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Old Power Company Road

David E. Thomas

(To see David’s first FootHills book, Waterworks Hill, click here.)

Dave Thomas wouldn’t be the remarkable poet he is if it weren’t for the care and direction, strength and vision of the person he is on foot.   His acceptance of the human condition wherever he finds it is unconditional.  We owe him a depth of gratitude for the gifts his poems are of our lives and histories here in Montana and wherever his travels take him.  He is a watershed poet of the heart, the bard of stroll, chronicler of all things descent and deserving of our attention.  Read his poetry for all its worth and see for yourself.

     —John Holbrook, author of A Clear Blue Sky in Royal Oak.

On the page and on the ground, Dave Thomas continues to explore the landscapes he's encountered hoofing the Beat trail for half a century.  His keen eye and short lines in these selected poems evoke a rhythm the heart recognizes.  Whether in Missoula, San Francisco, or Seattle, his words usher us along, allowing us to be present in these places we feel are our own.  Li Po and Kerouac would both raise a glass to toast OLD POWER COMPANY ROAD.  The elegies alone, each written for barroom friends now gone, make this poetic trip one sweet-ass journey back home.

     —Mark Gibbons, author of Shadow Boxing.

I want these poems to be embedded into every software system in public school computers—a virus like a long walk in silence that would scent and hush all the ever-so-important data and dopamine so that our kids meltdown, pull the plug and storm outside. Why Don’t You / Just / Go Outside! / but you’re / not sure / where that is. (from Inertia)

—Craig Czury, Author of Thumb Notes Almanac

Dave Thomas is a heroic poet, along the lines of Li Po and Homer. He is a Missoula feature, the walking poet always watching with the calm intensity that a good poem requires. Thomas makes honest inquiry into the true nature of things, providing images that catch your breath in your throat.

—Sheryl Noethe

Montana Poet Laureate Emerita

Director, Missoula Writing Collaborative

From the book:

                                          A MORNING WITH COOPER

A neighborhood street

in Great Falls

out near

the Air Base

not yet noon     

and already


a small breeze



a bit

the dog and me

listen to the radio

a tune


by Sherri Lee


makes herself


for the day

while I sit

and ponder

the coming

bus ride

back into

the mountains

after a night on the prairie

chasing tumbleweeds


Black Eagle


across stars.

17 July 1998

great falls

DAVID E. THOMAS grew up on the Hi-Line in North-central Montana. He graduated from the University of Montana then found himself on the streets of San Francisco where he began his literary education. Economic realities drove him to work on railroad gangs, big construction projects like Libby Dam and other labor intensive jobs.  He has traveled in the United States, Mexico and Central America. He has published four books of poems, Fossil Fuel, Buck’s Last Wreck, The Hellgate Wind and Waterworks Hill. He has poems in the anthologies The Last Best Place and Poems across the Big Sky and New Poets of the American West and has published poems in Romania, Blue Collar Review, Cedilla 6, 7 and 8 and many other small magazines.  His essay “Gothic Days” appears in The Complete Montana Gothic edited by Peter Koch which also features Thomas’s earliest published work. Most recently he has published poems and an interview in Talking River and poems in San Pedro River Review. He currently lives in Missoula, Montana.

Old Power Company Road




Old Power Company Road




Old Power Company Road

is a 92 page hand-sewn paperbook with spine. $16.00

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