Instant sainthood's the chic ideal
Broadcast from Rome of late;
I prefer the conventional spiel
When they sat a Devil's Advocate.*
*The office of Advocatus Diaboli was abolished by
Pope John Paul II.
Bruno never did repent
But died in flames for heresy.
The Church retracts an ancient wrong
And promulgates apology.
The Laceademonians,* famous for few words,
Demonstrated their gruff, laconic gift
When Philip of Macedonia threatened them:
"If I enter Laconia, I'll burn it to the ground."
To which the Lacedaemonians responded: "If."
Nerva never publishes or recites.
For fear of Nero, Nerva never writes.
Richard O'Connell lives in Hillsboro Beach, Florida. Collections of his poetry include RetroWorlds, Simulations, Voyages, and The Bright Tower, all published by the University of Salzburg Press (now Poetry Salzburg). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Measure, Trinacria The Atlantic Monthly, National Review, Margie, The Texas Review, Acumen, The Formalist, Light.