Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Month: March, 2013

Introit Dominilla Subrisa

Introit Dominilla Subrisa






Let her praises at long last be sung

As she enters the room!  Throat and lung:

Let them strain now, you peasants!

She’s exuding her presence—

Like a slug oozing slime on your tongue.





–Tom Riley

Late Arrival

Late Arrival






Is the Deity showing up late?

Is Divine time inclined to dilate?

Is it causing you pain?

Are you apt to complain?

Well, shut up, lad: you’ll just have to wait!






–Tom Riley

Traison des Clercs

Traison des Clercs






“We are trapped in an age of defeat!”

Said the scholars.  “Can’t even retreat—

And can’t hope to advance.

Just stand still?  Not a chance!”

And the enemy answered: “How sweet!”





–Tom Riley

Iblis de Natura Humana Loquitur

Iblis de Natura Humana Loquitur






“I can look at the form if I must.

It is graceless – but I can adjust.

Though it’s frightfully vile,

It can still make me smile.

But I can’t stand the substance: it’s dust!”





–Tom Riley

Hard Truth

Hard Truth





“I don’t want your vague truths: I want facts!”

He declared.  “As foundations for acts,

Those alone ever do.

I demand facts of you!”

The truth fell on his neck like an axe.





–Tom Riley





The Revolution has to kill its heroes.

That’s why you ended on the list to die.

The party bosses?  Profiteers and zeroes:

Their brains were full of lard, their hearts of lye.

But purity that no one could deny

Lived in the hatred that they drove you to—

And burned hot in the darkness of your eye.

You did what every hero ought to do.

I’d call you friend if you had friends – but, true

To what you were and what you chose to be,

You set aside such things.  I envy you

Your focus and your magnanimity,

The way you made of emptiness rich food

You ate with bread-and-water gratitude.



–Tom Riley

Ring of Power

Ring of Power



(for Grace Cortright)



My love, cling fiercely to your Ring of Power—

And don’t let wizards talk you out of it!

Halflings may take effete advice and cower—

But, on your hand, the Ring should be a hit

Forever.  You don’t need your strength and wit

Enhanced?  That’s true – but lots of things are true.

In place of the Dark Lord, a Queen would fit—

And who’s a better candidate than you?

List all your enemies – then do and do

And do!  When they are wailing, I shall cheer.

About your wrath they need to get a clue

That they may have a proper sense of fear.

Yeah, yeah: you’ll turn to evil – but I smile

When I imagine your malicious style.






–Tom Riley

Boldly Go

Boldly Go




Cowardly actors opt for subtlety—

But William Shatner never makes his Kirk

A sissy.  In the scenes we love to see,

He gathers breath and boldly goes to work.

Only the Klingons think that he’s a jerk

For doing what a captain ought to do—

For going, well, heroically berserk

The moment that he comprehends the cue.

His is a style available to few.

His is a lonely duty – although green

And furry babes he never needs to woo

Fall at his feet with eagerness obscene.

For Shatner’s happy birthday now I vote:

I shout the words so loud it hurts my throat.




–Tom Riley








Of my life I have now made a botch.

Angels weep seas of tears as they watch—

And with devils agree

That there’s no hope for me.

On St. Paddy’s Day, folks, I drank Scotch.







–Tom Riley

Metrosexual Vampire Club

The Metrosexual Vampire Club



(for Mainak Dhar)



With breath mints you disguise the air of Hell,

The exhalation of eternal hate.

With body spray you mask the grave’s foul smell.

Being a vampire needn’t spoil your date.

Oh, let your conversation concentrate

On chick flicks and the latest empty song!

If it should stray to any undead trait,

Then do not let it linger there for long.

Be soft and sweet, for soft and sweet are strong

In a way that commanding cannot be.

On the bestseller lists, you can’t go wrong

Embracing metrosexuality.

Avoid the horror thing, my lad.  Be smart.

The stake need never penetrate your heart.



–Tom Riley