Around the Jungle Fire I

A Collection of Original Hobo Poetry

Edited by Oats

Published by The Hobo Press, 1994

Around the Jungle Fire I captures the thrills and the heartaches of being a hobo. The hoboes themselves, and a few of their friends, speak authentically and vividly through one of their favorite media—poetry. Here you will find unforgettable pictures of hobo life, moving expressions of the wanderlust in the hobo’s heart, and musings on death. The selections include:

“One More Train to Ride” by Hobo Liberty Justice

“Catchin’ Out for Freedom” by Guitar Whitey

“Forever Gone” by Harmonica Mike

“Hobo Jungle Blues” by Rambling Rudy

“The Silent Fog” by Sempahore Sal

“Rumbling Boxcar” by Iowa Blackie

“Sitting Around Our Little Fires” by Oklahoma Slim

“Fry Pan Jack on Catching the Westbound” by Gypsy Moon

“The Last Hobo” by Reefer Charlie

Plus 16 more poems

“I am proud of these poems Oats has gathered together!

“People are rather dubious about hoboes writing poems. But hoboes lived close to nature, the river, and ‘out back’ places. They had time to contemplate, dream, and watch the sky at night. Consequently, many received the ‘gift’ of writing poetry.” – Steamtrain Maury Graham, author of Tales of the Iron Road: My Life as King of the Hobos

Available from The Hobo Press, 608 Wakeman Avenue, Wheaton, IL 60187
Price: 57 cents plus $1.43 for postage. Send two dollar bills or make checks payable to Cliff Williams.
E-mail address:
cliffwilliams150 at gmail dot com

Some of the poems in this booklet are included in One More Train to Ride: The Underground World of Modern American Hoboes by Cliff Williams (Oats) published by Indiana University Press in 2003. Available on

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