John Schneider

Still Life

Their stems lilt to the left
protruding from rounded shoulders
connected to firm bottoms
with matching bumps
waxed and buffed
racy as a red Ferrari—
perfect Washington state red delicious apples.

But the pomegranate, tempting
in its imperfections,
its misshapen skin
and mottled reddish color
stem end flat
bottom unruly with six sharp tips —

and petals that open and close
to shield a delicate miniature nest
filigreed with blossoms.

And once you get inside
it’s all heart–
gem-like seeds generous with juice.


You see them on lawns and in sidewalk cracks
sometimes covering an entire field
their thick-headed yellow flowers
a brilliant display of color

maturing at the end of summer into
fuzzy white globes
ready to lift off and circumnavigate the earth
their seeds parachutes for landing.

Pick one, and blow lightly
watch the puff expand, then drift in the breeze,
floating beyond the field,
and beyond that another field.


John Schneider was born in Wisconsin and lives in Berkeley, California where he has studied poetry with Robert Hass.  Recent poems have appeared in: California Quarterly; Canary; Worcester Review; Potomac Review; Slipstream Poetry Magazine; Tampa Review; The American Journal of Poetry; The Literary Nest; and Bitter Oleander Press.  He’s included in:  California Fire and Water:  A Climate Crisis Anthology. He is a Pushcart Prize Nominee.

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