Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Community of Species

The Community of Species

 

 

“I have been in the woods,” he explained.
“I have known what is therein contained.
Lions, tigers, and bears:
at such threats my soul stares!”
“You’re an ape!” “Maybe so — but big-brained.”

 

 

–Tom Riley

Hold the Line

Hold the Line

 

 

The worse the evidence, the clearer too,
the more they will express their firm support.
Why should they even reach for what is true?
It’s something they are eager to abort.
The lie they need to tell they’ve told for sport
a thousand times before. They’re really skilled
at lying in the heart’s restricted court.
The beans that they contain will not be spilled.
Denial helps their dreams to be fulfilled.
Avoidance helps them seize some Z’s at night.
Those killed deserved, in some sense, to be killed–
and their dismemberment was wholly right.
Chaotic by imperious design,
Planned Parenthood’s supporters hold the line.

 

 

–Tom Riley

W.W.V.I.D.

W.W.V.I.D.

 

 

Old acquaintance, how startling: it’s you!
and you have the same woman’s hips, too,
you effeminate swine!
Resolution is mine.
What would Vlad the Impaler, sir, do?

 

 

–Tom Riley

Line of Grace

Line of Grace

 

 

Oh, what a picture Father Barron paints!
Grace has descended in a nice, straight line
through a whole crew of lovely British saints
to glorious Colbert. To see this sign
is to appreciate all that’s Divine.
Colbert can quote The Silmarillion
and Tolkien’s letters. What delight is mine —
for I too think Tolkien is lots of fun!
All of my prejudices are undone.
A broader mind is what I am acquiring.
Under God’s great and even-handed sun,
apologists are well and widely hiring.
Catholicism’s good, Colbert is good.
Let’s all stick up now for Planned Parenthood!

 

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

(Father Barron exalts pro-abort Colbert as exemplar of Catholic Faith.)

Gold of Dido

The Gold of Dido

 

 

(for Debra Saunders)

 

 

“Nec aliud per illos dies populus credulitate, prudentes diversa fama tulere.”

–Tacitus, Annales, 16:2.

 

 

Nero, exultant, waited for the gold
of Dido: that alone could bail him out.
Court poets, like their emperor, were sold
on the bright plan and entertained no doubt.
They strove to cook up golden lines about
the coming gold, the gold of ancient story,
the gold that made the Prince of Princes shout
and sing and celebrate his future glory.
Let’s hear it for that hopeful category
of gold, O aureate poetic guys!
Let’s hear it for the prince, no longer gory
but gifted with a scheme of godlike size!
Let’s give up golden praise, lads, right on cue!
That selfsame gold will save Obama too.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Authoritative

Authoritative

 

 

He is honing his skills as you chat.
He’s pretending he knows where it’s at–
and his act comes on strong.
What? Admit that he’s wrong?
He has really no concept of that.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Feeling Good

Feeling Good

 

 

Some feel-good stories on the news this morning:
it was my duty, people, to feel good.
It would have been plain wrong to start in scorning
some feel-good stories on the news this morning.
That toasty inner glow strikes without warning.
I wouldn’t disregard it if I could.
Some feel-good stories on the news this morning:
it was my duty, people, to feel good.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Subtle Victory

Subtle Victory

 

 

I’ve outwitted my enemies — so
my triumphant soul just ought to crow
to the heights of the sky.
But I don’t crow: not I!
For my foes are too stupid to know.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Caricature

Caricature

 

 

Back in the day, our guys showed up in chains
to face the wrath of puzzled magistrates–
but, if that spirit actually remains,
it’s what the papal lad in Ireland hates.
Show him some confrontation. He deflates.
Must he be torn by wild beasts? Probably
that hasn’t been determined by the Fates.
Caricature is what he dreads to see.
It’ll undo his lofty dignity.
It’ll make stylish power brokers sneer.
To such a destiny he can’t agree.
Condemnatory headlines might appear!
When hornets such as these are fiercely swarming,
it’s better to take on… well… global warming!

 

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

(Papal nuncio to Ireland warns Catholics against becoming caricatures.)

War on Poverty

War on Poverty

 

 

Hey, you’re poor! I shall come to your aid.
Of your dignity I’m unafraid
as I feed you dependence.
It ensures my ascendance.
You remain poor — but I have it made.

 

 

–Tom Riley

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