Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Month: October, 2017

Night Things

Night Things

 

Do the denizens, lad, of the night
Give you many an unwelcome fright?
Are their eerie threats hated?
This reaction was fated
The first time you were sick of the light.

 

—Tom Riley

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What Really Bites

What Really Bites

 

Well, yes, vampires and werewolves are bad.
Witches destined for burning are sad.
Ghosts may lead you off cliffs
and past troubling as-ifs.
But mosquitoes are deadlier, lad.

 

—Tom Riley

 

(Mosquito recognized as deadliest animal.)

Rough Terrain

Rough Terrain

 

He cycled to the Gates of Hell—
But, past that point, you have to hike.
The numbers of the poor dead swell.
He cycled to the Gates of Hell.
Necessity you can’t dispel.
He had to set aside his bike.
He cycled to the Gates of Hell.
But, past that point, you have to hike.

 

—Tom Riley

Conflagration

Conflagration

 

At the conclusion of a book by King,
There’s frequently a raging conflagration.
“Fire purifies.” That’s Ben Mears’ observation.
He’ll get those fucking vampires scurrying!
As bats, perhaps, some targets will take wing,
Though where they’ll fly requires much calculation.
Many will burn in place: no complication.
Oh, what triumphant joy the dawn may bring!
I and my neighbors now are at the end
Of such a book. But no triumphant cry
Is rising from our throats. We must contend
With unforgiving aftermaths — or try.
Deep in resentful regions we descend.
Somebody should have let the vampires lie.

 

—Tom Riley

Maleficae

Maleficae

 

In the cold and the darkness we meet.
Him who rules now we strive to unseat
From his heavenly throne.
Reasons? Those are our own.
Before long, we’ll be feeling the heat.

 

—Tom Riley

Liberty Medal

Liberty Medal

 

Oh, what a medal John McCain has won!
The hero Steven Spielberg won it, too—
And Hillary’s a member of that crew.
Under a leftist and progressive sun,
John prospers. Joy transcends mere mundane fun—
And John is joyous now. Applaud him, you!
Obama’s aims he hastened to pursue.
Is he puffed up with righteous pride? A ton!
Now he transcends conservative convention.
For adulation he can never lack.
Ted Kennedy will welcome his ascension.
Enthusiasm here must not be slack.
Oh, sing his praises, folks — and never mention
The way he stabbed his voters in the back!

 

—Tom Riley

Know the Future

Know the Future

 

It’s the future you’re aching to know?
We’ll reveal it to you in a show
Of infernal excess.
You’re on board, right? Say yes!
Your enslavement ensues — and not slow.

 

—Tom Riley

Apex of Evolution

The Apex of Evolution

 

Is your species tremendous? Hurray
For your species! At work and at play,
It is clearly the best—
But give boasting a rest.
What the devil have you done today?

 

—Tom Riley

Another Confessional Poetess

Another Confessional Poetess

 

Shea says he’s writing verse because he’s “creaky.”
You’d think his inner grease would lubricate
That heart. But then, Shea’s claims are often cheeky.
His blimp-sized self he’s eager to inflate.
His therapeutic aim makes him a mate
To modern poetesses who confess.
Sylvia Plath may be his kind of great—
Or what he’s dimly aping, more or less.
Sylvia Plath I count as no success—
But I won’t let you piss on her, Mark Shea!
Her mind may well have been a sorry mess,
But she was not a fraud. You get away!
Your therapies should never see the light.
You need to stop pretending you can write.

 

—Tom Riley

Violin Practice

Violin Practice

 

Erich Zann, your wild music ain’t bad.
I can tolerate you, loony lad—
Though you put me in touch
With Yog-Sothoth and such.
But that neighbor kid’s stuff drives me mad!

 

—Tom Riley

 

(Note: In Lovecraft’s original story — one of his personal favorites — Zann’s instrument is not a violin. I bow here to popular misconception and ease of allusion. Also, in the original story, the mysterious dark reality behind Zann’s mad music is not clearly any being from the Cthulhu mythos. I represent this dark reality as Yog-Sothoth because he is the Lovecraftian Papa Legba, the Opener of the Way. TR.)