Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Uncompromising

Uncompromising

 

With the Devil I might compromise—

Even if deadly fire filled his eyes.

Though he be damned forever,

I say never say never.

But with you, sir?  That wouldn’t be wise.

 

–Tom Riley

 

537B7039-508D-4905-B957-3B700A0D74E7

 

Franz Struck, Lucifer

Advertisements

Scavengers

Scavengers

 

The vulture lands

before the raven.  It’s always

beauty before brains.

 

–Tom Riley

Packs

Packs

 

They are hunting.  They overleap facts.

They’ll invent what the simple truth lacks.

It would surely be rude

To condemn them as crude.

Is that you they’re pursuing in packs?

 

–Tom Riley

 

8BDBC910-45D0-4B0C-9A68-D9DAA2B8E358

Thoughts and Prayers

Thoughts and Prayers

 

“Fuck you, Trump and McConnell!” cries Shea.

“Pass some now pointless laws, like I say,

And with vain prayers be through!

My dad won World War II—

And he did it exactly that way!”

 

–Tom Riley

 

BFF6FCE7-DF31-4A0D-B9FA-125B03178B14

 

(Dog-hater and Planned Parenthood ally Mark Shea loses it over thoughts and prayers.)

Spontaneous Overflow

Spontaneous Overflow

 

Poet felt he would shortly explode.

Inspiration, though unsought, abode.

Then he just had a fit.

“Hey, don’t call my stuff shit!

Those are feelings – and they overflowed.”

 

–Tom Riley

Ulysses in Hell

Ulysses in Hell

 
Did Dante place you, clever man, in Hell,
And, next to you, your friend Diomedes?
He did indeed, judgmental as you please.
My wrath on your behalf I cannot tell.
Yet, normally, when Dante casts his spell,
I cheer him on. Eternal verities
Are best upheld by fire, and fire agrees
With all the grins that in my darkness dwell.
You’re something else, and I cannot consent—
Not even if Supreme Authority
Insists – to your eternal punishment.
A special case is what you ought to be.
Your place here sires unending discontent—
And Heaven doesn’t seem so just to me.

 
–Tom Riley

 

(Third Place, Napa Town and Country Fair, 2019.)

Ulysses and the Cyclops

Ulysses and the Cyclops

 
You got the Wheel-Eyed Monster drunk on wine—
An old trick, but predictably effective.
Alcohol, I have found, is not selective.
It works on men – and monsters, too – just fine.
It clouds the judgment, loosens up the spine—
And only time can serve as true corrective.
Wine may inspire the edgiest invective.
At any rate, he fell to your design,
The Shepherd Son of Neptune, and the eye
Was out! You rescued many of your crew.
Of course, you’d long been recognized as sly.
It’s what your guys expected you to do
On journeys where the choice was do or die.
I pour a nice red blend and drink to you.

 
–Tom Riley

Important Work

Important Work

 

Let your inner voice, lad, have its say.

Get important work out of the way.

Do not shake a vain fist.

Cross vast chores off your list.

You can then waste the rest of your day.

 

–Tom Riley

Sharing Is Still Caring

Sharing Is Still Caring

 

With others I am now resolved to share—

And what I share will be my misery.

Because of Christian charity, I care.

With others I am now resolved to share!

The yawning space between us I’ll repair.

Yes, many choose to doubt me – but they’ll see.

With others I am now resolved to share,

And what I share will be my misery.

 

–Tom Riley

Under the Bridge

Under the Bridge

 

Ain’t no accident,

you who cross, that “troll”

and “truth” alliterate.

 

–Tom Riley