Yep, text is hard to see, hierarchy is out, (never have text go horiz, wide then short then wide again) you need to use a graphic element to break it up, if you want to break the rules.
And eventhough you are messing about with palm tree gradients, it is probably too messy, best guess.
And the design probably needs further refinement or more elements added, (a gray background is probably not the best choice, a sky depiction might work better).
I am messing about with a more complex version of what you are doing and still got clobbered, but minor errors might be to blame, that or trying to put text over a white board, so it is hard to see?
Best to overhaul it and try again.