Karl Marx was a funny bloke,
always writing, always broke.

He lived at a pace that was pretty hectic
polishing Hegel's dialectic,

and he taught us to see things through the prism
of historical materialism.

Now Friedrich Engels was his mate,
who he loved to love and loved to hate,

but wealthy Engels funded his pal
so Marx could write Das Kapital,

a work so learned and profound
we can analyse from solid ground.

But Karl, too, liked to fight and drink
and brought his family to the brink

of poverty with his spendthrift ways
after spending all his days

researching and writing in the British Museum
to create a secular Te Deum,

leading to a promised land
with socialism close at hand.

Though before that, the dictat
of the proletariat,

an interregnum on the way
to communism, one fine day.

Yet Marx and Engels' biggest hit,
which even opponents have to admit

gave revolution the good to go,
was The Communist Manifesto,

a work so beautifully crafted and writ
that few could disagree with it;

a succour to the working class
that equality would come to pass.

And the best of all seduction,
grabbing the means of production!,

eventually, it must be said,
but not before Karl Marx was dead.

And we're still striving, all ends out,
to bring this prophecy about.

It's one step forward, two steps back,
for what we need and what we lack

are the means to bring it to fruition.
It's not through want of intuition,

intellect, or derring do,
it's lack of will to see it through.

We sometimes make some ground, in part,
and see a revolution start,

but rarely does this task succeed;
for victory, we must indeed

act like those we would replace,
indulge in violence, with a human face,

until our hearts become a void,
a graveyard of the paranoid.

Once we start to lust for power
we get fucked up, our spirits sour,

and efforts to reorganise
the just provision of supplies

leads to fighting between old friends
for necessary means and ends.

"It doesn't have to be this way",
I think I hear old Karl Marx say

whilst on his latest drinking crawl
round public house and music hall;

"Don't put the horses behind the carts,
when Time is called, that's when it starts"!

By Arthur Richardson

Very part time poem maker. Retired from paid work.

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