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!


During my first time to Bogus Basin Mountain in the snow, I was waiting while my daughter was learning to ski. I graded some papers. Shane approached to ask if there was internet.

The Stranger: Shane

His Word: Fambambulous

The poem I wrote:

Standing in a room
with my young
telescopes the end
of my frivolity.
Shine light here.
Drip water here.
Compost what is
left. Loose joints,
blue paint, milk
teeth, lost mittens,
costume dreams,
sinners, swimmers.
A person is mistaken
to see pure play.
If I siphon
my energy
into something
it had better grow.

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