Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: kryptonite

T Is for Typical!

T Is for Typical!

Toward the battle I flew not – but ran.
Though not steely, I do what I can.
Now I’m holding the line.
One advantage is mine:
Kryptonite can’t harm Typical Man!

–Tom Riley





Super Tuesday did not turn out right.
Ouch! Trump won without much of a fight.
Bullets aimed at his chest
bounce right off. I suggest
the Establishment needs kryptonite.



–Tom Riley

Krypton Eye

Krypton Eye



(for Regina Phelps)



I’m looking through the pupil of an eye.

I am relieved: the eye’s not glowing red;

No bolt of energy is set to fly

In the direction of my balding head.

I see the green of Kryptonite instead:

The Supergirl within her eye contains

The very stuff of her defeat, I’m led

To reason with my evil mutant brains.

But to destroy her I’m not taking pains.

The darkness of that pupil is to me

A universe of life while it remains

Part of my villainous reality.

It renders me one helpless evil guy—

Though she and I do not see eye to eye.




–Tom Riley

Real Thing

The Real Thing




(for Matt Thornton)





Henry Cavill makes quite a Superman.

I once shook hands, though, with the genuine

And superhuman article.  My plan

Was unformed, but I wore a cocky grin

And challenged the serene Kryptonian

To a test of sheer strength.  The thunder rolled—

And he could destroy worlds let me win.

My victory, though false, was bright as gold.

I shall remember it while growing old.

Such fictions, fans, enable us to live.

Shamefully stupid, I was proudly bold.

From fact I may have been a fugitive—

But, after he had winced, he shrugged and smiled,

Happy to see me victor, though self-styled.





–Tom Riley






(for Ben Hatke)




He’s smiling, and he wears a jaunty cape.

The “S” there on his chest is shining bright.

He may be stronger than a giant ape—

But still the engine of his heart is light.

The lasers of his eyes, his soaring flight,

The never-ending battle: it’s a game

That he enjoys, in spite of kryptonite.

Call him a fool – but never say he’s lame.

Good cheer is what he’s striving to proclaim

As he saves lives.  I say that Santa Claus

Has a more solemn air, a grayer aim.

If Supes has flaws, they’re clear and happy flaws.

And, when he laughs, the laughter isn’t canned.

Still, I’ll be careful when I shake his hand.



–Tom Riley







(for Matt Thornton)


His greatest challenge isn’t kryptonite

Or Mr. Luthor’s latest ruthless scheme.

It isn’t falling from a lunar height

Or being on a troubled superteam.

For Superman, the challenge is to seem,

In a world full of weaklings, slow and frail,

One of us, not in any way extreme.

Clark Kent is always just about to fail—

And, if he does, then Terran types will wail

The lamentations feared by superears.

Broken by accident, they’ll rise to rail

Against him, supercause of all their tears.

The thanks I offer him are vast and free:

He hasn’t yet annihilated me.



–Tom Riley