Rainbows Over Orlando – a response in a poem 

In the aftermath of the Orlando gay nightclub mass shooting, I read about a news interview whereby an increasingly frustrated journalist stormed off during a live discussion of the killer’s motives. They were debating if the shooter was acting in the name of religious terrorism or homophobic hate crime. Apparently it’s one or the other and the latter theory was being dismissed. Having watched the interview now, it doesn’t really matter because the debate served its purpose and found a wider audience.

It seemed to boil down to how we want to view it – is it an attack on majorities or minorities? Us or them? The victims don’t have the luxury of such a debate. And perhaps it shouldn’t matter which label the press and authorities give the attack but it does. Labels are how we process information, how we comfortably digest hard to swallow ideas and how we remember it in the history books. We are making our world smaller, by choice, for convenience. One way or another, oppression runs through our heritage like rivers. We beat complex, multi-faceted ideas down so they can fit into a tweet.

I think that the most real and subversive enemy is fear. Fear is a product of not understanding a problem enough to conquer it. When we are smaller and alone it can cut deeper. The remedy? I’m not so sure, but the LGBT community (another label) have a lovely smybol of defiance that inspired me to rattle off the below poem in a few minutes:

Rainbows Over Orlando


There are no words

But many should be heard 

What happened here

On all that was held dear

Orlando on a map is just a place

Fear – a trap of travelling minds

The world – a wide country of faces 

Seek dead ends and you shall find

Hate hides behind all terror 

Labels shouldn’t matter

But they do, they do 

And do you? Do you?

A rainbow over Orlando 

Is forecast to come and go

A rainbow over Orlando

Is bulletproof don’t you know?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautifully Written.


    1. Thank you very much Roxi!

      Liked by 1 person

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