Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: truth

Are We at Flammeus Gladius Going NUTS?

Are We at Flammeus Gladius Going NUTS?

Demented Joe recently assured America that he was “not going nuts.”

Methinks the candidate doth protest too much.

On the other hand, we at Flammeus Gladius must be going NUTS!

Why? Because THE GHOST OF BIDEN’S BRAIN is STILL on special FREE promotion!

That’s right, political satire fans! The E-BOOK THAT EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT is STILL absolutely FREE on Amazon!

Yes, we at Flammeus Gladius are maintaining FREE access to THE GHOST OF BIDEN’S BRAIN despite the book’s being a NUMBER-ONE AMAZON BESTSELLER!  We could be raking in the big bucks, but we’re only thinking of you….


We must be going NUTS!

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Another Meeting

Another Meeting




They meet again, exchanging lies

That make them feel supremely good.

The whos, the whats, the hows, the whys

They wave aside, as liars should.

Would they improve it if they could,

The game that they pretend to play?

They wouldn’t.  They have understood

The spirit of the empty day.

All that is real they wish away.

All that is tough they do not try.

The easy region wrapped in gray

Renders secure their every lie.

Let the truth shake its bony fist!

It isn’t on their monthly list.



–Tom Riley

Inner Nightwalker

Inner Nightwalker






“I am closing my eyes to the light

And embracing my own inner night!”

     He proclaimed to us all.

     “Into truth I won’t fall—

For I walk not by faith but by sight….”






–Tom Riley







“We seek joy!”  “Is that all that we seek?”

“We seek peace!”  “Well, that’s hardly unique.”

“We seek freedom and strength!”

“Which we’ll all lose at length.”

“I seek unpleasant truth.”  “What a freak!”





–Tom Riley

Hard Truth

Hard Truth





“I don’t want your vague truths: I want facts!”

He declared.  “As foundations for acts,

Those alone ever do.

I demand facts of you!”

The truth fell on his neck like an axe.





–Tom Riley








“Objective evidence just hurts our feelings!”

They say in answer to your evidence.

“Inhuman spiders creep across bare ceilings—

And look down and indulge a hollow sense

That chiefly actual, observed events

Determine what we ought to say and do.

For such small brains, their errors are immense.

And there amongst them, Mr. Truth, are you.

How we wish you’d begin to get a clue!

How we wish you would understand emotions!

Then your objections to us would be few.

Then you’d apply correctly-scented lotions

To all the parts that we’re content to feel.

Then you’d approve what we cannot conceal.”




-Tom Riley

Firm Foundation

Firm Foundation






As hero of his own unending play,

He plants his substance on a firm foundation.

He has a lot of gravitas this way.

He makes use of a lot of gravitation.

Now no force can displace him from the station

He occupies – and occupies so well.

He is secure from idle complication.

He is safe from vain truths that others tell.

He likes his own imagined look.  His smell—

Which he need not imagine – he adores.

He’s under this, his own entrancing spell.

In his own games, he earns impressive scores.

What matter that his head is solid bone?

It may be ossified – but it’s his own.






–Tom Riley

All for One and One for All

All for One and One for All






If we could only lie in unison,

The echoes of dishonest syllables

Would stifle stubborn truths not one by one

But all at once — and fill our living skulls

With peace.  The edge of truth, we all know, dulls.

The charm of truth fades faster than a smile–

And, in the end, we’re charmed to be the gulls

Of any sturdy lie, however vile.

Oh, let’s not wait that long and weary while!

By joining voices in a single force,

We cast aside the need for patient guile

And take the far-more-satisfying course

Of overwhelming everything that’s true

With oceanic falsehood, vast and blue.







–Tom Riley

A Truthful Place

A Truthful Place


You tell the truth we told you not to tell.

You shout the words that no one ought to hear.

For you there is a truthful place in Hell.


In you self-righteousness appears to swell

Because your voice is faultlessly sincere:

You tell the truth we told you not to tell.


You have evaded our irenic spell.

You have ignored our whimper and our tear.

For you there is a truthful place in Hell.


You ring an iron and obnoxious bell.

Your note is too persistent and too clear.

You tell the truth we told you not to tell.


We have declared that everything is well.

Why won’t your observations disappear?

For you there is a truthful place in Hell!


We cannot stand your pure and piercing smell.

We cannot bear this ozone atmosphere.

You tell the truth we told you not to tell:

For you there is a truthful place in Hell.


–Tom Riley

(First appeared in The Lyric, v. 91, n. 3, Summer 2011.)




We celebrate the victory of fraud.

What’s genuine is, after all, a pain:

Its hard teeth leave our falsehoods cruelly gnawed;

Its vision makes us see we’ve lived in vain.

How we despise the products of a brain

In which our foggy doctrines find no place!

Unfettered neurons endlessly complain:

We read rebellion in that silent face.

But, on the side of fraud, what poise, what grace,

What wise restraint is manifested there!

Oily and sneaky truly win the race.

Unity in a lie defeats the stare

Of disapproval fixed on us by foes

Whose ayes are ayes, whose noes are always noes.


–Tom Riley