Featured Artist Nikolai Vryasov: a pairing with poet Ali Salzman’s “Winter Lessons”

/, FEATURED ARTISTS, FEATURED FINE ARTISTS, LITERARY ARTS, Lyric, Narrative, Painting, Poetry, STUDIO ARTS/Featured Artist Nikolai Vryasov: a pairing with poet Ali Salzman’s “Winter Lessons”

Ali Salzman

Winter Lessons

“Falling Asleep” by Nikolai Vryasov

Snowfall feels
like the beginning
of a poem.

The sky hardens,
blooms and lives
on our tongues.

Snow shows us
how to be still
while remaining
in motion,

how to savor
our ripe cheeks,
how to hold
hot coals of memory
in our mouths.

How tender
our teeth feel
against the wind.

How easily
we’ve learned
to silence the storm’s heart
with a whisper.

I promise her
we won’t miss the cold
it’s gone.

One day, she’ll learn
Spring is never enough.

How could it be?


About the writer:
Ali Salzmann graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University, where she currently works as a Lecturer. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Austin Community College.

Image: Falling Asleep” by Nikolai Vryasov. Oil on canvas. 60 x 120 cm. 2018. By permission. Russian realist and landscape painter Nikolai Vryasov was born in April 28, 1987, in a small village called Idrinskoye that lies to the south of Krasnoyarsk. In 2012, he graduated from Surikov’s Art School of Krasnoyarsk and continued his formation in Ilya Glazunov’s Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. The majority of his works are in the Academy fund. Nikolai Vryasov is the O:JA&L Featured Artist for July 2019.