December 06, 2010

Pearl Harbor (December 7th, 1941)

(photo courtesy of
I wrote this piece in honor of Pearl Harbor Day; in thanks to my Father, Father-in-law and four of my uncles who were all decorated soldiers during this time; and also in honor of every person affected by the terrible tragedy of WWII.

The news brought them out of the woodwork.
Boys with patriotic attitudes,
dreamers with fabulous imaginations,
or ones with simple bloodlust in their hearts.
Those with delusions of grandeur
or the desire for adventure,
to swash-buckle through the Pacific.

Instead they found near annihilation-
of dreams-of innocence- of their very lives.
Battling something utterly alien,
completely incomprehensible.
Violence unheard of, unbelievable.
A vast Pacific of bloodshed,
primitive atolls of mindless atrocity.

Bataan, Saipan,
Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal.
Okinawa, Corregidor.
Funereal jungles, floating crematoriums.
Wild -eyed bonzai brandishing swords-
kamikaze clinging to samurai code.
Mere pawns in this game of death.

They mustered through, those boys.
Growing up rapidly, finding their way.
Gaining strength in numbers,
courage through necessity.
We can never repay their gift.
There are no words to give thanks
to that "Greatest Generation".


  1. I am absolutely fascinated with WW2.I read and watch so much about it.People of my generation
    have parents and grandparents who were all involved and somehow it has directly affected our lives even though I wasn't aware of this until quite recently.For years I couldn't bear to hear anything about it.Good poem Cynthia.You've inspired me to write one too.

  2. Hi Cynthia,

    It is a good poem as Rall says. Hard to get the right balance in this kind of poem and you've done it very well.

  3. If there are no words to give to the Greatest Generation, you sure made one of the best attempts. I greatly appreciate writing that honors those who fight evil. Thank you for this one!

  4. I love that you describe the boys going off with idealism, then finding the courage to meet unimaginable conditions in the hell of warfare. Especially effective is the repeating of the names of the theatres of war. Well done.

  5. It was their 9/11, I guess. Hard to imagine how terrifying it must have been.

  6. I know this part of history.
    salute to your family members who served...