Russell Salamon was born on December 6, 1941 in Berkasovo, Yugoslavia, as it was then, about sixty miles west of Belgrade in a hamlet of about 200 people near the Orient Express Line. Huge steam locomotives thundered through without stopping at Sid (pronounced, Sheed), a town of about 2,000. This life up to age twelve is recounted in Breakfast in the Twelfth Century, a book of poems. In October 1953 he came to Kent, Ohio, and soon after to Cleveland. This part is summarized in Descent into Cleveland, a poetic novel about events in the 1960's.

A prolific poet, Russell Salamon is the author of eleven books of poetry. His work has appeared in Passager, Sunstone, Uncommon Ground, Daybreak, The Listening Eye, Saint Petersburg Russian-American Anthology, Peckerwood, Puckerbrush Review, Retooling for the Renaissance in the Third Millenium, Riverside Quarterly, Trace, Dare, among others. He serves on the editorial board for California Quarterly, published by the California State Poetry Society. He has been a featured reader at many venues in California and New York, with one reading in London. In California: Moonday, Beyond Baroque, Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Mission Viejo Public Library, Laguna Poets, Bakersfield Art Gallery, San Louis Obispo, Riverside, Mission San Louis Rey, Moondog, among others.

In 2006 Deep Cleveland Press published Salamon's newest collection: Woodsmoke and Green Tea.

He lives in North Hollywood, California. He may be contacted at: thesalamons@eartlink.net

Last Water First Silence

Because you are not time,
the word you stops at the edge
of sea waves in the curl of green
breaking.

Because you are shadows
of night wind searching for
escape holes in the dark,
you are green under white
fingers of the moon.

Because you are not space,
the centuries do not hold you
even with wars and delicious
offers of death.

Because you are not light,
you bring the sun's buckets
of white skulls and let them
burn out among the eons.

Because you are love,
no voice can say your
first name and when
I call you by your eyes

you see desert spaces
move mauve shadows of
deer to the last water and
the first silence.

 

Edge of God

By some accident of innocence
grass glows with first being and
the boy who is now an old man
still sees without eyes into the
heart of things.

Time is a trick and has no eyes
but frozen moments. The being
who is now sadder floats in his
wisdom on the edge of god waiting
for the great sails of the death barge
to take him free into the white lions
and foxes in the clouds.

The boat comes but it has no oars.
It sits on the tide as the sun sets,
and it lifts out of the sea. He gets in,
packs blossoming orchards, rabbits,
new shoots of plants, bitter spinach.
He packs up a few histories and street
scenes of when he ran with wolf eyes
from sundown into morning.

Something is wrong, so he loads
a brown mare and a foal. Now eternity
is ready for him. He throws off the ropes
and a known wind takes him into unknown
lands. One by one people appear to wave
farewell and the boat sails through smiling
faces. We will meet you where you can't
go alone. Death is not an alone voyage.
We will plant life wounds into soil--cut
graves down with deeper stepping stones
into legends.

 

Red Dress

When I see you in your red dress
I want to become darkness so that
you are a flame as you walk by
and I whisper evening birds
into your hair.

My eyes are blue now that you call
me an ocean. How gray they become
as dawn cuts in over eastern crags.
Crows are my syllables repeating
until whole sentences
form a new year.

You move in air on delicate colors.
Sunset undefines your shapes.
You set into my eyes like music
and all the colors speak luscious
sentences. How green the world is
now that you have said it.

 

 

Praise for Breeze Hunting:

". . . The secret of this book's own magic comes pouring forth like a diluvian inundation of lyrical synesthesia. The log-jam is broken open and we're swept away with a current of water, trees, freedom, true love, and poetic imagery. And there's a breeze whispering in the branches: you can ride the updraft all the way back to eternity. The movement from nostalgic simplicity to higher spirituality is done with such skill. . .Wonderful!"

--Pat Cohee, Laguna Poets

2006 Russell Salamon


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