To those I’ve wronged, I bow my head I’ll cover your graves with flowers and life I know you wanted me dead instead My sins cut like a sharpened knife
I can’t forget the lives I stained For they are gone and I grieve their loss Fire turns treacherous if not trained And thus I hang on Jerusalem’s cross
The faces of the men I send to their death Haunt my nightmares once I close my eyes The burning red flames of my last breath An answer to their endless cries
And with that breath I free my soul It flees my skin and in the sky it’ll dance Enjoying life before the end of it all Perhaps to be given a second chance
Sir Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and later from 1951 up till 1955. At this time he was a member of the Conservative Party.
He considered Gallipoli the greatest tragedy of his political career (which is what the poem describes). As Britain’s lord of admiralty (secretary of the navy), he made the fateful decision to attack Turkey on its Dardanelles coast, specifically at Gallipoli during the early days of the First World War. The failed campaign led to the humiliation of the British. Churchill was dismissed from his cabinet position, excluded from the War Council, and allowed no hand in the further conduct and administration of the war.
Four horseman stood before God’s creation They cursed the sky for what they’d done These men were under no obligation But fought so He’d tell them they’d won
Conquest rode towards the Lord’s men A steady stance as he’d been taught They didn’t know when they’d be back again And for what, if not peace, they fought
War cunningly outstretched his bony hand To congratulate the human race He greeted them all as a long lost friend Bowing down with grace
The soldiers shook their head aside Conquest nor War could make them stray They all knew that once they died God had in it all the final say
Famine marched as the victor already For he’d seen the hunger in their eyes They all wobbled on their feet, unsteady Ignoring other’s pleading cries
Lastly came Death, dressed in army green A sudden wave of sadness washed down Most of these faces he’d already seen And had ignored them with a frown
He knew that what he stood for Was something recognizable to all It was with the heavy name he bore He choose which one would fall
The man were not startled as he joined in They had all met Death once or twice They greeted the horseman with a soft grin For he’d unraveled God’s lies
Background information: The four horsemen of the apocalypse are four biblical figures who appear in the Book of Revelation. They are revealed by the unsealing of the first four of the seven seals. Each of the horsemen represents a different facet of the apocalypse: conquest, war, famine, and death. In this poem each horseman talks to a group of soldiers, trying to sway them into joining their side in what they think to be the new apocalypse: the Second World War.
De duisternis is overweldigend Vastgeketend aan mijn bureaustoel kijk ik hoe de golf zijn dodelijke opmars maakt Met het zachte geluid van mijn biologie docent in de achtergronden wacht ik Bedelf me, geef me rust Verslind me in geruisloze golfen waar niemand aan me komt Geef me oneindigheid nu, vlak voordat de afgrond nadert en ik val
Schuifelend loop ik naar buiten, ogen gericht op mijn tsunami van verdriet en pijn Het is bijna poëtisch, hoe ik sta en wacht om te verdrinken Ik heb me erbij neergelegd dat het ooit moest gebeuren Bedelf me, verdrink me, duw mijn hoofd onder water en scheur me in stukken Laat me weten hoe het is iets anders te voelen dan leegte Overheers het statische geluid in mijn hoofd, het brommen van mijn computer, de politici die grote woorden naar mijn hoofd slingeren en me vastketenen achter mijn bureau
Meters hoog torent de golf boven me, ik kijk snakkend naar de sterren Kleine druppels vallen op mijn tenen, over mijn wangen en langs mijn gezicht Vlak voor de golf mij kan bedekken schiet ik wakker
“Dus, wat betekend nou transcriptie, Sara?” Het waren enkel tranen, een geruisloze schreeuw om hulp die niemand ooit kon horen “Het vormen van DNA, mevrouw”
On the fifth of May I was given the opportunity to open the Dutch television program dedicated to the liberation of The Netherlands. However, at the time of the program, I was still on a short break about 300kms away! But my dad, the lifesaver he is, drove from one side of the country to the other for me and accompanied me on this new journey.
Because I had never taken part in anything related to live television, this was super scary! Once I arrived at the scene I was greeted by a heartwarming crew and four big camera’s facing my way… quite an intimidating sight.
We did a few takes a couple of hours before going “on air”, I messed up quite horrendously the first three tries. Together with the moral support of MALA (the singer and guitarist playing her song “Freedom Should Be Free” as I quoted my poem) and one of the camera crew (the whole crew was really nice to be honest, but he gave off a true dad-vibe, the “you got this, kid!”-one) I managed to get it right and we continued practicing to get it perfect.
There’s nothing scarier than going live, the countdown, the last few seconds before the big event, the camera’s pointing at you and you stiffening as you realize you can’t make a single mistake. It was a very very scary experience and yet I enjoyed every second of it!
When it came to it, MALA and me aced the take and later joined the host Fabienne Nijsten for a short interview. After that a long drive back to the rest of the family it was, and we safely arrived, dad and myself very tired, at midnight.
Back when I won Kunstbende Voorronde I knew I would have to represent my province in the national finale. I just didn’t know what a day it would be.
Due to COVID-19 it wasn’t a big event as it usually was, which was quite a bummer but I was more than happy that they decided to prevail, of course with all the rules still being upheld and followed. My dad (my biggest supporter for the past two years) and myself drove about three hours to the other edge of the country for the event and got there about an hour early.
We met a few other people representing Limburg, talked for a bit and had a snack before we walked into the house were I were to perform. What I didn’t know was that people could send in roses with messages to uplift the contesters spirit, and my dad told everyone he knew about this which meant I had a rose with 20 cards!!!
After that I followed backstage and waited nervously for my performance while I chatted with the host. Backstage the ambience is the best! Everyone from the Kunstbende team are absolute heroes to me!
I did my performance, a poem about my last relationship, a poem dedicated to my grandmother who passed away due to dementia early 2018 and a poem about the Second World War (how could I not?). The judges seemed to be really happy with my performance, they liked my accent and the sentences I used. Feeling as though I had just conquered the world, I went back home after a good bag of fries and a hot chocolate.
On the following thuisday people were driving through the country to visit the winners and surprise them with gifts. Three amazing ladies won, and even though I did not, I felt like a winner all the same. It was an amazing experience.
I’ll be competing again upcoming March (hopefully in person, if COVID-19 calms down) and instead will read my Dutch poetry, because many judges (the ones in the Voorrondes and finale) like to hear their own language more, of course. After that I’ll see what I’m going to do. I’ll keep everyone posted.
On the 18th of October I had the honour of participating in Kunstbende Limburg Voorronde. The video is my performance which won me first place. This means I have to perform in my capital, Amsterdam, on the 7th of November. I wanted to perform more like the sixteen-year-old I sometimes forget I am, instead of the Second World War persona I usually perform as. But I couldn’t read poems without including where it all started, could I now?
If tears could whisper words To the one who seems to fall Would any living person Even dare to cry at all?
For facing your sadness Might be scarier than you’d think Hearing the water that stains your cheeks Every time you blink
It’s the fear of knowing What you’ve actually known before But having to hear it Breaks a heart up to its core
For words turn something blurry Into something that seems real And at the end the human fears That what it could feel
Peter Fechter was 18 years old when he tried to escape East Germany and start his new life in the west. He and his friend tried to escape, until Peter was lethally shot. All took place in front of hundreds of people (soldiers, journalists etc). They left him there, right where he fell, for when someone tried to help him, they’d be shot too. And no one could reach him without going down the same path Peter Fechter hadn’t survived. So there he lay, dying, in front of everyone. After about an hour, he passed away. Once he did, an East German soldier picked up his body, and carried him back to East Berlin, where he had so desperately tried to escape from.
18 and 19 January 2020, while still living in the rush of being in the newspaper, I was hired to read my poems for the Echt-Susteren event. I was more than thrilled to do so and decided to show up in the right attire.
During the event I read a few of my poems, one before the mock battle and one before the amazing concert on Sunday evening. I met a lot of great people and I was very thrilled to have gotten this chance.
There aren’t many pictures from me, but I found one made by Patricia Geerling and one by a photographer for L1 (I assume Jean-Pierre Geusens). I want to thank the organization for the amazing weekend and everyone who showed up. Thanks again