Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: American Gods

In Shadow’s Dreams

In Shadow’s Dreams






Shadow consults his father in his dreams.

Nobody says so – but you know it’s true.

A son may undermine a father’s schemes—

But there’s an end to what such acts can do

To the undying bond between the two.

And, after all, if you want wise advice,

Who in all worlds can give a deeper clue

Than this old wanderer across the ice?

You’re not allowed to ask a question twice,

O Odinson: that banishes the shade

Till many further dreams have passed.  The dice

We roll in dreams yield fractions that degrade

Into mere hints of size and quantity.

If Wednesday speaks, though, what hints those must be!






–Tom Riley

Allfather’s Son


Allfather’s Son






His life, he learned, was plotted from the first.

In the womb, he was destined for the tree.

But, when he saw the trick at last, he burst

With the need to undo that destiny.

He had to tell the secret – and was free

In telling it.  The battle, long years planned,

Didn’t occur.  Restrained divinity

Didn’t yield to necessity’s command.

And even gods began to understand.

Two tricksters, one alive and one a ghost,

Failed to feast on the future they had canned.

The poor ghost faded like an empty boast.

Shadow at long last hadn’t quite been had.

Breathing again, he missed his lying dad.






–Tom Riley