the end

Fred Sandback

Fred Sandback

Poem People Project has come to a natural conclusion. I am posting new poems on Medium at:

Sending a poem to a random home weekly gave me a quiet corner to create - I’m grateful for carving-out that time.
A list of all poem titles below… click to read a random idea:

Dear Youth

Take the good 
Release the bad
You've learned enough to survive
Now encourage yourself to thrive

Stumble through learning 
Displaying your scars
Your allies will see those old wounds
Your loves will love them

Be bold on this journey
It’s required
After grappling with ideas 
Make your assertions loudly and respectfully

“Have fun.
Be yourself.
Don’t hold back.”
And life will give life back



- artwork by Willem de Kooning…
- mailed to New Hampshire -
- inspiration by John Dick of CivicScience -

Brain Game

Busy brain stays alert

distracted with preordained projects.
Distracted brain might see opportunity

disciplined to notice differences.
Disciplined brain keeps perfect time

attentive to a fault.
Attentive brain bestows joy

generously spread when needed.
Generous brain buys-in often

enabling multitudes of desires.
Enabled brain learned to learn

busy with success that followed.



- artwork by Shantell Martin -
- mailed to Massachusetts -

the Ride

Focus forward 
past the clear vision
toward the beginning
of anything new
     The baby responded
     while I drove the car
     and myself down the path
     of destroyed alleys
with their garbage-making garbaged walls
and smearing colors of broken packages
that held everything purchased yesterday

"Bumpy ride" baby began
but I heard "jump inside"
So obediently
that vision closed to the outside 
and every side
I started seeing ahead of the light
toward the work to do
for baby and something new
Past some clear vision
toward that beginning
of a new belief in... ...



- artwork by Kiki Smith -
- mailed to Rhode Island -


a poem is like a machine
with mechanisms encouraging dream
layers of levers dressed as words
creating the engine to spew undeterred

using words to get beyond words
poems infuse vitality to closed eyes
holding contradictions in a single breath
activating ideas unless you're dead

O poem O poem
direct me away from certainty
yet be concrete and precise
enough so I can jest today about yesterday




- Artwork by Gary Hume… -
- inspiration by “Why Poetry” by Matthew Zapruder -
- Mailed to Maryland -

Rally In The Park

Feeling like a piece of cheese
Squashed in pita bread getting melty in the middle.
Heat coming from pressure.
Moving closer. So close to the adults.
Pockets bumping and mouths murmuring.
It’s not a circus but looks like one.
Feeling small. Looking up. 
Getting hungry.

The crowd heaves toward a single point reciting a dream.
Flailing words tripping over the air in a roller coaster of chaotic meaning.
Why? What? For Who? not me.
Seems like eating would be secondary to these ideas
To this crowd of big people.
They squeeze my hand tighter
I think because the words mean something to them.
But I can't stop thinking about cheese.



- Artwork by Dan Colen…
- mailed to Virginia -

Consider Conflict

They bother another,
each other.
Bodies bumping, skulls attacking - 

There is conflict on the street, and
in cars buses and trains,
schools homes and televisions - 

Conflict in our bones making stomachs tighten.
Some thrive. Others crumble.
Please help us endure the friction, please - 

Can we be like the bothering squirrels,
jabbing around outdoors,
never stopping too long for injury - 

possess, then put aside - 



- artwork by Sam McKinniss -
- mailed to North Carolina -


Nobody cares
all the time
for that someone
we think about
all the time.
Who can we
care about
all the time
if we ourselves, in
fact, are careless
some of the time.
So we carry
on caring at times,
when needed or convenient.
Then somebody 
writes a thank you 
because we cared 
for their singular 
'all the time.'

Generations will read it,
solidifying your caring.
Still we know
nobody cares
all the time.



- artwork by Simone Leigh -
- mailed to South Carolina -