February 24, 2018

Side Effects

Side Effects 
By John R. Greenwood 

The climate of our society has given me the same side effects that would accompany a prolonged migraine. A migraine can last as long as 72 hours if untreated. 

During a migraine you may experience:

Pain on one side or both sides of your head
Pain that feels like throbbing or pulsing
Sensitivity to light, sounds, and sometimes smells and touch
Nausea and vomiting
Blurred vison 
Lightheadedness; sometimes followed by fainting

Before a migraine even starts you may have vision loss, difficulty speaking, or uncontrollable tremors. Even once the migraine subsides you may feel drained and washed out. During a 24 hour period post-migraine you may also experience confusion, moodiness, and dizziness. 

The side effects above may also be caused by watching a present day newscast. I know in my case in addition to the news and social media, even overhearing a conversation at my local convenience store may likely result in all of the side effects associated with a migraine. 

With that pleasant thought in mind I thought I would find a way to vent my frustration, anxiety, and fear of the current state of affairs in a semi-silent format such as photographs and poetry. Here is my alternative to running into the streets screaming. 

What's Next?
by John R. Greenwood 

If only we knew what was around the corner
Where did all that hope that once lined my street go?
I thought things would be different by now
Did we take a wrong turn?
Someone poured cement and we stepped in
now we're stuck swaying from the ankles up
unable to run away
maybe we should have saved time
and dove in head first

 Frozen In Silence 
by John R. Greenwood

silent behind the glass
a shattering sound

clearly visible
causes my mind 

to race 
back in time

shots fired 

Angry Men
by John R. Greenwood

Angry men still exist
they blame everyone else
never pausing to glance in the mirror
Anger kills
from the inside out
look closer men
before your hearts rot away

Left Behind
by John R. Greenwood

No words needed

February 21, 2018

The Art Of Being Happy (Bottle #7)

The Art Of Being Happy (Bottle #7)
By John R. Greenwood

I’m sick and tired of being happy. It’s getting harder and harder to find optimistic friends to play with. Everyone is too busy running around hating on each other. Because my job and my life take place on the double yellow line between the right and left lanes I’ll refrain from making this a political commentary. I will say my glass was a lot more full two years ago. Lately I feel every time my glass gets near the top someone comes along and kicks it over. 

I’ve spent my life extracting happiness from every common moment I could wring from life’s dishtowel; from that new car smell to my morning’s first sip of coffee. It’s been sixty-two years and counting, collecting bits and pieces of happiness. My greatest joy today will come from out of the blue. It might be a pure and genuine thank you from an appreciative coworker or stranger. It could come in the form of a Labrador’s wagging tail or a grandson’s infectious giggle. It might even come in the last 30 seconds of an otherwise heart wrenching newscast. 

Like a fish-less bobber I keep popping to the surface hoping things get better. If you’d told me back in the 60’s and 70’s that this country would be struggling with color, gender, and abuse in 2018 at the level we are now I would have laughed you off the street. I would have hoped by now our brains and our neighbors would have found a way to level the playing field so we could all take a shot at the net. I was sadly mistaken, but I’m not giving up. I’ll keep doing my part, spreading my optimism and handshakes wherever I go. I’m not a quitter. 

Oh, I almost forgot, there’s a town hall gun debate coming on in a couple of hours. Let’s see if I can extract anything out of that—he said smiling. 

Bottle release update: No feedback on anything I’ve placed back in the wild yet. Here’s a couple pictures with some hints of where the latest two bottles were set free. 

"Be The Reason"
Hint: You'd be able to get more "Information" if they were open right now...

I thought you'd enjoy this amazing coincidence. My wife had not yet read the piece on Bottle #5. I shared the story and photo with her after I'd already posted it. When she got a chance to read it she sent me this photo of her desk at work. You must believe me when I tell you neither one of us had discussed this quote at any time before I wrote the piece or set the bottle free. It did send a warm-chill up my spine.  

  At My Age Bottle #6
This just seemed like a happy place to be set free...

Bottle #7 “The Art Of Being Happy” will be out there roaming the world by the time you read this latest piece. 

Happy Hunting


February 18, 2018

At My Age (Bottle #6)

At My Age (Bottle #6)
By John R. Greenwood

“At my age flowers scare me,” is a great quote by one of the greats, George Burns. George has been gone awhile now and it’s sad to say but I’ll bet there’s only a handful of people I work with who even remember George in “Oh God”. There’s only a few more that even remember John Denver. It’s funny to think about that movie being at the end of George’s career. There's no more than a pinch of readers here who would even know about George and Gracie so I won't even go there. Even though George Burns and Gracie Allen were ahead of my time, there was still enough remnants left when I was growing up for me to have a deep affinity for them both.  

I thought George’s line would generate a smile or two. I smile out loud thinking about some kid in his thirties trying to figure out what it even means. What it says to me now is—you might just as well laugh about old age because it’s rolling toward you so fast you wouldn’t be able to jump out of the way if your tried. George Burns was born in NYC in 1896 and lived to be 100yrs old. He kept us laughing until the end. If you’re reading this and you’ve never heard of George Burns Google him, and watch a few clips. 

Here's one:I don't do miracles

George handled age like whisking lint off a sweater sleeve. I’m doing my best to follow his lead. 


To date I haven’t gotten any feedback from any bottle catchers other than my friend Diane who graciously did a catch and release (Please don't say anything, but I made her a special replacement bottle). The interest seems to have collected some momentum. To all of you who have been kind enough to follow along, I thank you. I have to admit it’s been fun thinking about where these bottles are ending up? I may never know. I have plenty of bottles to keep me going and if necessary I just might start sending a random olive or pickle jar out for adoption. Whatever happens it’s a little distraction from the madness of the news. I don’t turn things off completely but I do adjust the floodgate according to my tolerance level on any given day. I feel I’ve earned the right to call it a day when the nastiness of the world around me becomes too much to handle. 

Play Nice...


“Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.” —George Burns

“It only takes one drink to get me drunk.                                                                             The trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or fourteenth.” —George Burns