A question of class
Despising the commoners
Civic pride forgets
Society’s vagabonds
Unwanted hearts in service

Two pigeons, side by side, pecking at crumbs on a city street. It is not an unusual sight. Flying rats, many call them. They are mated for life and will mourn the death of their mate.  The authorities tell us not to feed them as their presence damages buildings, costing those same authorities a huge amount of money. But we feed them anyway, when revellers drop half-eaten burgers and unemptied bins overflow. The pigeons’ clean up operation serves the city and brings wild life to the streets.

A city council pins legal notices to the bags of homeless people. Their presence on the streets may cost them a fine of thousands of pounds they do not have. Their presence is “having a detrimental effect … on the quality of life” of the city dwellers. That same city council refused to reopen a shelter for the homeless.

I drop a coin into the hand of a beggar. There but for the grace of God go I.

For Colleen’s poetry challenge.


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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45 Responses to Community

  1. simonjkyte says:

    So many homeless people in Oxford. And you can see why….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Frank Hubeny says:

    It doesn’t make sense to fine the homeless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shameful. Here, it is said that shelters are not a good option…dangerous places for some who choose to stay on the streets. I don’t know the answer. But, it is heartbreaking, and yes…we could all be in that position.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jack Eason says:

    Been there Sue, Didn’t like having to live and sleep rough on the streets. Except for one thing, my fellow down and outs were the salt of the earth to my way of thinking… 😉 x

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mary Smith says:

    Every time I go to Glasgow I see increasing numbers of homeless people on the streets.Last week I read an article about a footballer’s home being broken into while he and his wife were on a skiing holiday. One of the items stolen was a handbag which cost around £42,000.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It is very sad, Sue. We have hundreds of beggars on our streets at the moment. Poverty in Africa is on the increase since the end of the commodities super cycle. I saw a few street people when I was in the UK last year but they seemed to be in a better state than our people who are sick and starving and desperate.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. We have homeless people here in Colorado and all over the U. S. It is a sad state of affairs when we can’t take care of our people. The political rhetoric spewing from our so called President’s mouth has only fueled the problem. Sue, your prose, and poetry really spoke to me. It always does, but this week was different. Hugs. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jack Eason says:

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    A reminder of a not nice period in my life from Sue 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jenanita01 says:

    So sad that life on this planet continues to make no sense at all!


  10. memadtwo says:

    I lived comfortably (if not luxuriously) on minimum wage when I was young. You can’t do that now. The United States has plenty of money, but those who have it don’t want to share it, not even a bit, not even to pay livable wages to their employees. It shames us all. (K)


    • Sue Vincent says:

      My youngest son has just taken paternity leave for the birth of my granddaughter. They are not obliged to pay fathers above a fraction of their wages to do so. Some companies will pay full wages…his don’t, so he has used all his holiday entitlement instead.
      Too many companies stick to the letter of the law and refuse to go a step farther…and the laws, as well as the desire for maximum profit, encourage firms to use their workforce as an expendable commodity instead of people. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Whose crazy idea was it to fine the homeless? Are there no debtors’ prisons, no workhouse? Scrooge lives! We need Dickens back again. Good post, Sue. —- Suzanne


  12. I suppose one of the better aspects of living out here in the country is not having beggars and homeless people. It’s not that we don’t have poor people. We do, but none are homeless. We have a substantial availability of free or no/low cost housing and a LOT of free meals and free kitchens. We may be small, but we take better care of our people than they have ever done in the city.


  13. It sickens me that we still have homelesss people. There is such vast inequality in the world, celebrities and footballers being paid obscene amounts of money, yet there are kids that are sleeping on the streets. If only there were some way to redress the balance.


  14. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge #46 – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: HONEY & WINE – 🌼Colleen Chesebro Fairy Whisperer 🌼

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