Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: Halloween

Goodbye to Ghouls and Goblins

Goodbye to Ghouls and Goblins

“By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore….”

To say that I’m no longer in the mood
For Halloween would be, of course, a lie.
Darkness comes every night. My attitude
Adjusts. Folks, I don’t even have to try.
October passes, though. The ravens fly
Off to poor Poe’s December. Comprehend:
Such guys as I at last must say goodbye.
Halloween comes, like all things, to an end.
It tears my heart in half – but hearts do mend.
Thanksgiving is a prospect I abhor—
But I’ll give thanks, declining to offend
The God that birds and Poe and I adore.
Everything to its right and proper sphere.
(I can’t wait till October 1st next year!)

–Tom Riley

Some Folks

Some Folks

For some folks, every day is Halloween.
I only wish that I were one of those.
Alas! Just once a year I make that scene.
For some folks, every day is Halloween—
And nameless dread is felt as something clean
And glorious. Their inner candle glows.
For some folks, every day is Halloween.
I only wish that I were one of those!

–Tom Riley

By Knife

By Knife

By knife I try to find your angry eyes.
You don’t enjoy the process. Oh, that’s clear!
Will lighting up your innards make you wise?

I’d say you’re of a manageable size.
If produce weeps, perhaps you shed a tear.
By knife I try to find your angry eyes,

The ones that see through comfy mortal lies.
In all the patch, were you the most sincere?
Will lighting up your innards make you wise?

Would you have rather been the stuff of pies?
Your preferences are nothing now, I fear.
By knife I try to find your angry eyes,

Lit with a fire that’s darkness in disguise.
Can the void that accuses disappear?
Will lighting up your innards make you wise?

Are the flame’s whispers not your only cries?
What kind of beast, when you are cut, will cheer?
By knife I try to find your angry eyes.
Will lighting up your innards make you wise?

–Tom Riley

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Nox Diabolorum

Nox Diabolorum

(in memoriam P.S.R.)

My sainted mom was born on Devils’ Night.
We celebrated after dark for years.
The things kids do that night are never right—
But often merit adolescent cheers.
My sainted mom was on the verge of tears
Much of those nights, I’m sure. When kids raise hell,
No mom’s concern for offspring disappears.
I know she prayed – and, boy, did she pray well!
Devils like Little Tom would love to tell
Such saints as her to pray their evil asses
Out of the pit. Can sanctity compel
Mercy to rain upon the wicked masses?
Can woman saved uplift bad boy – or man?
If anyone can manage it, she can.

–Tom Riley

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Disappointing Dracula

A Disappointing Dracula

Bram Stoker’s version earned a lousy score.
Sure, he got little Lucy – but so what?
Statistically, that’s something to ignore—
And, in the end, Van Helsing kicked his butt.
Who the fuck was that Dutchman? Just a nut.
And all the others: who the fuck were they?
Upstanding citizens – and in a rut.
Those poor stiffs should have been a breeze to slay.
Instead, mere mortal losers found a way
To drive the mighty Count, despite his strength,
Back to his homeland. Oh, they made him pay!
The details I won’t analyze at length.
Bram Stoker’s version earned a lousy score.
The real Vlad would have slaughtered many more.

–Tom Riley

Vlad Tepes 002.jpg

What a Loon!

What a Loon!

“Are there monsters called forth by the moon
When it’s full?” “There are not. You’re a loon!”
“In my heart there’s a howl.
You be sure to call foul
When I body it forth – really soon….”

–Tom Riley

Drinking with Werewolves

Drinking with Werewolves

I don’t mind drinking with that werewolf crowd—
Not as long as the moon is less than full.
Although it’s true they’re boisterous and loud,
I don’t mind drinking with that werewolf crowd:
They’re lots of fun, and I have disavowed
The standard views. All prejudice is bull!
I don’t mind drinking with that werewolf crowd—
Not as long as the moon is less than full.

–Tom Riley

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Not a Beast

Not a Beast

“I self-identify as not a beast!”
The werewolf cried, then carried off the child.
“Grant me my inner dignity at least:
I self-identify as not a beast—
And, in my culture, my intended feast
Is normal. Adverse judgment drives me wild!
I self-identify as not a beast!”
The werewolf cried – then carried off the child.

–Tom Riley

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Monstrous Math

Monstrous Math

“I’m more,” said
the Fiend, “than the sum
of my parts!”

–Tom Riley

Frankenstein’s Monster

Frankenstein’s Monster

“I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend.”

Hey, I don’t fear the Fiend’s prodigious force:
Sentimentality is what I dread—
And, boy, he’s on a sentimental course!
Hey, I don’t fear the Fiend’s prodigious force!
Is he six times as strong as any horse?
My problem is the sappy stuff he’s said.
Hey: I don’t fear the Fiend’s prodigious force.
Sentimentality is what I dread!

–Tom Riley

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (Revised Edition, 1831) Creature.jpg