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The Power of One

You think that you’re alone.
There’s nothing to be done.
But I say, “You have strength.
It is the Power of One.”

You may have had ideas
That you have told to someone.
They may have laughed and scorned you.
They don’t know the Power of One.

One candle lights the darkness
It’s seen a mile away.
Become that light to others.
You only have to pray.

One acorn can start a forest.
One smile can gain a friend.
One hand can light a fire.
One idea can start a trend.

One lighthouse on a seacoast
Can save a ship at sea.
One truth that’s told to others
Can set a people free.

One word can give some hope.
One touch can show you care.
One action starts an era.
One voice can warn, “Beware.”

One prayer can save a lost soul,
One sunbeam fill a room.
One Bible verse recited
Can chase away the gloom.

Your life can make a difference.
One battle and victory won.
Take courage earthly traveler,
You have the Power of One.

.

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LTC Roy E. Peterson, US Army Military Intelligence and Russian Foreign Area Officer (Retired) has published more than 5,000 poems in 78 of his 101 books. He has been an Army Attaché in Moscow, Commander of INF Portal Monitoring in Votkinsk, first US Foreign Commercial Officer in Vladivostok, Russia and Regional Manager in the Russian Far East for IBM. He holds a BA, Hardin-Simmons University (Political Science); MA, University of Arizona (Political Science); MA, University of Southern California (Int. Relations) and MBA University of Phoenix. He taught at the University of Arizona, Western New Mexico University, University of Maryland, Travel University and the University of Phoenix.


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25 Responses

    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Thank you Paddy! I have found simple sometimes transmits an idea better.

      Reply
  1. Margaret Coats

    A simple idea, Roy, magnificently amplified. You create a powerful form for it by varying the means of repeating the word “one.” First there are two stanzas where it is a rhyme word, then a stanza where it simply begins the quatrain. That third stanza makes the crucial point that among all the things “one” can do, one prayer is the most important. Then four stanzas where “one” begins either a line, or a two-line sentence. For the final stanza, you combine usages: rhyme word, beginning of a line, and repetition of the title–for a victoriously powerful conclusion!

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Margaret, what a prescient and wonderful analysis! I am amazed and gratified that you took the time to dissect and point out the use of the word, “one,” and then explicate how you perceived and felt about it. I thank you for such a great comment about “victoriously powerful conclusion!” You are the best! I trust you had a great Mother’s Day.

      Reply
  2. Phil S. Rogers

    The more times I read your poem, the more meaningful and powerful it
    becomes. “One truth that’s told to others can set a people free.” So true.

    Reply
  3. Roy Eugene Peterson

    Phil, I thank you for your precious comment and telling me what you liked best. You also provided something I value and specifically relate to and that is reading it more than once. That gave me a special fuzzy feeling.

    Reply
  4. Norma Pain

    ‘The Power of One” is a very simple yet powerful poem that I don’t doubt will give hope to many.

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Wonderful comment, Norma! Poet in particular have that capability!

      Reply
  5. Roy Eugene Peterson

    Thank you, Paul! I think it helps I was an only child.

    Reply
  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    In an increasingly insane world where many feel lost and alone, ‘The Power of One’ has a message that is particularly powerful – a beam of sunshine in the shadowy abyss of hopelessness. Thank you for lifting up spirits, Roy!

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Precious comments, Susan! I almost added another verse on poets standing steadfast and alone, but deleted it so that the focus was on all those who stand up for themselves and for values that are meaningful. This world needs them and us!

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Roy, I am most intrigued by the deleted verse… perhaps it would work well as the first stanza of a new poem… I hope you’ve filed it away for later. I learned a while back, never to permanently delete lines with potential for future poems, and I look forward to reading yours.

  7. Mia

    Thank you for a really lovely poem that has reminded me of the power of being at one with God; then we can never really be alone.

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Mia, I heartily concur! We may be alone in the world, but have the Holy Spirit, so we are never really alone!

      Reply
  8. James Sale

    Very uplifting Roy and well executed: anaphora can be very powerful. My favourite lines are: One Bible verse recited
    Can chase away the gloom – so true in my experience, and millions of others’.

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Wonderful perspective, James. Standing alone in the world is like the old Christian hymn phrase, “Just like a tree planted by the water, Lord, I shall not be moved!”

      Reply
  9. Joshua C. Frank

    Great one (no pun intended)! The last stanza summarizes all the examples well. I’ve found that one poem I write can make a world of difference in someone else’s life (“Poetic Influence” shows two examples), and I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences with your own writing.

    One person alone can’t change the entire world unless it’s already going in that same direction, but he can start a small movement that gets a ball rolling.

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      I greatly appreciate your comments, Joshua! Yes, we can make a difference if we have the fortitude to share it! More usually it is on a micro-scale, but sometimes if can be macro. A lot depends on the sphere of influence, but by dogged determination and will power we can make a difference!

      Reply
  10. Paul Martin Freeman

    Take courage earthly traveler,
    You have the Power of One.

    Terrific, Roy!

    Reply

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