Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Month: October, 2013








I’m listening to Edgar Allan Poe

On a C.D.  Hey, guys, it’s Halloween!

On Halloween, my ear would have it so:

I’m listening to Edgar Allan Poe

As read by Basil Rathbone.  Tales I know

Fill my soul as I make the spooky scene.

I’m listening to Edgar Allan Poe

On a C.D.  Hey, guys!  It’s Halloween!







–Tom Riley

Evangelium Draculae

Evangelium Draculae




“It was like a miracle, but before our very eyes, and almost in the drawing of a breath, the whole body crumbled into dust and passed from our sight.”



The word he preached became not flesh but blood—

Nor did he yield his own blood as a gift.

But he did long to draw you from the mud.

Why on earth would you question such a lift?

Oh, all his words, you doubters, you may sift!

You never heard him tell a coward’s lie.

Decay’s the only sucker that he stiffed.

Corruption was what he chose to deny.

And all the rules his heart rose to defy

Were the rules of the limited and weak.

Those he embraced, though seen indeed to die,

Lived on, prey for the envious to seek.

When his flesh fell to dust, what strength was lost!

You finished him – but failed to count the cost.



–Tom Riley

Nihil Novum

Nihil Novum






What I’m saying is old.  This is true.

If you have an historical clue,

     You perceive right away:

     It’s all old, as you say.

But the paradigm, buddy, is new.






–Tom Riley

Personal Training

Personal Training






Oh, I know it hurts, lad, but don’t cave!

Fight the pressure through every close shave

     Till your body transcends!

     As your trainer intends,

You are getting in shape for the grave.






–Tom Riley

One Way

One Way






“Only one tactic, people, here pays.

Only one move’s the move wisdom plays.

     Pay attention – and then

     Say a fervent amen.

I need oceans of insincere praise.”






–Tom Riley

Straight Man

Straight Man






“What?  Deliver a straight line?  I can’t.

I’m not comedy’s sly hierophant.

     I am off humor’s grid….”

     Then, though stumbling, I did.

Her response was a glorious rant.






–Tom Riley

New Lit

The New Lit






We have followed a plan far from rash.

All the classics are no more than ash—

     And what’s current is all.

     To the young, souls still small,

We teach trash, we teach trash, we teach trash!






–Tom Riley

Educating the Whole Person

Educating the Whole Person






He’s developed his person entire:

Yea, his mind, which burns brighter than fire—

     But his spirit and body

     Just as much.  They ain’t shoddy!

They’re the height to which others aspire.






–Tom Riley

Captain Dreamless

Captain Dreamless






Captain Dreamless does not need to sleep.

He counts coup when his arch-foes count sheep.

      He goes hard night and day—

But he would like to say

Something’s missing.  He just wants to weep!






–Tom Riley

Best and the Brightest

The Best and the Brightest




Our President has called upon the Lords

Of Tech – but can they save his stupid plan

From itself?  Glitches rise like zombie hordes.

Log on?  Enroll?  It seems that no one can.

Geeks: every one of you must play the man

And make a straight path through the screwed-up code

That Barack hired some foreign also-ran

To write!  Obamacare must not implode!

Remember: in a fairy tale, the toad

Merits a princess kiss, becomes a prince.

If you do well, Michelle may well unload

A heap of lip on you.  Does that convince?

Sebelius will smooch you too, I bet.

(I meant that as a promise, not a threat.)




–Tom Riley