Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Month: August, 2012

His Ass in Hell

His Ass in Hell



The day he finds his ass in Hell,

He won’t admit that he was wrong.

His weak excuses he will tell

Over again – and call them strong.

He’ll mouth his crap a whole age long—

But God will not respond at all

To that extended, tuneless song.

God’s love will have become the wall

Against which losers hurl a ball

That bounces back without a sound.

Our damned lad’s chances won’t be small:

They’ll be so absent they’ll astound

His unrelenting confidence.

But still he’ll make his vain defense.



–Tom Riley

The Naked Chimpanzee

The Naked Chimpanzee


(for Chris and Tim Brumley)


The day you saw the naked chimpanzee,

You understood what fragile things we are.

That apogee of muscularity

Says to the muscleman: “Hey, no cigar!”

But even that response does not go far

Enough: a female chimp, half-starved and thin,

If Arnold Schwarzenegger sought to spar,

Could easily erase his manly grin.

And Rocky?  Being short is not a sin.

The female chimp is shorter than Stallone.

But, if they had a struggle, she would win:

She would unhinge his joints and break his bone.

She’d even cut Dwayne Johnson down to size.

That naked chimp was laughing at you, guys.


–Tom Riley

Brand New Friends

Brand New Friends


Ahi Genovesi, uomini diversi

D’ogne costume e pien d’ogni magagna,

Perché non siete voi del mondo spersi?


Inferno 33.


The traitor’s hanging out with brand new friends.

Oh, what a thrilling time they’ll have today!

The sheer delight of lying never ends

As they elaborate, as they betray

The values that they once put on display.

Forbidding truth grows shapely once it bends.

It shakes its ass until they shout hurray.

It ceases being truth – but that offends

No one, and no one has to make amends.

They look hard – and find beauty in the gray

Where black and white are lost.  The soul descends—

But feels it’s getting higher all the way.

This hell is heaven, each soul comprehends,

As long as there are lots of lying friends.


–Tom Riley