Jim Thomas deftly weaves simple themes of midwestern rural life into exceptional reflections on the human experience. These lyric and narrative poems spring from an enjoyment of everyday living paired with an ever-present understanding of life’s transience. This elegant volume of poetry is a testament to the craft of a greatly admired Missouri poet.
To say that Jim Thomas is a poet of the Midwest is both high praise and an undeserved and unnecessary limitation to the scope and reach of his work. His poems stretch far beyond their geography and penetrate deeply into the human condition. The reader will return from these poems more patient and wiser for having read them.
—Walter Bargen, Missouri Poet Laureate
This book represents Jim Thomas’s fine poetic legacy, and a testament to a high aesthetic and craft he maintained in his work for an entire career . . . these poems stay with you, like good friends, and they show you the poet’s fine-tuned ear and affinity towards the natural world, family, and the preservation of memory through the poetic inclination. If the poems themselves feel brief and to the point, it’s only the poet’s great sense of cutting to the chase . . . to the things that matter and crystallize in a life well lived, well loved, and well spent. Brief Tracks is this poet’s gift and our inheritance.
—Virgil Suárez, author of
Guide to the Blue Tongue and 90 Miles
Jim Thomas’s poetry speaks of memory, the vicissitudes of time, loss, love, loneliness, simple pleasures and comforts, a life grounded in nature’s wildness and often rich sublimity—these poems go to the heart.
—Jack Smith, co-editor of
Green Hills Literary Lantern