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Have you ever encountered a greatness that left you feeling empty not just because the genius that created it struck you to the core, but also because it isn’t you? Such is my feeling when listening to the likes of Marcus Foster. The sheer poetry of his words reduces me to putty. I am humbled that someone so young can produce such beauty.

There was a time in my life that I considered myself something of a writer. Part-time and amateur, certainly, but linking together words to create a picture, a feeling, in someone’s mind created a sense of accomplishment for me. The creative outlet alone was my muse.

I recall writing a poem in high school. I had a specific idea as to what I wanted to create- the feeling of desolation, the scene of a courtroom. It took several hours and the finished product was nothing like the one I started out wanting to compose. Years later, I would witness the same process as my bi-polar artist friend let me observe her painting. She started with a photo and an idea, but the abstract painting she produced resembled neither. (In fact, half way through the project, she started over completely.)

I suppose life is like that, too. You start out with ideas and dreams in your head- what it is you want to do, want to be, want to become. Some of those dream and ideas come to fruition, some do not. Many are abandoned as unattainable, perhaps not grounded in any reality. Some are retained, but placed on the back burner to be nurtured at a later, more convenient time.

It is difficult not to feel lacking (or even jealous) when others achieve that which you once dreamed of doing.

For example, my poem:

(Please be kind- I wrote this in high school, after a particularly difficult break up)

‘Just Say Goodbye’

I stand before you now,

my feelings are exposed.

I’m not sure why or how,

but then no one ever really knows.

The truth shines bright and clear.

Nothing can change the past,

but that has no meaning here.

Only the present exists- and that doesn’t last.

Get on with your life is all that I know.

That’s what people have to tell me,

that’s the way to go.

I would, if only my heart were free.

The will to go on,

the love of everything new

has long since gone.

It left when I left you.

We try to talk and sort things out.

I open my mind and heart to you.

You tell me what you are about

and what you have to do.

You say you care;

and my heart and mind believe.

You say that you can’t dare,

but that my fears do not relieve.

You leave me all alone,

my defenses down.

I am on my own

and my useless tears fall to the ground.

The decision has been read,

I knew what it would be.

I knew from everything you said,

that you did not want me.

I can understand;

it’s happened to me before.

I have my heart in my hand;

I found it on the floor.

Just as long as we’re friends

my heart will stay intact.

It isn’t the end.

Just say goodbye; I’m never coming back.

Compare to Marcus Foster’s ‘Fourteen Times’

Fourteen times I call your name
Fourteen times I get the same
A silent chill an empty room
And four dogs barking at the moon.
I go out to the ancient street
And spill my way through scattered light
The world is shaken at my feet
It takes me down into the night
I’ve seen a thousand suns set into the ground
Like a thousand born into a single sound
There are fourteen ways of tearing up the past
And there are fourteen ways of trying to make it last
Fourteen blades of melting grass
Fourteen shades tied to the mast
Fourteen tears strapped to the eye
Fourteen fears must wave goodbye
Fourteen bells must tole the day
When fourteen dreams don’t fade away
There are fourteen nettles in the kiss
Fourteen feelings feel like this
Seen a thousand suns set into the ground
Like a thousand born into a single sound
There are fourteen ways of tearing up the past
There are fourteen ways of trying to make it last.
Before the dream between the fall
I wade into the twisted sand
While lovers stand against the wall
With frozen eyes and slight of hand.

Granted, Marcus is not a 17 year old girl pouring out her heart and pain after the first love of her life dumped her, but the difference is still striking. If you like Marcus Foster’s imagery, check him out on myspace, along with his friends Sam Bradley and Bobby Long. All three have truly blown me away.

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