Friday, April 20, 2012

The Narrow Ledge

I haven't read this poem in years and well, it's not as clean as I'd like it to be, but it's still strong in how it affects me.  The story behind this is that I basically had this image in my mind while in youth group a while back and it's always stuck with me.  I hope you enjoy it and find it encouraging.

The Narrow Ledge

A man walks
But not where others are
Yet, where everyone is in its place
Here is another realm
In fact, I think the man is myself
On a Narrow Ledge
A Ledge no columns hold
There is only forward as well
Nothing is behind me
Oh, there is a couple!
No shouts will turn
Now the left sphere of vision is blue and calm
While the right,
Molten reds and yellows
Where dragon-like flames
Fly and threaten to pull me down
I know, it is an illusion
Meant to cause me to stumble
But evermore,
To take my soul
While the right is busy,
The blue left is encouraging
I cannot help
But want to jump
Oh, wait, a couple just did
Yet, the dragon swept them away
To the right,
Oh the screams of desperation
I step,
Guess there is no other way
Of joining the deep blue
Yet, the sounds there
Are beyond musical
I myself want to reach
Out to the blue on my own
But the dragons
Oh well, must go forward
After some time
I reach another phase
It seems
That both the blue and red side
Are reacting to each other
Great winds become visible
To the eye
Tornadoes roam an all sides
The Ledge stays still
I can feel the wind
But I know it won’t take me
If I don’t look at it
I look down the ledge
Again, not much to see
Though there is a star
I would say it’s white,
But each twinkle denies
That statement
Then a person stops down
Further along the narrow
I cautiously move on
Closer and closer I come
He turns and faces me
Horrifically he talks
With many mouths, only two eyes
But the mouths talk in unison
And with different voices
Some I recognize as my own
I begin to despair
I can’t go around,
It is too narrow
Falling to my knees
I begin to truly weep
After some time I stop
The demon gone
With no composure
I run and streams
Of tears flow in my wake
It must have been days
When I tripped and fell
I got up and another
Was staring at me
Only this had many faces
It could have been a man
Or demon, but much greater was he
For he took my hand
And contact unveiled my
Eyes to see his faces as one
He did not say much
Just that,
“You have been forgiven much”
I wept and embraced him
I sobbingly kissed his hands
He led me forward
And I saw the star
Again, it followed the man
We came to a door
He motioned me to go
I was scared, but knew
All would be well
I stepped through
As I opened
Lights of all colors
And songs of all forms
Bathed me with
A never-ending joy
I cried again, but
Happy tears fell
I ran with my
Welcoming song
And met all the others
So many people, even
Magical creatures I only
Saw in dreams
Bowed their welcome
Then I saw him again
He was sitting on a great throne
With the mightiest of angels
Beast and humans alike
And I began to worship
Never again did I care
About my own time
Worship became eternal
And joy became worship

©T.S. Graveline

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Colonoscopy--Wrote this a few years ago


“Take three deep breaths.”
And let the hour long coma
Take place.  This is the single,
Most amazing feeling in life.
I can completely escape reality.
Don’t have to think about school,
Work, family, lack of a love life,
But for just one hour I don’t have to think.
Thinking is the worst thing I can do.
No senses are at work in this state.
Complete imagination takes over.
It’s as if I’ve found another reality,
Another dimension within my mind.
I only wish I could travel the gurney
Of midnight delight, and ride it to Ink and Write.
Who knows, perhaps this is the same sphere
The opium addict writers of the past found.
This is where I want to be. 

            Yet, I would rather not
Have to go through the process of surgery to find
Home.  I awake and the nurse tells me, “You must
Pass gas or there may be damage.”  I have license to
Fart all I want to.  Another great side-effect.

© T.S. Graveline

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Writing Block- Part 2

This is a continuous segment about Writer's Block.

Today's note is about the nature of some writers, like myself, who struggle to figure out how to make a break through.

Here is what I propose writers do.  Write something! Anything! Even if it's not relevant to your book.  The more you're writing the more engaged your brain is and thus, the more likely you'll break through to the other side of that pesky brick wall.  It doesn't matter how you get there.  Who cares if you climb it, break it, use a police tank as a battering ram, just find a way to get to the green pastures you've been dying to frolic in.

Keep at it folks and remember, just because you passed one wall, doesn't mean more won't come up again. So keep keepin' on like the Brady Bunch.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A poem for one of my favorite romances

The Shepherdess

It was so innocent.  It was pure excitement.
He kissed me and here He stays a month.
I will never forget that touch.  His eyes,
His arms, his breath, and his smell.  Him.
I see him as I pass by, I love how he looks
At me.  Oh the determination.  I hide behind
My sheep, waiting, and wishing I knew his heart.

I knew it was going to happen, I couldn’t stop it
From hurting.  He was furious. His eyes were dejected. 
He dared not look at me.  I saw his sorrow, but
He came through for me.  Why must the customs
Barge our Love? Yet a week has passed and here
We are.  I can taste his sweat, his lips, and his hands.
The joy of love, there was so much sorrow to
Overcome, but I can’t help but be lost in our promise.

His Eyes

I saw Her, and a passion so innate came over me.
I knew not myself, but I knew my other half.
Work was worth every split second of a glimpse.
Just to gaze upon Her moving so gracefully amongst
Her herd.  She is no typical woman, She is the
Shepherdess I wish to watch over my children.  I
Don’t even remember much more than a second.

My heart was torn from me when I woke after.
Leah was next to me, not Rachel.  I cried out,
For I had defaced my love for Her.  Her father
Forced me into another seven, to make fourteen
Years.  Rachel was worth the wait, She may not
Know it, but there was no one else for me.  I
Would have Her.  She is my bride, my true bride. 

© T.S. Graveline

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A little news and a poem

News first: I have a friend who is going to take over editing duties on the first book.  Hopefully, this means the book gets completed sooner and in your hands.  It really should be a fun experience and will help me grow in my own writing I'm sure.  It always helps to get other perspectives on what is or isn't working.  So be excited about that.

Here is an older poem I thought I'd share that I enjoyed writing:

“Du arme Sau”

A roaring pain
Half of my mid-section is gone
All I can feel is pain
The senses have never been,
Alert like this
Next sensation comes
With warmth and sputters
I can feel it rising
All the way to my throat
Clogging my airways
Lungs gasp for air
Only to soak in the thick red
I gargle blood as if it was water
A cool hand jerks me back down
I don’t remember sitting up
The voice said something
I struggle, but my ears are ringing
So loud, my body crashes
With every second
My eyes flutter to a gray color
I see his dirty coat
No longer white
All is gray
I see her again
Her words icy and blue
“Alles wird gut,” said she
I didn’t believe her, those eyes
Then the most sensational cool came
I woke in the dark
Feeling almost weightless, yet still
Then like a slap
Everything was white
The barbaric thing took me
And caged me
Then she came again
The familiar gray
She held something so painful
I tried to get away
But my stubby fat got in the way
The cool steel punctured me
There was no cooing
She only barked,
“du arme Sau”
And I wailed with pain

Second time she said that

© T. S. Graveline 

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Polyphonic Thief

The Polyphonic Thief

I loved trains, with
Their bravado-like march
But when close, there was
No chugga-chugga, just overwhelming bass
Last time I enjoyed this,
I was two years old.  I
Was on my 3-wheeling Harley,
With all the sidewalk I could ask for,
And listening to “Highway to Hell.”

On my way home from the railroad,
I met Lincoln.  A white boat, and this old lady,
I never saw her face, just gray hair and a steering wheel.
I bowed before them.  They unceremoniously lurched atop me,

Andre the Giant had on white-metallic spandex that day, black rubber gloves,
Chrome teeth, maybe braces, and gray chest hair.  Never did see his face.  I knew
It was him though.  We wrestled, till his hair was breaking out of the spandex, ripping, distorting reality.  I think I was scared.  Or is it scarred? 

Darkness took me.

My head came out with the stitchings of a baseball,
Adorned with a body carrying a black rubber sash
Given for heroism, stupidity, or just pure grace.  

                                              The Polyphonic Thief robbed me.
                                              From that moment on, I never knew true sound.

© T.S. Graveline

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A poem that links some of my deafness to other areas of my childhood

Say Yellow


Yeawoah.  No. Say yellow.
Yeawoah.  No, yellow!
That’s what I said…


My yellow magic blanket;
was in fact magic, my
comforter, always kept cool
or warm, it was what I
requested, protected, projected,
my screen of life, the tangible
wall, the wall that oppresses
till ’89, must fall.  It fell.
it was torn, thread by thread,
lost its magic hold over
me, freedom came, yet,
what is with the change?
The unraveling left me naked,
alone in the dark, no longer
cool or warm. Molten
frost became me. 


Can one hear yellow?
Do colors make sound?
Sound is too mechanized,
there are no purities, nothing
tempered or refined.  Only
time has helped the aids, the
yellow ear-molds show age.
Now I need true yellow, geld,
which is gelb.  The former
now comes green, whereas
gelb is still gelb, albeit
I can’t hear the difference
auf Deutsch.

© T.S. Graveline

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Writing Block - part 1

I thought I'd start a new segment on areas where I get writer's block or some other struggle within my own stories.

Today, my struggle is with starting a new section of a chapter, but that's not the problem.  It's the fact that I want it to be based on this newer character in the series that needs to be fleshed out more.  Frankly, all that's really known is that she has a fire in her and that she's also kind-hearted.  We don't know her flaws, but I don't want to give her stereotypical flaws.  She needs a uniqueness to her.

I think I may have just figured it out.  It's not something groundbreaking, but it works.  It's a case of identity crisis, but it won't be usual considering the story's framework.

Wow, I just learned something.  Writing about the problem in an avenue like this helps solve writer's block.  I suppose that's lesson one folks!

About my book

Okay, I realize that many people do not know much about my book.  It is a fantasy ridden story in a World War 1 setting.  There are Angels, demons (though I call them something else), and elves, oh my! The main characters are basically descendants of angels who are here on earth and they are known as Paladins.  There are very few, and our young hero's, who's names I shall withhold for now, will be interacting with on a quest that hasn't really been given to them, but more like thrust upon them through a series of tragic events.

There is a good amount of magic that is quite interesting and fans of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Rick Riordan's novels, and many other fantastical Young Adult series will truly enjoy the books I'm writing.  At least, I really hope you do.  I've truly enjoyed writing this over the past 7 or 8 years or so.  Much of that time was spent on college work, but the story never left my mind.  I am always receiving inspiration for the story arc and hope that I can someday present the 1st book to you in published form.  Hopefully, that is sooner than you and I realize.

An older, but fun little poem I wrote when I first started writing poetry and funnily enough, it still applies today

Google Syndrome

Extra! Extra!
Again, for the love of god,
Google is in the news
Its market value, ungodly high
Government peeved by their refusals
So of course, it’s more popular
The clicks and views continue
Makes you wonder if the founder,
Is a bit like Faustus;
Having sold his soul to the devil
Why else would everyone say,
“Google is the best” 
I feel this, but can’t decide why
The educational industry, the media,
Everyone thinks this too.  Why?
Maybe we just have to wait like Faustus,
For their 24th anniversary
Maybe then, they will fall
And then we’ll all
Scream, Yahoo!

© T.S. Graveline

Monday, February 27, 2012

A poem I wrote years ago that was in response to Elie Wiesel's Night.

People who know me know how much I love to read and I love finding cool books in stores.  I happened to be vacationing in Boston and went to a really cool college bookstore right next to Harvard University and found a great edition of Night.  I started reading it that day and I couldn't stop.  I just kept reading as I was sucked in by the gripping details and I was fully absorbed by the time Elie and his father were running in the snow all night long.  So here is the response:

My Night

My tears never end
I’ve been running for so long
The guard’s curse commands to run
Run we do, but not as people

We have become savages
Only wanting to survive
We have stopped praying our prayers
Animals -- that is what we are           

My only thought is of food
I can no longer think of a God
I see my brothers and my father
We run together in a pack, like wolves

All of us are thin and dried
Our feet no longer feel
They are burned, and this is the Sahara
Or better yet, our hell

We no longer need our eyes
Instinct took over long ago
Do as you are told, and you may survive
I forget what we are surviving

I vaguely remember a church
A people who loved all
Love, what is that?
Now hate, I know that, but love...

I forget
Hunger -- that is what’s left
Only thing is, sand provides little
All I have are my tears to drink

We are ordered to stop
There is a shift change of guards
Their vehicles glide over and hover
Their suits of red look so endearing

I know they have air conditioning
We have the earth, and her winds
Yet here, they pick up the sand
Then we shed, and bleed, becoming fades

That reminds me of spirits
Ah, I remember a God
One I used to worship
And here I weep, hoping for his love.

© T.S. Graveline

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A recent poem written after my daughter was born.

Many a times I walked

Many a times I walked.
And I walked alone seeking
What the world had to offer.
I walked in my wanderlust
To great cities, regions, and

Then I stopped walking.
And I stopped seeking as
I had found what I sought.
I stayed in wonderment
To know awe, friendship, and

Then we walked
And we walked together
Finding what we wanted.
We walked hand in hand
Through tears, jubilation, and

Now we walk
And we walk together
Having found what we sought.
We walk hand in hand
With our little girl, our family,
Our happy lives. 

© T. S. Graveline

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Poem written in 2007

Louise Odier
For Jen

Traveling as the youngest really sucks,
And is lonely. Especially when I’m headed
To plant nurseries.  I hate those places.  Yet,
This time is different.  I’ve never been here.
There is a sense of antiquity in the air.  These
Roses feel like they are out of Hawthorne’s
Salem.  The lush green and the cloudy sky
Has given this place an ancient smell.  As
A child I’m thinking this is odd, interesting.
Maybe this place will be different.  So I
Sniff around, knowing my nose must be
Greater than all others as one of my senses
Is mostly lost.  I figure the others must all
Be greater to make up for that loss.  I
Smelled her then.  I looked and found her
Name was Louise Odier.  She is truly old.
Yet, she is so beautiful.  I am enamored.
This rose, this Louise, Miss Odier, she
Has seen so much, she communicates
To me by speaking with her scent.  I
Cannot help but drink in her story. 
Apparently she is from the East coast. 
She is a rare kind, and people will clip
Her stems, so she grows more thorns,
I felt them, and yet she perseveres
All the more.  She grows faster, becomes
More pungent. Wildness is in her, she
Is a rambler rose.  She befriended me
And took me under her soft petals
When I needed it most of all. And now,
I see her today years later.  It’s fall
And she is wilting.  I know though,
That she will revive, not only herself in
The spring, but me as well.  I will smell
Her again, and remember when she saved
Me from loneliness and comforted me
With her lovely story that I did not hear.

© T.S. Graveline

I wrote this poem years before I met the love of my life and it was after I did, that I knew this poem was about her.  I had known when I had written it that it was for my future wife.  I got lucky with her.  Maybe this poem helped. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Trends in Young Adult novels

In the past decade or so we have seen quite the trends make their way into the Young Adult market of publishing.  Fantasy has always been popular since The Hobbit.  Children's fantasy has been popular since long before that with the tales from the Grimm Brothers, Hans Christian Anderson, Aesop's Fables, etc.

What I have noticed is (and this isn't really groundbreaking news) that publishers are on the lookout for the next big trend to market.  Harry Potter was huge.  We had wizards both good and bad and the magic was deliciously enticing for young and old.  The next wave I admit is not my favorite.  The vampire trend is oversaturated and filling up bookshelves and e-book stores.

What is exciting, is I think I might have stumbled on a new wave of my own.  I do not say this to be self-indulgent or cocky, but I really think it is excited.  It is magic, but with a different kind that has been used rarely.  I have researched the character types for this story and they go back ages ago, but even then, they are rarely used.  There is a very popular computer game that has this type of character in it, and these people have created their own lore.  I went and tried to take this group to a new level.

Can you guess who these people are?

If you do know and are a friend of mine, please keep it to yourself.  We don't want to unveil this too soon.

Happy weekend everyone

~T.S. Graveline

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chapter 2 of book 2 is about halfway done.

The 2nd chapter is a two-parter.  It's about the main characters meeting up with someone who is quite obsessed with fine shoes.  Custom shoes are the best.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A response to a song...

I wrote this in response to a song that really affected me. I think I know why, but it's a song that I heard in the movie 50/50. So here is my response to it or a redoing of it so that it reflects my heart.

I keep facing the other way
I keep facing the other way
I keep facing the other way

Running in my own race
Running in my own race
Running in my own race

Seeking in all the wrong places
Seeking in all the wrong places

Running in my own race
Running in my own race
Running in my own race

Seeking in all the wrong places
Seeking in all the wrong places

I keep facing the other way
I keep facing the other way
I keep facing the other way

You’re always by my side
You’re always by my side

Even though I don’t see you
Even though I don’t see you
Even though I don’t see you

You’re always by my side
You’re always by my side