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!


“When you ask me to give one word, all words leave.” This was Drew’s response when I said I wanted to write him a poem on any word of his choice. Drew impressed me as a person who lives several different lives: he makes music as a DJ, coaches tennis, and delivers morning bread.

The Stranger: Drew

The Word: Dreamer

The poem I wrote:

When I say yes

what I dream
you turn
into wood.

It was for me

you gathered
the animals,

made a boat
for my fears
of this god or that—

I am sorry now
for such floods
I have caused.

You call me
dreamer and I am

in those dreams
afraid. But you
make arks,

keep the whole

world afloat
and let my fears

sink at last.


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