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Lions Roar : July 2012
96 There are words that spring to mind like sadness like violence like senseless crime like how this affects all of us like how every tear in every eye falls from all of us and today Halifax is an ocean of anguish a sea of angry beside the Atlantic. And how do we handle this what happens next how do we manage the sorrow and the stress? This afternoon I walked the sidewalks not so different than the one where he met his death where no person should ever have to lay their head both concrete and Raymond were innocent. I walked the sidewalk and every person I met I tried to look into them Do you know? Do you know? Do you know what we’re supposed to do now, ‘cause I don’t I won’t hate more I won’t love less so many people—maybe even his killer—are loveless not unloveable maybe ignorant, definitely sick and probably he shouldn’t have been let out to walk around and probably he was hateful and homophobic but what’s painful besides this loss, besides all death A Poem: “For Raymond, and for all of the Raymonds, which is to say: for everyone,” by Tanya Davis is the simple fact of it that remains: this isn’t over yet people left behind for every step we gain I walked down the sidewalk that is in the city where I live and love I look for eye contact for allies in the right to live and love I wore black and tough as it is complicated stuff how to protect oneself and yet open up I stumble here it isn’t clear I put my ear to the ground to listen for the sounds of people’s fear being taken down by other people’s fear who are guilty for their deeds but do not live in isolation here There are systems failing us everywhere prisons and education and mental health care there is separation stark and severe we reach out our hands to make connection but some are all mixed up bring death and destruction it’s all fucked up like when he struck him, here And, now, a being from the tribe of Love is gone and we are one less strong in a battle we are tired of fighting in the first place lay down your arms peace is your birthright One more time we pick up the pieces and we keep loving struggle for freedom for all beings Gottingen Street gets another beating. Well, we’ll love it harder reach our arms out further to encircle all of our neighbours til we work through all of the hating this is for all of you this is for the pain in our city today this is for Raymond ♦ TANYA DAVIS is a poet and musician living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is the city’s poet laureate. This poem was written by her in the hours following the tragic death of Raymond Taavel, a prominent LGBT activist and much-loved staff member of the Shambhala Sun. It was read by Davis at a vigil (photo left) held that day on the street where he was killed. PHOTOBYRYANTAPLIN SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2012 96