Falling into chains

The magnificence

thunderous roar filling ears

the depth and speed to behold

wondrous to the eye.

He walked these shores

lost and entranced by what he found

a world wanderer

no place to lay his head

taken away in chains instead.

Thirty days in a hole

moving from beauty to brutality

fodder for future words

disconcerting I have heard.

For the simple crime of vagrancy

he slept in a concrete house of horrors

so close to my home

facts I had not known.

To know you through pages

I search for antique finds

to hold you in my hands

books of yesterday held by others before me.

Why was I drawn into your life

lessons from teachers or was it simply

a look in your eyes that said

That you too understand the workings

of a writer telling tales

spinning webs to be lost within

letting the soul bleed out

the only way it knew how.

 

1876-1916) Writer, novelist. London wrote in “The Road” (1907) of his experiences as a drifter coming to Niagara Falls in 1894, being enthralled for hours by the falls, but then (having no money for a hotel room) being arrested for vagrancy and sentenced to a month in the Erie County Penitentiary.
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12 thoughts on “Falling into chains

  1. Thanks Aunt Beulah, I live in Erie county and had not known this fact, I love London too:) glad I could give him justice with the weaving of his tale.

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  2. I live by the falls, they are quite easy to be absorbed by, I can see why he stayed. Pathetic to see he was arrested for vagrancy and 30 days in prison for it. Wow, I was floored to find that out, 1894, I could see a day, but 30? Yes, sad indeed. I live in Erie county and had never heard of this before (his story)

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  3. This poem intrigued me from beginning to end, then thrilled me when I discovered Jack London and his writings were the source. (When younger, I soaked up his books.) I then reread the poem in greater appreciation of how you wove a setting, a bit of London’s history, and your search for his books in order to know him better into a poem of impact, mystery, and beauty.

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