What colour is Murder


I wrote this piece as I visualised the story as a painting. The use of paint names have been criticised as confusing as not everyone knows their literal names. so your thoughts and ideas are most welcome….

Burnt orange washes sunset into place.

Payne’s grey cools down summer heat.

French ultramarine outlines old dance hall reflecting sun’s last rays into silhouette. All these are the colours of innocence.

Behind dance hall’s viridian door fluid blue weaves its rhythm.

Outside, ink black storms overhead, leaving no room for stars.

Alizarin and purple roam the alleyway brushing innocence aside.

Silver stabs alizarin down; crimson flows thick. Black disguises guilt.

All these are the colours of violence  but What colour is murder?

Cerulean dawn reflects itself on drawn curtains.

Muddy gloom huddles with secrets behind viridian’s rusted locks

Yellow ochre exposes violence.

Death lays down in a grotesque grey, crimson now dry, dark, thick.

All these are the colours of reality  but  What colour is murder?

Payne’s grey gathers overhead abstracting cerulean

White floods down drowning out whispers of deceit.

Blue and red flashes in alleyway making discoveries

Before white can wash crimson, evidence is in their notes.

All these are the colours of discovery  but What colour is murder?

White flood eases as a mixed palette of bowed heads strain with mahogany coffin.

Burnt umber opens itself to mahogany and one single red rose.

Prussian blue mourns inky tones over death and suspicion.

All colours mingle into grief.

All these are the colours of sadness  but What colour is murder?

Burnt umber buries the past and rounds itself into the future.

White strikes a cross in remembrance.

Yellow Ochre breaks through Payne’s grey briefly outlining the guilty.

They shadow themselves back into the violet; back behind viridian door – back to their secrets.

All these are the colours of finality  but What colour is murder?

Life and death are a mosaic of colours and texture laid down with a wash of intrigue.

Colours show most things in life – but






7 thoughts on “What colour is Murder

  1. A rather fascinating piece Rose. It’s just amazing how symbolic colour is to all of us.. I knew a lot of the colours you mentioned but I would still have loved a few links to examples of a couple I wasn’t so sure of. You can actually link to images in google that can give everyone a quick overview of the actual colour you’re alluding to. All in all I though it was wonderfully creative. Well done.

    • Thank you for your comments they are most appreciated. I take the names of paints for granted and it was brought to my attention that it is difficult to understand if one doesn’t.
      My interpretation of the colour being violent or innocent is purely based on the context of the story. I will try and clarify some of what I was thinking at the time in a post. Thank you again.

  2. A most unusual and imaginative piece. In the first section I immediately thought I knew what colour murder was (black and red) but as I continued, no answer seemed right.

  3. I thought exactly like you. I could visualise dark alleys, the silver of a knife, red for the blood etc. as if I was painting them. One can paint the ‘act’ of murder but ‘murder itself’?. When I thought about it I was intrigued as I couldn’t think of a colour..

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