Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: Sun

Napa Valley Heat Wave Sacrificial Urge

Napa Valley Heat Wave Sacrificial Urge

Sun above vineyards:
for cooler mornings, I’d almost
give up wine.

–Tom Riley

A Brand New New Orleans

A Brand New New Orleans

(for the Rev. Larry Beane)

In New Orleans, the Rebel cause is done.
They rush to worship Zulu idols now.
You Western Civ types shouldn’t have a cow.
Idolatry is popular and fun!
In former European times, the Sun
Was worshipped – as historians allow.
So why can’t our society kowtow
To savage whores? Your reasons given? None!
Let spiritual license now extend
Into the region of the Southern Cross!
Monotheistic claptrap had to end.
We douse our cities now in heathen sauce.
Crudity is the message we intend.
The Christian heroes of the South? No loss.

–Tom Riley

Broad-Brimmed Hat of the God Augustus

Broad-Brimmed Hat of the God Augustus

Emperor adored Apollo
as tutelary deity, remained shy
of the sun.

–Tom Riley

See the source image

Lunatic at Noon

Lunatic at Noon

I know, O
Subtle Moon, you’re somewhere in
this sunlit sky!

–Tom Riley

Full Moon in the darkness of the night sky. It is patterned with a mix of light-tone regions and darker, irregular blotches, and scattered with varying sizes of impact craters, circles surrounded by out-thrown rays of bright ejecta.

Aspects of Apollo

Aspects of Apollo

 

God of the Plague: what’s false offends you most.
Your arrows were as true as any word.
Your music could of old undo the boast
Of any braggart, raging and absurd.
From the lips of your priestess it was heard,
Your manly voice, too subtle for a lie.
And heroes of veracity were spurred
By prophecies as cloudy as a sigh.
God of the Sun: we have today a guy—
An expert, as his fellow liars say—
Who to be straight with us won’t even try
And really only seeks to spoil our day.
The wretched name of Fauci I reveal.
God of the Wolf: he ain’t much of a meal.

 

–Tom Riley

 

Apollo of the Belvedere.jpg

Helios, Helios!

Helios, Helios!

 

 

Et hora nona exclamavit Iesus voce magna dicens Heloi Heloi lama sabacthani…?

–Marc. 15:34.

 

 

It was dark – and he called upon the Sun.
At least, that’s how we understood his cry.
As the gods go, the Sun’s a mighty one
To call upon. His fierce and fiery eye
Sees through the mists and shadows that we try
To hide our vile and shameful thoughts behind.
Only a brave man lets the Sun’s name fly
When dying is the task he’s been assigned.
We bless you, Jew, although you’ve been defined
To us as rabble-rouser, sorcerer,
And madman. Though triumphant Death has dined
On you, we pray the Sun at last will stir
On your behalf – because you called his name.
May the Sun raise you up – and spread your fame.

–Tom Riley

 

 

(First appeared in Trinacria #11, Spring 2014, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize.)

Pugnavit ad Bestias Ephesi

Pugnavit ad Bestias Ephesi

 

 

He struggled with the beasts of Ephesus.
Since he’s a saint, we all assume he won.
But maybe beasts emerge victorious
in their own ways, so that not everyone
can see their march.  The unforgiving Sun
watched all those contests from his lofty place.
His fiery heart rejoiced in what was done.
He was concerned with matter, time, and space.
And what did Paul possess?  The life of grace,
the keen edge of the Deiverbal sword,
and the command to reach race after race
with the news of the Resurrected Lord–
these were his weapons, terrible but strange.
What makes you think he moved the beasts to change?

 

 

–Tom Riley

Direct Sunlight

Direct Sunlight

 

(for Regina Phelps)

 

What is earthly, your nature denies—
For it’s clear you belong in the skies
Above all the mere pain
Earthly creatures contain.
The sun’s blinded, O Queen, by your eyes.

 

–Tom Riley

California Boy

California Boy

 

 

(for Andrew Conemac)

 

 

They sent you into frozen exile, far

From any place where people make good wine.

They made you wish upon a northern star.

The sky did not display a friendly sign.

You might as well have crossed the ancient Rhine

And lived amongst the savages who slew

The legions of the Emperor.  Define

Your loss?  I guess I’ll leave that up to you.

But now, at long last, life is made anew:

You’re back in California once again!

You’ve joined a sunnier and cooler crew.

Your spirit knows delight and says amen.

You’re California with a vengeance, sir—

Way beyond what you previously were.

 

 

 

–Tom Riley