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!


Hi all! I am enjoying your posted poems so much. Thank you.

I met Troy Passey at the Boise Art Museum, where his artwork was featured. It intrigued me that he examines words not for their meanings but for how they look. Illegibly scrawled words took over the room like dust-storms. One piece featured trees made up of tiny silver scribbles.

The Stranger: Troy

His word: Griffonage

The poem I wrote:

It is a force of nature job to sun
and water a word until its roots
explode and shake

dirt from the banks of Charon’s
river back up into sunlight
so we can find again

these seed-glyphs, sprayed
in griffonage streaks onto alleyways
and a few mumbling trees

that we scale for the leaves,
each leaf a new word
for us to rattle in our pockets.

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