Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: villanelle

Too Much Fun

Too Much Fun

 
(for Dennis N. O’Brien)

 
The earth quakes – and a thousand weirdos run.
The High Court’s ruling is not hailed as wise.
Dennis O’Brien’s having too much fun.

Under a threatening, unfriendly sun,
The neuter-gendered creatures shade their eyes.
The earth quakes – and a thousand weirdos run!

A sharpened rhyme, a doubly-weighted pun—
And those he targets start to realize
Dennis O’Brien’s having too much fun.

How many can evade his laughter? None.
His mockery is of titanic size.
The earth quakes – and a thousand weirdos run.

Common sense has become a storm to shun.
Yet in his work it actually applies!
Dennis O’Brien’s having too much fun.

Against sheer wackiness he rides as Hun
And razes flat the realm of stupid lies.
The earth quakes, and a thousand weirdos run.
Dennis O’Brien’s having too much fun.

 

–Tom Riley

Loveliness

Loveliness

 

 

(for Maria Klassen)

 

 

I’m posting something lovely on request.

I’m cultivating all that’s light and fair.

You’re still not happy?  Hey, I did my best!

 

I didn’t kill and eat and then digest

The neighbors’ dog.  His flesh I chose to spare.

I’m posting something lovely on request.

 

I went to church.  My failings I confessed.

The priest got up and sputtered: “Give me air!”

You’re still not happy?  Hey, I did my best!

 

Where is the body buried of the pest

Who disappeared?  I will not tell you where.

I’m posting something lovely on request.

 

I’m not maintaining honesty is best.

I’m holding back from every crime and scare.

You’re still not happy?  Hey, I did my best!

 

In loveliness I’ve chosen to invest.

For malice I’m pretending not to care.

I’m posting something lovely on request.

You’re still not happy?  Hey, I did my best!

 

 

 

–Tom Riley

Relationship Status

Relationship Status

 

 

I think that our relationship is neat

And simple and completely satisfying:

Your species is among those that I eat.

 

Communication’s often incomplete

Despite a lot of angst and aimless crying.

I think that our relationship is neat

 

Compared to all these others.  What a treat:

Between us there’s no risk of hurtful lying!

Your species is among those that I eat.

 

All flesh indeed is grass – and often wheat.

No body lasts – though not for want of trying

I think that our relationship is neat.

 

Neither of us can steal.  Neither can cheat.

All those suspicions simply aren’t applying.

Your species is among those that I eat.

 

Right now you’re wary, unconvinced, and fleet.

But finally there’s no way of denying

I think that our relationship is neat:

Your species is among those that I eat.

 

 

–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.)