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by Caleb Pan
A story, a poem, a song.
It holds pain, joy, love, and suffering.
It wears many masks,
Serene, intricate, meek, unhinged,
Never donning just one.
It’s an art elder than time.
In the beginning the Lord himself created the world,
Just by speaking.
It has made people weep,
Cry into their pillows and grieve.
It has sparked inspiration,
Light, hope, and faith in others.
It has been wielded, manipulated, and forged
By tens of thousands throughout time.
Few have understood the full spectrum
Of the power of words.
It carries knowledge,
Passed down through tomes by scholars,
And perished in flames by tyrants.
It is much like a pickaxe,
Hacking away into the mind of the reader and
Always, always, leaving a fingerprint in history.
It has been used as an emancipator,
An enslaver, a declaration, an assassin.
It is a universal element with no limitations,
No boundaries, no rubrics.
The author bends the elements at their will.
But there is a danger too.
Kind words are like a honey comb,
Sweet and healing.
But a moment of anger and wrath
Can cause the death of a man,
Leaving innocent blood on the hands of the author.
Words have been used to spread rumors and news
To ignite rebellions and conflagrations.
They caused genocides, massacres, and suicides.
Every written, spoken, and read word
Has caused a ripple in history.
It has been one of the best antidotes
And weapons of mass destruction.
Indeed it holds vast power.
Caleb Pan is an active participant in Lighthouse’s Young Writers Program.
This post is part of our Lit Matters series, in which writers and readers express why supporting and elevating literary arts is meaningful to them. Lit Matters stories will be posted throughout the month of November, leading up to Colorado Gives Day on December 9. Mark your calendar for Colorado Gives Day or schedule your gift now. Thank you!