Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: ghosts

Repetitio Mater Pacis

Repetitio Mater Pacis

Keep telling that
ghost that haunts you: you
don’t feel guilty.

–Tom Riley

Searcher

The Searcher

He sniffed out murder victims for the cops.
He used dogs, sure — but that was incidental.
Few were his widely-witnessed starts and stops.
His main advantage, as he said, was mental
and spiritual. What he sought were souls
less in a place than in a dislocation.
The bodies might be burnt or stuffed in holes–
but he heard voices raised in ululation.
Something he never told us till the end:
no desperate cry his inner gift detected,
no message that a dead soul chose to send,
ever was gone. His own soul, unprotected,
was haunted by the whole poor mob he’d found.
Many believed he perished of the sound.

–Tom Riley

Tale of the Haunted Bathroom

Tale of the Haunted Bathroom

A haunted bathroom, eh? I’ve heard the tales–
and I am not the skeptic you may think.
Indeed, I am the type whose courage fails
when hauntings are detailed in harmless ink
on paper. When a fictive phantom wails,
into a well of helplessness I sink.
All this I feel I need to let you know.
But, when you have to go, you have to go.

–Tom Riley

Boy Who Cried Ghost

The Boy Who Cried Ghost

He said he’d seen a ghost — and there he lied.
Because he said it, though, the ghost appeared
and wouldn’t go away. Unterrified,
he said he’d seen a ghost — and there he lied
according to his custom. He defied
good sense, reaped consequences that he feared.
He said he’d seen a ghost, and there he lied.
Because he said it, though, the ghost appeared.

–Tom Riley

The Thing That Smiled

The Thing That Smiled

She hungered for a friendly ghost’s embrace.
The thing that smiled at her was insincere.
The here and now, she felt, was not her place:
she hungered for a friendly ghost’s embrace.
Her appetite proceeded at a pace
that should have served as warning. Free of fear,
she hungered for a friendly ghost’s embrace.
The thing that smiled at her was insincere.

–Tom Riley

Realm of My Dreams

Realm of My Dreams

Ghosts are haunting the realm of my dreams.
Living creatures don’t live here, it seems.
The dead live. Ghastly grins
call to mind fears and sins–
and they work in unbeatable teams.

–Tom Riley

Reactions Vary

Reactions Vary

When a ghost first discovers he’s dead,
he may possibly know nameless dread
or be just a bit sad.
But more likely he’s glad
that his relatives, frightened, have fled.

–Tom Riley

Ghost Town

Ghost Town

Napa’s a ghost town now, rich in despair.
We bicker over endless pettiness.
And why? Marissa Amador’s not there.

To like this place indeed I used to dare.
I look around today and it’s a mess.
Napa’s a ghost town! Now, rich in despair,

I shake my helpless fist in haunted air.
The vineyards? They impress me less and less.
And why? Marissa Amador’s not there.

She hauled up stakes and sought another lair.
She’s pitched her tent in Idaho. I guess
Napa’s a ghost town now, rich in despair

And far beyond the region of repair.
Weeds root in psychic gardens – to excess.
And why? Marissa Amador’s not there!

Ulysses had Minerva? I’m aware.
My lack of such a goddess I confess.
Napa’s a ghost town now, rich in despair.
And why? Marissa Amador’s not there.

Happy birthday!

TR

30 September 2022

Breath of the Buttinski

Breath of the Buttinski

The undead gossip tells immortal tales
To those who can endure the pettiness.
The breath of the buttinski never fails:
The undead gossip tells immortal tales.
She whispers softly as the banshee wails—
And some ghosts revel in the verbal mess.
The undead gossip tells immortal tales
To those who can endure the pettiness.

–Tom Riley

Ghost of Johnny Reb

The Ghost of Johnny Reb

Do pansy soldiers, preening technocrats,
Condemn you, Johnny Reb? Ha! What a laugh!
Let your ghost be untroubled by such gnats!
Do pansy soldiers, preening technocrats,
Latter-day self-important Yankee rats
Proclaim themselves the wheat and you the chaff?
Do pansy soldiers, preening technocrats,
Condemn you, Johnny Reb? Ha! What a laugh!

–Tom Riley