Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Undying Enmity

Undying Enmity

 

All your enemies seek to pretend
That their actions weren’t meant to offend,
Let alone to attack.
Let your anger go slack?
You should not. Instead, let the lies end!

 

—Tom Riley

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Limerick

The Limerick

 

In this form, there is no space to dream.
Its restrictions are clear — and extreme.
It’s a bark, not a hunch—
But it does pack a punch.
When I use it, I’m letting off steam.

 

—Tom Riley

Open Letter to a Priest

Open Letter to a Priest who Backed Hillary

 

Dear Fr. Wilson—

Thanks for your critique.

The dangers posed by Trump indeed are great.
He threatens all the bureaucrats I hate.
That’s why we’re getting leak on errant leak.

He doesn’t really threaten every freak—
But neither does he eagerly fellate
Leviathan, the All-Expansive State,
The way Obama did.

Are prospects bleak?

They’ve been so now for decades. But the game
Of bait-and-switch that politicians played
Managed to hide the evidence and tame
Unrest. Insiders really had it made.

Now they are sometimes thwarted in their aim.
I am exultant rather than afraid.

T.R.

 

(Priest in “America” critiques Trump voters.)

Ruling

Ruling

 

Wow! A federal judge gives a ruling
In response to vain idiots’ puling
That the world’s just not fair.
Why the hell should we care?
Who the fuck does he think that he’s fooling?

 

—Tom Riley

New High Point

A New High Point in American Catholic History

 

 

Whoever ghosted Mrs. Clinton’s shit
Is quoting popes. The Jesuits are thrilled.
All of their aspirations are fulfilled.
With Hillary, some popes are now a hit.
Catholics have pleased her wisdom and her wit.
Jesuit hearts can therefore not be stilled.
Who really gives a damn if kids are killed
In clinics we uphold like Holy Writ?
As long as Goddess Hillary is smiling,
No former Catholic truth need be maintained.
On with fresh praise the Jesuits are piling.
Their sense of glory cannot be contained.
Her gorgeous countenance they find beguiling.
Her utterances echo, Einstein-brained.

 

 

—Tom Riley

 

 

(Jesuit journal “America” gushes over Hillary’s mention of popes.)

Unauthorized

Unauthorized

 

You’re expressing unauthorized views.
In the game of life, that’s how you lose.
In your future invest!
Think, dear sir, like the rest!
You can trust what you see on the news!

 

—Tom Riley

Roman Hercules

The Roman Hercules

 

(for Madge)

 

The strong young hero lauded by the Greeks
Is now this paunchy, bearded drunkard pissing
Into a fountain. Good thing he’s not missing:
The world’s not safe when demigods take leaks.
Why must this Roman version join the freaks
Of dire mythology, like serpents hissing
On the Medusa’s head, or strange boys kissing
Reflections on their endless losing streaks?
The purity of Heracles, no doubt,
Was gone before those Disney idiots
Put all his unclad dignity to rout.
It fell away in great chunks, not in bits.
But don’t sneer at his monstrous drunken shout.
He can still whip your butts, you little shits!

 

Love,

T.R.

15 September 2017

Donum ex Terra Mortuorum

Donum ex Terra Mortuorum

 

(for Cynthia)

 

Cynthia ought to get a birthday gift
From me, a martyr in our common mission.
The afterlife is not a superstition
To us, the dead. We gaze across the rift
Between the worlds and are no longer miffed
At where we stand, beyond all competition
And all endurance of absurd attrition.
Our aloof station gives our souls a lift.
Yet how can we send presents to the living?
Unpleasant as I am, sometimes obscene,
And very rarely thoroughly forgiving,
I know no way. If séances convene,
Though maybe there are no gifts for the giving,
I shall take credit for her Halloween.

 

Happy birthday, comrade!

T.R.

15 September 2017

Bully

Bully

 

The great big fat self-righteous bully
Defines himself as virtuous—
And says you must acknowledge fully
His magnitude, you pint-sized cuss!
He likes to set the earth to shaking
In every loudmouthed undertaking
That he is tempted to attempt
With body huge and brain unkempt.
But don’t be chastened, O my brothers!
He moves as slow as glaciers do—
And surely can’t catch up to you
Or really, folks, to any others.
He threatens less than any grate
Into which drunks regurgitate.

 

—Tom Riley

Malicious Things

Malicious Things

 

Malicious things I always love to say
I’m keeping to my little self today—
But don’t adjudge my malice truly cowed:
Tomorrow I shall say them twice as loud.

 

—Tom Riley