Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Month: August, 2015

Your Grin

Your Grin

 

 

When you arrived, I recognized your grin.
Why was it glaring from an unknown face?
Alienation is the price of sin.
When you arrived, I recognized your grin,
malicious past all reach of verbal spin.
Everything else was clearly out of place
when you arrived. I recognized your grin:
why was it glaring from an unknown face?

 

 

–Tom Riley

Safety Guide

Safety Guide

 

 

I’m studying the safety guide.
I am assured it keeps me whole
should danger rise on either side.
I’m studying the safety guide.
When there’s advance, I’ll swell with pride.
Safety’s a matter of the soul!
I’m studying the safety guide.
I am assured it keeps me whole.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Iranian Deal

Iranian Deal

 

 

He is saving the world — or he’s trying.
So he says. But our spirits are sighing.
It has little appeal,
this Iranian deal.
He’s Obama — and therefore he’s lying.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Just Standing There

Just Standing There

 

 

“What are you doing, fool, just standing there?”
“Perfecting orthostatic tolerance.”
“I need to ask, although I need not care.
What are you doing, fool, just standing there?
Your lack of motion moves me to despair!
Why don’t you hop or skip or stroll or dance?
What are you doing, fool, just standing there?”
“Perfecting orthostatic tolerance.”

 

 

–Tom Riley

Writer as Poetess

The Writer as Poetess

 

 

When The Left Hand of Darkness was “in,”
I was truly a fan. Frau Le Guin
was the Frau of those times.
But she uses false rhymes–
and, to me, that’s the ultimate sin.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Offended

Offended

 

 

Hillary’s taking vocalized offense–
as well she might, since charming husband Bill
was once a rapist. Simple common sense
would mandate an exception. With a will,
she hastens to proclaim the need to kill
the rapist’s kid. But kill the rapist? No.
Though he’s a cad, his wife requires him still
to help her win the presidency — so
she draws the line. I know the witch is low–
low as a snake that’s crept inside a boot,
low as a murder victim deep in snow,
low as the Devil’s often-smooched patoot.
Still, despite lying lips and frumpy style,
she’s better than Obama by a mile.

 

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

(Clinton calls GOP views on abortion “offensive.”)

Tiberius

Tiberius

 

 

All that persists today is calumny–
the vicious lies your enemies composed
to brand your justice simple tyranny.
After your death, the day’s tribunals closed.
Into the gathered gossip then they nosed,
Suetonius and Tacitus. The case
was settled, as the multitude supposed.
A monster dwelt behind your noble face.
Voltaire objected in his age, the Ace
of Doubts. The story didn’t make much sense.
His refutation, maybe, holds its place–
but the light that it sheds is not intense.
Your name is uttered — and we hear the noise:
the things they say you did to little boys!

 

 

–Tom Riley

Planned Parenthood’s Poll

Planned Parenthood’s Poll

 

 

A poll commissioned by Planned Parenthood
tells us that voters want the government
to fund Planned Parenthood. Oh, wow. That’s good.
With evidence like that I’m quite content.
A poll like that is just like the descent
of a light-bearing angel, half divine.
From my determination I’ll relent
and fall, defeated, timid, into line.
Or maybe, after all, I have a spine
and will not flee this poll, so clearly cooked.
Maybe the raw disgust that once was mine
is with me, as it was when I first looked
at videos that showed those lying tarts
laughing and peddling little baby parts.

 

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

(Poll commissioned by Planned Parenthood shows support for Planned Parenthood.)

Day’s Events

The Day’s Events

 

 

Now that I think about the day’s events,
how temporary my reflections grow!
Eternity refuses to commence.
The latest thing is all I really know.
Habit erases history — and so
I find myself obsessed with things that fade.
Time is an itch to scratch, not honey slow.
My heart is racing just to make the grade
discarded in an hour. Be unafraid,
O soul, of all that flashes on the screen!
Assign it no importance! It’s displayed
in incandescent orange an neon green
only to serve the purpose of distraction
and keep the will from all transcendent action.

 

 

–Tom Riley

De Stilo Pontificis

De Stilo Pontificis

 

 

The pope who writes barbaric prose is tops.
Immersed in jargon, fishing eagerly
for the world’s praise, he pulls out all the stops
and lets the nonsense flow: Laudato si’.
Eco-pope hails the eco-polity
that eco-tyrants call supremely good–
and eco-freaks are pleased as they can be.
I wouldn’t change a word, folks, if I could.
Clichés used in the eco-neighborhood
may be a papal pain to Latinize–
but echo grandly in the eco-wood,
offering gems for me to satirize.
I love the way this crap wins a hurray
from other lousy writers, like Mark Shea.

 

 

–Tom Riley