Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Bela

Bela

The girls who came to see you on the screen
Were horrified – and fascinated, too.
You were the sort of man they’d never seen.
Their outward yearning fixed its heart on you.
They’re dead now, Dracula. Hey, there are few
Who ever make it out of here alive!
Do vampires have a program to pursue—
Or is that all just Transylvanian jive?
Incredibly, you manage to survive.
Though Frank Langella may have tried the role,
It’s after you that all aspirants strive.
It’s with your victims, sir, that we condole—
And, though they will not say so, females still
Stand mesmerized and let you work your will.

–Tom Riley

Congratulations

Congratulations

I’m sure you’ve
been elevated by the suffering
that I avoided.

–Tom Riley

Noise and Stench

Noise and Stench

“What is that noise, that stench?  Is that a fart?

Who on earth could have flatulence so gross?”

“Sir, that’s Mark Shea pretending to be smart.

Of obfuscation, he has made an art—

Or so he thinks, supremely adipose.”

“What is that noise, that stench?  Is that a fart?”

“The horse that he has placed behind the cart

Is elephantine.  Here’s another dose,

Sir!  That’s Mark Shea pretending to be smart!

The whole is truly smaller than the part

When judged by neurons so damn otiose.”

“What is that noise, that stench?  Is that a fart?

It nails the nostrils, and it hurts the heart!

What soul can bear to have such smells so close?”

“Sir:  that’s Mark Shea pretending to be smart.

Don’t strive to understand.  Don’t even start.

.Ο λόγος του δεν ειναι λογικός”

“What is that noise, that stench?  Is that a fart?”

“Sir… that’s Mark Shea pretending to be smart.”

–Tom Riley

Ghost Town

Ghost Town

Napa’s a ghost town now, rich in despair.
We bicker over endless pettiness.
And why? Marissa Amador’s not there.

To like this place indeed I used to dare.
I look around today and it’s a mess.
Napa’s a ghost town! Now, rich in despair,

I shake my helpless fist in haunted air.
The vineyards? They impress me less and less.
And why? Marissa Amador’s not there.

She hauled up stakes and sought another lair.
She’s pitched her tent in Idaho. I guess
Napa’s a ghost town now, rich in despair

And far beyond the region of repair.
Weeds root in psychic gardens – to excess.
And why? Marissa Amador’s not there!

Ulysses had Minerva? I’m aware.
My lack of such a goddess I confess.
Napa’s a ghost town now, rich in despair.
And why? Marissa Amador’s not there.

Happy birthday!

TR

30 September 2022

Matter of Depth

A Matter of Depth

My deepest thoughts are visible online—
So readers know how shallow I can be.
My penalty, I’m thinking, is condign.
My deepest thoughts are visible online.
Such, alas, was my trivial design.
Unwisely, I have shown my quality.
My deepest thoughts are visible online,
So readers know how shallow I can be.

–Tom Riley

Must Be True

Must Be True

We’re sure that what we’re saying must be true.
The CIA is feeding us our lines!
Who at this time must cease to question? You!
We’re sure that what we’re saying must be true.
The shit we’ve been assigned we spew on cue.
We just ignore all countervailing signs.
We’re sure that what we’re saying must be true:
The CIA is feeding us our lines!

–Tom Riley

Rotten Heart

Rotten Heart

We knew that Putin had a rotten heart
When he declined to celebrate gay sex
As we do now in science and in art.
We knew that Putin had a rotten heart
When he suggested sodomy’s not smart.
His bigotry the whole West now corrects.
We knew that Putin had a rotten heart
When he declined to celebrate gay sex.

–Tom Riley

It Gets Around

It Gets Around

First they minimized personal spaces,
Then engaged in forbidden embraces.
Did they hide these acts? Sure.
Outwardly they were pure.
But look now: there’s a pox on their faces!

–Tom Riley

Judgment

Judgment

Is there judgment? You say that there is.
At theology, you’re just a wiz!
Your faith gab never ends.
When said judgment descends,
Are you sure you’ll be passing the quiz?

–Tom Riley

Strange and Wild

Strange and Wild

Knowing reality could not be tamed,
He put his faith in something strange and wild.
Unaware of the rules, he played the game.
Knowing reality could not be tamed,
He drew the rough-hewn bow and, smiling, aimed.
Some sacred things are meant to be defiled.
Knowing reality could not be tamed,
He put his faith in something strange and wild.

–Tom Riley