Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: Monica Cortright

European Vacation

European Vacation


(for Monica Tol)

Our leader went to Europe once again—
And to the country of your residence.
You European types are lucky when,
Despite the hostile rollout of events,
He deigns to haul his brain, so damn immense,
Across the pond – and rains his benefits
Down on your heads. We don’t grudge the expense
Of sending him to you to show his wits.
But we expect him always to score hits.
After all, he’s a rock star, isn’t he?
I will not pick at presidential nits—
But his force has declined perceptibly.
His speech? All he could do was stumble through.
Somebody clapped. I know it wasn’t you.

–Tom Riley


Markos Eucharistikos

Markos Eucharistikos



 (for Monica Tol)



The Wisest of the Emperors gave thanks

At the commencement of his self-directed

Notes.  On a firm foundation lay the planks

Of that impressive edifice, perfected

Not so much in the dots that it connected

As in the Heaven that it showed on high.

In his tent, as his body’s cells defected,

The Emperor revealed the brilliant sky.

Yet does his genius truly satisfy?

What he thanked was as vague as any cloud.

Equivocation?  No.  Still less a lie—

But who would shout that name of God aloud?

Those notes were glorious – yet somehow hollow.

The God Augustus thanked the God Apollo.



Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!




28 November 2013

Cortright Farewell

Cortright Farewell

Have all the Cortright girls gone through my class?
Is the last of those babes a graduate?
I summon up a ponderous alas
and breathe it forth, too old to throw a fit.
Clare with her quick and penetrating wit,
Margaret with her deep and piercing eyes,
the learned Monica, with me a hit,
and Grace, who lightly cut me down to size–
they’re now the beauties of my past.  I rise
to recognize that hard and icy truth.
Out the half-open window all hope flies.
My middle years are gone now, like my youth.
With wisdom insufficiently imbued,
I can’t endure such loss of pulchritude.

Love and Tears,


1 July 2k7