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 I 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!


This June I will hike the Thames River path with my dad. His ideal distance is 25 miles a day, mine is 5, so we compromised at 15. Because we will sleep and eat at pubs, we’ll carry only our clothes. I found a small backpack and have been hiking with it, but one of the straps came loose. Guy at REI fixed it promptly.

Which brings me to the hike…. PFS is going on 4-week hiatus while I hike the Thames and do some traveling after. No internet and no computer. Poems will start again the first week of July, and if you miss your weekly dose, you can peruse the archives at poetryforstrangers.com or read any of my other published poems that you might not have seen.

Thanks for reading! Onto this week’s stranger. xo Elisabeth

The Stranger: Guy

The Word: Grateful

The poem I wrote:

I have learned
from the ancients
about water, fire, wind.
The water upon which
the newborn
sails. The fire,
always kindled
but impossible
to pass on. The wind
to keep us
from arriving.
This learning is the soil
of my body.
Without it
I am just food
for the next cycle.
What is it all for
if not
our young. I will
be grateful to be
your Ancient one day.

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