Beanery Online Literary Magazine

December 30, 2013

Little Em

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BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE

LITTLE EM

Janet Mantia

     Scents of orange and pine filled the house, but the lights on the tree never seemed as bright after Christmas. Looking at the popcorn garland Grandma helped me string, I felt a hard lump in my throat. It wasn’t long ago that I walked along the secret path, carved through mulberry bushes that led to her house. Thinking back to last summer, her bent figure made an odd shadow against the sun as she scattered bread for the birds over the cement walk.

“Cassie, I didn’t know you were coming today,” she said, wrapping her arms across my shoulders.  “Grandpa’s in the shed, building who knows what.”

I remember standing next to Grandma in her sturdy, brown shoes, print house dress, and silver hair wound into a braid around her head.   She stared at me with steel, blue eyes, and a face, though not beautiful, had strong features with high cheekbones and a pert Irish nose.

“Cassie, you’re only sixteen, but taller than I am.  You’re growing into a fine, young lady. Your mother would be proud of you.”

Grandma opened the screen door to the house Dad grew up in.  When I walked inside, the house had a scent of cut timber covering the planked walls, mingled with a scent of fresh jasmine coming through the screened windows. Walking across polished, wood floors, I sank into the sofa with a tufted back that went half way up the wall.  Doilies circled oak tables, and a fireplace which looked like the room had been built around it, covered an entire wall.

Grandma picked up her knitting from the rocking chair.  With fingers that moved in exact precision, she wound blue strands of yarn around the knitting needles.

“Your sweater will be done soon, Cassie.  I just have to add the sleeves,”  she said, pulling more yarn from a skein lying on the floor.

When I left Grandma’s house she was still knitting.  I kissed her cheek and said goodbye, but I left with a feeling I couldn’t explain.

*                                                 *                                            *

The sweater laid on the rocking chair next to skeins of unopened yarn.  Picking up the sweater which had no sleeves, I held it against my chest.  It would be a perfect vest, and Grandma’s voice, soft as velvet, would never (more…)

January 31, 2013

Modern Ruins of a Museum

BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE.

MODERN RUINS OF A MUSEUM

by Mark Sliwa

As a kid, I loved to blow stuff up. Gunpowder bombs to destroy my plastic model car collection or a Polish cannon that could shoot a hundred yards.  For those who may not remember, a Polish cannon was five or six Pepsi cans that had the ends cut out. Construction was possible as soda cans were made of metal with a reinforced steel ring at each end. All were duct-taped together to resemble a small bazooka.

The base can was left partially vented at the drinking end and had a pinhole punched in its bottom.  Ammunition was a tennis ball and propellant was lighter fluid.  To operate, we stuffed the ball down the tube with a stick, squirted fluid in the pinhole, lit a match to the hole, and boom! The kick felt like a 12 gauge shotgun as you watched the ball sail across the neighborhood.  I had the most powerful one in the neighborhood until my mother captured it and proceeded to crush it with dad’s workbench vise.

It is no surprise then that a place called Forbes Road Gun Museum held great interest for me as an early teen.  Located in Ligonier Township, Pennsylvania, at the top of Gravel Hill Road, it was a small brick two story Smithsonian of guns, some dating over 500 years. A field artillery cannon sat on the front lawn, commanding respect before one entered. The first floor served as a gunsmith shop and the second as the museum.  An elderly man named Russell Payne was the owner and seemed to know (more…)

January 16, 2013

What If

BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE

WHAT IF     

Julia E. Torockio

What if……….There was a world without prejudices?

What if…………..No one stared, accosted, talked about, or made fun of anyone?

What if………….we all got along all of the time?

Or at least most of the time!

What if there was no hatred, confusion, disrespect, dislike, or contention in the world?

What would a world like that be like?

Would it be better? What do you think?

If this could only be true?

Then this may be a perfect world we live in!

Wouldn’t it? Or would it be?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect world or a perfect person!

As long as there is sin in this world, and the devil exists, we must deal with the flesh;

and this so-called ideal world ceases to exist, and will never happen!

There was and is, only one (more…)

January 9, 2013

Latrobe, Pennsylvania

BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE

LATROBE, PENNSYLVANIA

Julia E. Torockio

     In 2010 Latrobe, Pennsylvania, will celebrate its 150th anniversary. During this time, the community has developed many stories. Some are well-known and others less well known.

MR. FRED ROGERS

     Most local people know that Latrobe is the home of Mr. Rogers. Is it possible that Latrobe’s friendly nature is influenced by him when he sang “Won’t you be my neighbor?” In his commemoration, the Fred M. Rogers Center, at St Vincent College, was established. It is an ongoing tribute to his contribution.

An earlier tribute to Mr. Rogers is the (more…)

January 2, 2013

Barrel Molasses and Shotgun Shells

BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE

BARREL MOLASSES AND SHOTGUN SHELLS

Joe F. Stierheim

     Many years ago I made regular trips to northern Pennsylvania. Along my route was a small store that had a sign along the highway that advertised: “Barrel Molasses and Shotgun Shells.” That sign always fascinated me. The store appeared to be a “Mom and Pop” sort of place, catering to members of the local populace and stocking what was needed and wanted by them. I have not traveled that section of what was then a two-lane road for quite some time. I am pretty sure that the country there has changed, the highway no longer a two-lane road and no longer lined by farmland, villages, and the occasional business. The store with its unique sign is probably no longer there, long ago having been replaced or at least forced out of business by a supermarket or other chain retail establishment. The local people, I am sure, buy their shotgun shells at (more…)

December 26, 2012

The Music Box

BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE

THE MUSIC BOX

 Jan McLaughlin

 

Step into a page in time of friendliness and grace

Escape the rush of the city, enjoy each friendly face.

The church bells’ hourly chimes, the sound of “Old Rugged Cross,”

Give the peaceful, calming feelings of life in a music box.

 

Time so long forgotten, of feeling so at ease

The smell of fall leaves in the air, wafting on the breeze.

The old time concerts in the park—listening to the past,

Wishing time would stand still, wishing this could last.

 

A music box always held small pieces of the past

The tinkling sound of a song, my memory holds fast

Again the church chimes sound, as the sun sets crimson red

Giving peaceful, calming feelings as the music box in my head.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

To read more writings by Jan click on https://beanerywriters.wordpress.com/category/wrbw-jan/

 

December 24, 2012

Sparkle and Shine

BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE

SPARKLE AND SHINE

Kathleen Clark

2012 ©

The galaxy was abuzz! Speculations ran high! All the stars, novae to ancient waited with great anticipation. The question had been tossed about for centuries. Who would the Lord of the Stars choose for this greatest of honors?

Generations of stars had formed, lived and burned out. . . waiting, waiting, till hope almost vanished. The answer hung in space and fell silently to earth like shooting stars.

The singular foreshadowed event was destined to change the course of history.

Light years away

A cosmic dance of dust, gas and debris mixed with a potpourri of interstellar elements, becoming a galaxy.

Spinning, dipping and swaying

the swirling particles formed a new star,

swaddled in an ethereal birth cloud.

As it rotated and wobbled awkwardly in mid space, a strong breeze caused it to pause. . .

Lightning streaked across the sky, and a thunderous sound shook the heavens.

Shine, an ancient, wise and benevolent Supernova, appeared bearing a message for the novae star:

“I’m honored to (more…)

December 23, 2012

Noel 2012

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BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE
NOEL 2012
JOAN MYERS

bell2_1

 

 

 

 

 

O Christmas Tree, so pristine
Berried in English clotted creame
An echo of jingly bells
Yuletide fully swells
Bear hugs all around
Merry carols; ultra sound
Cozy stuffed stockings steep
Warm memories to keep
The assembly too soon gone
Still above and beyond
Mary’s dear newborn Child
Was to the world avowed

~~~~~~~~~~~~

ADDITIONAL READING:

Falalala Latkes
The Gift of Christmas
Christmas: A Time for Furnace Fires
IMAGE SOURCE: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Christmas_g54-Gold_Christmas_Bells_p66997.html

December 5, 2012

The Intruder

THE INTRUDER 

Joanne McGough

November, 2007

 A piazza in Venice, Italy

      I wait alone. Le Ristorante al Gabbiano opens in thirty minutes. I sit at a wrought iron table and study its mosaic tile top. Some tiles are cracked, some are missing, all are weather worn and faded into a creamy gray mélange. Just a hint of true color remains in crevices where tiles are tightly abutted and the salty air from the canal hasn’t penetrated.

The morning is gray and so heavy with mist that my hair feels damp. Still, I am pleased to be in Venice and content to be alone. I feel meditative, breathing slowly and deeply, my mind as calm as it ever could be. I close my eyes from time to time. Often, I pause to write a note on my tablet.

My reverie is interrupted. A small brown bird lands on my table. His arrival is obscured by the near-opaque fog.

He is a bold little thing. In just two hops he is close enough to watch me writing. One hop closer and he seems to understand my work. He looks from my pen to my tablet, then back again, repeatedly. I sit as still as possible, watching him. He is beautiful, really, not solid brown but blessed with flecks of red and gold. He is obviously interested in what I am doing.

He knows I am watching him. I stop writing but he continues to stare at my tablet. I think he is waiting for something. Perhaps he thinks my tablet is (more…)

November 14, 2012

Transfixed

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BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE

TRANSFIXED

 Patricia Orendorff Smith

 

On a glistening day

leaf color became vibrant.

Leaves fell like rain.

Autumn touched ground,

crunched and rustled beneath my sneakers.

A scarlet maple leaf

floated by.

A deer approached from the woods.

I did not tread on his territory,

nor he on mine.

Transfixed,

our eyes locked in a stare

of respect,

reverence.

Ephemerally,

I breathed, breathed in the toasty

brown whiff of autumn.

Too quickly the day faded

into winter white.

The cold sting on my ears

advanced my pace.

I rushed home to a steaming

cup of cocoa,

thinking,

I need no more than this.

To read more of Patricia Orendorff Smith’s work click on https://beanerywriters.wordpress.com/category/wrbw-pat/

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