Saturday, November 27, 2010


Rosie Thomas

Hailing from Michigan like her friend Sufjan Stevens, Rosie Thomas has five albums to her name, including one on her own label Sing-Along-Records. She has performed with others (Velour 100 being one), as a duet, and a solo artist. Under the name Sheila Saputo she also side lines as a stand-up comedian, and when not there, or on the folk stage, as an actress
(Calvin Marshall).


Norman Schaefer
On the Summit of Cathedral Peak, 1999


I have wandered
far and wide
in the Sierra Nevada
but nothing like
the autumn wind tonight.

The Sunny Top of California

Dew gathers on the meadow grasses.
Deneb takes its place in the center of the sky.
Step by step around Rockslide Lake,
keeping my eyes on the radiant moon,
I call out the names of old Chinese poets,
who instruct me by saying nothing.
All my life I’ve loved high lonesome places.
Odors of moss and bark
and cones and twigs and snowmelt mud,
I feel like I’ve been coming to the Sierra
for a thousand years.
A human life is no more than a flicker of lightning,
but to die on a glacier
my bones would be pure forever.
Watching the moon begin its slow descent,
my mind quiets down
until there’s scarcely a ripple.
In the morning I’ll look for a campsite
somewhere green and steep and wild
where a wolverine might feel safe.
I talk brave,
but all I want is an autumn alone
with books and tea
and Bugler cigarettes rolled-your-own,
to be deeply enjoyed without hurry
on the sunny top of California.


This one

dogwood in blossom

is all the spring I need.


Orion stalks the Pleiades.

Paper ~thin, a silver crescent begins to rise.

Dawn light fills Evolution Basin.

On the southern slopes of Mt. Huxley

folds and wrinkles come into focus.

Cold air drains from Muir Pass.

Frost sparkles on the grasses

white as the Milky Way.

One star by day, thousands at night,

I'm never so alive as here.

I lift a cup of tea to the alpenglow

and clear autumn morning,

alone, happy,

thirty miles from a road.

Norman Schaefer
The Sunny Top of California

La Alameda Press
9636 Guadalupe Trail NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87114

author's photo: dan pattitucci