Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: Sonnets

Reading Maketh a Full Man

Reading Maketh a Full Man

General Jimmy Mattis is a reader.
He’s read a lot of books, he’ll have you know.
In literary land a trick-or-treater,
He looks in pumpkin eyes and loves the glow.
The handsome passersby he opts to blow
Have not, of course, read half so much as he.
They wait in cold encampments, row on row.
They’re practicing their own philosophy.
How can a polymath of such depth be?
How can such Stoic virtue yet perdure?
Don’t be a jerk, Marine! Don’t balk! Don’t flee!
For what ails modern man, there’s just one cure:
Extensive reading while, serene and slow,
General Mattis gets to work below.

–Tom Riley

Gen. James Mattis arrives at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington

From the Stoa

From the Stoa

Some idiot who claims that he’s a Stoic
Says that philosophy backs gays and trannies.
According to this bonehead, it’s heroic
For bearded lads to pinch each other’s fannies
And probe each other’s private nooks and crannies
With a view toward orgasmic satisfaction—
And also for old men to pose as grannies
In order to entice some backside action.
Actual Stoics never spent a fraction
Of any moment sunk in such perversion.
Still, liars rarely issue a retraction
After their factoids’ first absurd incursion.
It’s mine to mock false teachers of this class
And serve them clear correction – up the ass.

–Tom Riley

Wiseass Men

Wiseass Men

Follow a star that isn’t on a screen?
In modern terms, that’s just a waste of time—
For deities, we know, don’t intervene
In realms where lives cost far less than a dime.
Wandering from the East: is it a crime?
It is if wrong thought motivates the trip.
Why should a free verse genius want to rhyme?
Virtual archers don’t shoot from the hip.
Virtual wine is all we need to sip.
A programmed savior earns our adoration
By thrilling us from eye to fingertip
And offering a new, improved creation.
Heaven, were we to look, would be too far.
We won’t concede that we have seen a star.

–Tom Riley

See the source image

Some of His Best Friends

Some of His Best Friends

(Bergoglio professes to meet with victims once a week.)

Pope Francis, saint before he even kicks

The papal bucket, suffers vile attacks.

Some commentators say that he is lax

In shielding kids from pederastic tricks.

The kind of media that always licks

His Petrine shoes now dares to make mean cracks.

“He never gives his pals the proper axe!”

These are assertions that he’s swift to nix.

How dare they doubt his perfect sanctity?

How dare they growl he needs to make amends

Not for the Church but for himself?  He’ll see

That this campaign of accusation ends!

He’ll prove his probity conclusively!

Sex victims are among his closest friends.

–Tom Riley

Image result for Herejias De Bergoglio

Athanasius Contra Mundum

Athanasius Contra Mundum

Constantius said it first.  It was a sneer—

But history embraced it as high praise.

Against the world in those uncertain days

You stood for what the future would hold dear,

O lonely pillar of the truth!  In fear,

Others adopted temporizing ways.

They would have lost themselves then in the maze

That sprawled throughout the explication sphere.

You saved them – and you did it with a roar.

Politeness was a lie you wouldn’t tell

When faced with doctrines hopeless at their core.

You judged your adversaries by their smell.

You lashed out fiercely at their pointless lore.

The world that you opposed went straight to Hell.

–Tom Riley

See the source image



Victor indeed, you dared to be a god.

A little girl presumed to heap regret

Upon your head, but you refused to nod

In spiritless agreement.  What a bet

You’d won!  The universe was just your pet.

You taught it tricks that no one ever had.

You cried aloud to Heaven:  Game, match, set!

Your handiwork, however, called you Dad.

That was the only word that drove you mad.

What’s with these metaphors of fatherhood?

As badass, you were naturally bad

And thus resented being hailed as good.

Are there mistakes that cannot be erased?

This is a question for the northern waste.

–Tom Riley

See the source image

Things We Say to God

The Things We Say to God

The things we say to God, as we suppose,

Are formal prayers acquired at mother’s knee—

Expressions of a polished piety

And of the truths that everybody knows.

Oh, we repeat them – and how vast it grows,

Our confidence!  Expanding steadily,

It calls on every child’s heart to agree.

We’re warmed by an inheritance that glows.

But, in reality, the things we say

To God are exhalations of despair,

Obscene or wordless as the mindless day

Crushes the plans we’ve made.  The earthly air

Doesn’t cringe at the anger we display.

We stub our toes and order God to care.

–Tom Riley

He Lives!

He Lives!

Dennis O’Brien lives – and we rejoice!
The blogosphere has suffered since July.
We had to do without his righteous voice,
Without his deep, ferocious battle cry.
Did anyone take up the slack? We’d try,
We rhymesters of the other continents—
But who could strike as hard or reach as high?
For Trump, what fool would substitute Mike Pence?
Well, now O’Brien’s back – and it’s immense,
Our sense that this year’s void is at last is filled.
The focus of his verse will be intense.
His stuff is both original and skilled.
On substitutes we need not be reliant.
Stand bold athwart the age, you Ozzie giant!

–Tom Riley

Popeye Forearms

Popeye Forearms

AOC’s got a skinny-forearm beau.
I’m asking: what is wrong with guys these days
And with the gals who choose them? Time betrays
What’s timeless. It’s impossible to know
How low the standards finally will go.
Is this delight in girly men a phase?
Or will we say again that muscle pays?
Suspense strikes deeply as I watch the show.
Hey, AOC: my name is Riley, too,
But I have Popeye forearms, more or less.
(It’s true I lack the maritime tattoo.)
Do I like Puerto Rican girls? Hell, yes.
But then again, there’s pillow talk from you….
I wish your current boyfriend all success!

–Tom Riley

See the source image

My Opinion Poll Participation

My Opinion Poll Participation

Of Sniffer Joe I strongly disapprove.
Reader: if you’re a pollster, please take note.
Joe, it is clear, is in the failure groove,
However well his minions fake the vote.
And no: I won’t repeat lies learned by rote
To the effect that Joe won fair and square.
Approaching emptiness by asymptote
Has never been my game. Ain’t no there there.
At Joe’s dementia there’s no need to stare.
He splatters it like shit on restroom walls.
When ordinary tasks advance to bare
Their blunted teeth, his nervous system stalls.
An intellect that’s worthy of respect
Even his backers cannot now detect.

–Tom Riley

See the source image