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video See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 7/2/16 show “Voting for Change” at Expressions 2016: Poets Parliament! in Austin reading her poems True Happiness in the New Millennium (2016 edit), Orders, The State of the Nation (2016 edit), Everything was Alive and Dying (2016 political edit), and a Great American (2016 edit) (filmed from a Canon fs200 video camera for simultaneous television broadcast on stage).
video See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 7/2/16 show “Voting for Change” at Expressions 2016: Poets Parliament! in Austin reading her poems True Happiness in the New Millennium (2016 edit), Orders, The State of the Nation (2016 edit), Everything was Alive and Dying (2016 political edit), and a Great American (2016 edit) (filmed from a Canon Power Shot camera).
video See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 7/2/16 show “Voting for Change” at Expressions 2016: Poets Parliament! in Austin reading her poems True Happiness in the New Millennium (2016 edit), Orders, The State of the Nation (2016 edit), Everything was Alive and Dying (2016 political edit), and a Great American (2016 edit) (filmed from a Sony camera).
Voting for Change chapbook
Download all of the show poems in the free PDF file download chapbook
Voting for Change
containing the poems poems True Happiness in the New Millennium (2016 edit), Orders, The State of the Nation (2016 edit), Everything was Alive and Dying (2016 political edit), and a Great American (2016 edit)
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See YouTube video of Janet KuypersJuly 2017 Book Release Reading 7/5/17 of cc&d’s book “Salvaging America” poems “unless”, “Electromagnetism”, “Open Book”, “Everything is my Home”, and “Orders” in Half Price Books Community Poetry (filmed w/ a Sony camera).
video videonot yet rated

See YouTube video of Janet KuypersJuly 2017 Book Release Reading 7/5/17 of cc&d’s book “Salvaging America” poems “unless”, “Electromagnetism”, “Open Book”, “Everything is my Home”, and “Orders” in Half Price Books Community Poetry (filmed w/ a Lumix camera).
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See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “Orders”, “Salesman” and “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect” from her book “(pheromemes) 2015-2017 show poems” at Georgetown’s “Poetry Aloud” open mic 9/9/17 (from a Sony camera).
video videonot yet rated

See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “Orders”, “Salesman” and “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect” from her book “(pheromemes) 2015-2017 show poems” at Georgetown’s “Poetry Aloud” open mic 9/9/17 (from a Lumix camera).
video See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers at her 2/7/18 “Community Poetry @ Half Price Books” Austin feature reading, reading from “Renegade Winter” her haiku “enemy” and her poems “a Happy Ending to Everything” and “a Crack in the Glass”, then from the poetry from the cc&d September-December 2017 issue collection book “Language of Untamed Spirit” she read her poems “erasure poem: The Meaning of Art” and “Dilemmas in Gift Giving”, then she read from the poetry and prose collection anthology “On a Rainy Day” she read her poems “Smelling Sulfur on 9/11”, “Orders”, and “the Battle at Hand” (filmed from a Panasonic Lumix T56 camera).
video See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers at her 2/7/18 “Community Poetry @ Half Price Books” Austin feature reading, reading from “Renegade Winter” her haiku “enemy” and her poems “a Happy Ending to Everything” and “a Crack in the Glass”, then from the poetry from the cc&d September-December 2017 issue collection book “Language of Untamed Spirit” she read her poems “erasure poem: The Meaning of Art” and “Dilemmas in Gift Giving”, then she read from the poetry and prose collection anthology “On a Rainy Day” she read her poems “Smelling Sulfur on 9/11”, “Orders”, and “the Battle at Hand” (filmed from a Panasonic Lumix 2500 camera).


Orders

Janet Kuypers
6/7/16

My uncle was a pilot,
and I know he served in the military,
but I don’t know him well enough.
So I only search for the stories
of the pilot with a plane of Plutonium,
dropping the fat boy over Nagasaki.

Because once you’re told what to do
thinking can exit the equasion,
since everyone falls back on,
“I was only follwing orders.”
Because, who needs to question morals
when you have blind obedience.

*

My Netherlands proclaimed neutrality
at the start of World War Two.
Germany invaded anyway,
and only one day later
Dutch forces surrendered.
Germany then deported the Jews —

but not without the help
of the Dutch police. You know, the Dutch
had one of the highest levels
of collaboration with Nazi Germany.
Because if you can’t beat them,
join them. And just follow orders.

But still, I think of my ancestors,
Petronella, Johanna, Heusden natives
helping the resistence.
They were killed for saving lives.
That’s what you get for having beliefs;
for not following orders.

*

And yeah, when I was raised
I did what I was told, I didn’t get
in trouble, I was a good little girl.
And what did it get me, a life
of doing what I was told to do.
Until I was left with one war, one voice.

But that one voice was only my own,
and I no longer had any orders —
just a deafening silence in my effort
to pick up the pieces, so I could have
my own justice, on my own terms,
in my own time. And still I fight —

I wonder if the battle will kill me.
I just don’t know how long
I’ll be able to fight an uphill battle
when the cards are perpetually
stacked against me
and I’m left to fight all alone.

You try to do things on your own,
but the political pundits say one thing
and the talking heads say another.
But you’ve gained the brains
and after all this time
you should know by now

that you’re making the choices now.
You don’t have to follow orders any more.


Copyright © Janet Kuypers.

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may be reprinted without express permission.



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