Windows of Rainbows

Windows of RainbowsWindows od Rainbows

The Inspiration for This Poem

I had just listened to the “The Stranger Song” by Leonard Cohen. It was about the same time that the Philippines had just been hit by a terrible typhoon destroying cities and taking many lives. The song and Cohen’s voice stirred up a range of emotions, and this poem is the result.

The poem ‘Windows of Rainbows’ can be recited to the same beat as ‘The Stranger Song’ or at least that was going through my head as I wrote. I, therefore, suggest you listen to the song before reading the poem.

Windows of Rainbows

Sometimes you need to contemplate

The world in all its glory

All the good and bad

That happens every day.


You greet your next door neighbour

With a smile

And say, “How are you?”

But do you really wait for him to say?


You read the daily paper or check the news online.

It doesn’t really matter anyway.

Amidst all the destruction,

The death and people homeless,

Sometimes you feel that you’re immune to crying.


There’s surely good news out there

If you take the time to look,

But something’s wrong, when

This is what you have to do.


If you have to search for happiness

Through all the pain and grief

That surrounds us from each corner

Of the world.


Then I stop and look around me

At everything I have,

And I realise how lucky

That I am.


Possessions they mean nothing,

And success…well who can judge

If what you’ve done in life,

Has any worth?


The only thing that matters

Is the truth within your heart,

And if your actions

Compliment your words.


I turn towards the windows,

As I hear the pitter patter

Of raindrops, as they gather

On the glass.


The sunlight is still shining,

As the rain clouds start abating,

And the droplets shine

With multi-colored hues.


Gazing through the splattered glass

All dark thoughts leave my mind,

And in their place

Bright feelings, now exposed.


Of how to make things better,

And the world a nicer place,

As I look with different eyes, through…

Windows of rainbows.


by John Hansen © 2013


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John Hansen

Longtime poet but not in the traditional technical sense. I enjoy rhyme but like to experiment and dabble in many different forms and maybe even make up some of my own. There is always a message or lesson I want to promote through my writing, for that reason, my poetry generally shies away from the abstract and obscure. Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction, and thoroughly enjoying this, especially flash fiction. I have been fortunate to have two poems made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning Israeli/British singer Tally Koren. My services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials. It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years are now wonderful material for my stories and poems. I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.

12 thoughts on “Windows of Rainbows

  • July 11, 2017 at 5:57 AM

    I love this, John. It is inspirational, and looking through the “windows of rainbows” is uplifting. How we look at life directs how we do or do not appreciate it. Your insight on life and what is important is admirable. Great work with Leonard Cohen and the inspiration.

  • July 11, 2017 at 6:02 AM

    Thank you, Phyllis. The soulful sound of Leonard Cohen’s voice as he sang/recited this really affected me and set off emotions I wasn’t expecting. I am glad you found this inspirational and uplifting.

  • July 11, 2017 at 6:34 AM

    Leonard has a way of bringing out deep feelings from our souls, being a perfect stranger in a world collapsing all around us is a daunting feeling. Emotions often are released by such movement of others in song or poetry. I remember as a teen in Montreal listening to Cohen’s music over and over. It stirred something inside of me, it could be where my Muse came from. I loved the depth of you coming from this poem John, a release from your heart to share with us all here, beautiful work.

  • July 11, 2017 at 6:39 AM

    Yes, Vincent, Leonard’s music seemed to do just that and we can obviously both relate to it. Glad you enjoyed this as I did really bare my soul with these words.

  • July 11, 2017 at 2:18 PM

    Fantastic writing John ! Leonard Cohen ; What an incredible talent . I came to love his voice and music but his words actually wrench the soul lose from the man or woman who listens or reads him , once long ago I read some of his poems in a paperback not even knowing then that he sang . In later years I absolutely loved his concerts , not in person but on TV . I could hear his voice in your words however and that tells me that you are as good a writer .

    Keep on writing caravan man !

  • July 11, 2017 at 5:46 PM

    Ed, I am glad you could hear Leonard Cohen’s voice in the words of my poem. Yes, he was an amazing talent and his words certainly have the effect you mention on me. Your generous comment is greatly appreciated.

  • July 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM

    Cohen has a way of doing things like that, making you feel emotions you didn’t think you had. I’ve always loved Hallelujah, covered by so many artists all of them hoping to get a glimpse of what Cohen had. I think your Windows of Rainbows is a masterful work here John, and you are right about having to look for the good news. The problem is that good news doesn’t sell. Tragedy and heartbreak sells. The truth within your heart and if your actions compliment your words, absolutely. Great piece John very deep and thought provoking.

  • July 13, 2017 at 8:26 AM

    Thanks for the generous comment, Paul. ‘Hallelujah’ must be the most covered song of all time, but very few captured Cohen’s essence.

  • July 28, 2017 at 11:55 AM

    I am glad I found this sweet poem, John. Sometimes it is difficult for me to feel happy when I know others, even children, are hurting. It can be difficult to make sense of all the pain. Your poem echoes my own thoughts (but, not as beautifully as you have divulged them, here) and is also inspiring (like a “call-to-action”). I love the part about “…The only thing that matters is the truth within your heart…”. I admire the soulfully deep message behind these lovely words.


  • July 28, 2017 at 3:13 PM

    Thank you for that lovely comment, Tamara. It is easy to sometimes become depressed by all the injustice and cruelty in the world, but you have to concentrate on the good, positive things in your life. Glad you could relate to this. I appreciate you reading. Have a great weekend.

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