Last week, I announced my first chapbook, The State of Mercury is now available on Amazon. My first review—3 stars—was underwhelming but that’s how it goes; some like your work, some don’t, and some like it sixty percentish 😆 If you’ve read anything I’ve offered on Amazon and like it better than 3 stars, I would be grateful for ratings and/or reviews 😊

Ratings aside, I hold with Dylan Thomas who said “In My Craft or Sullen Art” that he didn’t write for ambition or bread but for the lovers who “lie abed / With all their griefs in their arms”. Poetry is such a niche interest that if you write it for accolades, you’ll probably never write.

“Conscience” is a poem that appears in The State of Mercury and also in my full length book Event Horizon. This poem grew out of some political angst I was feeling but has broader application. Tests of conscience don’t belong just to our time or to the political realm only. Because of that, I didn’t use contemporary issues or imagery. I wanted to treat the idea of conscience more universally. My hope was to deliver something thought provoking that transcends particular situations.


Decide now

before freight cars
barrel through the night 
to where the climbing sun
bloodies razor wire;

before the hurled brick
lies with shards of spirit 
in the moonlight;

before myna birds roost
over every shoulder
to repeat
what they hear;

before the fences around what’s yours
are shoved all the way back
into your skull.


whether conscience is a toothpick

or a stake to burn on.

Published by mrteague

Teague McKamey lives in Washington state with his wife and two children. Teague’s poetry has appeared in several journals and in self-published books. He blogs at and In all areas of life, Teague desires that Christ may be magnified in his body (Php. 1:20).

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