Pearl Harbour


Two years ago I visited Pearl Harbour in Hawaii where on December 7 1941 hundreds of Japanese fighter planes made a surprise attack on the American naval base. More than 2000 soldiers and sailors died that day and another thousand were wounded. It was this that finally persuaded Franklin Roosevelt to enter the Second World War.

I wrote this poem after visiting the Arizona Memorial.

They were doing mundane things




Polishing their shoes

Writing letters home

Getting over the night before

When they’d been on the town

Dancing, drinking, kissing

Making love



They were young

And who knew

What tomorrow would bring

Now here they are entombed forever

In their watery grave

The list of names goes on and on and on

900 men

Taken by surprise

And to this day

Oil still seeps from the sunken ship

And lies there on the water

Like a fallen rainbow

They say it is the tears of the dead


And we who are lucky enough to be alive

Weep for them.











© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems


One thought on “Pearl Harbour

  1. Dear Andrea
    A beautiful poem, thank you. Your poems always make me think deeply and I can always relate to them.
    Geoff and I visited Pearl Harbor when we were in Hawaii. Such a moving place.
    Sadly, I have no idea who wrote the other poem but it is as you say, as relevant today as it was then.
    X Irene

    Liked by 1 person

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