Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Secret Words

Secret Words

 

The secret words he wanted to be read
After he had received his life’s reward
Lay locked in ciphered nothingness instead.
Decryption was in this sad case a sword
No genius really felt he could afford
To take up. Time is limited, and man
Must have a sense of what he’s working toward.
Solving our hero’s code was no one’s plan.
Off otherwhere the brainiacs all ran.
You couldn’t find a wizard anywhere
Who’d use his wand to open up that can
Of graveyard worms. No magus seemed to care.
The cryptographic diary at last—
Like open ones — lived only in the past.

 

—Tom Riley

Actress

Actress

 

Is she playing the role of a witch?
Hey, that’s acting! Her heart doesn’t itch
In real life to cast spells.
Still, her innards are Hell’s—
And off stage she’s a genuine bitch.

 

—Tom Riley

Long Skirts

Long Skirts

 

Under long, clingy skirts, she parades
An ass more unappealing than AIDS.
It is not here her duty
To regret loss of beauty:
What has never been there never fades.

 

—Tom Riley

Impact

Impact

 

Yes, I argue. I argue too much.
I would rather collide than just touch.
Impact’s what I enjoy.
A skull fracture? Oh, boy!
I expect to achieve many such.

 

—Tom Riley

Well Taught

Well Taught

 

“Vae vobis scribae et Pharisaei hypocritae quia circuitis mare et aridam ut faciatis unum proselytum et cum fuerit factus facitis eum filium gehennae duplo quam vos!”

 

He knows his mentor’s bound for Hell—
And therefore means to follow him.
Oh, let the flames unending swell!
He knows his mentor’s bound for Hell.
Salvation, folks, you just can’t sell
To one who loves its antonym.
He knows his mentor’s bound for hell—
And therefore means to follow him.

 

—Tom Riley

Phoneless

Phoneless

 

Though I do face my share of unknowns,
Though I do sometimes stumble on stones
And grow angry or sad,
Nonetheless I am glad
I avoid the Inferno of Phones.

 

—Tom Riley

Pestiferous

Pestiferous

 

Ants have hitchhiked home, ma’am, on your clothes.
I see one on the bridge of your nose.
They are now everywhere,
Little gifts that you share.
But your words annoy far more than those.

 

—Tom Riley

Rhapsody on a Theme from Gertrude Stein

Rhapsody on a Theme from Gertrude Stein

 

Yes, a rose is a rose, and a cube
Is a cube. Tube within a vain tube,
I affirm what you state.
And you, sir, demonstrate
That a boob is a boob is a boob.

 

—Tom Riley

Maenads

Maenads

 

“Dionysus, this drink is divine—
And we’re feeling so much more than fine.
Whom shall we tear apart?
We are eager to start.
You put something, we sense, in the wine.”

 

—Tom Riley

Victory Dance

Victory Dance

 

Oh, what a day for Catholic Shea!
On little Charlie’s corpse, he dances.
His socialistic God advances
And makes a glorious display
Of victory. The statist way
Will conquer brand new vast expanses.
The way of death that Shea romances
Flashes its boobs. He shouts hurray!
But suns of triumph tend to set,
And exultation tends to pass.
Observant angels don’t forget
Because some liar goes to Mass.
The Lord has lots of comebacks yet
For St. Shea of the Giant Ass.

 

—Tom Riley