Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: ghosts

So Long, Spooks

So Long, Spooks


To the Halloween Season, good-bye
Once again! Who’ll be missing it? I.
It should last until June!
(That I’ll be a ghost soon
I cannot, at this late date, deny.)


–Tom Riley



The Medium


Does she conjure the stuff of the dead—
Ectoplasm? Or do ghosts instead
Exploit her and her kind?
Keep this one rule in mind:
Your heart’s deep chill is all in your head.


–Tom Riley

Raise a Spirit

Raise a Spirit


Boldly, I raised a spirit from the dead.
He made the same old boring conversation
He had in life. Though warned, I went ahead
Boldly: I raised a spirit from the dead,
One I had known. Did I recoil in dread?
Not at all – but my yawns knew no cessation.
Boldly I raised a spirit from the dead.
He made the same old boring conversation.


–Tom Riley


John Dee and Edward Kelly Summoning the Dead, 19th Century . . . — Buy this… | The magicians ...

Direful Dave

What Tearing Down Confederate Monuments Won't Solve | Time


Direful Dave


(for Andrew Cooper)


Glenn Goody, Glenn Goody,
A liberal guy,
Decided to send forth
A shrill battle cry.

“I cannot endure it,
That damn C.S.A.!
I wish all its statues
Forever away!”

Was slavery long over?
Were rebels long dead?
Glenn just didn’t buy it.
He fought on instead.

The statue in Glenn’s town
Was called Direful Dave.
Dave needed a new sword—
And he needed a shave.

For Dave in his lifetime,
Like most rebel sons,
Had been poorly equipped when
He faced down Yankee guns.

He rode far with Jeb Stuart
And he perished uncowed.
And of Dave his home town had
Remained always proud.

Well, except for Glenn Goody,
Long encumbered by hate.
He was planning for Dave
An embarrassing fate.

So one night when the moon was
Just a sliver of light,
Glenn pushed over Dave’s figure
From its pedestal’s height.

Then with chisel and hammer
Glenn erased Dave’s poor face.
In the spirit of judgment,
Glenn committed disgrace.

When the crime was discovered,
Folks were fit to be tied.
Sheriff spoke to Glenn Goody—
But Glenn easily lied.

When the full moon arrived, though,
And the morning came after,
Something deep within ended:
Glenn’s interior laughter.

On the pedestal emptied
Lay Glenn’s body, distressed—
For a warhorse’s fierce hooves
Had caved in his chest.

And between his two legs lay
What could not be ignored:
Glenn’s judgmental head severed
By one sweep of the sword.

People say in the town now
When the moon swells and shines
Dave is no longer direful.
They can tell by the signs.

Evildoers delivered
To Dave’s pedestal prove
That the town’s long-gone hero
Is now back in the groove.

And the blacksmith is grinning—
For he knows who has made
Solid shoes for Dave’s charger
And for Dave a new blade.


Deo Vindice!

Tom Riley




Halloween is, of course, drawing near.
Joe is selling us oodles of fear.
Creepy Joe: hey, nice try!
But your crap I don’t buy.
Why don’t you, like a ghost, disappear?


–Tom Riley


Flabbergasting FREE Offer: TWO for the Price of NONE!

Flabbergasting FREE Offer: TWO for the Price of NONE!


The word “flabbergast,” of course, contains the root “ghast” – that is, the Northumbrian or Scots root corresponding to Standard English “ghost.” The exact derivation of the whole word is uncertain, but, if you’re flabbergasted, you can be sure that something ghostly is happening to you.

As Halloween approaches, BE FLABBERGASTED!

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The Ghost of Biden's Brain by [Tom Riley]


Love Poems of a Hatemonger by [Tom Riley]


Incredible FREE Offer!

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Pair of phantoms haunts Aswarby Hall.
The removal of hearts they recall.
They both would, they both can,
Undo Abney’s vile plan.
Stephen now isn’t threatened at all.

–Tom Riley



Turn of the Screw (SHORT VERSION TWO)

The Turn of the Screw (SHORT VERSION TWO)

From a crazy gal’s weird point of view
Is the story told. Old childcare crew
Left perverse ghosts behind.
Is it all in her mind?
By the end, you’re a bit crazy, too.

–Tom Riley











The ghost of
the old maid still dreams
of perfect bachelors.

–Tom Riley