Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Month: April, 2015

Helios, Helios!

Helios, Helios!

 

 

Et hora nona exclamavit Iesus voce magna dicens Heloi Heloi lama sabacthani…?

–Marc. 15:34.

 

 

It was dark – and he called upon the Sun.
At least, that’s how we understood his cry.
As the gods go, the Sun’s a mighty one
To call upon. His fierce and fiery eye
Sees through the mists and shadows that we try
To hide our vile and shameful thoughts behind.
Only a brave man lets the Sun’s name fly
When dying is the task he’s been assigned.
We bless you, Jew, although you’ve been defined
To us as rabble-rouser, sorcerer,
And madman. Though triumphant Death has dined
On you, we pray the Sun at last will stir
On your behalf – because you called his name.
May the Sun raise you up – and spread your fame.

–Tom Riley

 

 

(First appeared in Trinacria #11, Spring 2014, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize.)

A Big Fat “F”

A Big Fat “F”

 

 

He’s testing you on what you failed to learn.
You’re judging him on what he failed to teach.
Your talents he has no cause to discern.
He’s testing you on what you failed to learn.
Your papers he is much inclined to burn.
His standards you could never hope to reach.
He’s testing you on what you failed to learn.
You’re judging him on what he failed to teach.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Ninth Circle

Ninth Circle

 

 

When you’re in the Ninth Circle of Hell,
you damned traitor, resentment will swell
at a much-increased rate.
Oh, how unjust your fate!
But I won’t be the right one to tell.

 

 

–Tom Riley

H.P. Lovecraft

H. P. Lovecraft

 

 

The first of all the billions lost in space,
He didn’t have a robot to assist
His efforts to escape the great dark face
Of reasonless infinity. There hissed
No serpents: oh, indeed, his neurons missed
The common horrors! That which lurked beyond
Held serpents in a million-fingered fist
And squeezed them hard. The unacknowledged bond
Between the creatures withered. Why be conned
By comfort? Truth is meaningless and bleak.
The things of which our fragile cells are fond
Will vanish if we even dare to peek
At what is real. Reach up and grip your brain:
Sanity slowly makes you go insane!

 

 

–Tom Riley

Hydration

Hydration

 

 

Water drinking is in my design.
It’s essential to me — and that’s fine.
You are preaching hydration.
I approve your oration.
But there’s plenty of water in wine….

 

 

–Tom Riley

Mild Judge

Mild Judge

 

 

What? You think I judge harshly? Not so.
To extremes I choose never to go.
Where your fate is discussed–
were it rigidly just–
you’d have been in Hell ages ago.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Source Material

Source Material

 

 

Now I seek for a leftist to roast
in a limerick dry as dry toast.
No thought swiftly arises–
so my heart realizes
I must go to The Huffington Post.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Doonesbury

Doonesbury

 

 

No, I tell you: a thousand times no!
I sink low, sure — but never that low.
Though it fall in my lap,
I shall not read the crap
of the pansified Garry Trudeau.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord

 

 

You say: “Praise the Lord!” Who says amen?
Not I, hypocrite. I’m careful when
you produce sermons numbing–
for the judgment is coming,
and you’ll answer for everything then.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Ignorance Is Bliss

Ignorance Is Bliss

 

 

(for D.N. O’Brien)

 

 

Dennis serves them a diet of facts.
Fed in this fashion, who can relax?
Their solution is neat:
what he serves, they won’t eat!
They will smile while awaiting the axe.

 

 

–Tom Riley