Good Conscience

Under our cauls a sleepless giber lurks,
A callous judge of all our selfish smirks
Who slices through our veils of self delight
To show us prancing for unholy cirques.

Our ego tells us to ignore the frights
Our conscience lays before us every night
And every morning guilt is pushed aside
As we redon a uniform of spite.

The only penalty we must abide
For holding fast to self-absorbing pride
Is losing contact with the only friend
Who never stoops to swaddling us in lies.



Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had over three hundred stories and poems published so far, and six books. Ed works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of nine review editors. See his work on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram

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2 Responses

  1. Allegra Silberstein

    Thank you for this poem of conscience…needed for this world!

  2. C.B. Anderson

    The first line in the second stanza could have ended with “fright,” which amounts to the same thing as “frights” and avoids the breach of form in the quartet of end rhymes. In the very last line “lies” assonates but does not really rhyme with the other elements of the sequence. If you must break form, it’s better to hide it in the middle of a poem than to save it for the very end.

    But overall I thought this was a well-conceived moral lesson.


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