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!


Paul, seeing me unable to decide which beer to order at the pub, treated me for a sampler of ten tiny beers. As I thanked him for this unexpected and generous act, he said, “Just part of being human.” This led to a brief conversation about writing, which his mother used to teach (her #1 rule: “make it concise!”) So, Paul, a haiku for you:

The Stranger: Paul

The Word: Humanness

The poem I wrote:

Humanness rises
airy and winged, fearless
against the landscape.

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