Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Month: February, 2015

Giants on the Overpass

Giants on the Overpass

 

 

The giants kneeling on the overpass
are reaching down right now to seize your car.
It doesn’t pay to give them any sass,
The giants kneeling on the overpass–
future acquaintances of scary mass
and volume. Who knows what their limits are?
The giants kneeling on the overpass
are reaching down right now to seize your car.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Advertisements

Not Spock

Not Spock

 

 

(in memoriam Leonard Nimoy, d. 27 February 2015)

 

 

Yeah, yeah. I know. I read I Am Not Spock.
I read your artsy books of free verse, too.
I know that Vulcan never had a lock
on the identity we know as you.
You had so many busy things to do–
and did them, which I think is pretty rare.
Achievements? You had more than just a few.
I understand. I’m thoroughly aware.
But back to that old series I repair
like many in my geeky generation
whenever I require a breath of air
untainted by insistent complication.
There I appreciate your greatest work:
saving the universe with Captain Kirk.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Still Champion

Still Champion

 

 

(in memoriam Charlie Rice, d. 25 February 2015)

 

 

When everyone was all for compromise–
which meant, of course, the easiest surrender–
he saw the truth with never-flinching eyes
and stood as life’s unwearying defender.
In that ring, he was more than mere contender.
He sent opponents to the canvas fast.
His energies were vast — and, cheerful spender,
He labored hard, yet managed still to last.
And is his advocacy in the past?
Of course not. From the realm where Beatrice
gazed down on troubled Dante, unharassed
by all our vain distractions, he will miss
no opportunity to intervene.
Dread ought to fill the pro-abortion scene.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Key to Paradise

Key to Paradise

 

 

You lost the key to Paradise?
Luckily, there’s a duplicate.
The news is hard. Don’t tell it twice!
You lost the key to Paradise.
You failed to follow my advice.
We see you’re drowning in regret.
You lost the key to Paradise!
(Luckily, there’s a duplicate.)

 

 

–Tom Riley

Nemo Perfectus

Nemo Perfectus

 

 

“Hey, well, nobody’s perfect,” she said.
Into common excuses she fled
for her own glaring sins.
Slyness, though, never wins.
It’s particular dooms she will dread.

 

 

–Tom Riley

M.A.

M.A.

 

 

He’s the master of so many arts,
he appeals to our heads and our hearts
in so many smart ways,
we could praise him for days!
(It’s not true that he’ll publish his farts.)

 

 

–Tom Riley

Not a Dictator

Not a Dictator

“I’m not a dictator.”

–President Obama

 

 

Not running a dictatorship, dear sir?
You run a pretty deadly imitation.
Some find that your direct words reassure.
Not running a dictatorship? Dear sir,
I find we’re not as free as once we were.
“To say so violates a regulation!”
Not running a dictatorship? Dear sir:
you run a pretty deadly imitation.

–Tom Riley

Copyright

Copyright

 

 

The copyright on evil was renewed.
The Lord of Evil got his royalties–
and I, a mere aspiring lad, got sued!
The copyright on evil was renewed.
How would the drama of my life conclude?
The answer rode a brief, malignant breeze.
The copyright on evil was renewed.
The Lord of Evil got his royalties.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Homage to Ambrose Bierce

Homage to Ambrose Bierce

 

 

Did you find all humanity vile–
and say so in a glorious style?
As I age, Ambrose Bierce,
my heart grows, like yours, fierce–
and your beautiful scowl makes me smile.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Strange Growth

Strange Growth

 

 

Miss Smile’s presence just makes my skin crawl.
She’s like something that grows on a wall
and does not wipe away.
What a dreadful display!
Can I stay in the room? Not at all.

 

 

–Tom Riley