Lone Star Swan, poet, pigeon caretaker and schizophrenic

Those of you who live in or visit the Mission are likely familiar with Lone Star Swan, the homeless poet and pigeon caretaker of 16th Street.

He’s lived on the streets of the Mission for over a decade, often hanging out at Adobe Books. But like all homeless people, there’s a sad story to his life that isn’t immediately apparent.

The other day on MissionMission, commenter Pedro directed me to a TV news report about Lone Star Swan, who’s birth name is John Ratliff. It’s a fascinating portrait of the man, and I encourage you to watch.