Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: Irishmen

Anguish and Disappointment

Anguish and Disappointment


(for Oscar Sparrow)


Some Brit just knocked me down from number one
To number two on Amazon! Oh, sure:
Whatever any Irishman has done,
A Brit will not be able to endure.
He’ll always do his utmost to secure
Imperial supremacy, and we,
The Irish, so provincial and impure,
Will end up battered by inequity.
Success was there before excited me.
That Life-of-Riley stuff was coming true.
But when my heart was thrilled, what did I see?
Anguish and disappointment: nothing new.
What did I do? Of course I bought his book.
I’ll have some whiskey as I take a look.


–Tom Riley


The Cover Up: A Humorous British Satire and Romantic Comedy Adventure by [Oscar Sparrow]


Note: The Ghost of Biden’s Brain is back in first place as of this posting!

Bitterest of Leaves

Bitterest of Leaves

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now…”


Bitterest of leaves, the shamrock now
Is dripping blood that Micks allow.
And, having tossed my green away,
I’m wearing black on Paddy’s Day.

Now, for my sixty years of zeal,
My own contempt I can’t conceal.
The very thought I cannot stand
Of such a baby-killing land.

The British I have ceased to curse—
Though probably those twits are worse.
With Irish pride I do not swell.
Let the Republic burn in Hell!

–Tom Riley

(Irish vote to repeal the 8th.)

Charges Dismissed

Charges Dismissed


Patrick: don’t blame yourself this lovely day!
Not all the Irish actually converted.
You needn’t answer for the shame of Shea.

That bogus Christian chose his own false way.
His bulk accuses him, so bedspread-shirted.
Patrick! Don’t blame yourself this lovely day

For all of the saliva he can spray,
For all the lying venom he has squirted!
You needn’t answer for the shame of Shea,

For idiotic things he loves to say,
For falsehoods he’s insistently asserted.
Patrick, don’t blame yourself this lovely day!

You did the best you could. Snakes fled the fray—
Snakes by your bishop’s crozier deftly herded.
You needn’t answer for the shame of Shea.

For his own wickedness the punk will pay.
Angels face off against him, strongly girded.
Patrick: don’t blame yourself this lovely day!
You needn’t answer for the shame of Shea.


–Tom Riley





“Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day….”



O you who wait and dream in ocean deeps,
O you who hold destruction in the strength
Of deadly tentacles, your power sleeps—
But we affirm that it must wake at length.
The surface of the seas will boil and break,
Delivering your otherworldly ire.
For such a cataclysm our hearts ache.
Annihilation is our fierce desire.
Therefore, O Dread Cthulhu, let the day
When Patrick filled your ocean with the coils
Of serpents be the day when you display
Your greatness! Look: the sea already boils!
Soon will its waters, held for ages, burst!
But let me finish up my whiskey first….



–Tom Riley

Golden Realm Unearned

Golden Realm Unearned



(for Bailey Sciambra)



Och! Was it Bailey Sciambra that I saw?
It was! It was! The world was overturned.
Its dull ruled surface shone with joy and awe.
At its core was a primal state discerned,
Brilliant and pre-lapsarian. I learned
That weighty fog and clouds of endless gray
Can part to show a golden realm unearned,
And long years yield to one unending day.
Och! Was it Bailey Sciambra? So I say.
Italian painters of the Renaissance
Never knew such a glorious display.
The wine of life sprang up from marble fonts.
My startled soul could only say amen.
(This happens to me every now and then.)





Thanksgiving Day, 2016

Republic of the Snakes

Republic of the Snakes



Cum autem immundus spiritus exierit ab homine, ambulat per loca arida, quaerens requiem, et non invenit. Tunc dicit: Revertar in domum meam, unde exivi. Et veniens invenit eam vacantem, scopis mundatam, et ornatam. Tunc vadit, et assumit septem alios spiritus secum nequiores se, et intrantes habitant ibi: et fiunt novissima hominis illius pejora prioribus. Sic erit et generationi huic pessimae.



Hey, Paddy! The Republic of the Snakes
gives thanks to you: you shaped our polity.
What you did, lad, you did for others’ sakes–
but we have reaped the benefits. Oh, see
how, out of your Green Isle, we easily
multiply in the hearts and minds of men
and women! No impossibility
imposes. We are more than we were then.
And we’re invading Ireland once again.
What you drove out returns now sevenfold.
That loveliness will once more be a den
for our unblinking kind, whose blood runs cold,
whose poison can dispatch both small and great.
Remember, lad: we always lie in wait.



–Tom Riley


Snakes in Exile

Snakes in Exile



We snakes in exile have a righteous cause:

To Ireland we are eager to return.

The longing for our former country gnaws

Our innards out and makes our spirits burn.

And, Patrick, we are praying saints can learn

That speciesism never has been right

Or just.  We pray that you at last discern

Our goodness.  Dare we hope you see the light?

If so, we harbor toward you now no spite.

We truly are resolved to get along.

Our differences with you, we say, are slight.

The coils that bind our hearts to yours are strong—

Or will be so if you just give the word.

The prospect, you will find, is not absurd.




–Tom Riley

Damballah Day

Damballah Day


(St. Patrick is syncretized in Haitian Voodoo with the serpent god Damballah.  He could have done worse….)



They recognized him as the Lord of Snakes.

What else were those things writhing at his feet?

At catechism, they were no great shakes—

But saw the image verdant and complete

And recognized the god.  Snakes in retreat

And in advance look pretty much the same.

The powers that men recognize, they greet.

And that, friends, is the syncretism game.

The savage in a man is hard to tame.

I’m sure St. Patrick recognizes this.

Plus, ignorance is not a cause for shame

Unless it’s willful.  Let the image hiss!

Go ahead, lads, with what you meant to do:

St. Patrick’s smiling as he nods to you.




–Tom Riley

Birthday Dram

Birthday Dram



(for Ian Moore-Morrans)



It’s with joy, and with no trace of sorrow,

That, upon an occasion I borrow

     From your family, I drink

     This Scotch neat.  And I think

You should add a new birthday tomorrow….




Happy birthday!




2 May 2013








Of my life I have now made a botch.

Angels weep seas of tears as they watch—

And with devils agree

That there’s no hope for me.

On St. Paddy’s Day, folks, I drank Scotch.







–Tom Riley