless.

About the house.  I vacuum the wood floors instead of sweeping as it keeps the dust down.  Once every couple of weeks a good vinegar and water mop brings out their shine.  Take care to mop then dry immediately in sections.

I add a few drops of essential oil to my dust rag, varying the scent from room to room.  I like eucalyptus or tea tree in the bathrooms, lemon or lime in the kitchen, geranium throughout most of the house, lavender in the bedrooms, and a combination of cinnamon and patchouli in the master.  …for obvious reasons.  Of course, these are just my preferences.  It’s your house now.

I’ve cooked many a wonderful meal in the kitchen.  I love that kitchen.  We remodeled it ourselves.  It was hard work, but well worth the effort.  I wish you could have seen it before.  Oh and the oven!  A Blue Star, made in Texas.  May she be as good to you as she’s been to me. The refrigerator is a beast, a Traulsen.  We had to remove a section of cabinetry just to fit her in; a decision we’ve never regretted.  It will glide you through pre and post preparation of all your holiday meals.  She housed enough food to keep two enormous teenage boys, a grown man, a beautiful young woman and myself well fed.

The three upstairs bedrooms were our children’s rooms.  After our eldest moved into his own apartment, there was an immediate shuffling of bedrooms.  The smallest, originally our daughter’s, became the guest bedroom.  The room at the back is ours, it’s always been ours.

Our neighborhood is safe, I mean, as safe as a neighborhood can be.  We have fallen asleep with the sliding doors open.  Gardenia and lilac floating in on the breeze.  We’re well within walking distance of the library, movies at The Pickwick, restaurants, and the train station. Affresco is our favorite local restaurant, the ingredients are fresh, simple and made with love.  The owner, Sergio, is a kind and lovely man.  He’ll make you feel at home.

I will miss it here.  We will all miss it here.  This move is bittersweet.  You see we made a life here, we raised a family, we created a home, and while four of us prepare to leave, one of us will stay.  Though I know it’s time to let go, I am struggling.

Please love this home.  Please care for the plants.  Please know that we did not leave this place easily.  We have filled this house with our love, be good to her, keep her filled with your own.

Wishing you all the best in our home, that is to say, your home.