Cervus lacessitus Leo

kingly beauty, beast
bold guardian, tried and true
lion of Judah

mane flows like sun’s rays
heralded roars create fright
kitten’s purr at heart

ferocious and brave
comes valor, strength, loyalty
rampant, he stands tall



© 2013 jody love


During the first part of the month of April, Carpe Diem’s haiku prompts focus on The Zodiac. The April 1st prompt was simply on The Zodiac, in general. April 7th’s prompt brings us to – Leo (the lion).

With Easter just passing us, I immediately thought of how the ultimate battle was won in my religion’s greatest season at the tomb – as the Lamb of God became the Lion of Judah, defeating death and making his way to victory!

This made me think of a motto I know well from a family crest with which I’ve become quite familiar – that of my grandmother’s descendants. (She was a Sheridan, which was once O’Sheridan or O’Sirideain.) I’ve come to know this crest well because, in honor of my Granny Mary (a.k.a. Mary Sheridan Love), I gave her a (fictional) key supporting role in my novel, At the Water’s Edge.

Note the Rampant Lion (standing ready to attack) in the middle of the shield. What you will not as easily notice are the stag horns protruding from the armor above it. (Some versions have a stag on top.) The motto is this:

Cervus lacessitus Leo.

The stag at bay becomes a lion.

“At bay,” in this sense, means “forced to turn and face one’s attackers.” My story’s protagonist, Danielle Sheridan Love, otherwise an innocent doe of her own accord (or much like a lamb unknowingly being led to slaughter) has to decide whether she can accomplish this very feat. It’s her imperative transitional point – the one that will ultimately determine her final fate, as well as the fate of the story’s other characters.

I have a feeling that many of us find ourselves facing this type of decision (whether figuratively or literally) at one point or another in our lives. When you are, may you face your adversaries well.

Peace, -jody



12 thoughts on “Cervus lacessitus Leo

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  8. Seems like another Captain Moonlight ? Gamble Sheridan King , i don,t have roots but heritage knowledge would be good ?

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