Today marks the beginning of Passion Week, the time when Christians remember the days leading up to the death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection after three days. “Passion” comes from a Greek word conveying the idea that one’s senses are pushed to their max—and even past. “Passion” can express any extreme experience—pleasure or pain. In the case of Passion Week, the agony of the cross—which pushed Jesus’s senses past their max—is what is meant.

The truth of Christ is not outwardly beautiful or polished. To embrace Christian belief is, in some sense, to embrace the cross of Christ and the death of Christ as our own (Luke 9:23). This is the narrow gate leading to life because only if we died with Him will we also live with Him (Matt. 7:13; 2 Tim. 2:11).

Below is a poem I wrote called “Artless.” It seemed a fitting poem to post at the head of Passion week; it attempts to capture something of Jesus’s cross and our participation in it. “Artless” will appear in my third book, Shadow and Memory, which I plan to self-publish in May or June 2023.


Truth is rough-hewn

To touch it is 
to feel the thousand barbs
of this splintered life
pierce your grasp

to feed yourself 
to crossbeams that bite down
and drag you through streets
graffitied with your blood

to beg the question
as rage-hammered spikes
punch chunks of your hands 
into the wood

Part of you
will always be in it

even when they take
you off of it

and put you in a grave
where you will finally
(they think)

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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