Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Month: October, 2015

Scarecrow by Night

Scarecrow by Night

 

 

When the sun’s high, he’s just a lot of stuffing.
If crows can sneer, he wins the sneers of crows.
But the sun’s sinking now, and off he’s sloughing
the padded harmlessness the real world knows.
Under the moon, you’ll learn too soon, he grows
and manages to move when no one sees.
Shadows? Oh, he has more than one of those.
They’re all cast by brand new realities.
In fingers strong as roots, he holds the keys.
Dark eyes say that he won’t respect the locks
interposed by your staid philosophies.
Are you prepared for existential shocks?
Think you’ll be rescued by the rising sun?
Count seconds as they pass, then, one by one.

 

 

–Tom Riley

It (Short Version)

It (Short Version)

 

 

Polymorphous, “It” makes every scene
in a form that’ll turn your blood green.
Pennywise has it down.
Shit, I’m scared of that clown!
(The vast spider, King stole from Tolkien.)

 

 

–Tom Riley

666 No Longer

666 No Longer

 

 

Just got call
from Hell — which has a
new area code.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Carnivore

Carnivore

 

 

For trick-or-treat, he
dressed as Tyrannosaurus: I threw
him raw meat.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Mens Amissa

Mens Amissa

 

 

Mr. Mentz, I have heard, has resigned.
All alignments are now realigned.
Everywhere there’s confusion.
Oh, we’ll miss the illusion
that he helped with a governing mind!

 

 

–Tom Riley

Promotion

The Promotion

 

 

(for Delia Bisconer)

 

 

Rejoice, folks: Delia has been promoted
to herself! She will have to pass no more
as “New Team Member.” If I could have voted,
this elevation would have come before–
for Delia, I know, has things in store
which her employers cannot hope to guess.
She has a fund of unexpected lore.
She contradicts all dour contrariness.
To Delia, O losers, just say yes–
and you will find you cannot help but win.
You doubt — but she will triumph nonetheless.
Conquer the world? She can’t wait to begin.
I’ve said too much, as if with whiskey loaded.
The sober truth, though: Delia’s been promoted!

 

 

–Tom Riley

Land of Jack

The Land of Jack

 

 

Jack O’Lantern is lighting the way–
but it isn’t the way to the day.
In the land where he leads,
sunrise never succeeds,
and the dark is on constant display.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Idea Man

Idea Man

 

 

I come up with some boffo concepts, fans,
for movies. I should make a billion bucks.
But no one in the business understands
my genius. They are all closed-minded fucks.
Hollywood, in my estimation, sucks–
and Hollywood thinks I suck even worse.
Circumstance from my raging spirit plucks
its fire. My brilliance is, alas, a curse!
Well, screw the cinematic universe
and all its hangers-on, fit to be scorned!
Their shibboleths I shall not now rehearse.
By my experience I’m amply warned.
My movie concepts rise into the air.
I turn them into sonnets, fans. So there.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Enter the Leprechaun

Enter the Leprechaun

 

 

(for Colleen Carter Duncan)

 

 

For dragons they are ready, all those Micks–
and, after all, dear film fans, Bruce Lee’s dead.
The Big Boss is himself skilled — not at kicks,
but at the kind of brawling that instead
his countrymen prefer. He’ll bust a head
and chug a foaming Guinness both at once.
Though you might say he looks a bit well fed,
he always does his own impressive stunts.
But he and his whole gang, giants and runts,
are no match for Colleen’s well-tutored feet.
She stomps it out of them, all that affronts
what’s right and just. They only know defeat.
The art of Irish dance she understands.
She tells Our Lady: “Mother, look: no hands!”

 

 

–Tom Riley

The Stand (Short Version)

The Stand (Short Version)

 

 

“And the righteous and unrighteous alike were consumed in that holy fire.”

 

 

An irrational quest to Sin City.
God’s elect there are not sitting pretty.
Folks both even and odd
face the fierce fire of God.
Stu survives — but he feels pretty shitty.

 

 

–Tom Riley