Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: Baby Jesus

Plan to Capture Santa Claus

The Plan to Capture Santa Claus

 

 

His plan to capture Santa Claus was stark
In its unparalleled simplicity.
Next to his own house grew a lofty tree
Whose boughs could bear him up. There, in the dark,
He would wait, sniper rifle at the ready,
For the arrival of the laden sleigh.
Take the lead reindeer out – and they’d all stay,
The visitants of Christmas Eve, unsteady.
He should have guessed, of course, that Santa had
A thorough network of insightful spies.
He should have seen the scorn in merry eyes.
Too late! Too late! Words simple, stark, and sad.
Off then to Santa’s gulag, ill-intentioned.
Funny. The Infant Christ was never mentioned.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Manger Scene

Manger Scene

 

They object strongly to your manger scene.

They organize to make you take it down.

Their absolutist views they keep pristine.

Your compromises they will never crown.

The tyrant often doubles as a clown—

And these are no exception finally.

They mean to rule the whole surrendered town.

They know they’ll get the townies to agree.

But better their absurd vacuity

Than your alternative of empty show,

Than your slick, Herod-governed pageantry.

They keep their zeal, however low they go.

They don’t commit the dire crime of an art

That enshrines Christ in places not the heart.

 

–Tom Riley

October Country

October Country

 

(for John Bertolini)

 

Some of us love it best, this golden time.

Don’t suppose that we’re putting Christmas down.

But to the Christmas star we cannot climb.

It’s not for us to place the thorny crown

Upon an infant’s brow.  The emptied town,

And not the crowded inn, calls out to us.

The leaves are red and yellow, even brown,

And crumble underfoot.  Imperious,

The wind makes them an army.  It is thus

That we’re assailed by monsters whose existence

Is, on analysis, plain dubious.

Thus we embrace the shadow’s sheer persistence.

We do not think about it overmuch.

Soon enough, we will feel December’s touch.

 

–Tom Riley