Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Larger Meaning

The Larger Meaning

 

At your general presence I stare.
Of my eyes you are surely aware.
What can this gaze portend?
Here’s the gist in the end:
Won’t you get the fuck out of my hair?

 

—Tom Riley

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Late Gift

Late Gift

 

(for Grace Bozyk)

 

A day late and a million dollars short,
I’m giving you a kind of birthday gift.
My meters I align, my rhymes I sift.
The Muse indeed I do not need to court—
For, next to you, she’s quite a common sort.
Those she entices always end up stiffed.
Her breath depresses me, but you uplift
With good looks, clever brain, and true support.
What gift will please? Oh, I’m a puzzled cat
Facing the question that this moment poses!
If you had enemies, I’d break their noses.
Your husband, though, can better handle that.
I give you words, though words at last fall flat:
A dozen (plus two more) poetic roses.

 

Happy Birthday, 2017!

 

“Gramps” Riley

Metal Unattractive

Metal Unattractive

 

In tight skirts, she presented her ass
To her thirty-boy seventh-grade class.
Did sap rise in their pants?
Did she merit a glance?
No, they all took a resolute pass.

 

—Tom Riley

Not Yet, Anyhow

Not Yet, Anyhow

 

Miss, your language is mindless and crude,
And your habits are boundlessly rude.
But I’ve earnestly tried
To observe the bright side—
And at least you don’t drool in my food.

 

—Tom Riley

The Lord Has His Shepherds

The Lord Has His Shepherds

 

They’re always telling me what God intends.
Amazingly, he thinks the way they do,
Never indeed dissenting from the view
That they adopt. Oh, they’re far more than friends
Of God! They are his guides. Toward proper ends
They shepherd him — and he is grateful, too,
That he has chanced on guys who have a clue.
On them the judge of all the earth depends.
Anyhow, that’s the state of things suggested
By the way they’re conveying their decrees.
Is it a Weltanschauung to be tested?
Or should I merely drop to aging knees?
By skepticism they will not be bested.
Still, something in my center disagrees.

 

—Tom Riley

Coffee Conversation

Coffee Conversation

 

Your coffee conversation
is about as stimulating as
my breakfast beer.

 

—Tom Riley

Islam = So Long

Islam = So Long

 

“On these immigrants we’ll take a chance.
We’ll adopt a benevolent stance
And wish only the good—
As societies should.”
So long Germany, Britain, and France!

 

—Tom Riley

 

(N.B. There actually is an etymological connection between “Islam” and “so long.”)

Off by Themselves

Off by Themselves

 

Guns are evil, you know. Guns are bad.
They go off by themselves! Drives you mad.
Woman slain? Shut up, twerp!
You cannot blame the perp—
Though you can say the murder was sad.

 

—Tom Riley

Freak Show

Freak Show

 

“Alt Right Freak Show!” cries Shea. Is he not
Sly and clever? I almost forgot
What a wit he can be!
“Alt Right Freak Show!” Dear me!
From a fat lady, that hurts a lot.

 

—Tom Riley

 

 

(Planned Parenthood ally and notorious glutton Mark Shea decries the “Alt Right Freak Show.”)

San Francisco

San Francisco

 

It’s the city that thrives by the Bay.
Hey, illegals: come running today!
Claim your own welfare loot!
Pick up pistols and shoot!
Though you kill, you will not have to pay.

 

—Tom Riley

 

(S.F. jury finds Kate Steinle’s killer not guilty of homicide.)