Poetry for Strangers is about finding inspiration in community, in people, in the chance encounters of everyday life. PFS suggests that every person can be a “muse” of a poem. Every week of this year I will ask a stranger for a single word and then write a poem inspired by the word. I invite you to do the same.

Share your poem on this week’s word!


On the street outside the apartment where I’m staying, construction begins early and lasts the day. Backhoes are turning up the old pavement of Western Avenue, improving the roads. This week’s stranger is part of this crew; when I met him, he was in conversation with one of the diggers.

The Stranger: Taylor

His Word: Bucket

The poem I wrote:

“Every act of creation is first
an act of destruction” – Pablo Picasso

The dirt, the work,
the ends of each life
unraveling against
the dim morning sun.

Asphalt breaks and
recreates, a marriage

between rock and bucket:
the torn guts of the road
make way for new life.
It takes many to dig

a hole, while any child
can pave it over.

Watching I see only
the link from the maker
to the thing made.


The Challenge: Do you have a poem in you on this word? Write one here.