Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Deep State Leaker

Deep State Leaker

 

Comey leaked. Please recall: he’s six-eight!
When he leaks, piss descends. It’s the fate
Of the short to get wet.
Fellow dwarfs, don’t forget!
Comey’s leaked on us all. Ain’t it great?

 

—Tom Riley

Spillage

Spillage

 

Comey spills his
gutlessness. How can Deep State
be so shallow?

 

—Tom Riley

Inspector Mueller on the Trail

Inspector Mueller on the Trail

 

We’re safe from Trump now. Mueller’s on the trail!
He’ll sniff around those underparts until
He arrives at the bottom. He’ll fulfill
His earnest promises. He will not fail.
His service in this probe may well entail
Challenges — but he’s sure to take the hill.
He is a paragon of snooping skill.
You can be certain Trump is turning pale.
In Mueller we have boundless confidence.
What’s more, we find his calm assurance calming.
His statements always make a lot of sense.
He catches the magician slyly palming
The coin. Oh, he’s the master of events!
Look at the way he stopped that Boston bombing!

 

—Tom Riley

To the Feast

To the Feast

 

 

To the feast – oh, it’s hurtful but true!—
Wild Diana, ignored through and through,
Sent a murderous boar
That gave heroes what-for.
Sir, I ask:  did Diana send you?

 

 

–Tom Riley

Patiently and Cheerfully

Patiently and Cheerfully

 

 

I’m smiling patiently and cheerfully
As I await your latest load of crap.
Take a good look and you will clearly see
I’m smiling patiently and cheerfully.
But don’t conclude therefore that I agree,
That I’m caught in your goofy verbal trap.
I’m smiling patiently and cheerfully
As I await your latest load of crap.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Golden Apples of the Sun


Golden Apples of the Sun

 

 

Atalanta was raised by a bear.
She was many a suitor’s despair.
(Being slain isn’t fun.)
But Melainion won!
He threw apples, which wasn’t quite fair.

 

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

(First appeared in Trinacria, No. 16, Fall 2016.)

Mater Pacis

Mater Pacis

 

 

Can love torture and strangle and smother?
Bite your tongue, cynic!  Love is the mother
Of vast joy and sweet peace.
At her touch, they increase.
(To express this, we scream at each other.)

 

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

(First appeared in Trinacria, No. 16, Fall 2016.)

Theseus

Theseus

 

 

You trained on giants.  Cousins were a breeze.
Even the Minotaur, when you two met,
Was nothing special.  What you did with ease,
Of course you did without acute regret.
In you, youth flowed – and confidence.  And yet,
The gods had moral challenges in store.
In the long run, I think, you lost that bet.
In the long run, who triumphs on that score?
In grown men’s hearts, thoughts wage unholy war.
If ever Epictetus got away
From that unconquerable minotaur,
He himself was a god in his brief day.
“I should have” — that’s the most unnerving phrase.
The Labyrinth?  A simple, trifling maze.

 

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

(First appeared in Trinacria, No. 16, Fall 2016.)

It’s a Fair Cop, but Society Is to Blame

It’s a Fair Cop, but Society Is to Blame

 

 

Do Muslim terrorists cut priestly throats?
Oh, no!  Just ask the pope!  It is the poor
Who, lacking opportunity (he notes),
Express themselves in violence.  Their store
Of sorrow on an unfamiliar shore
Moves them to opt for anti-Christian acts.
Without good jobs, they raise our murder score.
According to the pope, those are the facts.
So when the jihad jockeys howl, relax!
It isn’t terrorism, folks – just crime.
If slaughtered priests are real soon piled in stacks,
Poverty is to blame.  Time after time,
The pope upholds this simple rule of thumb.
(Poverty also makes him really dumb.)

 

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

(First appeared in Trinacria, No. 16, Fall 2016.)

What Went Wrong

What Went Wrong

 

“What went wrong? What went wrong? What went wrong?”
Oh, his sense of displacement was strong!
The obscene truth he faced:
All this things were displaced!
(He had not put them where they belong.)

 

–Tom Riley