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!


Beth moved from Seattle to Boise to help her family’s wine business, Cold Springs Winery. She and I discussed road rage over wine samples before a Boise Contemporary Theater play. This poem began long but at last distilled: I’ve been reading senryu, a sort of haiku that focuses more on humans than on nature.

The Stranger: Beth

Her Word: Moist

The poem I wrote:

The moist air gave up
your secret: you came here,
if only to swim.

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