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?
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
Radio RTVP (Parkstad)
Rainier Eggen, the DJ for Radio Parkstad and I, had a lovely talk on the 4th of December. We talked about a lot of amazing things, and he is a great guy! We shared a taste for music and I listened to some very good songs while on the show.
He is a really kind and welcoming person, so I felt straight at home there. Although I was a bit nervous, he helped me right through it. We talked about my passion and I read a poem of mine, which he really seemed to like.
We joked around a bit, but all the same it was an amazing experience. I also met two lovely ladies while just coming back rom the interview who told me they were inspired by what I do. It meant the world to me!
Once I got home, I still couldn’t fully believe it. Thousands of people had listened to me, even a few of my good friends had tuned in, some from abroad. I had never imagined this to be possibly, but trust me when I say I’m so happy that it is.
In No Man’s Land SONG
Martin Krewinkel, a man in my re-enactment group and to be fair, a true sweetheart and a gem in every way, messaged me one day if it would be alright with me if he used one of my poems for a song.
Of course I said yes.
Time went by, and after a month or so, he messaged me again, now with the complete song of one of my poems. He loves music and loves writing and singing, yet all the same he loved my poetry and combined the two to something so sweet and heartwarming.
I listened the song for a good few days non-stop until everyone at home grew tired of me and I was forced to wear headphones, haha. None the less, it truly warms my heart and I personally really like the song, hope you all do too!
Credits go to Martin Krewinkel for the amazing song!
Here are the original poem:
There he lay,
In crimson bathing,
His lifeless eyes,
His useless body,
No more breaths,
For his lungs to fill
No more days,
Yet to come,
No more watching
The rising sun
There he sat,
With bloody hands,
For his fallen friends,
His lips shut,
No words to say,
No call to utter,
Or God to pray,
With anger filled,
He grabbed a gun,
At that rising sun
Night took over day,
Death would always stay,
He sat silently,
In No Man’s Land,
With a message,
For Heaven to send,
Of grief, sadness,
And the beautiful dead,
A message which is nothing more,
Der Regenbogen des Kriegs
Alles ist anders wie erst
Rot ist nicht nur einfach rot
Rot ist die Farbe der Menschen die ihren Streit verloren haben
Rot ist die Farbe der Kinder die nicht mehr nach Hause wiederkehren sollen
Rot ist die Farbe des Kriegs
Des Blut das ich nicht mehr von meiner Händen waschen kann
Rot wie die Sonne die mich jeden Tag weckt
Rot wie die Lippen der Frau die ich so vermisse
Rot, die Farbe des Kriegs, dem Zuhause das ich nicht mehr wieder erkenne
Rot ist meine Farbe, so wie Tausenden anderen Männer und Frauen, weil rot nicht nur einfach rot ist
A dead German soldier, killed during the German counter offensive in the Belgium-Luxembourg salient, is left behind on a street corner in Stavelot, Belgium, on January 2, 1945, as fighting moves on during the Battle of the Bulge.
To Be Loved
Do you know this feeling where you just want to be loved? You want to be recognized by someone and know that you are worth loving. It’s like the constant rush for appreciation, not so much love itself. You want to be held, kissed, you want to be important to someone.
And because you’re human, you return that appreciation. After one, maybe more, weeks, it just fades away into nothingness, until you are left with someone who doesn’t love you, but just wants to be loved.
Shame, that’s what washed over me when I realized this. I had used someone for the soul purpose of being told I was loved. I couldn’t see it then, for I was blinded by the idea I could fight everything, because someone thought I could.
The same person had used me too, the exact same reason in his head as it was in mine, so at the end, it didn’t truly feel like I alone was at fault. I wanted to be recognized and he wanted attention, it was a perfect match made in Hell, but it felt like Heaven to me.
Now I’ve realized we both didn’t do anything wrong. We were trying to get back up from our previous battle and just needed a helping hand, a smiling face to tell us we could do it. I was his, he was mine. And now we are ourselves again.
Helmut Schwarz and Fritz Birken had been childhood friends ever since they could remember. They had done everything together, walk to school from neighbourhoods deemed unsafe to helping the other get a job, making up amazing facts that until the moment they made them up, the other didn’t poses.
They shared food when the other didn’t have enough money for a nice sandwich, or blankets when the other was freezing, they laughed together when the other made a stupid joke and they got detention together for the stupid things the other had done.
They did everything together, so, naturally, they were going to fight together too. And that they did.
Here they stood, after years of service and months of being hunted down. They were worn-out, you could say, they looked older than they actually were, a layer of mud and sweat covering their face, their eyes defeated and pained.
They held their hands up in defeat, showing the enemy they were not ready to die. Because they weren’t sure what came after death and if they’d be separated. After so many nightmares they had lived together, they couldn’t lose the other. Not now.
They saw the enemy closing in on them and just as they had always done, they pretended to be strong. In reality, they were scared, wasn’t it for the small amount of dignity they still had left, they would’ve crumbled to pieces right then and there.
Once every few seconds they shared a glance, but it was different from the look they had shared minutes before. There was no panic, no adrenaline, just sadness and fear. A hint of relief maybe, none would ever tell a soul they were somewhat happy. The war was over.
And if they had to surrender, they’d do that together too.
Although they didn’t share any words, they knew exactly what the other was thinking, and it hurt. They had no idea what was going to happen, as English words were thrown at them like insults. And with the last minutes they shared together, they said goodbye and thank you.
Thank you for all those years of kindness and joy, all those times of bringing me back safe when I was drunk, all those times of running away with me when I did something stupid, thank you for all the years of you being my friend. And last, thank you for being there. Thank you for being there on the frontline, for protecting me whenever you could. Thank you for coming with me, for being my rock. Thank you for being my friend. My best friend.
Helmut Schwarz was forcefully pushed around by what some called heroes and liberators, others enemies, parted from his best friend. Fritz Birken, gentle as he was, tried his best not to lose his friend out of his sight, but was soon swallowed by the Americans.
Without being told why, they pushed our German soldier, Helmut, in front of the Chaplin, who didn’t seem very stressed or fazed. Being parted from the rest of his group set our Wehrmacht soldier on edge, yet there was nothing he could do. One wrong move and he feared he was gone.
The Chaplin stepped out of the car, calmly, and with what was to be read as compassion, walked up to a man who had killed other people. One of the biggest sins. None the less, here he was, being torn between faith and friendship, watching how the one person he had still left, was being pushed inside a car.
Hopefully he wouldn’t get sick, he always got sick in those army vehicles, especially with this weather. If he’d collapse they might leave him for dead. He had heard stories of Americans leaving wounded Germans behind, so he wondered, would they really?
Lost in thoughts he suddenly felt a cold finger on his forehead, water dripping down his skin. He twitched slightly, wanting to step back. He urged himself not to, watching how the Chaplin blessed a man some saw as nothing more than scum, the devil’s soldiers.
Why? One word, so many answers. Why did the American care? They were both believers, though in two different things. Or he believed, once, a long time ago. And as he was met with the soft smile of a man who had just given him God’s blessing, he allowed himself to look around.
There were so many American’s they would’ve never stood a chance. They didn’t try. Other soldiers might have done so, though none of them wanted to die, so they made sure the chance of them doing so in the last months of the war was as slim as possible.
He stepped inside the car, next to the Chaplin, who started his engine. Behind him was a jeep filled to the brim with armed American soldiers, were he to try something stupid.
Maybe it was because he accompanied the Chaplin and had a lost debt to God he had to be paid, or maybe pure luck, but they were driving right behind the truck they had pushed his best friend in, Fritz. He recognized him immediately. Force of habit perhaps, always having to know where his clumsy friend was.
They pulled up, a silence none of them seemed to mind hanging in the air. It wasn’t an awkward silence, or a silence for they didn’t know how to communicate with the other. But somehow, he needed feel the need to start a conversation. He was driving with a Chaplin, what could go wrong?
For once, there was peace. Something they thought they were bringing, but now found out they had been taking all along. It was this sudden weight being lifted from your shoulders, as he finally enjoyed the sunshine again, the soft laughing of men and the wind against his face.
If this is how they were to lose the war, he didn’t fully mind. For the first time in months he felt like he was free, not while protecting what he thought was worth protecting, or walking through villages they had taken, no, he felt free the second he thought his freedom would be taken from him.
Maybe the Americans were liberators after all?
On photograph: (left) Nick Geerling (Fritz Birken) and Bryan Pisters (Helmut Schwarz). Taken by Jan-Thijs Koppen
When Heaven Touches Hell
The book is now finally published and purchasable. When Heaven Touches Hell is a book with 40 beautiful poems accompanied by stunning photographs! The in total 75 pages high quality paper comes at a low price (shipping not included). At only 14 years old, Sara Curfs wrote a book with the most impressing poetry in a language not even hers. We are excited to share with you and everyone around the world: When Heaven Touches Hell. (Send a Message through the website to purchase the book)
The book costs €9,95 (euro’s!!!) without shipping.
Costs of the book in The Netherlands are €14,- INCLUDING DELIVERY
While sending an email to purchase the book, please inform us of your residence so we can calculate extra costs including shipping/transport.
The book will be delivered to you in an extra protective envelope to make sure it doesn’t get to you in any damaged way.
Words that held meaning
Which could crash and burn her down
Sending in a tidal wave
Emotions which would make her drown
He held her hand tightly
“Stay afloat!” He screamed in pain
The sky empty, no one was listening
His plea was in vain
She tried, she really did
To find her way back to the sky above
His calls unmistakable
Or perhaps the lack thereof?
For if he cared
Wouldn’t he jump in too?
Three words which crashed and burned her
I love you
Pure hate was all it took
To ensure his place in my history book
Written down on paper, white
He stands there with full delight
Children have to learn his curse
And what perhaps is even worse
Is that not many of them know
Where all the lost soldiers go
The Fuhrer, he made it to the end
Not strong enough to play pretend
As he puts that horrid gun on his head
While he joins his men in death
He got out through the backdoor
And I smile, for war is no more
But am I sure? I fear I’m not
A fake smile is all these men’ve got
He fell before he could’ve even met
The soldiers of war, which he had fed
He went out, knowing he didn’t win
A new era, he knew, would never begin
The news spreads, he took the easy way out
Some people are stillfilled with doubt
Because Adolf Hitler put a bullet
Through that mind in which demons crept
And there he is, chapter five
As we learn about those no longer alive
And those who chose his side
In the depths of Hell, they hide
The name of that one man
That’s a name everyone should recognize
And what about the name of all the soldiers?
Their hearts twice the size
Of the Fuhrer of the Fatherland
So why is it that we don’t learn about Theodore Miller, Ruth Haskell, Werner Goldberg but we do learn about Adolf Hitler, Jozef Goebbels, Herman Göring and Heinrich Himmler?
Only the important people, right?