Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Month: October, 2021

Ill Dreamt

Ill Dreamt

“We dreamt of you!” they told him in his dream.
“At any rate, we dreamt of one like you—
One who would, as a revenant, pursue
Our bones past every noumenal extreme
Into reality. Our vibrant team
Got right to work, as threatened creatures do.
Ideas, happily, were far from few.
We’re ready for your horror movie scheme!
Our sacred objects now we elevate!
Upon their fiery glow will you be fried!
We chant our orisons! Ha! Feel their weight!
Our studied piety can’t be defied!”
He woke then, overwhelmed by all their hate—
And was, as monster, truly terrified.

–Tom Riley

Да и Нет

Да и Нет

“Cyrillic Ouija boards aren’t standard, sir!”

I much prefer to chat with Slavic shades.

The pot of borscht is what I like to stir.

“Cyrillic Ouija boards aren’t standard, sir!”

My Russian now could not be shakier.

I flee to lexicons and other aids.

“Cyrillic Ouija boards aren’t standard, sir!”

I much prefer to chat with Slavic shades.

–Tom Riley

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Witches in the Wilderness

Witches in the Wilderness

“If you meet witches in the wilderness,
Don’t listen!” But of course we always do.
Our ordered lives are really just a mess.
Though victory smells fresh, we need a cue
To further action. Then they come in view,
Their more-than-mortal knowledge evident.
The future is what all hearts must pursue—
And guidance isn’t always Heaven-sent.
The nascent king did not know what they meant?
Oh, yes, he did. He knew he’d pay a price—
But rushed on to embrace the dark event.
That other witch, his mate, had more advice
To strengthen resolution, more or less.
Sometimes we can’t escape the wilderness.

–Tom Riley

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Plenilunar Hierarchy

Plenilunar Hierarchy

When the moon’s full, what beast do you become?
To be a polar bear would sure be cool.
Ain’t nothing more imposing, as a rule—
Though such comparisons grow wearisome.
If you become a puma, don’t look glum:
A feline monster too will shock the fool
Who fails to show due fear: in midnight’s school,
He’ll learn that you are no mere furry bum.
Perhaps, lad, you become a rattlesnake.
High, high amongst our most disturbing phrases
Ranks: “Look: a snake!” Both men and women shake
And go through several paralytic phases.
What? You’re a were-rat? Well, for goodness’ sake!
At least you beat the most demanding mazes….

–Tom Riley

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Charming Monster

Charming Monster

The charming monster makes his victims smile.
They’re happy as he drains their very souls.
It’s all a matter, miss, of monstrous style.
The charming monster makes his victims smile.
Advancing more through frankness than through guile,
He realizes parasitic goals.
The charming monster makes his victims smile.
They’re happy as he drains their very souls.

–Tom Riley

Revival?

Revival?

It ended in a séance, more or less.
Ah, what a disappointment, Mr. King!
I thought your minister was saying yes
To something more expansive. Would he bring
Back to the light the whole vast gathering
Of woe-begotten, lost humanity?
Would he pry out Death’s Donne-discarded sting
And set the dead, though long-forgotten, free?
Such an apocalypse I hoped to see—
And what a horror, sir, it would have seemed!
Instead we got a little colloquy
Describing some lame afterlife you’d dreamed.
It was a weary joke – none wearier.
Stick to your gifts. You ain’t no Lovecraft, sir.

–Tom Riley

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Breath of the Buttinski

Breath of the Buttinski

The undead gossip tells immortal tales
To those who can endure the pettiness.
The breath of the buttinski never fails:
The undead gossip tells immortal tales.
She whispers softly as the banshee wails—
And some ghosts revel in the verbal mess.
The undead gossip tells immortal tales
To those who can endure the pettiness.

–Tom Riley

Cult Following

Cult Following

“I preach the end of vile humanity!”
And only human creatures joined the cult.
Cthulhu’s spokesman bellowed forcefully:
“I preach the end of vile humanity!
Oh, let the infestation cease to be!
A better world will be the sure result!
I preach the end of vile humanity!”
And only human creatures joined the cult.

–Tom Riley

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Secret Diary of Dr. Unfathomable

The Secret Diary of Dr. Unfathomable

“Why is there something rather than nothing?”

“To these dark pages I confide too much!”
That line is in the volume’s very middle.
If you’re not shocked, then you are out of touch—
Or else your sense of decency is little.
Forbidden things were on this villain’s mind.
Nor did he merely think. Oh, no! He acted!
The photocopy I have been assigned
To read was terrifying, though redacted.
As for the book itself in which he wrote,
It’s driven dozens mad. I hear them wailing
Now in my very dreams. Take careful note.
My own wits, I am worried now, are failing.
He plumbed the depths with insights duly hoarded.
“There’s nothing, nothing, nothing!” he recorded.

–Tom Riley

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That’s Why the Tranny Is a Vamp

That’s Why the Tranny Is a Vamp

Tranny vampires don’t mind that your cis.
They don’t care if you’re mister or miss.
“That’s a bloody convention!”
There is no condescension
Quite so generous, victim, as this.

–Tom Riley