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
In November 2019 the same friend who wrote that beautiful song for me, helped me get on a radioshow in the Netherlands! Johan Coolen is a true sweetheart and helped me through my first ever 30 minutes fame on the radio, haha.
I read a few poems and talked about why I do what I do, etc. The topic of how my teachers responded to what I do came up, and I remembered the one history teacher I had who called me “soldier girl”. So for the show I was sometimes called “soldier girl” which stood out quite funny to me, but also very nice.
I had a blast, it was something I had never done before. As said before the entire team was amazing, I couldn’t have asked for a better moment of the day.
I’m not sure if you can see it, but during the show I was wearing a Poppy for Remembrance Day. I talked about the First World War and read a poem for all the soldiers who fought so many years ago.
I’ve always been interested in World War One and World War Two, treating these topics with most utter respect. Back in November 2018 I wrote my first WWI related poem called “In No Man’s Land.” My school had asked a handful of the people in my class, including myself and many of my friends, to join the mass of Remembrance Day weeks before.
After being invited and telling my father, I wrote the poem on my way to the hairdresser, in the back of our car. When we got home, I read it to him. He immediately contacted the organizer of the event and send my poem to her. She asked if I wanted to read this after the mass, to the soldiers of Brunssum and other people invited.
Starstruck and over the moon, I said yes.
I read the poem, although I was very nervous. It touched many people, I soon realized, for many came to me and thanked me, or said I did a good job. That was my first time reading my poems to anyone else than my family.
That’s where it all started, my urge to bring my poems to others, read them to anyone who wanted to listen. It was a beautiful day, it really helped me grasp an idea of what I wanted to do with my poetry.
The video below is me reading the poem. In the description you will find the lyrics.
He looked at what was left of the war No Man’s Land silent at last Feeling guilty of the clothes he wore There was just one thing he asked
He asked God up in the sky Just for five minutes or less, “Protect me so I don’t die, Still wearing my army dress.”
Some parties they agreed Not to fire a single round Another dead, there was no need For even more bodies in the ground
Other soldiers they did not Believe that war was gone Their firearm still burning hot To death they were drawn
Few didn’t keep in mind On their muddy watch, still going 11 o’clock is to be defined As peace for the unknowing
Seconds before the church bell yells That peace has finally been ensured A dozen stories no one will tell Of wounds that will never be cured
Written down on marble white At 5 AM Germany will write Peace, between the nations The roaring twenties crumbling foundations
And 6 hours later The man on the field are told War’s very own violator Has finally been controlled.
But in that time too many will fall Because of a last whistle being blown Over No Man’s Land they crawl For the didn’t know
This poem was based on the short film called END OF WAR- the final minutes of WWI. The “peace” was signed at 5AM, but the soldier didn’t know until 11AM, or couldn’t act on it until that time at least.