Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: aliens




(for Ben Hatke)


The alien who comes from ocean deeps

Is far more distant than the one who came

From Krypton.  Where the Kraken waits and sleeps,

The Sea King is at home – and whales proclaim

His chilling glory.  Think you know his name?

You know it not who hear it on the air.

An ancient strength, impossible to tame

Has made his heart its own forbidden lair.

Work out his motivations if you dare.

Remember, though, that he can breathe through gills.

Remember that his hope is your despair.

What the Flood promised, he in truth fulfills.

There is no doubting that he serves the good—

But are you in his moral neighborhood?


–Tom Riley


(http://letflythecannons.blogspot.com/2012/11/journal-comics-jl-sketchbook-and-more.html )






(for Ben Hatke)



The Batman doesn’t trust that little freak.

The Batman doesn’t much trust anyone.

But his distrust in this case is unique:

The brat has the capacity to stun

The Batman with his canny stunts.  Undone,

The cybernetic forces all around

Yield to this little loser’s work/tricks/fun:

Just when the Batman needs them down, they’re downed.

Well, let him stay!  He’ll soon cease to astound

The Batman, who acknowledges hard facts

And knows the smell of mystery.  No sound

Proceeds from Robin’s lips.  And, ah, his acts—

Tiny acts with effects of giant size—

Are still as enigmatic as his eyes!



–Tom Riley



(http://letflythecannons.blogspot.com/2012/11/boy-wonder.html )

Johnny and the Monster

Johnny and the Monster



(for Ben Hatke)



Even Supes seems to play at being hero—

So Johnny’s free to see this stuff as fun.

Last of your kind is pretty close to zero

In the delight department.  Anyone

Would seek some other option, try to run

Some other course – so Johnny’s now the Child

With Gnarly Powers.  He has drawn the sun

Closer: his daily climate’s almost mild.

But, when the unexpected gets him riled,

When criminals won’t play, as he plays, fair,

When affront on affront is rudely piled,

Why, then you’ll find a monster waiting there—

Which the perceptive Batman ought to see

As that which Johnny’s chosen not to be.



–Tom Riley


(http://letflythecannons.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-child-stranger.html )

Cop on the Beat

Cop on the Beat




(for Ben Hatke)




He knew the challenge of the dirty street,

Where even petty crime is wired to power.

He knew the skepticism that tastes sweet,

The lonely strength that never has to cower.

So he was ready for the crowded hour

Which found both crime and honesty revealed.

What had long crouched within became a tower.

A lantern and two rings: his fate was sealed.

His predecessor in the stellar field

Gave up the very ghost John Stewart shared

With him – and in that very death was healed

Of what this world had done to him.  Who cared

That life had fled?  For life was now complete:

Another honest cop was on his beat.



–Tom Riley