The Power of Words

if I were able to turn

these words onto their

deadly sharp edge

to cut into flesh

destroying all you know

if I could lay asunder

your every belief

all you hold dear

turning your life

upside down

if I had the ability

using only language

to bring down the

entire system

laying it bare for

everyone to see

if simply speaking

or writing could

bring about destruction

would you hate me

and would I abuse

this new-found power?


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About John White

I've written off and on my entire life. It took years for me to finally take putting words together seriously. Now it's not, nor does it ever feel, like work. Writing daily has become habitual. No day is complete without words having appeared on the page.

Posted on July 23, 2015, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 65 Comments.

  1. beautifully written.

  2. Bring it down, I say. It’s high time we start fresh from scratch.

  3. I think, as in actions, we all might abuse power. Haven’t we already done so at some point with our speech?

  4. Nah abuse it… ^_^…if only words could bring change

  5. Wow . . . Amazing poem! I don’t know whether it’s better to be your enemy or your friend! Great job!

  6. sooo effective and accurate – i adore this one

  7. petetryswriting

    Wow. I like this one a lot…

  8. Ferocious….in that good kind of way. ❀

  9. ooooohHh I would certainly do so… In the midst of agonising uncertainty and guilt but then, I would! What a cathartic thought! πŸ˜€

    • Thanks, Billy! I’m not sure I would have any guilt provided I knew I could tear it down and rebuild it perfectly. But my effort would be far from perfect so I’d better not tear anything down. πŸ™‚

  10. You own that power. Everyone owns that power to make or break with words, spoken or written. Nice Read, John πŸ™‚

  11. Haters will hate. You, my man, keep writing and hope you can bring about the change.
    As usual, a lovely piece from you!

  12. This is intense and powerful. Well penned, John!

    Thanks for stopping by our blog. πŸ™‚

  13. Maybe, I heard one time that sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never harm you. Never was very sure about that because I also heard that words can cut like a knife. Which one is true?

    • I’ve always thought that saying was half true since sticks and stones could physically hurt us but words can cut us emotionally. I would bet that most of us can recall a time when someone said something to us that hurt us and left scars that we may still carry today.

  14. Love it!!! People don’t realize the power of words.

    • Thank you, Nycke! πŸ™‚ Words can have a lasting impact especially on individuals. If those are positive words being spread to promote a positive message it would be great if we could use that message to create a better world. My fear is that with words we can only move the needle a little bit.

  15. thischickthatwrites

    This is great..

  16. I like the dissonance this creates within your expectations for the speaker (which is presumably you?). The idea of being able to destroy things that exist now, maybe things that aren’t “good” in general terms, does not inherently make the speaker righteous, which is where the powerful question at the end plays its pivotal role. I think it’s well executed and thought-provoking for writers to think about concerning their ability to initiate change.

  17. I thought a lot about this. You have good talent πŸ™‚

  18. Beautifully worded and wonderfully relevant piece. 🌟 Words are being used today to create every situation you mentioned. Thoughtless and ill-placed words have created wars, broken treaties, destroyed relationships, damaged trust, and fostered much death and destruction. If people really understood the power of words, maybe they would use them to bring more positivity into the world. We can use the power of words for good. Create more instances of love, as opposed to hate. More people have to take chances and go against the grain. Build more bridges to cross, instead of burning them. I believe that words are powerful enough to turn all of the negativity in the world around. But people have to be willing make the changes within themselves to make that happen. Keep sharing your positive thoughts and words. They can make a difference. 😊

  19. Reinforced the saying “the pen is mightier than the sword”

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