Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Month: October, 2018

Undead Hierarchy

Undead Hierarchy

Said the mummy, upset: “Get a clue,
Count Sanguino! Although there are few,
In the face of your name,
Who can make this stark claim,
I in fact am far older than you!”

–Tom Riley

La Gritanda

La Gritanda

You asked the screaming ghost: “Why do you scream?”
I scream like hell because I’m seeing you!
I wish I could believe you were a dream!
You asked the screaming ghost: “Why do you scream?
Why is undead expression so extreme?
Where do you get the air? What is the cue?”
You asked the screaming ghost: “Why do you scream?”
I scream like hell because I’m seeing you!

–Tom Riley

Lana Lupa Ain’t Just Playin’ Hard to Get

Lana Lupa Ain’t Just Playin’ Hard to Get

He said: “I long to run the steppes with you!”
She answered: “By your nature, you’re just prey—
And pretty damn uninteresting, too.”
He said: “I long to run the steppes with you!”
She yawned: “There’s really nothing I can do.
I haven’t feasted, boy, since yesterday!”
He said: “I long to run the steppes with you!”
She answered: “By your nature, you’re just prey.”

–Tom Riley

Werewolf Woodcut

Fortuneteller

Fortuneteller

She had a crystal skull, not just a ball.
I saw my future – and it made me faint.
Did I start out believing? Not at all.
She had a crystal skull, not just a ball.
Such glowing relics startle and appall.
In staring hard, this one showed no restraint.
She had a crystal skull, not just a ball.
I saw my future – and it made me faint.

–Tom Riley

Patchwork Pal

Patchwork Pal

The monster who’s composed of others’ parts
Shows a unique sense of community.
Shaped by a master of unhallowed arts,
The monster who’s composed of others’ parts
Is serving all and winning many hearts—
Or would be, were he treated properly.
The monster who’s composed of others’ parts
Shows a unique sense of community.

–Tom Riley

Baby Revenants

Baby Revenants

“Baby revenants’ snarls are so cute!
And what antics! I find them a hoot!
Though their smell isn’t sweet,
They are charming, petite….”
His regret, once they struck, was acute.

–Tom Riley

Core Values

Core Values

Jekyll always, of course, knew of Hyde.
Mr. Hyde had lurked always inside.
He was Jekyll’s true core.
And I’ll say something more:
With Hyde, Jekyll was quite satisfied.

–Tom Riley

Night of the Living Dead (A Verse Review)

Night of the Living Dead
(A Verse Review)

What made them walk? Some kind of ray, I think.
Their feeble strength, once massed, was dangerous.
End of the world? They brought us to the brink.
I didn’t see the sequels, folks, and thus
My overview’s a little nebulous.
But horror changed in 1968.
This was about survival. Stop the bus!
I don’t look good – and am not feeling great.
That antsy bald guy: he’s the one I hate.
He simply wouldn’t see plain common sense.
Our band of hopeless heroes did deflate.
The dead waxed large amongst our discontents.
To what depths will society descend?
Poor black guy caught a bullet in the end.

–Tom Riley

Dry Cleaning Only

Dry Cleaning Only

The mummy sought to moisturize his skin.
His wrappings and his bones were washed away.
Before his reign of terror could begin,
The mummy sought to moisturize his skin.
The upshot proves that vanity’s a sin
Subject to punishment. Oh, woeful day!
The mummy sought to moisturize his skin.
His wrappings and his bones were washed away!

–Tom Riley

Halloween Costume

Halloween Costume

You were yourself for Halloween that year.
Door after doorway, normals shrank away.
“Trick or treat!” you had no chance then to say—
And, anyhow, your silence was sincere.
There’s a repulsion that transcends mere fear—
And all around you then was on display
That writhing animosity. Dismay
Hung in the air as people fled, my dear—
And we were proud of you beyond the pride
Of parents. Now, alas, you’re fitting in!
The common man and woman, sleepy-eyed,
Perceives in your face nothing alien.
We’re telling you there is no cause to hide.
Being yourself can never be a sin.

–Tom Riley