Magic Realized: and Other Poems on the Human Spirit – Louis Alan Swartz


As someone who is not a huge fan of poetry, I once again found much joy, comfort, and peace in the poetry of Louis Alan Swartz. There is something here for everyone; and by everyone, I truly mean everyone. This is volume two to the book of poems titled Constructed of Magic. You can find that book here: Constructed of Magic paperback book

On to Magic Realized, and look at this beautiful cover!

Magic Realized Cover Image

As no two people will read the same poem in the same way, or take away the same meaning, it can be difficult to express what these poems mean to me. Surely they will mean something different to you? Of course they will; your experiences are different than mine! That is what makes poetry so meaningful, and important.

Some of my favorites?

He Loves. The things a man sees and experiences at different points throughout a day, and how they bring him joy, and love.

When We Played with Wooden Toys. A reminder of times much simpler, more than they could ever be now. Don’t we all want to go back, just one more time?

Street Scene. The bare honesty that we can only truly get from a child.

He Never Began to Live. Relatable. Seen this more times than I care to remember.

Drawing Out the Magnificence. Everyone should be required to read this. A little understanding and empathy goes a long way.

Creations. This poem made me feel warmth; I could picture, smell, and feel every description as if I were experiencing it right at that moment.

There are so many beautiful poems here, on life, love, living, family, and relationships. How to love, live, and let go when necessary.

Do you write or read poetry? Who is your favorite?

Go Set A Watchman – Harper Lee

I want to tell you I loved it; but I can’t. I am not ready to tell you I hated it, either. I tried my best to ignore all of the spoilers and media-hype as I was reading this story, and I think I was fairly successful.

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

But; life goes on as it always goes on, and I was well beyond distracted with work, daughters, school-things, editing, and oh, yeah: I have not been feeling well for 6+ days now.

So, I will absolutely cut Ms. Harper Lee some slack here. But I do feel that even in my most focused state of mind, I would have found this a bit difficult to read.

When I first started it, it was like a breath of fresh air: someone who wrote because they had to, and it all came natural and nothing sounded forced. But then the point-of-view was changing faster than my teenage daughters change their clothes, or minds, or attitudes; truth-be-told.

At this point I am looking forward to hearing what you thought of it. One passage that I absolutely have to share:

‘Why doesn’t their flesh creep? How can they devoutly believe everything they hear in church and then say the things they do and listen to the things they hear without throwing up? I thought I was a Christian but I’m not. I’m something else and I don’t know what. Everything I have ever taken for right or wrong these people have taught me – these same, these very people. So it’s me, it’s not them. Something has happened to me.’ (Ms. Jean Louise Finch, pg 167, Go Set a Watchman).

Did you love it, or did you hate it?

For Your Reading Pleasure! Meet a New Author

Crushing Hearts Publishing

July 8th, 2014 – 7 to 9 pm, Eastern Standard Time

Joe Roper: Author and Writer at Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.

Here is your chance to catch a new series right from the get-go! I am definitely going to be there, and as long as you have an internet connection that enables you to read this post, you can make it to the release party too!


Don't Miss This One!
Don’t Miss This One!

Find it on Facebook here:

Hope to see you all there!

Leo Tolstoy – Eleven Stories Review

1) Three Questions– I loved this story, for being the first thing I ever read by Tolstoy. The moral of the story here is that the current moment is the only moment you have any control over. The person you are with is the most important person at that moment, and the most important thing you can do is make that person happy, because you do not know if you will ever be with that person again, or have the chance to make them happy.

2) How Much Land Does a Man Need? – I got a chuckle out of this one. As one man works to con others out of their money, we learn that the only land a man truly needs is however much space they are going to take up when they are dead and buried. You can’t get much more true than that!

3) The Candle– Under the service of a harsh taskmaster, a group of men plot to murder their master, because it cannot be evil to God to remove such a person from the Earth, right? By being true to God, and their beliefs, one man was able to overcome the master by doing exactly what the master asked him to do. By his own goodness, he defeated the master.

4) God Sees the Truth, But Waits– A tale of mystery, the wrongly accused, and redemption. The strength of one man to forgive another who wronged him in the worst manner.

5) The Coffee House of Surat– Many men, of many nationalities, in a coffeehouse debating, and arguing, about whose religion was correct. A wise comment from a wise man puts the debate to rest.

6) The Grain as Big as a Hen’s Egg-A very short story, but very clever. The moral of the story here is that things were better, and bigger, when man was satisfied to do his own work, without taking from others, or expecting from others. As man came to depend on others to do their work for them, things got smaller, and worse.

7) Little Girls Wiser Than Men– 2 little girls have a disagreement that draws in the parents, and many other adults, to continue the argument. The little girls resolve it, move on, and go back to playing a game. The adults continue to argue over the situation, not even realizing the little girls have stopped arguing and moved on.

8) Esarhaddon, King of Assyria– A 2 paged story, showing a man at war how the evil he does to others, he is also doing to himself. Life is sacred, whether it be the life of man or beast.

9) Where Love Is, God Is– A man who loses another of many children born to him, and after losing his wife, gives up on religion, and stops attending church. He is told that he feels despair because he is living for his own happiness, and not for God. He has a dream and is told Christ will come to visit the next day. He does visit, but not like you might expect.

10) Too Dear-This story is too funny, and a must read! However it must be done, find this short story and read it. A man sentenced to execution gets one over on a whole country, and comes out ahead in the end.

11) A Spark Neglected– A good, old-fashioned neighborly fight. One that also gets out of hand, gets the whole town involved for a while, sees a terrible situation, and when one is smart enough to admit guilt, all seems to go right again in their world.


I will definitely be getting his bigger works. Have you ever ran across any of these 11 short stories?