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!


In families with little kids, Car = Trashcan. Things just build up. A few weeks ago the whole car rustled with Lara bar wrappers and napkins and discarded cups and crushed cereal and receipts and hoodies and single mittens and smelly spilled drinks. Only the desperate would step into our backseat. We decided it was time for a carwash. At Mister Shine I met…

The Stranger: Shaka-Shine

His Word: Majestic

The poem I wrote:

The nose is always a problem.
This is why lying won’t work.
You become transparently
embarrassed. Like being pregnant:
You Did It. The belly gives it
away each time. The woman
holding a child in her arms
can be anybody: Nana,
nanny, a neighbor. You can moonlight
that way. Whale belly
brings her into Pinocchio realm.
The nose grows. How many of us
are made of wood? Probably she is,
people say to each other in loud
majestic whispers.

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