Poetry Break – “Let Me Tell You How I Died”

An Intro

When I was in high school, my brain was a fountain of poetry.  I wrote poems about everything.  Things that bothered me, events in the news, things that made me angry, or things that gave me joy.  I had files and files of poems, limericks, haikus… you name it, I probably wrote it.  Then, that well seemed to dry up.  Especially after I graduated college.  I got caught up in the many struggles of a young adult trying to establish herself, and as the years went by, I stopped trying.

After over a decade of being dormant, I recently decided to try tapping into that well again.  With some fresh digging (and some magnificent inspiration from the beautiful poems I have seen from many of you), it turns out my poetry well has not run dry at all.  Because after a few short poems to get my groove back, out spilled what I like to call my “Poem Epic” – a series of twenty-one poems split into three parts – World War II (Part I), World War I (Part II), and the Civil War (Part III).  Each part has seven poems each, written from the point of view of every-day soldiers and civilians who were killed in these conflicts.  Although the people in this epic are technically fictional, the poems are based on tragically true scenarios that played out time and again on the battlefields.  These are the forgotten people, who I feel would want more than anything to be remembered.

The passion for military history, and preserving the memory of these struggles of the past, runs deep in my veins.  So, I am very excited to share with you the first segment of Part I of the Poem Epic – “Let Me Tell You How I Died.”  More segments will follow in the coming weeks and months, between other posts that I am working on for you.  I do so hope you enjoy it.

M.B. Henry



The London Blitz

I see a dark room, with a flickering light

I hear a loud thunder, I can feel the fright

Things in the room, they start to rattle

Outside, I hear the sounds of battle


The planes fly over, they drop their pay load

The whole world rumbles, things explode

I try to pretend that I’m safe in this room

But I know any moment, I could meet my doom


It’s underground, stone walls, the doors are closed

People around me wonder in their night clothes

The dim light above us flickers and hums

My heart beats heavy, like the beat of war drums


Someone cries out, “please let them pass”

Then a loud explosion, shattering glass

That went off close, the people shout

The light above flickers, and then goes out


Then there is darkness, everything is black

My soul leaves the body, it will never come back

My body entombed in brick and stone

Where I died under London, at night, and alone

To Be Continued… 

48 Comments on “Poetry Break – “Let Me Tell You How I Died”

    • Why thank you. Yes I’ve always been told I’m a bit “unique.” 🙂 I’m so glad you stopped by and enjoyed it.

  1. “The light above flickers, and then goes out” is so subtle yet powerful as we become helpless witnesses to the speaker’s demise. I also loved the rhyme scheme. Some more, please.

    • I am so glad that the poem moved you. As I research all this war material for working on my novels, I feel this helplessness you speak of every day. Don’t you worry – more (lots more) will be coming! 🙂 In the meantime, I’m glad you stopped by and gave this a read.

  2. Hey! You can’t leave me hanging like that!!! What an awesome poem! It sounds like the poet is back!!

    • Well stay tuned for more in the coming weeks and months. It will take awhile to post them all because there is so many in the series!

      • I am looking forward to all the great poetry in the future. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. So glad you’ve found your way back to poetry. What a fitting tribute and beautiful way to give voice to these souls!

  4. I have to confess I don’t read much poetry but what you are publishing here is interesting and the human angle compelling.

    • Thank you! It definitely took a few tries, but I was glad to tap into that well again 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed this segment, and will be gladder still to see you return for more.

    • Thank you! Glad it moved you. Stay tuned for more segments for this, although I cant promise that it will get any happier 🙁

  5. Very sad, but interesting topic! I enjoyed the poem, though I’ve always struggled with poetry myself.

    • It can be a struggle for sure! Its always nice to meet fellow WWII enthusiasts here too 🙂 thank you so much for stopping by, and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  6. How versatile you are! I look forward to your coming poems. The combination of war and poetic language bring the fear and the struggle to life.. I will always remember Ken Burns’ Civil War series. I’m from Maine, near Joshua Chamberlain’s home, (he later became President of Bowdoin College). The soldiers’ letters home were so deeply moving. Now I winter in the South and hope to study the Civil War.
    I hope to reblog your underground Seattle tour this week if I can figure out how, since my father built many of those sidewalks and those that followed.

    • Oh I am very familiar with Joshua Chamberlain. Ive been to visit Gettysburg and seen the little round top where he made his big stand (in fact I included that in the poem epic, stay tuned!) Ken Burns is so great with all that. I love your blog and it would be very flattering for you to reblog my Seattle piece, especially as it involves your own history. Let me know if you need any help when the time comes, I can get my hubby/web tech to assist!

  7. How rewarding that you have rediscovered your gift of poetry…. and the theme of your epic poetry is compelling. I look forward to more…

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you read it and enjoyed it. Cant wait to share the next segment!

    • Thank you! I will be posting another one after my next article. So glad you liked this one in the meantime!

  8. I love this project! I’ve always written through my feelings, but I don’t think I have ever written a poem I wasn’t required to. I certainly admire anyone who takes on the art form.

    • Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. I can definitely see your feelings in your posts, the way you connect the things you learn to something in your life. Always enjoy reading them! 🙂

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