January 30, 2012

Randy Jackson Changed My Life

Randy Jackson Changed My Life 
By John R. Greenwood 

It was a cool damp evening. My wife was not feeling well so she entrusted me, although with some reservation, to venture out into the night in search of some life sustaining necessities from our local Walmart. Little did she know, our lives were about to change forever. “Don’t forget the seltzer,” she repeated through the slightly cracked back door. “You forgot it the last time.”
I had just earned back her trust by completing two weeks of error-free errands when I slipped up and forgot the seltzer. I swore there was at least one bottle left. I guess I was wrong. It’s happened before. “I won’t forget, I’m not twelve you know. I’ll forget, I’m sure of it,” I muttered to myself. Seatbelt buckled, off to Walmart I sped. 
I was feeling much as a teenager does when Dad hands them the car keys for the very first time. A solo trip to Walmart was exhilarating. I could spend 15 minutes deciding which bottle count fiber tabs to buy and no one would be standing there, arms crossed, giving me “that look.” I would be free to wander aimlessly in the ‘aisle of cheap tools.’ You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that clutter work benches and jam kitchen junk drawers.
An hour later, with my basket full and my credit card in full swipe, I was suddenly overcome by an eerie feeling that something was about to happen. As I swiped my little card of blue and yellow, I gazed to the Optical Department directly in front of me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I stopped dead in my tracks.
I felt an overpowering urge to check out a new pair of glasses. I needed a change. Entering the Optical Department I felt an almost electric charge in the air. Something dangerous or exciting was lurking within the gated walls of frames and lenses. I entered slow and deliberate. I paced back and forth in front of the MENS choices. There were columns of brand name frames like: Smith & Wesson, Urban Suburban and Field & Creek. Then there was column #6. The bold new "Randy Jackson” collection. Starting at the top I began to try on frames. First one, then two, and then it happened. It happened like it had never happened before. No decision I had ever made came as easy as this one. The frame wasn’t fancy or bright. They were dark brown with a gold tinge. They were thick, unlike the thin wire frames I had been wearing for 38 years. They fit like a glove. They cradled my face like a mother’s gentle hands cradle a small child’s face. They were my new signature glasses. I held them tight and stood tall before the counter. “I’ll take these. I have the prescription. Here’s my credit card.” The deal was done. 
Something changed that day. The “Randy Jackson’s” gave me a fresh confidence, a breath of renewal. I stood a little taller, walked a little faster. In the days and weeks to follow I began to write more, read more, and share more. My world opened up a little that day. It was as if I had stepped out of one stage of my life and into another. It happened right there in the Optical Department at Walmart.  Don’t ever question those signs from above. Those signs from column #6. Thanks Randy...  

January 24, 2012


Photo prompt from Poets United

By John R. Greenwood
In the battle of apple versus potato (chip) 
I place my bet
The potato (chip) is the choice of hand
Men of clear head know 
An apple a day
The hand like a child of two
Hears but can not listen
Potato (chip) whispers 
As light as Lay’s Lightly Salted
Pick me

A daily (in) balance
What will we face upon our table today?
Pounds in the mind 
One step upon the digital
One look in the full length
Truth be told
Is a battle 
We all must stomach
Health and happiness
Words by choice (only)

Submitted to Poets United

January 21, 2012

Old-Man's Winter

Moreau Lake State Park
Old-Man's Winter
By John R. Greenwood

Wimpy, thin-skinned layer of white lays napping outside the door. Snow banks so lame, brave chipmunks peer over with ease. Winter winds barely extract a brrrr and green space remains an easy find. A jackpot for old men weary of  winters past. A scratch-off season with just one number left, coin ready, waiting to hear if it's a winner or a loser. Heating bills, like a lurch-ready tiger, crouch silent beneath the surface.  Rusty snowplows poised like steel sculptures rest garage-side. Plastic shovels with but a few short warm-ups lean neglected against the fence, ready to leap to action when flake-piles beckon. Weathermen with rolled up sleeves pace anxiously, checking the soft purring Doppler moving quietly along the screen. Will spring arrive with nothing to do?