Historical materialism.

A/N: This is a poem I wrote for a competition at school. The themes were “light” and “red”, and of course, you know what red brings to my mind…


When the first drop of light splashed

Onto the surface of nothing

The colours parted with the whole: red, yellow, green, blue

Each became impure

And each became real


When the first flames danced

On the plains of primitiveness

They were seductresses, enticing men with their grace and their touch

Man parted with the world of animals, instinct, brutality

And learnt to be strong, to be human


When the first lightbulb was switched on

In the darkness of ignorance

Casting its mellow white glow over the mysteries of nature

They’d tell us we’d parted with ignorance, with intolerance

And we learnt this new word: modernity


But when orange tongues lick the buildings

As crowds thunder through the streets

When rifles crack and order crumbles

And the red flag of rebellion flies

They tell us this is subversion


When really it is nothing

But continuation.


Just a child.

You’re just a child.

Your life consists of play, of colours, of innocence and trivialities

Your world is untainted by the stains of adulthood

Your days are spent creating and discovering

And ‘consequence’ means nothing to you.


You’re not afraid.

You don’t mind when reality proves an obstruction

It’s nothing to you when you get it wrong

You don’t care about how they’ll react

And you don’t just push boundaries; you ignore them.


Adults want to be you.

They picture you running through fields, free, uninhibited

They imagine your vision, creativity, lucidity

They think their lives would be better if only they were like you

And you are the alternative to their misery.


But if you’re so envied

Why is it

That you’re powerless?