“3 Charged With Beating Homeless Man” (Terry O’Connor)



autumn mist
in the beggar’s hand—
his empty stare





“3 Charged With Beating Homeless Man” (Chicago Tribune)

“Suspect, 29, Charged With Beating of Homeless Man” (The Baltimore Sun)

“Homeless Man Critical After Beating” (The Desert Sun)


Poem by Terry O’Connor. Read more by this poet. First published in Heron’s Nest.




  1. Ikiru

    I’m almost embarrassed to mention this, but I’ve spent a good chunk of my life living in Monroe, Louisiana.

    Unfortunately, it appears the news link is no longer available.

    ~ josh

  2. Editor

    Crap – thanks for letting me know. I will have to find another article to link the poem too. I hate the way news links just disappear. Oh well. Hey – don’t be embarrassed – every place has its share of racism, classism, sexism (and so on). Be proud that even while living there you stayed true to yourself.

  3. Laurence Stacey-Editor

    This is a beautifully crafted poem and resonates very well with the articles. Lovely work!

  4. Terry

    Thank you.

  5. Alan Summers

    The unpublished haiku is technically topic as my 1000 Verse Renga is being publicised in various regional newspapers, but although Luke sells a registered homeless magazine he did not want his full name disclosed on the renga sheet I have displayed up in the region’s central library.

    I’m afraid the climate of fear surrounds homeless people even if they are a registered vendor for the homeless magazine and organisation called The Big Issue.

    It’s odd because he’s gladly contributing to a community-spirited project of mine, encouraging other dyslexic people, and in face anyone too shy or lacking in confidence to write a short poetic verse.

    autumn chill
    a dyslexic homeless boy
    co-writes a haiku

    Alan Summers and Luke
    October 2009 (unpublished)

    sunlit sweat
    the young vagrant
    sucks a thumb

    Alan Summers
    Haiku Harvest
    Vol. 4, No. 1 – January-February 2003

    the vagrant
    a radio presses
    to his head

    Alan Summers
    British Haiku Society journal Blithe Spirit
    vol.9 no.3 September 1999


  6. Terry

    Third time trying to post a thank-you for your kind replies, maybe this time it will work.


    Thank you !

  7. Editor

    Sorry you’ve been having problems posting comments Terry.

  8. Alan Summers

    Just wanted to say I really really liked Terry’s haiku.

    No one should have to have an empty stare. I hope this homeless human being is cheered up a little when you next see him and stop to say hello.

    Homeless people are great! There’s seems to be a surge in hate/assault crimes on people at the moment.

    Luke is doing fine, and I think I’ll get him to do another verse before too long! ;-)


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