Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: Last Son of Krypton

De Cervicibus Kryptonianis

De Cervicibus Kryptonianis




(for Larry Maxson)





Only Kryptonians can break the necks

Of other damn Kryptonians – like Zod.

A furious Tyrannosaurus rex

Could never even make Zod shrug – or nod.

No, a Kryptonian is not a god—

But, when it comes to scrapping, he is better.

It’s hard to hurt his solar-powered bod.

You’ll note how thoroughly he fills his sweater.

At super speed, he’s more than a go-getter:

He goes and gets and goes and gets and goes

More times than you can count.  Solve for the letter

“K” and you’ll get an answer no geek knows.

That’s why I’m glad that Clark said what-the-heck

And broke the general’s bull-stubborn neck.





–Tom Riley

Sex and the Superman

Sex and the Superman




In Man of Steel, there’s very little sex.

Somebody messes with a waitress?  Clark

Stops it, disguised as Wimposaurus rex.

After that, there’s no lusting fierce and dark.

The villain is a sort of programmed shark

Who kills us flimsy folk to serve his own.

Lois and Superman do share a spark—

But never far beyond the comfort zone.

O sages of the silver screen, the lone

Hero can be a fascinating sight!

Omissions may make Flynt and Hefner groan—

But in that vacuum I perceive a light.

Women of Kleenex, dread that man of steel!

From such a broken heart, you may not heal.



–Tom Riley






(for Maria and Kevin Klassen)




Are you living where Superman grew?

Though the landscape is flat, lucky you!

     Summer stretches.  Corn grows.

     You can take it, God knows.

You are part of a glorious crew!






–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







Nobody wants to mess with Superbrat—

And only Clark can really manage it.

She wants her little way in nothing flat.

Clark counsels patience: Kara throws a fit.

And Terran kids?  They make her want to spit.

She’s wary of their sheer fragility.

Into their little cliques she doesn’t fit.

Nobody, she complains, is friends with me!

Someday she’ll learn that no one’s flying free,

That cousin Clark, who’s always smiling wide,

Is laden with responsibility

From which not even Superspeed can hide.

With many fans, I’m waiting for the day.

Until then, I’ll stay out of Kara’s way.





–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