Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Month: September, 2014

Missed Your Birthday

Missed Your Birthday

 

 

(for Marissa Amador)

 

 

The year I missed your birthday was a year
of ever-grave responsibility.
My age went through my liver like a spear–
and my heart got the point: no fun for me.
The congress of my cells rushed to agree
that life was leaden where cells dared to meet.
Your absence was a dreadful sight to see.
The wine of my existence wasn’t sweet–
and I was forced to drink the dregs. Complete
as anything that’s full, my emptiness
pretty much burst my shell. Cold burned like heat.
I, a year older too, found more was less.
Come next year, maybe? Sure, lass: that I’ll do!
A year from now you’ll be — what? 22?

 

 

Happy Birthday!

TR

30 Sept. 2014

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Stubborn

Stubborn

 

 

Words are stubborn. By other words tricked,
they consider — and then contradict!
They confound and confuse!
They upend and abuse!
They obscure what they ought to depict.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Edited

Edited

 

 

“I shall edit the stuff that you wrote.
You will read what I scribble — and note
every change I advise.
You will see with new eyes!”
“Shall I really? Do I get a vote?”

 

 

–Tom Riley

Theo-Rhetorical

Theo-Rhetorical

 

 

Catechetical stuff is the stuff
that can make him look both smart and tough–
and perhaps even wise.
So he mixes his lies
with Hail Marys — which works well enough.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

 

 

“Hey, you’re stealing my stories, you jerks!
Your fan fiction does not please: it irks!
Of your thefts I grow tired….”
“Just be glad you’ve inspired
such insistent derivative works!”

 

 

–Tom Riley

Little Things

Little Things

 

 

To do great things I’m not granted time.
I do little things — polish a rhyme,
choose a short, telling word,
and expose the absurd.
Doing little things isn’t a crime.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Management Genius

Management Genius

 

 

They are out of control, this damn crew.
Every team member, lacking a clue,
screws up twelve times a day.
How can things go this way
for a management genius like you?

 

 

–Tom Riley

Big Tipper

Big Tipper

 

 

So let me get this straight. The evil Rush

Gives two tips way beyond what’s generous

To some poor girl whose skull is full of mush,

Who squats delighted on the leftist bus –

And she is proud, with vast and vocal fuss,

To put those funds toward yet more baby-killing?

At Huffington, some lame-brained bag of pus

Gives this boneheaded broad heroic billing?

O pro-life babes, I know your skulls are filling

With schemes to bring about the opposite

Effect. Yes, to be waitresses you’re willing.

There’s just one element that doesn’t fit.

Hillary will have perfect legs and hips

Before a leftist ever gives such tips.

 

 

–Tom Riley

 

Sensible

Sensible

 

 

“Your appearance, sir, makes some folks sneer–
and fills others with loathing and fear.
All with taste say it’s hell
to be touched by your smell….”
“I’m appealing,” he said, “to the ear.”

 

 

–Tom Riley

Omnes Stulti

Omnes Stulti

 

 

Now all the fools are holding hands
and singing a moronic song
in unison. Gray fog expands:
now all the fools are holding hands.
As one, they issue reprimands.
As one, they go absurdly wrong.
Now all the fools are holding hands
and singing a moronic song.

 

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

(First appeared in The Lyric, v.94 n.3, Summer 2014.)