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 take my daughter out of school some Thursday afternoons to look at art. We usually go for pastries too. This week we admired the work of Meredith, maker of chandeliers at Chandi. I loved the giant size of the chandeliers. My daughter loved the bins and bins of crystalline beads. This poem, once again, has beans at its heart.

On another note, three of my poems are published in the German magazine Signaturen, translated by the brilliant Anna Ospelt. Here is the link.

The Stranger: Meredith

The Word: Starlight

The poem I wrote:

I put God
in my mouth
to have the
taste, the genes.
Sweetish, full
of water
and something
else, unformed,
still too green.
We are pinked
in starlight,
heaven rising
around us.

Spit me out, said God.

In my hand, a bean.

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