Wednesday, September 25, 2019

California Quarterly 45:3, Autumn 2019, Edited by Maja Trochimczyk

California Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 3, Fall 2019, 


Some people say California has no seasons, only an endless summer. When envisioning this Fall 2019 issue of the California Quarterly, I sought out poems about autumn: harvest, Thanksgiving, fruit, and, by extension, fruition, bearing gifts at the end of life when all we worked for is done… This was not an “official” call for submissions, though, as we are open to all themes and genres. Still, remarkable synchronicities emerged.

Poetry evolves with the poets, as they grow and mature: from the delights of travel and discoveries in Delphi or Cambria, oceans, deserts or forests, the nostalgic end of the summer, folding “the tempest of ripples” of a lake into a suitcase (Rosenheim). Poets explore “the mystery of time” (Mickiewicz) where “raindrops glisten” (Schick), “Casals plays” (Schmidt), and birds “scold us” (Shea) “beneath the long sigh of sky” (Zawinski). They may watch bobcats from a kitchen window (Friend),  encounter a coyote in the desert (Rosenthal), discover islands (Jean), or enjoy domestic pursuits of canning apricots (Bachels Schmidt) and making dill pickles (Potts).

There is lots of fruit in here, fragrant and flavorful: figs (Zheng), peaches and pears (Zaro), summer apples (JonesDavies), and the exotic sapote (Wilson). We are thankful for this feast of sweetness, but even more so for the people we remember through things – father’s lemons (Olivi), mother’s blanket (Samkow-Frausto), or the friends’ “house of air” (Rogers). Strengthened by the “density of yesses…greening the earth, greening us” (Moorehead), we grow in the awareness that loss is inevitable; still, we know that what we have “is enough for now” (Zawinski) as “we live suspended in our bestiary of souls” (Saine), able to climb mountains (Bowman, Zheng), or listen to ocean waves (Galasso, Zanelli). We admire cathedrals (Musser) or the mystic lives of trees (Schick, Dinges, Salamon, Turner). While “folding laundry” we make a “satchet of memories” (Martin).

Poets share free verse, haiku and haibun (Martin, Schick, Stuart, Zheng), tanka (Wilson), pantoum and villanelle (Zawinski). Their vibrant imagery brings to life the abundance of vivid, experiential language in the verse by Russell Salamon, a long-time CQ Editor, who died in 2018. We honor  Russell with our words.

Maja Trochimczyk, Editor
CSPS Acting President


Russell Yaroslav Salamon served on the board of the California Quarterly for many years. He worked closely with then President, Kate Ozbirn, as a fund-raiser, CQ champion and dedicated associate editor. If you met Russell, you would never forget him. He was tall like the redwoods he loved—quick to laugh and as quick to love. Perpetually inspired, he wrote daily. Russell 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. As he tells it, 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 migrated to Kent, Ohio, and soon after moved to Cleveland. This part of his life is summarized in Descent into Cleveland, a poetic novel about events in the 1960s. Part memoir, part prose poem, it’s an epic journey through the deep Cleveland movement and his relationship with D. A. Levy.

Russell studied under Lewis Turco, the formalist and self-ascribed form collector whose invented forms are part of textbooks all over the world. Russell invented a form under his tutelage, and his work can be found in many university libraries. To say that he loved nature and especially the great redwoods of Northern California would be like saying Shakespeare liked words. His book Redwoods in the Rain is a collection of love poems to those great giants of the natural world.

Though we lost Russell on December 21, 2018, I know he would have much to say on the theme of Thanksgiving. His work was an homage to man’s endless abilities and spiritual elan, and, though he was sometimes angry with our constant wars, he never lost faith in man’s essential goodness and immortality. A prolific writer with over 18 collections published over his lifetime, he featured at many venues in California and New York.

The great Ray Bradbury said it best. “Russell Salamon... your poetic images float above the earth without touching; you are a poet from the marrow out.”
 Lois P. Jones
 South Pasadena, California

Painting by Debby Beck


Strands of air and sun water
and lines of pelicans pull evening
out of rain clouds. Mirrors tremble
on sea winds. But this is not a sea
but a mind placing statements
out of old starlight and forests
looking from time.

A heartbreak listens for the touch
of eyes. Large mountains block
the southern passes. If you are
still there, if you feel with skin
cherry petals falling in minds,
if you hear the eyes of rivers
opening curves of land—step
here in the taste of wind and
sway in unfolding light air.

Do not touch me now, I am
the voice of complete silence
descending on lost lands, my
hands among stars, by touch
feeling for silences of lost eyes.

It was before the beginning,
the look of simple knowing
shut distances between us
and left us awake in moon’s
thoughts rooted in trees.

Russell Salamon

Painting by Debby Beck

California Quarterly, Volume 45, Number 2

Remembering Russell Salamon - Lois P. Jones 7
Redwood Trees - Russell Salamon 8
Lament Flight - Russell Salamon 9
Nocturne 8 - Russell Salamon 10
Nocturne 16 - Russell Salamon 11
Serenity at Dawn - Jianquing Zheng 12
folding laundry - Willitts Jr. Martin 12
Context and the Seasons - Sandra Kolankiewicz 13
Near Delphi - Jane Stuart 13
Roman Holiday - Leslie Hendrickson-Baral 14
On the Capitoline -  Ruth Holzer 14
Kuramathi Dawn - Alessio Zanelli 15
Lake Willoughby - David Rosenheim 16
Wash Wonderland - Pamela Shea 17
Seeing - Jianquing Zheng 18
Cambria - William Scott Galasso 19
Patience after Basho - Carla Schick 20
The Breath - Maggie Hawthorne 21
The Mystery of Time - Anna Maria Mickiewicz 21
Casals Plays the Cello Suites - Deborah Bachels Schmidt 22
Sapote - Kath Abela Wilson 23
Summer Apple - Georgia Jones-Davis 24
Canning Apricots - Deborah Bachels Schmidt 25
Three Deliveries and a Room... Mariano Zaro 26
Mama - Susan Keyes Morrison 28
Today - I Put Up Dill Pickles Lynne Potts 29
Eri un maestro potatore - Terry Olivi 30
Il primo fiore di limone - Terry Olivi 30
You were a master at pruning - Margaret Saine, tr. 31
The first lemon blossom - Margaret Saine, tr. 31
At the Funeral - C. Dodds Musser 32
Anatomy of a Blanket - Elsa Samkow-Frausto 33
Ardoch Homestead - Susan Keyes Morrison 34
I know the figs are ripe - Kath Abela Wilson 34
La fin du monde - Mick Kennedy 35
Mom’s Word - L. Hendrickson-Baral 36
The German Chancellor... Sharon Chmielarz 37
Sserenity in Bend - Mary Jo West 38
Moving through the Lawn - Joel Fry 38
We Exist - Margaret Saine 39
It is Enough for Now - Andrena Zawinski 40
Cosi esisti - Paolo Staglianò 41
This is how you exist - Margaret Saine, tr. 41
One - Jane Rosenberg LaForge 42
End of the Line - Mark Belair 43
Fox in the Woods - Brendan O’Tuathalain 44
Eyes of Love - Emory D. Jones 44
Tree Rings - Richard Dinges, Jr. 45
The Cathedral at Chartres - C. Dodds Musser 46
Patchwork Dream Pantoum ... Andrena Zawinski 47
(Abecederian) Bird Feeder - Guinotte Wise 48
Bobcat and Two Cubs - Annette Friend 49
Partons à la découverte des îles - Éliphen Jean 50
Let’s Go & Discover the Islands - Margaret Saine, tr. 51
Coyote - Ed Rosenthal 52
Mountains - Clint Bowman 53
in this windfallen - Kath Abela Wilson 53
Carving the Mystic Wood - Brian K. Turner 54
Unbroken Circle - P.V. Beck 55
A House of Air - Susan Rogers 56
Greening - P.C. Moorehead 57
After Climbing - Jianquing Zheng 58
a guttural cry of geese - Willitts Jr. Martin 59
The Day after Thanksgiving - Jessica Day 60

Cover Art: Fruit and Teacups by Debby Beck

Maja Trochimczyk, photo by Susan Rogers


Maja Trochimczyk is a Californian poet, scholar, translator, photographer, and non-profit director from Poland. She studied musicology at the University of Warsaw, and sound engineering at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, leaving  Poland in 1988 with two M.A. degrees. In 1994, she earned her Ph.D. in musicology from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Dr. Trochimczyk published five books of poetry (incl. Slicing the Bread,  2014; Into Light, and The Rainy Bread, 2016). She also edited three poetry anthologies: Chopin with Cherries (2010); Meditations on Divine Names (2012), and Grateful Conversations (2018, co-edited with Kathi Stafford).  Her poetry and photographs appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in English and Polish: California Quarterly, Cosmopolitan Review, Magnapoets, Quill and Parchment, Ekphrasis Journal, Edgar Allan Poet Journal, Epiphany Magazine, Lily Literary Review, Loch Raven Review, Lummox Journal, Quill and Parchment, Phantom Seed, Pirene's Fountain, poeticdiversity, Poezja Dzisiaj, The Sage Trail, The Scream Online, Spectrum and many anthologies. She also published seven books of music studies and hundreds of articles on music, immigration, and Polish culture. Dr. Trochimczyk is a recipient of PAHA's Creative Arts Prize (2016) for her two poetry books about WWII experience of civilians. She has served as Acting President of CSPS since February 2019 and edited volumes 44:1 and 45:3 of the California Quarterly.

More information:

Fruit by Krystyna Urbanellis, Chicago, Illinois (Oil on Canvas, 16X16)
Photo by Anna C.  Harley-Trochimczyk


  1. Thanks for your never-ending support and promotion of literature.

  2. CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS EDITING MILESTONE, MAJA. I'll be happy to purchase a copy when it goes on sale. I'm also looking forward to autumn, more than ever before. The summers are so hot nowadays, and I'm ready for a reprieve, both poetically and physically. Much success to this anthology!