Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: predators

Public Dismay

Public Dismay


Weaver’s acts George and Rick now survey
With a gallon of public dismay.
But they’re putting you on.
Back before, they said: “John,
Won’t you please throw some action our way?”


–Tom Riley


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Appearance at Grandmother’s House

Appearance at Grandmother’s House

“I am feeling quite wolfish. Hey, good!”
Thought Joe Biden. “I’d howl if I could—
But not now, and not here.
I approach from the rear
The delectable Miss Riding Hood….”

–Tom Riley

Run with the Pack

Run with the Pack


“I shall run with the pack!” he declared.
“I considered it long. Now I’ve dared!”
Yes, it came as a shock.
He abandoned the flock!
Who now knows how that herbivore fared?


—Tom Riley

Napa Morning

Napa Morning



Balloons float overhead,
helpless before some predator that
hasn’t evolved yet.



–Tom Riley

Curse of the Cyberneticians

Curse of the Cyberneticians






The chipmunk’s brain is full of information

The blacksnake’s belly can’t appreciate

As it digests the neurons.  Ah, creation!

The chipmunk’s brain is full of information—

Forever lost to serpentine predation.

Cyberneticians curse – but such is fate:

The chipmunk’s brain is full of information

The blacksnake’s belly can’t appreciate.






–Tom Riley






(First appeared in Magic Realism, Issue #6, Summer 1992.)

Raised for Slaughter

Raised for Slaughter




You’re sad to learn that lambs are raised for slaughter

And put in bowls of tasty Irish stew?

You might as well be sad to learn that water

Evaporates — that alcohol does, too.

You might as well be sad to learn that, new

Out of their eggs, sea turtles are the prey

Of every predator that gets a clue

Little chelonians hatch forth that day.

That’s nature, lad — and nature has a way

Of reinforcing all its iron rules

With repetition, eager to repay

In pain the thoughts of sentimental fools.

So stop your silly caterwauling, you!

Join the wise Irish: dig into your stew.





–Tom Riley