Irish Pub & Music Venue in Lancaster PALiterary Corner - Irish Pub & Music Venue in Lancaster PA

Literary Corner

Welcome to Literary Corner. It is a compilation of poetry and short stories that have been submitted by friends of Tellus 360 near and far. The purpose of Literary Corner is to promote the talent we know exists in our community and to promote a positive message through this medium. Enjoy!!!

(click here to jump to poetry)


Short Stories


“Scourge of Jing Word”
by Ralph Spayd

As a young cowboy in Fleetwood, PA, in the mid 1950’s, I rode the high plains of Richmond Street on my bike. Constantly on guard and aware of the dangers all around me. In school, we were taught the basics plus the skills needed to help us survive our harsh environment in the suburbs. We learned key things like hiding under your desk if you saw a flash in the sky. Fortunately for me, I was able to supplement my education by watching TV to learn history as it really was. As a diversion at school, we were taught songs to help pass the long hard nights on the plains. One of my favorite songs was Home on the Range. But I was always concerned and confused by the part of the song referencing the phrase, “where never is heard of the Scourge of Jing Word! What the heck was that? How did you get it? Was it easily spread and could your horse get it? Geeze Louise! I assumed the Marlboro Man had it cause he didn’t look too good. I thought it would probably kill Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. What a shame. Really didn’t know what a “scourge” was, but knew it wasn’t a good thing. But worse than that, what was Jing Word? The actual disease? Thought it had something to do with your speech. I knew Gabby Hayes had it cause Lordy you couldn’t understand him. He must have had a really bad case. I pondered this for hours in between bouts of playing with my Army men and firing endless rounds of firecrackers from my cap gun. The cap gun ammo was funded by the proceeds from collecting soda bottles for deposit and redeemed at Strauss’s grocery store. Which by the way, was located past the south forty in the desert region of Arch Street. Time moves at a different beat when you are a kid. Thoughts rumble and rattle through your coon skin cap adorned head. But time does move forward and you do start to grow up. Back at school, we were still being taught things and new songs. I learned all about the Eerie Canal, which I believed was haunted and really scary. Sometimes we’d breakout an old favorite like Home on the Range. As we approached the dreaded phrase “where never is heard of the Scourge of Jing Word”, which I chose not to sing, I noticed something different for the first time. Possibly it was my lack of singing that peaked my auditory senses. But I finally caught the phrase “where never is heard a discouraging word”. OMG, there was no disease called “Scourge of Jing Word”, only a discouraging word” which is much less life threatening, but could possibly hurt your feelings. Roy and Gene weren’t doomed, but Gabby did have something wrong with his speech. A global pandemic was adverted and the world was again safe. Except for whoever was shooting whatever in the sky. I really didn’t like hiding under my desk, because it did remind me of how much gum I had been chewing. So, I decided to go watch TV and learn something.



“Early Morning Sparrows”
by Joe Weitzel

The crown of sparrow raised dirt dry side city house. They flapped their elfin wings and caused a ruckus. Some screeching and wrestling till they flew, specked Against the red brick row, the art gallery and the brothel.

The dust from their appointed early morning bath Still lingered as I passed through the storm to light. Each brown chick returned when I went past and flight From over wire, swinging from their takeoff, caused spark.

I turned around to see the spurger chirp of passerine and found That thought has nothing else to do but create a stir and why. Last night’s rain just dripping from the loosened gutter spout, Gullied to the dirt dust inched to line and abolished dry.

The pole transformer buzzed and exhaled a momentary groan, Then stopped…the cackle cry disrupted time and skippered wing Like delicate linen on the line to wind just flittered way to blue. And then, the golden maple, limp from drought, came alive with birds.


by John O’Donohue
Reading by Joe Devoy


“A Part Together”
by Daryl Snider

Cannot anyone see it? Who has walked all morning through any wild place;
Breathed the air freshened by the leaves laced with magical scents;
Watched the rich combinations Of colors and shapes Dancing in the light of the sun;
Listened to the songs of birds, The wind in the trees, The buzz of the bees, Or the orchestra of crickets, Or of bullfrogs… The gurgle of the babbling brook;
Been dazzled by the vastness of the universe, As the moon and comets Play across the star-strewn sky;
Marveled at the infinite finiteness Too small to see and too great to grasp?
Cannot anyone sense it? Upon returning to the small world Of humanity, so enraptured With itself that it believes itself To be separable from all the rest, Exalted above all others, Dominant?
Cannot anyone know it? That what we most need Is to remember That we belong In, among, with, to All;
That we are only apart in our minds And even the word ‘apart’ Is ‘a part’ together?
And what we try to escape Is this prison of separation We have imagined for ourselves.
Cannot we all Also imagine ourselves Free?

“I am a Sinner”
by Joe Devoy

I am a sinner
I always have been
Except for a right little time
When I was just a chap
I am getting better
As I get older
Or maybe just
My memory is getting worse
I cast stones
At the people casting stones
Because I am OK with my fellow sinners
Maybe better than OK
I love my fellow sinners
And addicts and humans
But I can’t find any time
For the stone throwers
No time for the righteous
No belief in being right
So I go on throwing stones
Throwing stones at the people
At the people throwing stones
So I go on pointing out
To the righteous people
That they are wrong about being right
And that this righteous sinner
Is right about them being wrong
I never feel bad about sinning
Never feel bad enough to hide from it
I face each sin and move on
To the next sin
Or to an effort to not sin
Until I sin again
But every time I cast a stone
Every time I throw a stone
From the moment the thought picks it up
Till the stone leaves my mouth
To watching the stone flying through the air
Till it lands and smash its target
Crushing their righteous head
I feel like shit
I feel wrong for thinking I’m right
I am wrong
Way worse than the worst sinner
Way worse than the worst sinner
I am a sinner
I am a sinner
And I am OK with that
Maybe better than OK

“A Haiku I Wrote About Perseverance”
by Alisha Lavinia

Paint peeling from tin
Telling tales of storms weathered
Rusted, but not through


“Temporary Turbulance”
by Kelsey Rothfus

There will be a time when you hit all the red lights, and
there will be a time when you forget that twenty-dollar bill on the coffee table.
The milk may be spoiled when you want to make a cheesecake,
and the flowers may die after sitting in that perfect sun spot.

The turbulence you feel is temporary and not life-threatening.

You will get a stuffy nose.
You will have buyer’s remorse.
You will forget that you needed gas.

But the wind will change direction.

You may meet the man of your dreams.
You may even cheat death once or twice,
Maybe you get to sleep in on a Tuesday.

You just have to find smooth air.

Your boss will critique you,
a stranger will be rude to you,
your daughter will challenge you.

You may spill your beer,
but sunshine is always near.


“Pandemic Poetry”
by Sharon Bolton

Central Park

The brook it sings
in the tiny places
of water rocks
of different sizes

Notes quiet & sweet
mysterious tune
composing a song
of its very own

Delightful surprise
to the one who paused
in a moment attending
a show without cost

A lifting of soul
and unexpected peace
not looking for comfort
yet receiving relief

In the middle of sadness
pervading the city
this treasure in nature
found without seeking

by Hawa Lassanah

Today I felt a tension, in the news and in the air.
A turquoise morning
bright and blue.
In the reaches of the atmosphere
where once there was sun
and big fluffy clouds
I blink to a sudden accost.
A torrent of icy crystals,
White billows
to white squalls.
There is work to be done
Yet, I am unsure of the weather.
There is beauty there.

Piqued by the outer sensations,
a dull uterine pain
rumbles inside
increasing in intensity
to signify the coming of loss. 📈📉
I am witnessing my fear of such things.

Jaws clench
I double over

Self care is the signal
to lie down,

Virtue is the ultimate

Today I think,
Whatfor I am?

It is my nature to move,
to grow
so mote it be.
May it be so.

“Close Reach”
by Dave Pedrick

nightly with purpose,
away from the dawn.

wind-whipped and weathered,
yet still pressing on.

a victim of progress
who soon must abide,
or cast to the tide,
a dictum which cadges for

beneath a new sun.
upon a hushed sea.

when days comes undone,
that north will be waiting for me
beyond the night.

“The Sound of Waves”
by Joe Weitzel

On those day trips to the beach,
We would collect shells washed up on the dirty sand.
My uncle would tell me to press the rough edges to my ear,
You can hear the waves crashing.
As hard as I tried to listen to the ocean,
The only thing I heard were the seagulls above me crying for food.
A stranger came up to me.
My family was back at the blanket beneath the umbrella.
She leaned down posed like a frog ready to leap in her green bathing suit.
I looked over my shoulder and saw my sister watching, digging in the sand.
The lady took the shell from my hand and skimmed it across the waves.
She said,
Now, take a look out there, right in front of you, do you hear it?
The seagulls stopped crying and the tide rushed in burying my feet.
And finally, the sound of the waves.

by Joe Devoy

The weeds keep on growing
The birds never forget to say hello
The sun keeps coming out and smiling
And if I could only leave it all alone
Bumping down the road
sitting and looking
Accumulating nothing and
leaving it all go free
Starting with myself and continuing
through the persistent thought that I
should stop trying to change stuff
and finishing in the realization
that nothing matters
everything matters
You can’t love anything
Without loving everything