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!


I was riding the London Tube and gasped when I saw a Boise Bicycle Project patch on a fellow passenger’s backpack. I got up to ask. The man had lived in Boise for years, not a mile from where I live. The encounter drove home the message I’ve always believed about my Poetry for Strangers Project – that making friends with strangers expands one’s home.

The Stranger: Curtin

The Word: Spry

The poem I wrote:

It was a holiday
so everyone felt
spry. Somebody gave
a funny number.
A candle tipped.
There were no
parents and we
were all in love.
Peace came to us
in a dream; we all
threw peas at him.
I remember
that party. God,
we misbehaved.

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