Beyond the Realm (Thoughts From Within)
by Jude A. Brattoli
Trafford Publishing

"Hold fast these moments we share today, for tomorrow, they're but shadows of yesterday."

Brattoli delivers another stellar poetry compilation that provokes the human spirit and questions the almost magical manner in which the world progresses through the various life cycles. From romance to the sweet memories of youth, the poems reflect on myriad life topics.

"Healthy, Wealthy, And Weird," begins the collection with a fascinating portrayal of life's dangers: eggs, fat, and bacon grease are juxtaposed next to smog, pollution, and acid rain. More importantly, however, the author requests mankind to slow down and embrace life rather than basking in our self-ordained death sentence of cholesterol and clogged arteries. "The Counselor" epitomizes the individual in one's life who is as steady as a rock when it comes to protection and provides warmth and loyalty in times of need.

The tone shifts to darkness in "R.O.T.U.M," a poem in which the speaker describes himself as the "everlasting dream of torment." This section of Brattoli's poetry pries into the human brain and the thoughts that float in one's mind during dreams and state of the subconscious. Emotions and desire, no matter how salacious, are at the heart of "Why," as the author probes the deeper aspects of cognition.

Brattoli's section on the tingling tenderness of love, especially "Sleepless Love," will enchant readers with its creative use of syntax and rhyme. In the final stanza of "Sleepless Love," the author writes,

Know this my love, should you awake before me.
May the wings of a dove
Carry to you all my love
If my eyes shut tonight and never again do they see.

"Looking Glass Lie," has the elements of fairy-tale poetry: a beautiful princess perceives her youth to be eroding as she awaits her prince charming. The message of the poem comes across loud and clear: beauty comes from within; do not let the vice of the world tell you otherwise. Interestingly, the heart is being held captive by the furtive mind.

As the compilation progresses, the poetry assumes a philosophical context regarding the fleeting nature of life. "A Note to My Sun," "Stones," and "Life Cycles," capture the various stages of life through metaphors of the setting and rising sun, a stone creating ripples through water, and the shifting of the seasons.

"Beyond the Senses," is perhaps Brattoli's most complex and intriguing poem. The piece requires the reader to see not with his own eyes, but through the strength of faith. There is a realm beyond material riches—a realm that directly touches the soul.

Overall, Brattoli's "Beyond the Realm," is interesting, introspective, and will be a hit with aficionados who seek to dig for a deeper, thought-provoking meaning to life.

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