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Ashes and Excuses

Three Poems by

Joseph Roque

Ashes and Excuses

Ashes and Excuses

Our ashes
will define us, carried by wind
and water, sing our beginning
requiem our end, guarantee our
history with scribbles on cave
walls, mark our small place in
time, leave a faint trace —
mellow memory of who we were
for those that follow us.

Now, we swirl recklessly, lifted
to whatever heights we please,
fall to earth again as whispers,

unencumbered, wild and free–

adamant, afraid of
not a single damn thing.

Ashes and Excuses


Apathy walks with an umbrella–
SPF 50 constantly applied,

in summer, stays cool beneath
a canopy of sullen smirks,

in winter watches wickedly
as homeless turn to stiff and blue
ice on the streets of New York.

Immortal, it does not fear
cantankerous righteous, does
not give way to heroes on
white horses, or suffragettes
pointing fingers.

Indifferent and aimless,
it strolls casually unafraid

through our daily lives—

the perfect agile tourist with
a photographic memory
for everybody’s misery.

Ashes and Excuses


I will not be another
talking head with an opinion.

I will speak only what I
know is true for me–

love exists somewhere,
perfectly hidden,
holds limited auditions
for those who understand

It will save me if I find it,
so I will try—unafraid,
hopeful. I will forfeit every
single thing I own until I

find that fairytale made just for
me, the one that always ends in
perfect pitch, perfect harmony.


Joseph Roque is a husband, father, and grandfather with a passion for poetry. His work has been published in several ezines and poetry publications, including: Aphelion, Silver Wings Magazine,, A Tender Touch and A Shade of Blue,, A Long Story Short, Psychopoetica, Cerebration, Eunoia Review, Censored Poets, The Poet’s Haven, Death Head Grin, and Pens On Fire.

Read all poems and prayers by Joseph Roque at Faith Hope & Fiction

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