. 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.