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Colour Blindness - A Poetic Response
A poetic response to the article Colour Blindness: The Complication of a Simple Metaphor
Inspiration for my poetry comes differently for me. I have spoken with poets who find poetry in the rising sun, a blade of grass in the wind or the beauty of a flower. My poetry has always been about distilling social, political and societal messages. There are those who I consider great thinkers. They have the ability to read, research and write about the fundamental issues that challenge us today. Those people plunge into the depth of the knowledge humanity has accumulated and synthesize it into theories, philosophies and ideas. Those that are willing to challenge societal norms to help humanity’s progress. Their writing empowers and fuels the conversation among like minded people. I am not one of those people – but I am inspired by what they do. My poetry is about taking those messages and making them into more digestible fodder. It’s about simplifying the message for the common man.
This is one such poem. Written in response to an article published by my friend and co-founder of SGP,, titled Colour Blindness: The Complication of a Simple Metaphor. If you haven’t read that article yet, I encourage you to pause and do so now for only then will you see the tendrils of connectivity between it and this poem.
Colour What is the colour of fury Destruction in all its glory Is it burning fiery red Or black as the night is dead And what about its opposite Is there a colour to serenity A calming blue or verdant green Or some such colour in between If fury does claim red as its colour What colour then, does love favour Can both emotions claim the same Or is this a childish parlour game We’ve been told a coward’s yellow A colour often used for pleasure While sadness, guilt and fear are black Somehow these things seem out of whack We use colour to associate Emotions and feelings in aggregate But colours are used for other things Such as the colour of your skin Certain colours grant entry While others are seen as unfriendly Some colours are seen as exclusive Other colours are quite obtrusive This has been true for most of history It’s one of our most complicated mysteries The further back in time we go The less that colours seem to show But closer to the present-day Humanity takes a different pathway Using colour for segregation Seems an unholy aberration How do we turn back the hands of time To shift this colour paradigm If we don’t our fate is sealed Traversing the colour minefield Please don’t be so quick to dismiss Playing games this close to the abyss If we continue in this trajectory It will surely be a bitter victory The colour that wins the colour war Wins nothing more than blood and gore Our mutual destruction is assured Continuing down this desolate road Though the solution is challenging It all comes down to dismantling The colour construct must be dismantled The whole idea has been mishandled We go back to the basics Of our shared humanity, not our genetics We must all become blind to colour A thought I know some will think vulgar It’s not easy to dismiss the pain Or racism that has been ingrained But someone has to raise the standard Raise the bar and lead the vanguard And who better than people of colour The ones who have been seen as “the other” Let’s start by not trying to demonize Any others who want to be our allies Even if we must begin the conversation It cannot continue without cooperation That means every person can weigh in It’s the only way humanity wins
Bio: Brian Sankarsingh is a Trinidadian-born Canadian immigrant who moved to Canada in the 1980s. He describes himself as an accidental poet, with a passion for advocacy and a penchant for prose, an unapologetic style, he offers his poetry as social and political commentary.